THC into freight rate, urges Shippers Council
Sri Lanka Shippers Council (SLSC) last
week called for legislation to incorporate the Terminal Handling
Charges (THC) into the freight rate.
They stated that the separation of the THC from the freight
rate is an anti-competitive and unfair trade practice. It was noted
that this could result in Sri Lanka losing its export competitiveness
and consumers having to pay higher prices.
Chairman, SLSC, R.S. Ratnapala said Commerce and Consumer
Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake had pledged his support to get the
necessary legislation passed.
He pointed out that the THC was incorporated into the freight
rate until 1994 in the case of import cargo and upto 1997 in the case
of export cargo.
The council has made representations on this issue to the
Exporters Forum since February last year. They stated that a study
proved that most components of THC are not land based as claimed by
the shipping lines. Most of the components are ship based and forms
part of the ships operational or administrative costs. The study also
confirmed that there is a profit element.
It was also pointed out that there is an over recovery of THC
on LCL (Less Container Load) exports. “Thus, shipping lines are
making a substantial profit,” said Ratnapala.
He also stated that 60% of Sri Lanka’s exports are on FOB
terms. Exporters have been compelled to incur the cost after 1997,
resulting in a drastic effect on the bottom-line.
The port of Colombo in the recent past signed many terminal
agreements (TSA) with carriers offering volume rebates. “If one were
to agree with the position of the lines the THC is an actual recovery
of the land based cost, therefore, the benefits enjoyed by the lines
through the TSA’s should have to be passed down to the shippers.
This has not happened and the council does not see it happening
either. The fact is that the lines recover a higher amount from the
shipper and pay a lesser amount to the port,” said Ratnapala.
He added that though the shipping lines claim that C & F
(Cost and Freight) shippers enjoy the benefit of THC being included in
the freight rate, it is not so. Only the large exporters and the
multinationals with the bargaining power enjoy the facility. The small
and medium scale exporters are at the mercy of the shipping lines.
Ratnapala said THC is not applicable in the Middle Eastern
Ports, Israel and New Zealand. There is intense pressure in China and
the ASEAN region to follow the same.
He also pointed out that heavy lobbying is continuing in many
parts of the world against THC being levied as a separate component to
In today’s context where cargo is moved across continents,
the shipping lines include land based costs such as land transport,
transhipment port charges in the freight rate. “Then the question
arises as to why the reluctance to include THC into the freight rate.
The answer is very simple. THC is non-transparent and as such
separating the THC from the freight gives an added benefit to the
lines. The government by refusing to legislate, supports the mega
carriers to practice anti-competitive methods,” stated the council
at a media briefing held at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
They claimed that on several occasions they have indicated
their willingness to resolve the issue with the Ceylon Association of
Ships’ Agents (CASA). However, CASA has refused to entertain the
proposals and the council has taken a decision not to negotiate with
the association any further.
The THC was first introduced on import cargo in 1994.
During the same period the shipping lines wanted to introduce THC on
exports as well. However, due to strong lobbying by the SLSC and the
stand taken by the then government this did not take place.
In 1997 the shipping lines with the support of CASA
introduced a charge which was known as the freight surcharge.
The council realised that it was another term to
recover the THC and lobbied against it and requested shipping lines to
recover the freight surcharge from the party paying the freight,
therefore preventing the FOB shipper from having to absorb this
Shipping lines immediately termed freight surcharges
(which was 61 US Dollars per 20-foot container) as THC.
The Shippers Council together with the Exporters’
Association of Sri Lanka (EASL) took up the position that all such
charges should be incorporated into the freight rate. However, the
shipping lines refused to incorporate THC into the freight rate.
The council and the Exporters Association thereafter
made representations to the then Minister of Ports and Shipping who
issued a directive to the effect that THC should be included in the
all inclusive freight. CASA and shipping lines ignored this directive.
Thereafter, the matter was taken up by the Shippers
Council and the Exporters Association with the Fair Trading Commission
and they obtained a ruling in favour of the shippers. Unfortunately,
the Fair Trading Commission did not have the power to implement this
ruling. Thereafter, the lines continued to increase the THC.
