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World Affairs







 Supplement - Education  

Monash Malaysia at an unbelievable price

As a full campus of Monash University, Monash University Sunway Campus, Malaysia provides a distinctive international experience, with teaching and research of the highest order. It is a dynamic community of scholars comprising staff and students, supported by a comprehensive first-class infrastructure, and aspiring to intellectual achievement of the highest order.

Monash University was invited by the Malaysian government to open a campus in 1998. It is the first foreign university campus in Malaysia and was created at Bandar Sunway in Petaling Jaya. Classes commenced in July 1998. At present there are some 4,000 students and 400 staff. All academic staff members are expected to engage in scholarly research.

Monash University Sunway Campus Malaysia is just 40 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur with easy access to shopping malls, medical centres, banks, restaurants, Water Park and Extreme Park.

Students at Monash University Sunway Campus Malaysia participate in the intercampus mobility options available to all Monash students and award courses from Monash faculties through School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Information Technology, School of Medicine and Health Science, School of Arts and Social Sciences and School of Science. Now over ten years old, the Sunway campus of Monash University is an exemplar of transnational education.

The campus  has 40 science labs, 24 labs for engineering, radio and TV studio, auditoriums with 350 capacity each, lecture theatres  and a fully equipped library containing collection of 51,428 items consisting of books.

It has a diverse and multi-cultural environment with more than 3,300 students from 47 countries including Indonesia, Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Mauritius and Korea.

Tuition fees and cost of living in Malaysia is very much less than Australia, UK and US. It is closer to home with a large Sri Lankan student community and a perfectly safe environment. Sri Lankan students after O/Levels or A/Levels can reduce their cost further by starting their degree programmes in Business, Engineering, IT, Medicine, Arts or Science at Monash College Sri Lanka and tranfering to Monash Malaysia for further studies.

Students enrolled with Monash College Sri Lanka are registered Monash students from day one and enjoy the same academic standards.  Their entry to second year of Monash University Sunway Campus Malaysia is guaranteed in the fields of Business, Engineering, IT and Arts. 

For the first time in Sri Lanka, students and parents will have the unique  opportunity to see, discuss and experience Monash University Sunway Campus Malaysia on August 9 at Monash College Sri Lanka. 

On this day prospective students can listen to Dr. Andrew Ng Hock Soon (School of Arts and Social Science), Dr. Ton So Ha (School of Science) and Dr. Saadat M. Alhashmi (School of IT) from Monash University Malaysia and discuss rewarding opportunities, including stimulating careers, exciting programmes and the wide range of degree programmes available for students at Monash University Sunway Campus Malaysia.

You can experience a real university atmosphere, an interactive laboratory exercise that takes participants into the world of research and provides an insight into the fields of engineering and sciences. There will be an interactive display highlighting many current and future technologies

A panel of current students will talk about how it's different to study at a prestigious university and how much they enjoy their campus life. The audience will be encouraged to ask questions and enter into discussions. Student tour leaders will guide prospective students and their parents through the campus ensuring a comprehensive insight to higher studies at Monash Malaysia.

For students after O/Level and A/Level and their parents it is a good opportunity to discuss study options with Koh Siew Yin and Chor Sook Han representing admissions and marketing of Monash University Sunway Campus Malaysia and join the staff and students of Monash for a traditional Malaysian meal.  Be their on Saturday  August 9 between 10 am and 4 pm. Call 0777449955 or 0777449966 for reservations or visit 308, R. A. De. Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3.

Harcourts opens Crescent Girls School

Crescent Girls School (CGS), a project of Harcourts Foundation is located at Jensonwatta, Anderson Road, Dehiwala.

CGS is housed in a spacious building. Well equipped classrooms, in-house swimming pool, netball and badminton courts are some of the facilities available inhouse. The swimming pool is managed by a qualified instructress and is exclusively for girls and above all secluded in keeping with religious concern.

The CGS is identified as an Islamic based international school, which demonstrates the true spirit of Islam in all facets of its activities. The teaching begins with nursery to primary level education and presently it has students numbering over 300 on roll.

Substantial investments have been put into the school to attain the current standing, expansion of space, investment in modern furniture and fittings, computer laboratory, sports and recreational facilities, revision of staff salaries to match current international school standards and above all  recruitment of qualified teaching staff with experience.

