Georgia – Lanka to impove agriculture, tourism ties

President Maithripala Sirisena and his delegation at the meeting with Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili and his delegation. Picture by President's Media.
President Maithripala Sirisena and his delegation at the meeting with Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili and his delegation. Picture by President’s Media. President Maithripala Sirisena, on a three-day visit to Georgia, and the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili met in Tbilisi to discuss bilateral relations on Wednesday. President Sirisena is in Georgia to participate in the Open Government Partnership Global Summit.

The President, giving attention to ways to strengthen economic ties, said they should take them to a new direction. He assured that officials will be given proper instructions regarding conducting further discussions regarding such matters. The main livelihood of Georgia, with 4.7.million people, is agriculture. The tourism industry too is also contributing to its economy on a large scale.

Both leaders discussed developing ties in the fields of agriculture and tourism.

The Georgian President assured President Sirisena that Georgia is willing to strengthen bonds between the two countries in every aspect.

President Sirisena and other members of the delegation joined a special luncheon hosted by the Georgian President his honour.

Source : http://www.dailynews.lk/2018/07/20/local/157386/georgia-%E2%80%93-lanka-impove-agriculture-tourism-ties

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AmCan Street Food Festival Hosted by Fairway Colombo

Fairway Colombo hosts a street food festival on the streets of Dutch Hospital Precinct, right in front of Fairway Colombo, by the name Fairway Colombo Street Food Festival. This takes place on the last weekend of each month and often they try to introduce themes to the event, so the Sri Lankan folk will get to experience cuisines from all over the world.  This time, it was as the name suggested, street food of USA and Canada. Ranging from burgers to maple chicken, they had it all!

Ambience
Fairway Colombo is a hotel situated in the premises of Hospital Street and this time the street food festival had around 20 vendors, to give us a taste of American and Canadian cuisine. There were stalls from established restaurants like Botanik Rooftop Bistro and Bar and Tap House by RnR, to small business that are trying to make it such as TA’s Kitchen and Wild Grill. There was also an area filled with games for the young crowd, such as high striker, hoops, and other fun games. The whole night with live music, with a band playing all the greatest hits from the continent of America.

Let us take you through a few of the stalls we tried out.

Street Kade of Tap House by RnR
We decided to try out the Virgin Strawberry Mojito (Rs. 520) by them and it was quite refreshing to have in the crowded atmosphere with the acidity of citrus and strawberries cutting through the sweetness. As the night goes, it gets a bit tiring as it is a night packed with high energy and something like this can really rejuvenate you! They also had Wings and Wedges (Rs.580), Chicken St. Panini (Rs. 780), Pork St Panini (Rs. 780), Veg St. Panini (Rs. 720) and their Virgin Passion Mojito (Rs. 520) as well.

The Dutch Pub
We tried out their Buffalo Wings (Rs.600) and Doughnuts (Rs. 400) and both had four pieces each. The Buffalo Wings were fried to perfection and the coating sauce was spicy and everything you’d hoped it’d be. The doughnuts were light and fluffy and topped with sprinkled sugar. Both of these items captured and represented the taste of American street food seamlessly. They also had Jumbo Hotdogs (Rs. 350), Fish and Chips (Rs.700), Fried Calamari (Rs. 750), Smoked Beef Burger (Rs. 800), Roasted Full Chicken (Rs. 950) and much more.

Botanik Rooftop Bistro & Bar
The Botanik Rooftop Bistro & Bar, offered three items, which are the Chicken Liver Parfait + Brioche Toast (Rs. 450) which had 4 pieces, the Beef Slider (Rs. 550) which had 2 pieces and the Prawn Roll (Rs. 600) which consisted of sriracha mayo and a brioche bun. From these we picked the Prawn Roll, which was beyond amazing, it did not deserve to be a street food. The prawns fresh and mildly cooked, dressed with the sriracha mayo, created a combination which was quite unfamiliar to my taste buds and it was absolutely delectable. We hope that this is in their usual menu so that we can try it out sometime later!