Having realised that the ruling by the Fair Trading
Commission was not implemented, the Shippers Council took up the
matter with the President who was the Minister of Ports and Shipping
and with the Secretary to the President.
Presidential Secretariat summoned a meeting at which the Secretariat
requested the shipping lines to freeze any further increases as the
authorities concerned realised that this charge was an anti
competitive practice and requested the lines to come up with a formula
to incorporate all charges to the freight rate. Thereafter, nothing
significant took place, and the shipping lines kept on increasing the
for mobile telephony
“There is little doubt
that mobile telephony would be the personal communications medium of
choice in the Sri Lankan market in years to come. The potential can be
seen from the penetration gap — today telephony penetration is
around eight percent. Sri Lanka, based on medium term GDP growth indicators, has the
potential to ramp this up to 25 percent or more over the next few
years. We should however be cautious about these relatively bullish
expectations — a key requirement would be the overall development of
infrastructure outside the western province with a significant
improvement of telecommunications facilities,” said CEO, Dialog GSM,
Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya in an interview with Dinesh Weerakkody.
Following are excerpts:
Q: To begin, what are the challenges
currently faced by the cellular providers?
I believe it is fair to say that cellular providers have played a
crucial role in doubling telephony penetration in Sri Lanka within the
space of a few years.
It is extremely rewarding to
observe that today access to a mobile phone is no longer a luxury and
I hope that in the near future it will be within the reach of each and
every household in our country.
The aggressive expansion of
coverage and subscriber capacity while maintaining consumer
affordability is not easy for operators.
Taking the challenge of
maintaining viability of service provision to start with, the cellular
industry has suffered with an inequitable interconnect regime ever
since its inception.
The absence of interconnect
revenues for calls terminated on mobile networks has a direct impact
on returns on investment which in return influences the perceived
viability of future investments.
Cellular providers have been
seeking a solution to this anomaly in the interconnect regime by way
of the introduction of a calling party pays (CPP) regime. We are all
hopeful that this long standing issue — in fact CPP was mooted over
seven years ago — will be resolved during the course of 2003.
In addition to sector
economics, the macro-economy has a critical impact on infrastructure
For example the devaluation of
the local currency has a direct negative impact resulting from the
fact that infrastructure procurements, direct investments and foreign
borrowings are incurred in foreign currency whereas ongoing revenues
are denominated in Sri Lanka rupees.
It follows that unless the
currency is stable, real returns can in fact turn negative due to
factors completely beyond the control of the network operators.
Infrastructure development based challenges are also very significant
impediments to rapid growth. I would place power, access, transmission
backbones and interconnection capacities between networks within the
broad classification of infrastructure.
In addition to challenges
arising due to the inadequacy of such facilities to facilitate the
growth rates we would like to maintain, build out is also hindered by
unnecessarily length approval procedures which are not attuned to the
requirements of modern high capacity telecommunications networks.
I am happy to note that
several governmental institutions are now reviewing these procedures
with a view to facilitating the development programmes of the
I feel the country as a whole
needs to take a bold step where infrastructure is concerned since
basic infrastructure can facilitate multiple industries and in the
sequel the absence of it could slow down growth significantly — for
example Dialog had to set up its own high bandwidth satellite links to
provide connectivity to the north and east.
What was the rationale for Dialog’s recent Rs. 9 billion investment?
Telekom Malaysia’s rationale in this respect was clearly underpinned
by a strong confidence in Sri Lanka and the local market for
telecommunications services. A key driver of Dialog’s success has
been the fact that Telekom Malaysia has been a committed and resilient
Resilience is a key
requirement in the telecommunications sector especially in developing
nations, the hard times tend to stretch over several years and an
investor needs to think far beyond immediate returns.
The recent investment doubles
the investment of close to 100 million dollars already invested in the
Dialog network and will fuel the development of the network over the
next two years in terms of subscriber capacity, coverage and state of
the art value added services.
