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Sunday, 30 August 2009

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Sri Lankan Tuk-Tuk Challenge from Sep. 5-15

The Lanka Challenge 2009 is the first ever rally featuring auto rickshaws or trishaws more commonly known as tuk-tuks. Travellers from all over the world will descend upon the island nation of Sri Lanka to take part in the 2009 Lankan challenge which will take place from the 5th-15th September 2009.

The point of this challenge is two fold. One, it tests the participants racing skills; driving a tuk-tuk is no mean task. Secondly, they get an opportunity to catch glimpses of the breath taking scenery that is prevalent all over the country. The rally will traverse through mountains, rainforests, coastal villages and bustling cities.

A total of 42 people will be divided into 20 teams will cover 1200 kms in 10 days with a chance of winning 1000 USD. The runner-up teams will receive 500 USD and 250 USD respectively. The winners will also automatically receive a complimentary transferable pass for a team of 2 to the following years Lanka Challenge race.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, Bernard Goonetilleke described the event as a fun loving stress reliever. He further added it showcases an important facet of everyday Sri Lankan living the tuk-tuk, while covering so many diverse destinations within the country.

Participants will start from Negombo proceed to Sigiriya, Dambana, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Wirawila, Mirissa and end in Colombo. Two rest days have been included in the jam-packed schedule for the drivers to rest and recuperate.

SriLankan Airlines is the airline partner of the event and its yet another initiative of the national carrier to support international events that promote tourism into the island.

Manager Marketing Communications, SriLankan Airlines, Priya Epitawala, said SriLankan Airlines is proud to continue its long-term role as a partner in facilitating international sporting events in Sri Lanka. We feel this is the perfect time to present the new face of the country. Events of this nature are important to create awareness of what Sri Lanka has to offer and communicate that we cater to all segments of travellers seeking various travel experiences.

SriLankan Airlines, the country’s award winning airline, now flies to 43 destinations in 29 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Proceeds from the rally will go towards The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, Nature Exploration and Protection Society of Sri Lanka, The Botakanda Charity and Sri Lanka Red Cross Society.


First ever Art Biennale

Imagining Peace Sri Lanka’s first ever Art Biennale will be held in Colombo from September 10th to 14th. Already a popular event in Dubai, Bangladesh, Singapore, New York, Sydney and Venice, the Biennale will give the art loving public in Colombo an opportunity to view contemporary art of both local and foreign exhibitors.

The event is set to draw many to the Park Street Mews where five pavilions, each managed by a curator showcasing a different artist’s collective, will be present, to give insights into the paintings. Knowledgeable art experts Jagath Weeresinghe and Chandragupta Thenuwara, along with Nazreen Sansoni and Saskia Fernando are among those involved in the event which is being organized by Annoushka Hempel.

Climate change and its relationship to global tourism is the focus of the third forum organized by the Tourism Society and the Royal Geographical Society of the U. K. scheduled for 22nd September.

Dr. David Viner, Programme Leader on Climate Change at the British Council, will deliver the keynote address with complementary presentations from Ufi Ibrahim the Chief Operating Officer of the World Travel & Tourism Council, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, and Stephen Farrant, Director of International Tourism Partnership.

Dr. Farah Faiza High Commissioner representing the Maldives and Sanjika Perera, Director of Sri Lanka Tourism representing Sri Lanka will be the guest speakers who will provide information on climate change affected tourist spots and where tourism is having the most global impact.

They will also speak on what steps are being taken to further reduce the impact on climate change and on how and where damage is minimal.


Sri Lanka one of the happiest places to live - Survey

The New Economic Foundation a British non governmental group found Sri Lanka the 22nd happiest place to live in from 143 countries that are home to 99 percent of the world’s population. It also revealed that Costa Rica is the happiest, greenest country in the world.

The New Economics Foundation had devised an equation that weighed life expectancy and people’s happiness against their environmental impact.

In the Happy Planet Index ratings Sri Lanka scored favourably in terms of life expectancy, losing ground on life satisfaction, but a very good rating on eco footprint.


Sri Lankan tea highlighted at exhibition


Minister D. M. Jayaratne with other delegates at the opening ceremony.

Minister of Plantation Industries, D. M. Jayaratne said that participating in the Hong Kong International Tea Trade Exhibition and Fair was helpful in creating a strong background for Sri Lankan Tea in the world market.

The Minister further added that at the exhibition drew attention to issues faced by tea producing countries.

D. M. Jayaratne was the chief guest at the inauguration of the Exhibition held on 13, 14 and 15 August at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Conference Centre.

A delegation from 17 tea producing countries participated at this Exhibition. Sri Lankan tea was served at the Sri Lankan stall. Minister, Jayaratne said that the opportunity was drawn at the said exhibition to pave a wide background for Sri Lankan tea in the world market. Accordingly, new relationships could be built up to sell Sri Lankan tea to other countries.

He said that it is a special opportunity for the future of the tea industry. Further, it was emphasized at the Hong Kong International Tea Exhibition that Tea Research Institute, Tea Exporting Companies and Tea Board have to make every effort to further retain the high quality of Sri Lankan tea in the world market. Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board, Lalith Hettiarachchi and representatives of seven companies from the private sector participated in the Hong Kong International Tea Trade Exhibition and Fair.


Sri Lanka - a true paradise Czech tourists


Chef Salaka presenting the CD to Renata and Ivona

We have travelled around the world but never seen such a beautiful country like Sri Lanka. This is a true paradise.

These sentiments were expressed by Renata Pechrova and Ivona Kapinusova from Czech Republic, who were holidaying at the Giritale Hotel, Giritale on their maiden visit to Sri Lanka.

Renata who is an English teacher at a leading educational institute in Czech Republic said, that although they had known about a beautiful island called Sri Lanka, they were reluctant to travel to Sri Lanka due to the war. Your President has done a marvellous job by crushing terrorism and ushering in peace to this beautiful country which has all the potential for tourism, Renata said. She was optimistic that very soon Sri Lanka will be inundated with tourists from around the world.

Renata said that she will definitely promote Sri Lanka as a tourist paradise when she goes back to her country.

Renata and Ivona were given a warm welcome at Giritale Hotel, by General Manager, T. Ganeshan and his staff. To mark their maiden visit to Sri Lanka, Chef Jagath Salaka Silva presented a CD of songs composed and sung by him titled “This is my Island Sri Lanka, to Renata and Ivona. A special feature is that these songs are being broadcast over Gold FM. Belgium and France and Deutschland, Radio, Germany.

 

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