Apart from the abundance of qualified and experienced teaching staff led by the principal, CGS also boasts of the business management strength of Harcourts (Pvt) Ltd, led by its Group Chairman / CEO, Ahamed Rheyas. The group has over 500 employees.

Harcourts today is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the country and also owns and manages a chain of 15 super drug retail outlets, which is the largest retail network of its type in the country today. The CGS' vision and mission statements clearly emphasize the importance of quality, value, and professionalism  CGS is now open to students of all communities. The school is equipped with a well resourced science laboratory, library and medical facilities in house.

The library has a wide range of reference books, subject books, and fiction together with excellent coverage of periodicals and newspapers. The multi media section has an excellent collection of DVDs CDs, with a multi media projector and screen for student viewing. Computers are available with internet facilities for student research.

Ahamed Rheyas who himself was an English teacher before he embarked on the business of pharmaceuticals, makes it a mandatory practice to visit the school every morning to inspect the facilities and is readily accessible to the teaching staff.

"I envisage Crescent Girls School to be a unique institution assimilating the traditional excellence of our century old legendary educational establishments, while exploring and experimenting with modern concepts in education," Rheyas has stated.

CGS encourages student participation in extra curricular activities such as the arts circle, junior and senior debating teams, indoor and outdoor sporting activities.  The school never fails to field a very competitive English debating team for the annual International Schools Debating Competition and also a badminton team at competitive events.

CGS prepares students to sit for the Edexcel and Cambridge International English exams.

CGS operates an exclusive bus for the convenience of the students and teaching staff to get about their extra curricular activities without any hindrance.

CGS also sponsors at least three deserving students every year from the outstations to obtain an education at no cost.

CIMA - a multi-faced, professional programme

'Follow the certificate course in Business Accounting and you are making the first move towards a great career,' says the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) - a body that boasts of being the largest, student-based overseas professional programme in Sri Lanka. 

CIMA CEO, Bradley Emerson, speaking to The Sunday Leader said that CIMA has 10500 students on roll as at June 30 this year. "We are consciously making CIMA more inclusive so as to widen the opportunity to the other provinces. We are consciously moving to the peripheries to extend this international professional qualification to a greater cross section of our youth he said.

A step that has been successfully taken in that direction was through the all island English spelling contest for students between 14-18 years, conducted by CIMA over a period of three months which was recently concluded and telecast over a private TV station. Over 200 plus schools participated and the interest generated was tremendous, adds Emerson.

"Of the 20 finalists only seven were from better known schools and only two were from international schools. The rest of the finalists were from Jaffna, Trincomalee, Badulla, Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Hambantota and Kegalle. Goes to show the talent and capability of the children in other parts of the island," he said.

With a fully fledged branch in operation in Kandy since 2007, with three schools providing tuition and facilities for research and referrals, CIMA currently is focusing on growth in and around the Central Province, where surveys have revealed that there are around 50,000 students from the main cities and adjoining areas attending schools and who are potential aspirants of professional qualifications. CIMA will collaborate with appropriate organisations in the areas to enhance the tuition facilities in the area. 

In reply to a question if CIMA will reach saturation point Emerson said, "What makes CIMA unique is that is that it lays emphasis on professional management and not only on professional accounting.

 "CIMA is a globally recognised qualification and that is why we have over 3900 Sri Lankan members and students overseas.  One has to look at CIMA qualification in that context," said Emerson.  

He went on to explain that CIMA graduates are in many and varied fields as the courses conducted cater to the need of the hour. Quoting the current President Gowri Shanker on her vision statement - 'Enhance the CIMA profession' Emerson said that what sets CIMA apart is that where its members are concerned their strength is their qualification received through a course in which the curriculum is updated every five years based on global needs that are developed to bring out graduates who could then meet those global challenges.

He went on to say that there are 38 CIMA qualified CEOs in Sri Lanka's corporate world and added that CIMA Sri Lanka is the largest market outside of the UK which shows how effectively the professional course is marketed and conducted here.

"Prior to starting CIMA the entry point is the certificate course in Business Accounting which is a six months full time/part time course that gives knowledge and insight on the basics of business and finance so essential in the present evolving business environment.

"What is also important to highlight is that this course is open to anyone at any stage of their career, regardless of the level of knowledge they have in finance. The course comprises five modules and the skills that one would develop would provide an excellent grounding in the fundamentals in different areas of accounting and how these relate to the business world," stressed Emerson.