A key element of the
network’s development programme over the next couple of years would
be the introduction of a dual band GSM 900-1800 network.
With the impending allocation
of GSM 1800 spectrum to Dialog, the network will be upgraded to a dual
band status in a few months time — this will put us on par with
other high capacity dual band networks in the region and will deliver
manifold improvements in service quality and subscriber capacity.
In addition to the GSM
900-1800 dual band network, we will double the 300 plus base stations
we operate today to over 600 within a space of two years. This would
naturally mean wider coverage and expanded subscriber capacity.
We have also made large
investments in our customer service infrastructure to provide 24 hour
customer service to our subscriber base which now exceeds 600,000. The
first milestone was the establishment of a state of the art call
center which is billed as the most modern in Sri Lanka
This call center provides
toll-free service to our customers 24x7. The investment programme will
also support large scale development of our related businesses.
With our international
gateway, Dialog Global was the first off the ground following the
recent liberalisation of the international sector – we will continue
to play a lead role in this new market and significant investments
will continue to be ploughed in to expand connectivity to/from Sri
Lanka at affordable cost.
Dialog Internet is also
growing rapidly and recently completed infrastructure projects include
the “wiring up” of the World Trade Centre with optic fibre
providing ‘Internet on tap’ anywhere within the twin towers.
Is there still room to grow the cellular business?
There is little doubt that mobile telephony would be the personal
communications medium of choice in the Sri Lankan market in years to
The potential can be seen from
the penetration gap — today telephony penetration is around eight
percent. Sri Lanka, based on medium term GDP growth indicators, has
the potential to ramp this up to 25 percent or more over the next few
We should however be cautious
about these relatively bullish expectations — a key requirement
would be the overall development of infrastructure outside the western
province with a significant improvement of telecommunications
facilities as well as general economic conditions and purchasing power
of the citizens of the other provinces of the country.
Are you dealing with the congestion problem?
Large scale upgrades to network capacity are underway as I mentioned
earlier. Key among these is the dual-band configuration, which will
deliver an immediate increase in traffic channels.
The allocation of GSM 1800
spectrum will fill a long pending need of Dialog — the country’s
fastest growing network — as of today we have the narrowest
allocation of spectrum from amongst the operators, but accommodate by
far the largest subscriber base which is not an equitable scenario and
places a significant burden on the network with respect to build out
A narrow spectrum allocation
means more cell site development and a dense network architecture down
to the level of micro and pico cells.
With the allocation of GSM
1800 spectrum we will be in a strong position to meet subscriber
demand to the full.
So far I have spoken about the
capacity enhancement of our own network; there are also inter-network
considerations which the industry needs to work on collectively –
there should be sufficient interconnection capacity between networks
in order to ensure high completion rates on inter-network calls.
The latter is a collective responsibility of all operators, while
ensuring intra-network capacity (example completion rate on a Dialog
to Dialog call) is clearly our own.
a people-oriented company, was launched in May 2003 headed by Managing
Director Glenda Parthipan. Its ethos is about new age thinking,
building strong relationships, being professional, looking at the
finer details, making ideas a reality and creating lasting
The company’s main focus is
public relations, event management and promotions. They have an array
of innovative ideas for potential clients.
Public relations involves
promoting a positive image of corporate entities, government,
celebrities and social responsibility campaigns.
This includes organising press
conferences and feature articles, generating television and radio
coverage, and designing annual reports and profiles. A new concept is
PR for political parties and politicians which entails image building
in order to inform the important decision makers.
In event management, every
aspect of an event, such as product launches, award ceremonies,
conferences, beauty pageants, musical concerts, fashion shows,
fund-raising projects, exhibitions and carnivals, can be organised by
Emphasis so that the client’s mind is at ease.
Promotions involve short-term
exciting happenings which quickly translate into real results. This
can be for schools, offices, supermarkets, personalities, products or
Additional facilities include
web designing and hosting, television production, sports marketing,
artiste management, photography and wedding planning.
The essence of Emphasis is
captured in its logo. The word ‘emphasis’ stresses the
significance they attach to clients and their projects. The ‘I’ in
emphasis is an exclamation mark which further demonstrates importance.
