Fifty five per cent of the people surveyed in a poll by Gallup Pakistan have given the Nawaz Sharif government a favourable rating. The current government gets a Green Card and the favourable views exceed unfavourable views in the overall running of the government. The Net Performance Ratings for political leaders rated Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) at the top with a rating of a favourable 18 per cent while Imran Khan (PTI) was rated as minus 5 per cent unfavourable.
SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka now facilitates Umrah pilgrims to Jeddah, with its latest route via Mattala. For the first time in history, SriLankan passengers will now have the opportunity to start their journey from the country’s second international airport, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA). Accordingly, the first batch consisting 30 Umrah pilgrims, departed from Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, on Thursday.
SriLankan Airlines, Manager Sales (Agency/Passenger) Fawzan Fareid said, “SriLankan as the national carrier has always been attentive to the pulse of the people. Our mission lies far beyond transferring people from one point to another. It is about taking them to where they desire to be. This initiative came into being as a result of our effort to provide a smooth and hassle free journey to all the pilgrims heading for the Holy Land. This is all about recognising and saluting their devotion."
The team leader of the group Mohammad Iqbal Marikkar voicing his thoughts on the sacred journey with SriLankan said, “SriLankan’s operations to Jeddah from Mattala comes as a great relief for the devotees in the Southern and Eastern parts of the country, who will otherwise, have to, make a longer journey to the capital city in order to board a flight. With the ever-so supportive staff and smooth completion of formalities, I am hopeful that this is going to be hassle-free journey from the beginning to the end."
SriLankan operates a weekly flight leaving Hambantota to Jeddah every Thursday at 1400 hrs local time. The national carrier, with its strong presence in the Middle Eastern region, currently operates a total of five flights a week to Jeddah.
The airlines’ first commercial flight to Sri Lanka (Mattala and Colombo) from Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Airport departed on Thursday morning at 01:00hrs.
Shaikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of Rotana Jet; Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UAE; along with a high profile delegation were on board the inaugural flight.
The flight was welcomed and greeted at Mattala Airport by Professor G. L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs; Priyankara Jayaratna, Minister of Civil Aviation; Abdul Hameed Abdul Fatah Kadhim, Ambassador of UAE for Sri Lanka; as well as senior officials.Airline officials said the two-year old carrier will operate three flights a week from Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi to Sri Lanka’s main Bandaranaike International Airport just outside Colombo and the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota.
The airline will use an Airbus A319 aircraft with both business and economy class seats.
In a statement, the airline said it planned to increase flights to six per week later. Schedules were finalised during recent discussions in Colombo between Piyankara Jayaratne and Ravindra Ruberu.
The carrier is a charter and scheduled service operator that initially conducted domestic operations with flights to Bahrain, Muscat, Salalah, Sir Bani Yas island, Fujairah, Delma and Dubai.
Rajendran Vellapalath, Rotana Jet’s commercial and planning director, said: “Rotana Jet is glad to announce Colombo and Mattala as its first international destination’s outside the GCC. The Sri Lankan expatriate community and the increasing number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka will have greater access with the newly introduced flights from Rotana Jet. We take this opportunity to thank the authorities of Sri Lanka for extending their support in making this new service a reality and we are delighted to contribute to the connectivity between UAE and Sri Lanka with a good product and affordable fares.”
Dr Shaikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Rotana Jet, said: “We are extremely glad to introduce our first international flights out of the GCC to Sri Lanka especially at a time when Sri Lanka is transforming as a tourist destination. For Rotana Jet this is a significant step at a time when the economy of Sri Lanka is growing.”
Dr Shaikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Rotana Jet also called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Carlton House in Tangalle Thursday morning.
A senior officer who survived the Titanic disaster may have played down the iceberg collision to dodge negligence claims, an insurance document which is expected to fetch £12,000 at auction has shown.
Second officer Charles Lightoller’s statement was taken in New York days after Titanic sank in the Atlantic waters in 1912. According to his statement, he felt a “slight jar” when the luxury liner hit a “small and low lying” iceberg. The iceberg was actually up to 100ft high by 400ft wide, but the 46,000-tonne ship was speeding through an icefield at night and crew failed to spot it in time. Lightoller’s statement helped the ship’s owners, the White Star Line, win a $5 million insurance payout — equivalent to £290 million today, The Mirror reported. The statement is now set to fetch £12,000 at auction in Devizes, Wilts, on April 26.
“The captain was on and off the bridge throughout the watch. A sharp lookout was kept from the crow’s nest. The ship was on course South 86 degrees West true when the lookouts reported ice dead ahead,” the statement reads.
“The first officer immediately starboarded the helm reversed the engines full speed and closed all watertight doors. The ship swung to port but struck a ‘growler’ or small low-lying iceberg with the bluff of her starboard bow, making a comparatively slight jar with a grinding sound,” it reads.
BOI signed an agreement with S & D Chemicals (Pvt) Ltd., a Company specialized in the manufacturing of Industrial chemicals used in the textile industry as well as polymers for textile processing, coatings and water treatment operations.
The agreement was signed by Dayantha de Silva, Managing Director of S & D Associates and the Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera. This new project will have a total value of US$ 3 million. It is important to note that the Company will employ 100 staff including 25 highly skilled local and overseas Chemical Engineers and industrial chemists. With such a skilled work force, this company whose manufacturing plant will be located at the BOI Export Processing Zone at Biyagama, will be engaged in a high technology area of production.
The investor, Dayantha de Silva, a qualified chemist with postgraduate qualifications in polymer science said : “This is the first time in Sri Lanka that a company will be manufacturing the full range of products needed for textile processing and wet processing of garments. The Company also has foreign offices in Bangladesh, Maldives and Vietnam and, buyers in India, Oman and Dubai. This greatly benefits the local textile industry and contributes to making Sri Lankan garments more competitive.”
“We are also excited about the possibility of exporting our products in the region and our target is to become a leading manufacturer of textile axillaries, polymers, dispersing aids and polymeric coatings for different substrates in the region. In the future we are planning to diversify into other Chemicals applications as well.”
The investor, De Silva concluded that : “this project was possible thanks to the assistance of the BOI and I would particularly wish to thank the Minister of Investment Promotion and BOI Chairman for their assistance in facilitating this project.”
The frustrating month-long search for the Malaysian jetliner received a tremendous boost when a navy ship detected two more signals that most likely emanated from the aircraft's black boxes. The Australian official co-coordinating the search expressed hope Wednesday that the wreckage will soon be found.
The west has been needlessly whipping up tension – if we don't co-operate soon, chaos may take hold, states Sergei Lavrov the foreign minister of Russia who was also an Ambassador in Sri Lanka some time ago, in an article written to "The Guardian".
The National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) which provides insurance coverage for over 1.2 million government beneficiaries took a step forward in expanding their services by joining hands with Lanka Hospitals to cover private hospital costs for Agrahara medical insurance beneficiaries. A partnership which has been carried out for the past three years between the two parties was recently extended for the fourth consecutive year to provide Agrahara medical insurance beneficiaries easier access to medical facilities in private hospitals.