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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 plans to integrate ‘Starlink’ network in SL to improve connectivity (Pics)

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe states that the initiative of integrating the global ‘Starlink’ network with Sri Lanka aims to address the Wi-Fi connectivity issues, particularly in areas outside Colombo.

In response to a question raised by a youth at the Jaffna District Youth Conference organized by the National Youth Service Council at Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna, on Friday (24), Wickremesinghe expressed that during his recent discussion with tech billionaire Elon Musk regarding the matter, the potential of solar energy and other renewable energy sources available in the country were also explored.

Meanwhile, the President said he extended an invitation for Musk to collaborate on significant projects in Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, Wickremesinghe revealed that the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) has been tasked with assessing the ‘Starlink’ network, with most of the preliminary work already completed. 

“We are awaiting feedback from the Ministry of Defence to proceed with approval”, he added.

President Wickremesinghe met with billionaire investor Elon Musk on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting being held in Indonesia on May 19, during which they have discussed the implementation of ‘Starlink’ in Sri Lanka.

Musk was in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali to launch Starlink satellite internet service in the world’s largest archipelago nation.

The billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of social platform X had launched the service alongside Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a ceremony at a public health clinic in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali.

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‘Buddham Sharanam Gacchami’: Indian HC organizes special exhibition (Pics)

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High Commission of India, Colombo has organized a Special Exhibition titled ‘Buddham Sharanam Gacchami’ showcasing works on the life of Lord Buddha by iconic masters of modern Indian art, as a part of the Buddha Rashmi National Vesak Festival at Seemamalakaya, Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo.

The Exhibition opened as the Buddha Rashmi Zone jointly organised by the President’s Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office and Gangaramaya Temple was inaugurated by President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Ranil Wickremesinghe. The inauguration event was attended by High Commissioner H.E. Santosh Jha, senior Ministers and other dignitaries on 23 May 2024.

A highlight of the exhibition is a digital immersive experience captivating visitors into an exploration of visual allure and spiritual essence of Buddhist art, embodying universal values of wisdom, compassion, and peace. The exhibition was curated by the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, India, with its first showing in New Delhi on the occasion of Vesak in May 2023.

The Exhibition is open for public viewing from 23 May 2024 7pm onwards until 26 May 2024.

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President Ranil conveys condolences at Iranian Embassy

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe paid a visit to the Iranian Embassy in Colombo this morning (22) to extend his condolences on the untimely tragic passing of the late Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi.

Upon arrival at the Embassy, President Wickremesinghe was warmly received by the Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Dr. Alireza Delkhosh, and the Embassy staff.

During his visit, the President engaged in brief conversation with the Iranian Ambassador and others present, conveying his heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Sri Lankan government and himself to the Iranian government and people for the loss of the Late President Ebrahim Raisi.

(President’s Media Division)

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