Within the exclamation mark
are different images. The faces show the human side of PR, the musical
note displays their passion for entertainment and events, and the
stars depict creativity and results.
background, work experience and vibrant personality make her the ideal
candidate to run a public relations outfit like Emphasis. Even during
her undergraduate days, she was organising entertainment for the wives
and children of expatriates.
After graduating from the
University of Kelaniya in Mass Communications, Economics and French,
Glenda began her six-year career at Phoenix Advertising as an account
executive where she handled some of the blue-chip companies in
finance, insurance and real estate. She also obtained a CIM (Chartered
Institute of Marketing) diploma, which is beneficial when liaising
She then worked for the
Ceylinco Group for seven years in different capacities. As the
Communications Manager, she was responsible for launching the first
private sector savings bank in Sri Lanka. Being the Executive Director
of Aratuwa, the first Sinhalese business newspaper, she has the
ability to work with journalists and understands the media market
Dealing with women’s issues
and micro-credit in rural areas was her duty as Director of Grameen
Credit. Furthermore, she coordinated business chat shows and planned
social responsibility and poverty alleviation projects with the
Ceylinco Group. This confident, creative lady believes in facing
challenges head on. Throughout her work life, her talents and
capabilities were recognised early on and thus important
responsibilities were handed to her.
With a colourful ancestry as
the daughter of an Iraqi mother and Sri Lankan father, Glenda has a
flair for languages and has developed a keen eye for fashion and
interiors. She is the wife of Mathi K. Parthipan, Managing Director of
BTOptions, the company that publishes Explore Sri Lanka, Business
Today and Style, and pioneered MindHead, the premier game zone and
Internet café. She is grateful to her husband, friends and family for
their support and encouragement with this venture.
With her extensive travels abroad for beauty pageants, trade fairs and
musical concerts, she is up-to-date with the latest international
trends and has a special interest in cinema and music. Her boundless
enthusiasm and warm smile ensure you that you’re in safe hands. Be
prepared when Emphasis takes Sri Lanka to new heights!
The uniqueness of Cheng Shin & Maxxis
Passenger Car Radial (PCR) is that it has a nylon cap made out of a
special rubber compound providing additional 5th ply as a fuller
wrapper around that any other conventional passenger car radial in the
local market does not have. Cheng Shin/Maxxis is the only nylon cap
radial tyre available for the first time in Sri Lanka. Nylon cap is a
stronger tourniquet that provides longer life, better performance and
enhances protection against peeling, penetration, cutting, abrasion
and bursting of the tyre.
cap is the updated tyre engineering feat of the millennium. These
premium products are being cherished with a free worldwide
comprehensive general blanket liability insurance policy to an
aggregate limit of US$ 5,000,000. It gives a mileage around 40,000 km,
which is absolutely cost effective and long lasting. Presently its
complaint ratio stands at almost zero level. Up to date 400,000 Cheng
Shin & Maxxis tyres have been sold in Sri Lanka without a single
The Cheng Shin/Maxxis company profile
has an illustrious solid reputation and it is being produced through
many plants positioned in Japan, USA, Germany, Canada and Holland that
would meet up with your need whether you drive through city streets or
open highways carrying passengers or heavy cargo across longer
destinations, still promises to deliver an uninterrupted performance
for you transport priorities.
to conduct ICSA programme
of Business Studies Private Limited (ABS) has won exclusive rights to
conduct the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)
programme in Sri Lanka.
This was stated at a recent press conference to
announce the launch of a strategic partnership.
Under the agreement, ABS would provide training for
students pursuing studies for the ICSA UK programme and help promote
this prestigious programme in Sri Lanka. The academy now takes up the
challenge of successfully promoting the qualification, confident that
it will help satisfy corporate sector needs like corporate governance,
responsibility and accountability.
achieves record net profit
net profits of John Keells Holdings for the year ended March 31, 2003
grew by 143.6% to reach a record Rs. 1.3 billion. Strong contributions
to profit growth were witnessed from
virtually all sectors during the past year, while their successful bid
for Lanka Marine Services (LMS) in August last year added another
feather to their cap.
