Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sri Lanka to build new 'tourist city' north of capital

Sri Lanka to build new 'tourist city' north of capital
Sri Lanka to build new 'tourist city' north of capital Sri Lanka will build a new 'tourist city' in the Western coastal city of Katana north of the capital Colombo, which may draw 1.5 billion US dollars in foreign investments in its first phase.
The development will have four 5-star hotels with 2,300 rooms, an exhibition and convention centre and two shopping malls and be sited on a 80 hectare block of state land. A firm called Asian Resorts & Consortium has been given approval by the cabinet of ministers to conduct a feasibility study.
Information minister Keheliya Rambukwella said it was probably a foreign firm, but exact details were not available with him at the time.
Sri Lanka's tourism development authority has also offered a series of islands off the Western coastal city of Puttalam for private investment. Land has also been offered in the east coast in Kuchchaveli.

Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka stood at $ 283.142 m last year: Amin Fahim

Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka stood
at $ 283.142 m last year:  Amin Fahim( Minister of  commerce in  Pakistan )  

Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim said Thursday that during 2010, exports from Pakistan to Sri Lanka stood at US $ 283.142 million, while Pakistan imported goods worth  US $ 54.602  million from Sri Lanka. This was stated by the Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim, while addressing a dinner party held  in honour of the visiting Sri Lankan trade delegation headed by its Minister for Industries and Commerce, Rishad Bahtiudeen. The pace of growth was encouraging for both the countries, he said adding Pakistan’s exports are mainly rice, fish, cotton yarn and pharmaceutical goods etc. while imports are limited mainly to tea, fruits and seeds etc.

The minister said creating awareness among the business communities of the two countries about the benefits available to them from the Pak-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) is an effective way to leveraging bilateral and regional trading arrangements.  

Makhdoom Amin Fahim termed the 10th Joint Economic Commission session between Pakistan and Sri Lanka as a welcome development and expressed, Pakistan looks forward to progress on all outstanding commercial and economic initiatives between the two countries. 

Both the counties may extract maximum trade and commercial benefits from the bilateral, regional and multilateral arrangements for the betterment of their people, Amin Fahim stated. 

Sri lanka media team in Lahor

 Sri lanka  media  team  in Lahore

By Chandana wijekoon Ffrom pakistan
Lahore City

Lahore is 2nd largest city of Pakistan, being Pakistan’s industrial and cultural base.  It was wondering it’s always like this!  It was magnificent to see such a splendid scene.  On every electricity pole, there were handing baskets of flowers, different kinds of flowers in many colours.  The middle of the road was also decorated with different kind of flowers.  The Lahore city’s roads were decorated by the Park and Horticulture Authority (PHA) .  According to the information the PHA had almost completed the beautification of the roads at the cost of 1.2 million Pakistani Rupees.  there were more than 700 flower baskets which had been hung from the electricity poles on the roadsides.

Lahore Museum

This museum is the oldest and one of the best in Pakistan.  It was founded on in 1864.  The museum’s first curator was John Lockwood Kipling, the father of Rudyard Kipling, the famous writer who wrote “Kim”.
The different categories of displays ranged from coin collections and paintings to sculptures and religious art.  Among these collections are notable examples of Gandaharan sculpture.  Including the outstanding and deservedly famous bronze sculpture of the “Fasting Buddha” , which is estimated to have been made around the 2nd century BC in the Lahore Museum collection there were also Thangka painting, statues from Nepal, and one model of a temple from India.

Lahore Fort

Lahore Fort has some similarity to the Red Fort of Delhi and also the Red Fort at Agra in India,  all being built for a dual purpose, as fortifications as well as royal dwellings.   This masterpiece of architecture is another creation of the Mughal Emperors.  It covered a vast area, and was adorned with carvings in the red sandstone and the marble.  There were many colourful works of art to be seen, such a painted frescoes depicting royal pleasures.  Because of this lavish ornamentation, it was easy to see it as being more of a palace than a fortress.  Each succeeding Mughal Emperor had added their own touches to this palatial Fort from 1180 to until the beginning of the British Raj.
Among the places we saw that day were the Alamgiri Gate, Shah Burj Gate, Hathi Paer, Sesh Mahal (palace of mirrors), Naulakha Bunga(so named because it cost Shah Jahan nine lakh, or 900,000 rupees to build).  Khilwat Khana, Paien Bagh and more places.

Sri Lanka media team visited Taxila Museum-Taxila Archeological Site – The World Heritage

Sri Lanka  media  team  visited  Taxila Museum

Sri Lanka  media  team  visited  Taxila Museum in  Pakistan. They  also  visited many Buddhist Archeological sites in  Lahore. 

