By Joseph Thavaraja

Saturday October 9 is World Post Day (WPD). As another WP-Day passes by in a modern internet/email/SMS era, some of us are wondering just where the closest post office is located-and have not handled a proper snail mail for months, except for the various bills that are delivered to our doors on time!

Our Postal Services needs to reinvent, if it is to survive. Perhaps taking this hint, Sri Lanka Post early this week made an announcement–we are now allowed to design and print our own stamps for use in snail mails/postal service. Confused?

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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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