Pre-tax return on capital
employed improved to 14.4% from 9.2% last year. “Amidst an improving
economic backdrop, it was a year that saw our prudent but astute
decisions of the past bear fruit, reaffirming that the JKH business
model works, and that the team at JKH delivers,” stated Chairman, V.
Given below are excerpts of
his message in the JKH annual report 2002/03:
Peace negotiations between the
government and the LTTE have already contributed significantly towards
healing the economic woes of the recent past. Economic growth
rebounded to 4.0% in 2002, defence spending has fallen, interest rates
have eased and tourist arrivals have also risen sharply. These are
merely a few glimpses of what peace could offer.
Given our presence in the key
growth sectors of the local economy, we are ideally poised to reap the
benefits of an economic resurgence. Our leisure sector is well
positioned, with a number of resorts in strategic locations,
We are present in virtually
all facets of international transportation, and the sector will
undoubtedly be a key beneficiary of the likely pick up in trade
activity and business confidence. Moreover, owning two of the
best-known F&B brands in the country, the pick up in consumer
demand has a natural positive impact on our bottomline while our
presence in the country’s financial services sector also continues
As a conglomerate, we have an
unmitigated responsibility to generate steady returns, irrespective of
broader economic conditions. As we pledged in last year’s report, we
have attempted to skew our portfolio towards the less cyclical areas
of the economy. Despite many conglomerates resorting to focus
strategies, we are confident that diversification will remain our
formula for generating superior shareholder returns.
We believe our strength lies
in identifying under-performing acquisition targets and converting
these into significant value creators. Our track record proves this.
We also recognise that active portfolio management is the key to
successful diversification. Notwithstanding the record profits earned
this year, we mandated the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to help
institutionalise portfolio evaluation and improve our internal
JKH perceives good corporate governance as being
integral in building credibility and trust with all stakeholders and
reducing our cost of capital. Corporate governance may seem like a
buzzword to many, but for us it is a way of life. We also recognise
that the well being of our community and the broader environs in which
we operate, are inexorably linked with the fortunes of our corporate
the local construction industry
go for the best consultancy firms in the world if Sri Lankan money is
used to pay for their professional services. This way the image of Sri
Lanka could be enhanced and be comparable with the most modern cities
in the region.
This is exactly what the
Middle Eastern countries and even Singapore, Malaysia and China have
done and are doing at the
The construction industry is
reviving slowly after the severe slump over the past four to five
years. Part of the Southern Highway Project has commenced and several
other projects that were in the pipeline are now getting into a more
positive mode towards implementation.
The interest among foreign
investors from several countries is encouraging. The trend that is
building up is primarily private sector oriented and if the public
sector stops vacillating and facilitates approvals, with land, and the
facilities expeditiously the construction industry and the economy
could turn around much faster.
We are aware that under the
directions of the government, a plan for the development of the
Western Province is to be prepared, along
with the development of the Wellawatte Mills site and a few
Our chamber is fully
supportive and is in agreement with the government that these projects
should be implemented without delay. This is the only way that we
could re-activate the construction industry and transform the Western
Province for the needs of today and for at least those of the next 20
years and also be competitive with our neighbours in Asia.
However, serious repercussions
detrimental to the members of our chamber particularly in the
planning, architectural and engineering professions are anticipated.
Several government agencies are in the process of introducing mediocre
foreign planning and architectural firms to prepare a western regional
plan and also to undertake real estate development projects.
These firms are hardly firms
of international repute and in that context certain Sri Lankan firms
are better and more experienced than these foreign firms.
As mentioned above we must go
for the best firms in the world. If not another practice that some
countries follow is for local firms to collaborate with foreign firms
once again with the best in the world and participate in open
The selection is made
independently by an international Jury to
ensure that fair play and justice prevails. Why cannot Sri
Lanka follow this practice? If so there would then be technology
transfer and the end result would be a 21st century product.
