Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

By Joseph Thavaraja

Dieting is the current social circuit topic and more importantly, a fact of life. Everyone is talking about being ‘on a diet’ (even if not) or thinking about ‘starting one soon’. And to maintain their figures, many young women say they are on a special diet—but in fact, most of these catwalk wannabe’s are quietly starving themselves, surviving on mineral water, gulping some cups of coffee or tea for the day with some fruits thrown in between-and facing ill health as a result.

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(Sep  14  2010)

The Aframax ‘SCF Baltica’ (117,000 dwt and ice class 1A-Super (Arc5), owned by the Sovcomflot (SCF) group, arrived at Ningbo on 6th September.  This successfully completing the tanker’s voyage transporting 70,000 tonnes of gas condensate (delivery from OAO Novatek), from Vitino and Murmansk, along the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

It took about 22 days for the ship to sail from Murmansk to Ningbo, which even taking into account that the voyage was experimental, meant it was twice as fast as the traditional routes for ships navigating via the Suez Canal, SCF said.

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By Joseph Thavaraja

As you read this- right at this moment (September 1) , unknown to most of us, a historic journey is taking place -in the deadly, freezing seas of the Arctic. On August 30, a large tanker called SCF Baltica has crossed the once unimaginable Arctic Circle to deliver 70,000 tons of “gas extract” (condensate) all the way from Russia to China.

The first time a tanker or a ship of a considerable size has successfully crossed the ever frozen “Northern Sea Route” (NSR). NSR is known for centuries as the “Northeastern Passage” and dreamed by all major shippers ‘wanting to navigate it.’ The successful tanker SCF Baltica is now continuing towards its final destination ‘Ningbo Port’ in Zhejiang Province, China having passed the NSR and is expected to call at its discharge port ‘Ningbo’ someday in mid-September.Shipping & Logistics experts of Sri Lanka–over to you!

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By Joseph Thavaraja

The post-war outlook of internet freedom in Sri Lanka is ‘not bright.’ In addition, Sri Lanka needs to take immediate steps to legislate for ‘broad privacy protection.’

An Internet Freedom of Expression (IFoE) study by Colombo based Centre for Policy Alternatives and Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit –Colombo (FNST) released on August 2 calls Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to legislate for broad privacy protection . It also wants service providers to provide clear privacy policies.

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Last week, Sri Lanka has secured US $500 million from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the much needed Colombo-Kandy Expressway (CKE) linking of course, Colombo and the central hill city of Kandy.

Roads, the backbone of our transport sector, account for 92% of freight & passenger traffic in Sri Lanka. We have a total road network of around 100,000km. Of this, 11000 km are considered as national highways, classified as ‘Class A’ and ‘B’ categories. There are 25 motor vehicles per 100 persons (est.), with 21067 million passenger-km reported. The road density in Sri Lanka stood at 1.6 km of roads per every square km (2009) which is higher compared to that of other countries in the region, according to the Central Bank.

The current Colombo-Kandy trunk road, called as A1, was Sri Lanka’s first modern road. Taking 11 years to complete, it was endowed to us by the British in 1932.  The current distance between the two cities is 115km (72 miles) and the ‘A1’ stretch often results in severe traffic congestions, especially for oncoming traffic towards the capital.

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Amidst increasing threat levels of the dengue epidemic in the country, two ‘herbal’ antidotes for the deadly mosquito bite are now claimed in Sri Lanka.

The dengue problem is reported across the country, but is mostly concentrated in the Districts of Colombo, Gampaha & Kandy.

Latest statistics show that in the period of January 1 to July 14 this year, 20647 cases of dengue have been reported. The number of deaths: 149!


There are no licenced vaccines at present against dengue and currently, there is also an ongoing effort to develop a dengue vaccine by Australian & Thai researchers (of Queensland University of Technology) but not before 2014.

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Turbulence on Ground

Posted: October 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

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By Joseph Thavaraja

SriLankan Airlines is the national flag carrier of Sri Lanka, a full service airline, and is one of Asia’s leading airlines. It has won the Best Airline Turnaround of the Year 2004  from Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation and also the Best Airline in South Asia (3 consecutive times) from Travel Trade Gazette. As of April 2009, the airline has a route network serving 28 destinations (51 through codeshare) in 15 countries (28 countries through codeshare). SriLankan’s fleet comprises of 13 Airbuses and two AN12 freighters. SriLankan Cargo, (two dedicated freighters) through its AN12s operates to 50 destinations in 28 countries in Europe, the Indian Sub-continent, Middle East, Far East and South East Asia.

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Skytrax Research, the leading research advisors to the world airline and air transport industry, and the largest aviation research agency in the world, has given Sri Lankan a 3 Star rating. Skytrax’ 3 Star ranking is defined as “3 Star rating – awarded to airlines delivering a fair Quality performance, but with greater levels of inconsistency.”

Nevertheless, according to recent reports, revenue has dropped only by 7% (Rs. 5.8 Bn) during the year compared to last year, but Net Profit after Tax has dropped by 302%. Obviously the revenue drop due to global down turn would not be the main contributing factor. Cost of operation has increased by 12% making cost to revenue ratio 94% to 113%.

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