Wild Grill
The Wild Grill is a startup and was so eager to serve us their amazing and yet unique dishes. They had Grilled Chicken (Rs. 490) which was served with garlic bread, mashed potatoes or grilled corn, Grilled Sausage (Rs. 150) which was served with grilled corn and Mixed Grill (Rs. 690), which was served with garlic bread, mashed potatoes or grilled corn. Every dish could be dressed with a sauce of our choice from the sauces they had, which were a kochchi sauce, peri peri sauce, and BBQ sauce. We ordered the Grilled Chicken and I immediately went for the kochchi sauce, which is a staple for me. They were kind enough to garnish it with peri peri sauce as well. The dish tasted absolutely amazing, and if you ate the whole thing, you won’t have any space to eat anything else. It was a large portion for Rs. 490 and totally worth it.

Desserted
Desserted was a dessert truck, which was quite the handy addition to the street food vibe the festival had. They hadCreme Brulee (Rs. 250), Waffles (Rs. 360) and Muhalabia (Rs. 200). We decided to try out the waffles and it was quite good, with the waffles crispy, the chocolate sauce so rich and the whipped cream complementing it, it was literally a happy ending to a fantastic night.

What we recommend: We would totally recommend the Prawn Roll by Botanik Rooftop Bistro & Bar and the Grilled Chicken from Wild Grill. Everything else we tried out was pretty good as well, hopefully, they’ll organize an AmCan Street Food Festival again!

Source : http://life.dailymirror.lk/article/food/AmCan-Street-Food-Festival-Hosted-by-Fairway-Colombo/30/18064

BIA to get a domestic flight terminal

The Government is to build a separate new terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) for the use of domestic flights in order to promote domestic air travel for the benefit of tourists, with the development of all domestic airports and using bigger aircraft.

The Cabinet Approval was granted for a proposal made for this purpose jointly by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs and State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Asoka Abeysinghe last week.

Accordingly, the National Agency for Public-Private Partnership (NAPPP), with the assistance of the Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) has called for Expression of Interests (EOIs) to set up scheduled domestic air services and five investment proposals have been received

They are- Saffron Aviation, FITS Aviation, SJ Global Investments, Lotus Air and IWS Aviation.

These companies are ready to use bigger aircraft with more seating capacity up to 118 seats for domestic flights from their own investment.

These Expressions of Interest (EOI) s have been evaluated by a committee composing Director General of Civil Aviation, the NAPPP Chairman and Executive Director Airport and Aviation Services.

Based on the evaluation of the proposals made by prospective investors and several post-bid discussions, a few recommendations have been made by the committee:

Each of those who responded to the EOI may submit applications to the DG-CA for required licenses, permits and facilities for operations and such permits shall be provided on a first come first served basis.

The domestic terminal to be created at BIA for common use on identified AASL land. Also, there is no hangar space at BIA for each operator separately, but one hangar to be constructed for maintenance work of all domestic operators.

A portion of Apron D at the BIA to be designated as Domestic Apron for use of domestic flight enabling application of different charging mechanisms and avoiding possible complaints by foreign airlines for discriminatory practices at the international airport.

Hangar space to be provided at Ratmalana for night parking of aircraft as this cannot be done at BIA.

Batticaloa, Sigiriya, Palali, Hingurakgoda, Koggala and Trincomalee to be made available in Phase 1 for scheduled carriers on a needs basis.

Domestic aviation needs to be carried out under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules in conformity with international standards. As such, CAA and SLAF would jointly work out modalities for Trincomalee, Sigiriya, Palali, Hingurakgoda and Koggala airports to ensure that all civilian operations at these airports are carried out under CAA rules.

Self-handling by private operators will be permitted other than at BIA. Ground handling charges and cargo rates OF BIA to be revised downward for domestic carriers in consultation with Sri Lankan Airlines.

Suitable arrangements to be made for fuel supply at each airport through SLAF or CPC. Allocation of slots will be subject to providing priority to international, SLAF and VIP air traffic as determined by DGCA

Due to constraints faced by private operators, the DGCA in consultation with the Ministry of Defense and UDA to identify few locations in Colombo City for passenger pick-up and drop-off.

Source : http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/BIA-to-get-a-domestic-flight-terminal-152903.html

‘Aarunya’ luxury boutique nature resort and hideaway launched in Kandy

At the halfway point between Kandy and Sigiriya, banked by winding roads that lead to the city of Alawatugoda, lies the idyll retreat ‘Aarunya’, which is one of the latest additions to the emerging collection of high-end Sri Lankan boutique properties.

