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Lotus Tower to open tomorrow (Pics)

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The Lotus Tower, dubbed as South Asia’s tallest structure, is to open its doors to the public tomorrow (15).

The 350-metre (1,155-feet) Lotus Tower, costing USD 113 million, is built with Chinese loans.

Speaking to the media, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury and Chairman of the Lotus Tower Management Company (Pvt.) Ltd. – Mr. R.M.P. Ratnayake said that after the business activities at the tower are initiated on Sep. 15, the tower will be opened to the public later in the same day after 2.00pm.

The tower will be open to the public from 2.00pm – 10.00pm on weekdays and from 12.00 noon – 11.00pm on weekdays. According to the company, the tower is to be lit up from 7.00pm – 10.00pm on weekdays and from 7.00pm – 11.00pm on weekdays.

Tickets
Tickets are priced at Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 for adults. The Rs. 500 ticket is for visiting as a part of a group while a Rs. 2,000 ticket would enable the ticket holder to proceed without no waiting and without having to join other visitors in groups. Tickets for children aged below 10 years are priced at Rs. 500. However, schools are able to contact the management for pre-booked school tours from Oct. 01 ( 0742012354 / 0742012357). A ticket for a schoolchild on a school tour will be priced at Rs. 200. Tickets for foreigners are priced at USD 20.

Opening in 3 stages
Speaking, CEO of the Lotus Tower Management Company- Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Prasad Samarasinghe said that the tower will be opened in three stages.

Noting that keeping the tower closed will only add to the financial losses of the tower, he said that the first stage will see the opening of the observation deck. Visitors will be able to enjoy a 360 degree view of Colombo city at the observation deck and join the entertainment events at the premises. All visitors will be allowed to the observation deck only once and will be allowed to remain there for 1/2 hour. Also, only around 150 visitors will be allowed at the deck at the same time.

The second stage, expected to follow in another couple of months along the line, will see the additions of a digital art museum, E-sport arena, digital banks, innovation centres, and a 30m high water show on the Beira Lake, the company said. The second stage would also see a change from the physical ticket to a QR code ticketing system. The company also hopes to add telescopes to the observation deck to view famous local landmarks such as Sigiriya and Adams Peak towards the end of this phase.

In addition, a 9D cinema hall and a revolving restaurant is expected to be added to the attractions of the third stage which is expected in March 2023 and the company hopes to make the Lotus Tower a fully functioning business entity by then.

5G supported
The company also hopes to host adventure sports such as bungee jumping and skydiving in the future.

The tower also hosts 8 elevators, including three of the fastest elevators in Sri Lanka, which enables visitors from the ground floor to reach the observation deck on the 29th floor in just 49 seconds. It also includes office spaces, luxury suites, sky lounge, banquet halls, a revolving restaurant and a 9D cinema hall.

The company also says that Lotus Tower would be a 5G supported tower from Sep. 15.

The company
Mr. Ratnayake noted that the premises of the Lotus Tower is fully owned by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission in Sri Lanka (TRCSL) and that the Lotus Tower Management Company is fully owned by the Treasury.

(Story & Pics : Shanika Jayasekara)

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President participates in deposition of sacred relics at historical Dighavapi Chaitya

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe participated in a significant cultural and religious ceremony yesterday (14) at the historic Deegawapiya Stupa located at the Deegawapiya Raja Maha Vihara. 

The ceremony marked the deposition of relics and treasures, an important event in the ongoing restoration of the ancient stupa.

The renovation project, which began in 2020, has been supported by the Ministry of Defence. 

The event saw the attendance of senior government officials, politicians, and religious leaders, emphasizing the national importance of the restoration work.

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General (Retd.) Kamal Gunarathne, addressed the gathering, outlining the ministry’s efforts since 2020. 

He highlighted the contributions of the armed forces in providing labor and the role of public and well-wisher donations in funding the project. 

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President inaugurates 2nd phase of Kompannavidiya flyover (Pics)

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (July 11) inaugurated the second phase of the flyover project connecting Kompannavidiya and Justice Akbar Mawatha.

This phase, constructed by the Ministry of Transport and Highways at a cost of LKR 5,278 million, spans between Kompannavidiya and  Justice Akbar Mawatha over the railway line.

The Road Development Authority, in collaboration with Maga Engineering, undertook this project to alleviate the delays and traffic congestion caused by the frequent closing of railway gates for 109 daily train journeys.

In the bustling commercial area of Kompannavidiya, which hosts various institutions including government offices, hospitals, religious places, restaurants and cinema halls, it has been observed that nearly three hours of the day is wasted due to the closing of railway gates.

With the completion of the flyover, travel from Kompannavidiya towards Galle Face and the Presidential Secretariat will be smooth and free of traffic jams, thereby contributing significantly to the national economy by reducing the time people spend on the road.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Senior Advisor to the President on National security and Presidential Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, and Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Highways Ranjith Rubasinghe.

(Excerpts : President’s Media Division)

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Sampanthan championed rights of all Sri Lankans – President (Pics)

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The funeral ceremony of late parliamentarian R. Sampanthan was held in Trincomalee yesterday (July 07).

The funeral ceremony, honouring the former Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), as well as the late Trincomalee District Member of Parliament, was attended by numerous political leaders, both from the Government and the opposition.

Paying tribute to the late MP and senior politician, President Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged Mr. Sampanthan as a leader who championed the rights not only of the Tamil people but also of all Sri Lankans.

He emphasized that both Mr. Sampanthan and himself were committed to the cause of an undivided Sri Lanka. The President also urged everyone to unite in successfully concluding the discussions initiated with the late Mr. Sampanthan.

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