While having produced world student winners and a world teacher over the years, CIMA Sri Lanka proudly claims to have yet another world winner in 2008 as well.

Encouraging Sri Lankans to make use of the opportunity in a field of finance and accounting that is guaranteed to open avenues to many other professional disciplines, Emerson says that a world-class qualification is available for around Rs.400,000 within around two to two and half years (if one were to get through exams at every stage) as against having to spend around Rs.2 million on a professional course of study overseas. "Even in the UK, CIMA is a post-graduate course according to the system there. Here it is so easy," he said.

With the added benefit of paying tuition fees on easy and interest free installment schemes through reputed credit cards CIMA Sri Lanka is not simply sitting on its laurels but continuing to proactively pursue newer and innovative means of making a world-class qualification accessible to students all over the country in its endeavour to be inclusive - and which certainly opens the door to the corporate world in Sri Lanka.

Study part-time at APIIT and move with the times

Gone are the days when one thought of finishing education to start working. Today, by necessity, education is life-long.  Some of us may finish university education before looking for a job; others may join the workforce before going to the university. It's our choice.  Either way, all of us can benefit from higher education.  Indeed, we ought to.

Work-study balance is the buzzword today amongst the employed.  Work-study balance is what we need to achieve.  Neglecting one will have a negative impact on the other.  Finding a job is one thing.  Developing a career has become a truly challenging task in the increasingly competitive business environment. 

With rapid advances in knowledge and skills and technology, there is no alternative to ensuring satisfactory career progression and consequent quality in life other than keeping oneself up-to-date and equipped with recognised educational qualifications.

Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT) - Sri Lanka, a leading higher education institute established in partnership with APIIT - Malaysia and Staffordshire University - UK, is committed to high standards and quality of education to produce internationally recognised computing and business professionals.

The institute now opens up opportunities for those in employment to complete a British degree in Computing/ IT or Business Management from internationally renowned Staffordshire University and keep abreast of the latest developments in these fields. Those with professional qualifications such as ABE, CIM CIMA, HND, BCS, and ACS (part or fully qualified) are entitled to exemptions and advanced standing.  

Higher education institutions need to change with the times to suit the changing profile of students and life styles.  APIIT - Sri Lanka as a dynamic and student-focussed higher education institution offers part-time internal study programmes to primarily meet the growing education needs of the employed. 

The programmes are structured to provide maximum flexibility: delivery is in the evenings and weekends; modular structure allows students to pace their learning to suit time availability; students may complete part of the programme, take a break if necessary and resume studies later; and several easy payment options are available to suit one's income.

APIIT School of Computing offers a diploma and a degree programme in Computing for part-time students; equal prominence given to theory and practical work is a distinctive feature of these programmes.

APIIT Business School offers a diploma and a degree programme in Business Administration/ Management. While these programmes are designed to comprehensively cover all areas of business, the programme content is advantageously integrated with the theory and practice of information technology. This unique blend of business with IT meets the demands of the industry and commerce and gives APIIT - Sri Lanka graduates a cutting edge in their professional career.

Part-time students may also study both Business Management and IT in the Business Information Technology degree programme designed to meet the needs of the modern job market where business takes place in an IT environment.

Emphasis on project work that can be integrated into one's employment is a distinctive feature of all degree programmes. This is where one's career blends seamlessly with the pursuit of education providing synergy and integrating learning into practice.

Further, the programmes attract students from diverse backgrounds in commerce and industry.  These students bring their own experiences to the classroom discussions and make the entire teaching/ learning process dynamic and closely linked with the practices in the real world.  Therefore, it is no surprise that students who complete their studies while working often demonstrate superior learning outcomes.

You can be assured of modern facilities, an environment conducive to academic pursuits, convenient academic schedules, flexible payment options and a panel of qualified and competent lecturers to conduct the teaching programmes. APIIT prides itself on having outstanding teaching/ learning facilities and the best qualified full-time teaching faculty in the Sri Lankan private higher education sector.

APIIT-Sri Lanka invites you to visit the APIIT City Campus at Union Place, Colombo 2 to inspect the facilities and meet the academic and admin staff to obtain details of academic programmes. The campus is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm on weekdays and till 1.00pm on Saturdays.