Launched in June 2018, theretreat directly faces the beautiful Knuckles range, lending an immediate advantage to the place, making it a showstopper.

Aarunya which means “First rays of the Sun” in ancient Sanskrit, can be experienced at this resort location every day during sun rise with the backdrop of the Knuckles mountain range.

Sanctuary to unwind: Coupled with its spellbinding views, Aarunya has nature at its best as the real draw card of the hotel and offers deeply restorative yoga programmes conducted by experts in the field.

The approach here is reflective of the more classic styles of yoga that are gentle, conscientious and personal, and includes the powerful practice of deep mind and body relaxation. The idea is for guests to leave with a mind that is lighter and more enlightened, and a body that is reinvigorated.

Cozy and relaxed luxury: This hilltop hideaway, a former tea and mixed plantation estate, is also constructed with a touch that is totally eco-friendly. The architect has designed a graceful and dramatic infinity pool and entrance pavilion known as the Central Bungalow, with a stairway that leads to a lobby lounge set out with beautiful interiors that is a celebration of Kandyan art, culture and history.

The four main luxury villas, each with high wooden ceilings, titanium floors, cozy front verandas, and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows permits maximum natural light with spectacular garden, mountain and valley views. These extravagant villas are layered with Sri Lankan antiques and fantastic local art. The spacious rooms each with their own unique pastel color palette, compliments and enhances the surrounding beauty of the place.

Beyond the regal four-poster beds and wide windows, there are over 7acres of secluded private gardens consisting of mixed spice plantations, fruit trees, organic vegetable patch, tea fields and spa pavilions, begging to be strolled and enjoyed.

The Jacuzzi on the veranda of each luxury villa looks out at misty mountain views, whilst the infinity pool, set in a picturesque manner at the hilltop ,reflects the blue and green colors of the mountains and sky.

Guests can take advantage of the splendid isolation by whiling away their afternoons at the poolside, or on the villa verandahs, then sampling some of the true tastes of the island at the open-air restaurant in the Central Bungalow.

Evenings are quiet and velvety. Dinning is fine dining alfresco, perfectly suited to the climate of Kandy. Dinner is a theatrical event with candlelight and fine wines paired to the simple but well-executed menu that delivers a generous helping of Sri Lankan hospitality.

One will be hard pressed to find a bad angle in the hotel. One of its best moments can be found in the Central Bungalow with its sweeping views of the mountains banked by the infinity pool, with the entire hotel blending in soothingly with its stunning site. Ever-changing atmospheres and dramatic views of Knuckles spellbound ceaselessly.

Overall, perfect for a romantic getaway, or just to relax for wellheeled spiritual seekers, “Aarunya” lives up to its promise of great views, a celebration of nature, and eco -friendly practices, coupled with high end comfort that is cozy and luxurious.

Unique brand: The architect of Aarunya, Nath Rankothge, is of Kandy heritage, born in Colombo, raised in Sydney Australia, having lived in more than 8 countries, and currently heading an international practice, NRAA with offices in Colombo, Chengdu and Sydney. In Nath’s words, “with love for the mother country we have embarked on this new venture to showcase Sri Lanka to the world. “Headded that the masterplan wasto expand Aarunyato 11 villas and 20 rooms with a natural rock pool, tennis court, world class butler service, andeven a helipad for the most discerning of clients.

Nath’s vision is to create a world class, international, hospitality brand beginning with Aarunya, and developing unique hotel and resort properties across the world. He is open to collaborating with similarminded investors and personalities to make this happen.

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Source : http://epaper.dailymirror.lk/epaper/viewer.aspx

Ceylon Chamber expands wing to Thailand strengthening trade, investment and tourism opportunities

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with a view to build a dependable, pragmatic, and advantageous relationship and to establish friendly and cordial relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Thai Chamber of Commerce on 12 July, at the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. Signing of the MOU was initiated by Ambassador for Thailand in Sri Lanka Chulamanee Chartsuwan as a result of a discussion held during her visit to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in June 2017.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce is the representative body of the industrial and commercial entities of Thailand established with an objective of increasing the flow of trade through creating business opportunities and improving the business climate for the private sector. “We have similar objectives and we enter into an alliance with Thai Chamber in order to promote the private sector business entities to become reciprocal partners and to extend all support cooperation and assistance to each other for the overall benefit of both countries,” said Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Rajendra Theagarajah.

Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce/Board of Trade of Thailand and signed the MOU in the presence of Ambassador for Thailand in Sri Lanka Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Thailand Kshenuka Senewiratne and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Dhara Wijayatilake. The scope of the MOU would be to disseminate trade and investment related information to enhance bilateral trade and business, initiate/promote joint ventures, partnerships and other business linkages, provide technical expertise, arrange business promotion missions between the two countries, formulate proposals to accelerate bilateral relations, and convene business forums and business matchmaking sessions.

Balance of trade with Thailand is in favour of Thailand. Exports from Sri Lanka to Thailand amounts to $ 53 million during 2017 compared to $ 34 million in 2016. Imports from Thailand amounts to $ 519 million in 2017 compared to $ 492 million in 2016.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, have already signed 127 Memoranda of Understanding to expand and further strengthen strong relationships with overseas trade promotion organisations for the benefit of business community in Sri Lanka.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/business/Ceylon-Chamber-expands-wing-to-Thailand-strengthening-trade–investment-and-tourism-opportunities/34-659254

Tamba Villas, the ultimate in paradise living

The southern coast which in recent times has witnessed a flurry of development and related activities, will soon be home to an idyllic, luxurious yet at the same time, a home away from home development; Tamba Villas.

“To build a home that is so exceptional that coming home either for a holiday, or to live there permanently would be the ultimate in paradise living!This is Eduard Hempel’s vision for his latest venture, Tamba Villas.

Tamba Villas Director and Co-Project Principal Hempel expressing his vision for his latest project, which will be in excess of $ 15 million said: “We want to give each home owner an idyllic life in a beautiful, safe space with all the comforts of modern day living. Our collection of 37 Villas have been purpose-built for people who like to work, holiday or retire in one of the most beautiful areas of Galle, a place that affords them a five-star lifestyle; in short Tamba villas in Thalpe.”

Each villa has been named after a tea estate and the overall look and feel is highly reminiscent of world renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa.

“The courtyards and verandas and the general feel of the buildings echo that grandest and most delightful and celebrated period of Sri Lanka’s architecture, the Colonial period. Tamba Villas hearkens back to a bygone era where leisure and sheer gentility were the order of the day. Serenity, respite and tranquillity, combined with modern day five-star amenities and luxury pampering, will be our hallmark,” said Hempel.

Tamba Villas is a delightful private coconut estate which is set back 300 metres from Thalpe beach (on the land side) surrounded by lush tropical gardens and swaying palm trees.There is only a collection of 37 homes, which have been designed by an award-winning Singaporean Architectural team, to create a coastal lifestyle design with high-end amenities for living, working or early retiring in a much sought-after area in the south of Sri Lanka.

Since arriving in 2003 from the UK, Hempel has immersed himself in the Sri Lankan property sector, with the goal of building happy and thriving businesses and making a difference in the local community. By working closely with the local culture, he has done just that.

Hempel Holdings has a strong foundation in Galle and has grown to be a well-established and grounded business. Over the years, Eduard has been a bridge for people looking to invest in Sri Lanka and he has helped many clients and businesses in the negotiation, acquisition and development of exceptional real estate.Hempel Holdings has a track record of over 15 years in specialised property development. This has been the catalyst in building a good and fair reputation with both Sri Lankans and foreign investors. Hempel is also Co-Director in Pearl Properties in Unawatuna, which has been operating for more than 12 years.

Hempel and Tamba Villas Director and Co-Project Principal Trevor Morgan expect to commence construction of this unique and niche development project in early 2019, while completion of Tamba Villas is estimated to be around late 2020.

With a degree in Combined Engineering, from Coventry University in the UK, Trevor founded his first company with a staff of seventeen, covering manufacture, design, administration and fittings. He then went on to gain extensive experience in construction and interiors, working in exclusive areas of Barcelona, which included eight development projects and a £8.6M development project in Kensington, UK.

