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Foods stalls at the Colombo Port City to be removed by March 2027

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The Members representing the Colombo Port City Economic Commission stated that the foods stalls at the Colombo Port City falls under leisure activities and will be removed by March 2027.

This was stated in response to the questioning of the Committee on Public Finance as to the legality of the establishment of such food stalls whilst the Colombo Port City was designed mainly targeting foreign investments.

The discussion pertaining to the said was held at the Committee on Public Finance held yesterday (12) in Parliament, Chaired by Dr. Harsha de Silva. The Committee took into consideration the Regulations under the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act, No. 11 of 2021 scheduled to be present in Parliament on Tuesday, 19th of September.

The Committee further inquired the Commission members on what legal basis have they decided to permit the establishment of such food stalls and on what grounds will they be removed by 2027. The Committee further questioned whether the Attorney General has been consulted on this regard.  

The Committee instructed the Colombo Port City Economic Commission and the Attorney General’s Department to submit information on this regard to the Committee as soon as possible.

The Committee further inquired regarding the revenue received by the Government by the ongoing activities at the port city. The Committee instructed the officials to submit all details with regard to this for a better understanding prior to granting approval for the Regulations.

Furthermore, given that the Port City is being constructed as a separate land mass under a Smart City concept, the Committee questioned the Colombo Port City Economic Commission members present whether smart city concepts such as waste water management, renewable energy, proper sewerage mechanisms have been included. The Committee was of the view that issues experienced in other areas of the country pertaining to improper sewerage and waste water management should be avoided when developing the port city. 

It was also disclosed that government institutions such as the Road Development Authority, Urban Development Authority, water board has spent a considerable amount of money to facilitate the construction and development of the Port City. Since all of this are tax payer money, the Committee questioned the Commission what gains do the tax paying citizens of the country would have from this.

Accordingly, the Committee on Public Finance instructed the Members of the Commission to submit a breakdown of the government expenses for the Port City and infrastructure and also to provide details of the streams of revenue.

State Minister – Dr. Seetha Arambepola, MPs Chandima Weerakkodi, Nimal Lanza, Dr. Major Pradeep Undugoda, Premnath C. Dolawatte, Madhura Withanage, U.K Sumith Udukumbura, were present at this Committee meeting held.

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University applications open tomorrow 

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that online applications for university admissions for the academic year 2023/2024 will open tomorrow (14 June).

Applications will be available from 6 am tomorrow at www.ugc.ac.lk
The application deadline is 5 July 2024. 

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Govt. to privatise SriLankan as part of IMF programme – CEO

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The government, as part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, is looking to privatise several state-owned enterprises and one of those is the flag carrier of the island nation, said SriLankan Airline CEO Richard Nuttall.

Nuttal added that the airline is also looking for an investor. Three candidates have been finalised in April and the government is in talks with them.

Nutall said that no Indian company had shown interest in investing in the airline.

The airline hopes to grow its current fleet of 21 to 22 next month, with plans to obtain another three aircraft within the next three months.

Source: ANI

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University Impact Rankings 2024

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The Times Higher Education (THE) announced the University Impact Rankings for 2024 yesterday (12 June), identifying and celebrating universities that excel across multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These institutions stand out by demonstrating comprehensive excellence in contributing to global sustainable development. They also showcase their commitment to addressing the world’s most pressing challenges, including environmental sustainability, social inclusion, economic growth and partnerships.

THE evaluated 2,152 universities from 125 countries/regions to produce the overall Impact Ranking for 2024.

Australia’s Western Sydney University tops the list for the third consecutive year. The UK’s University of Manchester and Australia’s University of Tasmania follow in joint second place. Denmark’s Aalborg University is in fourth. Overall, the top 10 includes five countries across three continents.

The top newcomer in 2024 is France’s Institut Agro at joint 21st.

India is the most-represented country in the overall table, with 96 institutions.

Meanwhile, the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka has been ranked in 4th place among the Sri Lankan Universities and ranked between 801-1000 among the world Universities in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024.

The University scored high marks for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 4: Quality Education. The University joined the ranking in 2023.

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