PATHE Academy  - the path to success in the IT industry

As a rapid growing industry Information Technology has become a main partner of this industry based world. Today, human beings have to interact with many IT based activities on a day to day basis.

PATHE Academy Information Communication Technology Faculty offers internationally recognised IT qualifications to the local community.

The degree department of the faculty conducts all programmes in collaboration with top examination bodies. Namely;

 BCS (British Computer Society)

 BIT (Bachelor of Information Technology)

 BSc Informational Technology, UK

As a registered course provider for BCS in Sri Lanka PATHE Academy has experienced rapid growth in the recent past. BCS is the required IT qualification for recruitment in the local IT industry. Based on this the students' preference for the course has also increased and it is proved by the fact that the highest number of candidates taking BCS exams has been reported from Sri Lanka.

Compared with other comparative programmes it is very affordable and is popular even among the outstation community. PATHE Academy's contribution to BCS has been highly appreciated and the third intake is scheduled to be taken in next October. Students who join PATHE for BCS usually stay with the academy for all the next levels.

Some of students are close to achieving the coveted MBCS (Member of British Computer Society) honorary status highlighting the academic excellence of the institute.

Further, the BIT programme in association with the University of Colombo is also well recognised. Affordability has been a prominent factors which has led to its popularity.

These courses are offered at PATHE Academy's computer labs situated in Nugegoda, Maya Avenue and Kollupitiya with over 100 computers integrated with other modern teaching technologies.

The Degree Programmes Department is situated at Maya Avenue, Kirulapone. Prospective students could obtain all the information they require from the website www.patheacademy.org

PATHE Academy offers Diploma and Certificate programmes in Information Technology (IT) that helps students take on IT challenges. PATHE Academy offers a Certificate in IT , Diploma in IT, Diploma in Computer Hardware Engineering, Diploma in Computer Animation, Diploma in Graphic Design, Diploma in Auto CAD, Diploma in Video Editing and Special Effects, Diploma in Computer Aided Accounting, and Diploma in Software Engineering.

To the beginners PATHE Academy recommends the Certificate in IT.

The Diploma in IT is for students who have some knowledge about computing.

The IT industry is a rapidly expanding industry throughout the world. Computer hardware engineers can work for computer manufacturers, telecommunication companies and large organisations such as finance and retail companies. To fulfill the current need for professionals PATHE Academy has introduced the Diploma in Hardware Engineering course.

All Diploma and Certificate programmes have been designed for the students using the latest software versions and new technologies.

PATHE Academy is recognised and accredited by international universities in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden.

All diploma and certificate programmes of PATHE are validated and attested by the internationally recognised Folkuniversitetet, SWEDEN. This gives students the opportunity to obtain an European certification. For some programmes, PATHE has agreements for further training and on the job training in Schengen countries through Folkuniversitetet.

Folkuniversitetet was founded by Uppsala University, Sweden, which is one of the oldest universities in the Nordic region. Most Uppsala University professors are on the board at Folkuniversitetet.

PATHE is the official representative for Folkuniversitetet in Sri Lanka since 1998.

Sorting the mess of Sri Lanka's education system

There have been of late many commentaries on the subject of Sri Lanka's education system. It is admittedly in a disastrous state made pitiable by the manner in which all its stakeholders seem to shirk their responsibility.

An education system that was envied at one time is today wondering what went wrong. Teachers prefer to become "sick" thinking their anomalies will be resolved..students are not studying for reasons best asked of them.Ministry officials prefer to play carom with the lives of youth as evident no sooner anyone walks into the Ministry.

Education is not the dowry of the education minister. It seems the present regime does not have the mission or the vision to take education to the next frontier.

The most important ministry of a country is the Education Ministry - its policies are likely to shape the future of the next generation. From the present scenario we can but wonder what sort of future protges Sri Lanka is likely to produce.

It is my strong suggestion that in view of the importance of education that while the minister remains to seal all policy decisions the entire administration from curriculum to forward thinking policies be made to fall under a Board of Intellectuals specialised in the sphere of education only.

Their decisions should not change from monsoon to the next monsoon but should be coherent with a national plan that would seek to take the country's education to a higher level.

Trade unions and political parties should not be allowed to interfere with policies as have occurred in the past.

Education should not be used to obtain electoral votes, privileges or posts, for the main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth.