  By Chandana  Wijekoon from  Pakistan  

Taxila Archeological Site – The World Heritage
Taxila, the ancient city of Gandhara, is now an archaeological site under the sun.  Archaeologists discovered in their excavations here the city ruins, artifacts, coins, pottery, ornaments, and many other objects that could be traced back to the 6th century BC.  The archaeological museum stands at the entrance-the gate to the ancient city.  The two-story building nestles peacefully in the garden amid natural surroundings.  It was inaugurated in 1928.
At the entrance hall, the genuine votive stupa brought from an outdoor monastery was placed there.  the entrance hall and its both wings contain and showcase many glass shelves, cases, and cupboards of Buddhist art of Gandhara and sculptures, Buddha images, statues, heads, and busts, Bodhisatva statues, artifacts ancient tools, weaponry, pottery, rare coins, archaeological objects and evidence excavated from the sites around.
Remarkably, the stone relief tablets depict delicately the story of Lord Buddha-from his birth of prince Siddharatha when his mother Sirimahamaya stood delivering him from her belly, his leaving from secular world in search for truths, his enlightenment, his first preaching, and at the end his Great Nirvana.  the museum also displays the replica of the Fasting Buddha in his self-mortification-its original is kept in the Lahore Museum.  The Buddha images or busts, whether intact, defective, broken, or impaired by the so-called White Huns, are always the objects of worship and great respect for us, Buddhists.
Taxila in the old days was arguably like a global university where students largely from the age of 16 from the Indian sub-continent, Central Asia, Persia, and the land beyond came for higher learning-linguistics, arts, Dharma, scriptures, the art of government, and other studies.  It may metaphorically be compared to Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard where students from all over the world prefer to attend for further studies. 
Under the White-blue sky and hot sun, Dharmmarajika monastery stands 3 kilometers east of the museum.  One part of the complex may be called the stupa area, the other the monastery proper.  However, only the ruins now remain, the main stupa was erected over the chamber of the Buddha’s relics, deposited by Kind Asoka the Great,  it was said.  In the 19th century, the western face of the stupa was somehow broken and the relics were stolen.  Dharmmarajika was named after the designation of King Asoka, namely Dharmmaraj-the king who deeply held faith in Dharma.
In 1917 a casket was dug out here, it evidently contained the relics of Lord Buddha.  The viceroy of British India then presented the relics to the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, which has been since enshrined as the Buddha’s of Sri Lanka, which has been since enshrined as the Buddha’s tooth, contained in a case and covered by a seven-tier golden Chedi, at the Temple of the Tooth in Candy or Sirivattanapura in Sri Lanka.
Most of the major artifacts and objects discovered in the excavations at Dharmmarajika have been kept at the museum.  One silver scroll carries the inscription in Kharoshti that the relics were those of Lord Buddha himself, the scribe was a Bactrian., and reads at the end “ the present king, king of kings, the son of heaven the Kushana
Jaulian Monastery stands 7 kilometers northeast , of the museum, perched on a hill of some 92 meters high.  Large stupas no longer exist, only the ruins of the walls of the building and many sculptured Buddha images and his major monks, sadly most of the statues were impaired at the hands of the White Huns.  Merely a few survived the demolition intact.
A meditating Buddha statue though with impaired head, chest, and hands have a holed navel.  It was believed this statue was holy with the pwer of blessing for good health.  Faithfuls like to place their finders in that holed navel when praying and wishing for good health and against certain bodily ailments. 
The ancient city of Taxila itself had shown us the ultimate truth-the three characteristics of component thing-namely, existence , transformation, and extinction.

Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Forum meet Sri lanka journalists in Karachi

Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Forum meet  Sri lanka  journalists in Karachi

Majyd Aziz, Founder Chairman, Abdul Rauf Tabani, Founder President, Iqbal Shekhani, Founder Treasurer,Tarek Khan, Farrukh Ansari, and Amin Gaziani, Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Forum with journalists fromSri lanka and Maldives at a meeting in Karachi on July 04-2011. The Sri Lanka journalists are: Dinesh Weerawansa,Siri Ranasinghe, Malinda Seneviratne, Chandana Wijekoon, and Abdullah Mohamed from Maldives .

PSLBF  web:

Sri Lankans' consume more rice, less flour

Sri Lankans' consume more rice, less flour 

Lankans’ annual rice production has gone up making the country 117% self sufficient in rice due to continuous fertilizer subsidy programme continued by the government for the last six years.
As a result of the rapid increase in local food production mainly the staple food - rice , the authorities said that the annual per-capita wheat flour consumption has come down rapidly. it has now come down to 28kg in 2011 from its earlier records of 41Kg.                              

The Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella told the media that the Government has taken  steps to uplift the local food productions as the country was earlier known as  a flour eating nation though Sri Lanka does not produce wheat.
Rice Production has reached the targets set by the Agriculture Ministry and the country did not import rice despite the island-wide floods experienced in January. On the contrary Sri Lanka exports several nutritious varieties of rice to Middle East and Europe at present.
“As we are self sufficient in rice a campaign held to popularize rice consumption has produced encouraging results” said the minister
Minister also refuted the claim that locally produced rice is contaminated with arsenic.
Rice Research and Development Institute and Registrar of Pesticides have conducted several scientific tests in this regard and confirmed that arsenic was not detected in rice varieties.

Jaffna Paddy Cultivation revived

Jaffna Paddy Cultivation revived 

Paddy cultivation has been revived in the North after two decades. Accordingly, 11,000 hectares of abandoned paddy lands will be cultivated in the forthcoming harvesting season. The fertilizer subsidy and other incentives being provided by the government for paddy cultivation have resulted in this revival.

2,500 hectares have been cultivated with vegetables in Jaffna alone. Due to terrorist activities onion cultivation in Jaffna was confined only to 200 hectares.  Presently 1,200 hectares are being cultivated with onion.
In addition to this another 1,200 hectares have been cultivated with banana. The extent of land cultivated with grapes amounts to 50 hectares. The Assistant Agrarian Services Commissioner of Jaffna,  Patric Niranjan said that 13 Agrarian Services Offices have been re-opened in Jaffna to assist the farmers