The last few years have seen a united and consolidated effort on all fronts, aimed at transforming Sri Lanka into a truly contemporary tourism destination. This includes positioning the island as a land of wonder and awe, overflowing with magical experiences, yet offering modern facilities and world-class amenities. There is also excellent work being done on the ground to ensure the right infrastructure is in place and the island’s countless delights are easily accessible to all visitors. This includes ease of access for the disabled and mobility challenged, as the island strives towards a more inclusive tourism industry.
The most recent project in this spirit is ‘The Cable Car Project’, an initiative by the Outdoor Engineering Lanka PVT Ltd, facilitated by the Investor Relations Unit (IRU) of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). The project which is a first for Sri Lanka will give the island its first cable car experience, which will span a distance of nearly 4 Kilometers. The Cable Car will connect Nanu Oya, a destination made famous due to its strategically located railway station, with Nuwara Eliya town. This, in turn, will provide an alternative and beautifully scenic route between the two locations.
The location chosen for the project takes advantage of the breathtaking scenery and allows visitors a bird’s eye view of the lush green landscape, rolling hills, numerous tea estates, and of course the montane forests of Nuwara Eliya. This new way of locomotion will reduce the direct impact of tourism on nature, while still allowing visitors to observe, interact and enjoy the surroundings with a minimal environmental impact. The project with an investment value that currently stands at EURO 55 Million (USD 62.15 Mn) will be implemented as a “build, own, operate and transfer” model and thus, this agreement allows the total capital investment to be transferred to the Government of Sri Lanka after a period of 30 years. The project is scheduled to be completed within just 18 months from the date of receiving all approvals. Outdoor Engineers AG of Switzerland and its local representative, Outdoor Engineering Lanka Pvt Ltd are exponents of the project. Outdoor Engineers AG brings over 30 years of experience in the ropeway industry and has been involved in over 30 cable car installations all over the globe, including the famous Sentosa Cable Car in Singapore. The cable car equipment will be supplied and installed by partner organization of Outdoor Engineers AG, Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH of Austria, who is the current world leader in cable car manufacturing and installations, having constructed over 15,100 installations in 96 countries. The Ropeway system used on the project, has a long history of use in the mountainous regions of Europe and has more recently found wide acceptance around the world. What sets them apart from most other forms of transportation is their ease of use, low environmental impact, and sustainable outlook. In fact, cable car systems are ideal for the tourism sector as they have minimal impact on the environment, help drastically reduce emissions, and leave behind no harmful emissions or residue. The project will be built according to the highest global safety standards, reliable, and easy to maintain with cost associated with operation and upkeep.
Speaking about this novel and exciting project, The Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism, Ms. Kimarli Fernando had this to say, “It gives everyone at Sri Lanka Tourism immense pride to be involved in this project, which is indicative of the progressive attitude we have adopted towards the future of the island and its tourism sector. The IRU division of the SLTDA together with the respective line agencies enabled a high level of competency and efficiency in keeping with international construction, safety, environmental, and quality standards. As a result of an effective and healthy collaboration of all line agencies involved, it allowed for complete compliance with all necessary regulatory frameworks, allowing for greater efficiency and transparency”
The design of the ‘The Cable Car Project’ ensures that it blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape so as to not distract from the natural setting. Care has also been taken to preserve the tree line, canopy, and other aspects of the wilderness during construction and implementation. It was shown that the implementation of the project would reduce harmful greenhouse emissions by approximately 180 metric tons per year. As a BOOT project (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) the operation will create new industries, opportunities, and jobs in the region. This is essential, as Sri Lanka looks to lift the standard of living across the country while providing more new opportunities to rural communities. The project is also indicative of what can be achieved when the many facets of government work together towards a unified vision. Working closely with Sri Lanka Tourism the UDA signed an MoU with Outdoor Engineering Lanka Pvt. Ltd. on the 09th of December to allocate land for this project on a 30-year lease period and did an excellent job clearing the necessary land, while also establishing strict guidelines for its preservation and use. A collective effort of vital government agencies such as the CEA and Forest Department along with nearly 20 other line agencies were also indispensable to the project’s success.
The project is one of several which are underway, under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’ policy initiative. This is a vital step in the right direction as Sri Lanka positions itself as an exclusive destination, for the high-value experiential traveler. The projects will also bolster the island’s reputation in the eyes of the world, showcasing it as a cosmopolitan destination that has just about everything a world traveler could desire.