- Shenali Waduge

Travel, Aviation & Shipping

Tour Vietnam with NKAR

NKAR handled another group of 20 from the Cultural Triangle Hotels Association (CTHA) on their annual overseas tour to Vietnam and Bangkok recently. Some of the places the group visited are listed below.

Ho Chi Minh City

This is the largest city in Vietnam. It is the industrial, commercial and cultural center of the country. The central city area is still called Saigon. Interesting places to see in the city include:

WarCrimes Museum

This museum exhibits crimes committed by the Americans during the war. Photographs of the famous My Lai massacre, human embryos, genetically deformed babies and innocent civilians being tortured can be seen on display. An array of US armored vehicles, artillery pieces, bombs and infantry weapons are displayed in the courtyard.

You can also see a guillotine used by the French to decapitate troublemakers in the riots of the 1920s and a model of the famous tiger cages used by the South Vietnamese to house VC prisoners on Con Son island.

The War Crime Museum basically reveals a different side of the stories about wars - the innocent victims of modern warfare.

Historical Museum

Built in 1929 by the Societe des Etudes Indochinioses, it was formerly named Blanchard dels Brosse. A big statute of President HoChiMinh stands in the main lounge of the museum.

The museum has an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the primitive age, bronze age, the Tran dynasty and the Le Dynasty. There are many valuable relics taken from Cambodia's Angkor Wat.


In 1868, the Norodom Palace (original name) was built for the French Governor-General of Indochina. A striking modern architecture was built when the original buildings were damaged by bombs. Rebuilt in 1962, it comprises of a ground floor, 3 main floors, two mezzanines and a terrace for helicopter landing.

The palace includes many tastefully decorated rooms such as the reception room, the cabinet reference room, the study rooms, the credentials presentation room and the banquet room. It also has a basement with a network of tunnels connecting to the telecom centre and war room and one of the longest tunnels which stretch all the way to the Revolutionary Museum.

The grounds outside contain one of the first tanks to burst through the gates of the palace to signify the end of the Vietnam War as well as the fighter plane which dropped further bombs towards the end of the war.

Independence Palace was renamed the Unification Palace to denote the spirit and strong will for national independence and reunification.

Ben Thanh Market

The Ben Thanh Market, formerly the main railway terminal, is the largest of the markets scattered throughout the city. A wide variety of goods are available, from imported electronics to imported perfumes.

Notre Dame Cathedral

This Catholic church was constructed in 1883 and is located near the Tu Do (Dong Khoi) Street, the former red-light district.

Presidential Palace

This building is now called the Reunification Hall. The center was built as a modern administration center and is where the war and the American involvement in Vietnam ended in April 1975, with tanks invading the compound. Guided tours take visitors through the various rooms within the complex.


This is Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown. Sights include the Binh Tay Market, the An Quang Pagoda (District 5) and the scenic Thien Hau Temple.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

A modern Japanese-style Buddhist temple, easily one of the largest and most impressive in Ho Chi Minh City.

TayNinh Cu Chi Tunnels

An extensive network of nearly 200 miles (322mi) of Viet Cong tunnels used in the French Indochina war and American war. The tunnels have complete facilities, from kitchens to printing presses and even street signs, all of which were used to aid the NLF (National Liberation Front) military.

Tours involve a description of the tunnels, after which tourists are allowed to crawl about the maze. Located in Tay Ninh (suburb of Ho Chi Minh City), 24 miles (39km) northwest of central Ho Chi Minh City.

CaoDai Temple

Cao Daism seeks to create the ultimate religion by fusing Buddhist, Taoist, Confucianist and Catholic beliefs into a synthesis of its own. Witness the solemn ceremony of the unique religion - Caodaism at Caodai Holly See at its noon tide prayer service with followers dressed in red, blue, yellow and white robes. There is the divine eye above the altar, the religion's official symbol. The temple has nine levels which signify the nine steps to heaven, each level marked by a pair of multicolored dragons.

Hoi - an ancient town

Forty-five minutes by land south-east of Da Nang is the ancient town of Hoi An, which was one of the most important trading ports in Southeast Asia for merchants from China, Japan and afar for a couple of centuries ago. Originally a seaport in the Champa Kingdom, by the 15th century It had become a coastal town under the Tran dynasty. Also served as the hub of East-West cultural exchange, Hoi An's ancient past is superbly preserved in its fascinating temples, pagoda, shop houses and home which make up the town's old quarter.