Trevor arrived in Sri Lanka in 2012 to set up Shakticola with Eduard Hempel, bringing his knowledge of managing construction projects from design through to completion, as well as his understanding and experience in achieving a high level of finish for luxury interiors. He has outstanding experience in high end interior and building products. Examples of such products are the Sea Heart House, Koggala Jungle View Villa and Thalpe Villa, to name just a few.

Tamba Villas is a collaboration between Shakticola and Award-winning A D Lab, a Singaporean Architectural firm focused on cutting edge residential projects, while STIX, another award-winning landscape designer designed the lush tropical gardens. Together, they have designed generous spaces for tropical living in the form of unique villa homes which coexist in harmony with nature.

Singaporean A D Lab is an award-winning firm which has created and completed residential and housing projects throughout Asia and will bring all their experience and knowledge to fashion something unique and edgy to tropical living, while paying tribute to the excellent historical architectural style of Sri Lanka.A D Lab never duplicates developments – instead, they look at each project on its own merit according to the environment and local culture.

“The Tamba team wanted to build a development that did not overwhelm the landscape, instead ensuring that each Villa blends in sensitively around all the greenery, preserving the natural surrounding beauty,” said Hempel.

“Tamba Villa buyers will also have the ease of purchasing a furniture package, either modern or classic, provided through a collaboration with a reputable company, which makes the whole process of buying and transporting furniture much easier.”

Plans are also in place for a Business Centre, a visiting licensed doctor and a visiting beautician, while many other amenities will be added accordingly.

Tamba Estates Ltd., a Sri Lankan limited company, owns 100% of the land that Tamba Villas will be built on. The in-house sales team at Tamba Villas office will be handling the sales in conjunction with Pearl Properties, one of the South’s leading agencies. Tamba Villas will also be working with global partners in Singapore, USA, Canada, Australia and the UK, along with one of Britain’s leading digital sales specialists.

“We are confident your villa will be an excellent investment.Property prices have been steadily going up over the last five years and will continue to rise, given our strong tourism sector and growing economy,” said Hempel.“With only 37 villas, we don’t expect they will be around for long.”

The core foundation of all of Hempel’s business endeavours is stamped with integrity and professionalism, and Tamba Villas is set to become a valuable asset on the southern coast.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/lifestyle/Tamba-Villas–the-ultimate-in-paradise-living/8-659280

Rs. 4.5 billion investment to build a 122-unit project in Thalahena, Negombo

Giant hotelier Jetwing is embarking on a pioneering journey to the luxury resort condominium market with a Rs. 4.5 billion investment to build a 122-unit project in Thalahena, Negombo.

Located on a 3 acre land adjoining the Jetwing Lagoon, the venture ‘Waterscape’ offers tenants both the sea and lagoon view. The facility, designed by Singaporean Sim Boon Yang of Eco.id, will have eight four-bedroom penthouses, 40 units of 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, and 34 one bedroom apartments.

“There is a dire need to diversify the Sri Lanka tourism product and experience offering. Several exotic Asian destinations such as Bali have done this successfully. We have identified that there is demand for reasonably priced luxury condominium or resort living,” Cooray told the Daily FT.

A one-bedroom apartment is between 726 and 1000 sq. ft. and is priced at approximately $150,000;the two-bedroom spanning 1132–1416 sq. ft.  will be offered at $200,000; whilst the three-room unit is 1330–1717 sq. ft. and price range is $350,000-400,000. The penthouses are 2310–3578 sq. ft. each and priced at approximately $ 750,000.

Maga has been contracted to build the luxury resort condominium and construction is expected to be completed by 2020.

Cooray stressed there is demand for mid-market resort living, and expects Waterscape to be sought after by foreigners and Lankan expats, as well as locals, for residential/wellness holiday and investment purposes.

“Small families with short-term stays will go for 2-bedroom units whilst the larger families such as those from the Middle East, and those with longer stays, will go for 3-room units,” he added.  Tenants have the option of having their units serviced by Jetwing.

Waterscape is also traveller-friendly since it’s located close to Bandaranaike International Airport whilst being quickly accessible from the city as well.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/front-page/Jetwing-steps-in-to-resort-condominium-market/44-659230