Sri Lanka Tourism
CSE Director Board appoints new chairman
The Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Dumith Fernando who has served in this role since July 01, 2020, has informed the Board of his intention to retire by rotation on June 23, 2022 at the conclusion of his current term as a Director. Subsequently, at its regular monthly board meeting held on May 19th, 2022, the Board of the CSE has elected Director Dilshan Wirasekara to succeed Fernando as Chairman with effect from June 24th, 2022. Wirasekara is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC.According to the Articles of Association of the CSE, it’s Chair is chosen from among the five Directors elected by the members of the CSE. The appointment of Wirasekara is in line with the CSE’s normal board succession practice.
The outgoing Chairman Fernando said that “We are very pleased with the advancement of the CSE in the last 2 years. The market has set records across capital raising, trading volumes and participation alongside significant wealth creation for investors. The CSE is also financially stronger than it has ever been, and I am pleased to hand over my role following the institution’s highest-ever profitability and capital reserves position. Credit for this is due to my fellow board members, management and staff as well as all those stakeholders who collaborated with us including our regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the stock broking and investor communities.”
Commenting on the appointment of his successor, he further stated “I have had the pleasure of serving as a Director with Dilshan for five years where he has been a critical and energetic member of the board. The board and I have full confidence that he will continue to work with all stakeholders to build on our recent efforts to transform into a modern-day multi-product exchange. I look forward to supporting Dilshan over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”Wirasekara thanked both the outgoing chairman for his leadership of the CSE over the last 2 years and the CSE Board for the confidence placed in him. He further stated, “I hope to continue the good progress at the CSE and look forward to working with the Board and the CSE team together with the regulator and the industry to advance our ambitious capital market development plans.”
SLIM Research Bureau embarks on a mission to promote fair trade in Sri Lanka
As corporates and consumers globally are shifting towards best practices such as sustainability, inclusivity, and most importantly, equality to all, “fairness” has become a significant part of how business and buyer decisions are made.With this in mind, SLIM Research Bureau, the research arm associated with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), recently signed an agreement with Fairtrade NAPP at SLIM Home, in aspiration of promoting fair trade and consumption of fairly traded products in the local market of Sri Lanka.Through this collaboration, SLIM Research Bureau and Fairtrade intends to launch a project – named “SRI-PROM” funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy – that aims to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural areas in Sri Lanka, through the development of much more profitable eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.
Commenting on the partnership, SLIM President Mr. Nuwan Gamage stated: “SLIM is thrilled to enter into this milestone partnership with Fairtrade NAPP to instil globally accepted best practices within the corporate circle that help achieve fair, equitable trade relationships. The project will be the first step in inviting businesses across industries to become a trailblazer that sets an example both in Sri Lanka and around the world. We look forward to expand these efforts further in the days to come.”The modern concept of fair trade refers to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of products, where workers and farmers at the foundational level of supply and value chains are treated fairly. This, in turn, offers consumers a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty through their purchases.
Fairtrade International Programme Consultant for Sri Lanka, Standards Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Asia-Pacific Representative Mrs. Iresha Sanjeewanie noted: “Fairtrade takes a 360-degree approach to address a number of different issues and developmental challenges faced by small-scale producers and workers. Though Fairtrade Standards are a glum eye-opener into the implications of unfair trade, in a broader sense, it advocates reform-oriented research and pushes to raise the bar in trade.”
Bank of Ceylon sponsors Annual Sand Paving Ceremony at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple Anuradhapura
Invoking the blessings of the sacred “Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi” situated in the historic city of Anuradhapura, on the country and on all its citizens, for peace, harmony and prosperity, the Bank of Ceylon conducted its annual ceremony of strewing fresh sand which is known as “weli Athirime Pinkama” in “Uda Maluwa” recently.
The ceremony took place with the participation of the Bank’s General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, DGM Corporate and Offshore Banking Priyal Silva, DGM Human Resource Dhamma Wijeyawardhene, DGM Branch operations and Development Banking Nilantha Meneripitiyage, AGM North Central Province Mahinda Bandara, AGM Marketing Aruna Hettiarachchi, AGM North Western Mrs.Ruchindra Perera and other staff members. The event was organized by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager North Central Province (NCP) G.K.G. Mahinda Bandara and staff members of the NCP province with the guidance of the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, the Most Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero.
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