An imperial city, the citadel-city of Phu Xuan was originally built up during the end of 17th Century and became a political capital as well as the Imperial City of Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 till 2nd September 1945 when the Communist Party, leaded by President Ho Chi Minh had declared the independence of the nation and took over the power from the defeated Japanese Governor.

Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda

Built in the 11th century, this pagoda sits on a stone pillar in the middle of a pond. This is one of the more unusual structures in Vietnam.

LeninPark (Thong Nhat Park)

Built over a former marsh, this park surrounds a large lake containing a statue of Lenin, often the object of jokes among the locals. The park itself is quite beautiful.

National Preserve of Cuc Phuong

This national park is one of the last tropical primeval forest reserves on Earth. There are 64 species of fauna and thousands of species of flora, many of which are extinct everywhere else in the world. Bizarre and fascinating species of animals from flying lizards to monkeys dwell within the park's 61,000 acres. Caves and grottoes, where various artifacts have been discovered, are located in the mountains within.

Haiphong - Cat Ba

This island is the largest in the Cat Ba archipelago. It is potentially one of the major beach destinations in Southeast Asia. This region has beautiful beaches and pristine waters. Within the mountains are caves and grottos.


One of Vietnam's most beautiful areas, Halong Bay has fascinating limestone formations, coves for nighttime excursions, sheer cliffs, grottoes, arches and scores of small islets.

Visit the NKAR Travels websitewww.nkar.travel for details of tours.

South Asia spearheading growth for Amadeus

Travel technology giant Amadeus has outpaced year on year growth of the travel industry each year from 2002 to date. A significant portion of this growth - 39 percent of business volume has come from the Asia Pacific and South Asia regions.

The worldwide global distribution system (GDS) grew 9.1 percent in 2007 notching up 182 million bookings.

Vice President, Corporate and Marketing Communications, Amadeus Asia Pacific, Karun Budhraja said that the South Asia market for Amadeus is expected to grow by around 15 percent this year, spearheading growth in the region for the company.

In Sri Lanka Amadeus has a 46% market share compared to 29% by the nearest competitor with the year on year growth rate for last year at 16.7 percent whereas the closest competitor registered growth of 7.7, said country Manager - Sri Lanka and Maldives, Amadeus, Dennis Fonseka.

With the airline/travel industry moving in to a paperless era Amadeus is strategically positioned as a technology partner that is constantly innovating and it is very bullish in the Indian Sub Continent, explained Budhraja.

Amadeus Lanka team has set benchmarks in servicing the travel agents in this region. With a professional staff servicing travel customers across the country and state-of-the-art training facilities, Amadeus Lanka provides training to over 750 travel consultants every year. Apart from extensive training facilities, Amadeus Lanka imparts help desk, technical and product support to the travel agents as well consulting and marketing services. The major solutions offered in the market are front, mid and back-office products, BSP Central ticketing for 18 carriers, e-ticketing, e-commerce and consulting services.

Amadeus Lanka commenced operations in Sri Lanka in 1997 to service the travel agents' needs in the region and was the first GDS to begin operations in Sri Lanka from the Galadari Hotel, Colombo. Since then, Amadeus Lanka has been a front-runner in providing a neutral and reliable system along with a user-friendly range of products and solutions to its travel customers. Amadeus was the first GDS to complete 10 years of operations in Sri Lanka in 2007.

Today Amadeus Lanka services nearly 300 travel agencies across over 600 terminals in the country. Amadeus has been very strong in the Sri Lankan market with product and service standards that have kept the market share level above 40%, says Fonseka.

New solution to support airline ancillary revenues

Amadeus recently launched the first module of Amadeus Airline Service Fees, the industry's first solution to automatically price and collect ticketing fees through multiple channels in compliance with ATPCo and IATA regulations defined for OB Fees

Amadeus Airline Service Fees comprises two modules: the first one, which is now available, enables airlines to automatically collect ticketing, credit card, and miscellaneous fees in their direct sales channels (airport & city ticket offices, call centre, website).

The second module that is due to be rolled as part of the Amadeus Retailing Platform, will allow airlines to collect credit card fees through their indirect sales channel, the travel agencies.

The first module of Amadeus Airline Service Fees solution is now available to all airlines that have adopted the Amadeus Alta Reservation platform.

KumbukRiver among the world's best eco lodges

Sri Lanka's KumbukRiver has been picked among the world's 10 best eco-lodges, for the second year running by the World Travel Awards, the Oscars of the travel and tourism world, the only time Sri Lanka figures among the 'world's leading' classifications at the showpiece annual event which also includes awards by continent as well.

KumbukRiver, a 14-acre up-market eco-lodge by the waters of Kumbukkan Oya in Buttala is famous internationally for a spellbinding 40ft elephant edifice which serves as an exclusive villa for visitors and will vie for the top slot when professionals from over 160,000 travel agents in over 200 countries vote for the Green Awards category at the 15 year-old event hailed as the most coveted awards scheme of the travel and tourism industry. 

KumbukRiver's dramatic entry receives further significance as the other resorts nominated are all large-scale and well-established enterprises and only 8 countries from the world are on the honours list with only 4 eco-lodges making the list from the last year, including the winners, the world-famous Daintree Eco-Lodge and Spa of Australia. Malaysia joins Sri Lanka among the only two Asian destinations on the coveted list.

The nomination by the WTA puts the eco-lodge from far-flung Buttala on the world tourism map, not for the first time, with KumbukRiver securing two other international accolades.  KumbukRiver was short-listed for an award at the Virgin-Responsible Tourism Awards last year, while Times-Online voted it among the world's 50 best green places to stay, making KumbukRiver the hottest Sri Lankan destination in the world of responsible tourism.

Offering a shot in the arm to the crippled tourism industry, Sri Lanka also figures in the Asia category, in addition to KumbukRiver's extraordinary nomination in the 'world's leading.' category. Sri Lanka is nominated for Asia's leading destination offering a ray of hope for the country as a nomination at the WTA receives the attention of the world media, especially in Europe and USA. 

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, has been picked among Asia's Leading Destinations. The notable feature in the category is that two cities have been picked among countries including Phuket and Goa with both Thailand and India also making the list, alongside Hong Kong and Singapore.

Two other Sri Lankan entities are recognized this year by the WTA - Jetwing's  Ayurveda Pavilion has received a nomination under 'Asia's leading Resorts' while Sri Lankan Airlines is named amongst Asia's Best Airlines, completing an unexpectedly bountiful year for Sri Lanka.

Emirates unveils London's newest landmark

Emirates Airline has unveiled a new landmark for London, a giant model of an Airbus A380 at the gateway to Heathrow Airport.

The 45-tonne world record contender was unveiled at the Emirates Roundabout by the Airline's President Tim Clark.

The completion of the giant A380 replica is the culmination of an ambitious 18-month project to place the Dubai-based carrier at the gateway to the world's busiest international airport, and at one of the most prestigious advertising sites in the UK.

Tim Clark said: "The gateway to the world's busiest international airport is a fitting home for Emirates. We expect this landmark site to become an icon for both Heathrow and Emirates. While the previous Concorde model represented the past, our A380 represents the future - and it is a future of cleaner, quieter aircraft."

Clark added: "You will be seeing the Emirates A380 at Heathrow for real from December 1st, and in the near future, Emirates will be the largest operator of A380s at this airport. In the meantime, our model is a taste of things to come - eye-catching, stylish and innovative."

The one third-scale model was flown in ten component parts to Heathrow on July 5. Since then, specialist teams have been working around the clock to launch Emirates' "first" A380.

The replica was built by US-based Penwal at its manufacturing base in California over a six month period, using plans provided by the A380's manufacturer, Airbus in Toulouse. It was then transported by giant truck to Ontario Airport in Los Angeles where it was flown to Heathrow aboard a massive Antonov cargo plane, organised by the Emirates SkyCargo team.

A special mechanical ramp was flown into London from Germany to offload the plane as it was too heavy for the Antonov's winch crane. The wing section of the plane required a police escort as it was driven from Heathrow to the roundabout site.

The world's leading aviation museum, The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, has stated it is the largest known aircraft model in existence. A world record submission is currently with Guinness World Records.

Emirates currently flies to 101 cities in 61 countries across six continents. The Emirates' network is continuing to expand and in addition to services to Cape Town, Guangzhou, and Calicut which launched earlier this year, Los Angeles and San Francisco will start later in 2008.

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