The payment to the best firms
of the world are the same as the rates presently being negotiated by
the government agencies to pay the 20th century firms referred to
above. No alternative firms to the best of our knowledge were
consulted by the government agencies prior to selecting these firms.
This type of action by the
government destroys the enthusiasm and aspirations of the local
professionals and the private sector who are waiting to launch after
the recent downturn in the construction sector.
In the recent past several
major projects were initiated in the cultural, residential, highway
and urban development sector by the previous government, where
millions of dollars were paid to consultants and contractors and these
projects were subsequently aborted.
This is extremely tragic and
unfortunate since nobody seems to be held accountable for this
expenditure. The irony is that the mistakes made by the previous
government are repeated by this government.
One of the primary reasons why
the chamber was formed was to highlight anomalies of this nature.
Due to the fantasies of
politicians the members of the construction industry comprising
consultants, contractors, skilled and unskilled workers, suppliers and
manufacturers of building materials are undergoing severe hardships
with the scarcity of work
and consequently are at the mercy of the banks due to delays in the
settlement of their dues by the government.
In the government’s policy
initiative “Regaining Sri Lanka,” several major projects to be
implemented have been highlighted. Accordingly, over US$ three billion
has been pledged by the donor countries on the basis of US$ one
billion per year.
The chamber has been regularly
pointing out to ministers and officials that to get best value from
this huge fund there should be several integrated development plans
and projects designed and ready for implementation not only for the
north and east but also for other parts of the country
Unfortunately, we are not
aware of any comprehensive plans besides the sect oral assessments for
the north and east identified in the “Post Conflict Needs Assessment
Survey” by the donors and the projects mentioned in the “Regaining
Sri Lanka” documents which are not detailed in anyway.
It would therefore be
optimistic to believe that even 25% of the funds pledged by the donor
countries would be utilised for the reasons mentioned above. Our
inability to utilise these funds fully may mean that we have
overlooked an important opportunity, after many years of stagnation.
Once again the Chamber of
Construction Industry Sri Lanka, wish to offer our services to the
government to work in partnership with them to accelerate the decision
making and implementation process of the “Regaining Sri Lanka”
Inability to act on time may
reduce the construction industry to a level of mere spectators
watching our projects being hijacked by foreign companies for no fault
President, Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka,
Deshabandu Surath Wickramasinghe
importance of lightning protection
Surge protection — a topic that has
become increasingly important in recent years because costly
electronic equipment that is sensitive to voltage peaks on the supply
is no longer found only in offices and factories but in our homes as
high sensitive data processing, telecommunications and computer
networks form the backbone of worldwide communications structures
without which no company or public body can survive. Machines and
production lines are monitored and controlled by electronic
programmers, and even many creative services are no longer conceivable
without the aid of computers.
to all of them is their dependence on electrical energy, on high and
low voltage systems and on a continuous supply of power around the
clock. The incidence of damage, some of it considerable, caused by
over voltage surges, has increased markedly in recent years. Why is
this? The reason is not, as one might imagine, increased thunderstorm
are two reasons here. One is the fact that nowadays our homes contain
more sensitive electronic equipment than ever before. It is a long
time since it was only the television set that was sensitive to
surges. In the field of entertainment electronics, hi-fi
installations, video recorders and DVD players, home PCs and
peripherals are all vulnerable to over voltages on the low voltage
network. In addition, there are electronically controlled devices in
almost every field of building technology, from the heating system and
the telephone system to the alarm installation, as well as a broad
range of domestic and kitchen appliances from the sensor controlled
electric cooker to the programmable washing machine.
other reason is the effect of technological progress. The electronic
chips formerly used were more resistant to surges. What has now made
the components more sensitive to surges was the reduction by a factor
of ten in the spacing of the conductors. One result of this is that
even relatively low voltage peaks of a few dozen volts on the data
line are enough to destroy the interface card in an internet PC.
factors are responsible for over voltage surges in the low voltage
systems, measurement and control systems and computer networks. The
following four categories pose the greatest danger.
Direct lightning strike: If lightning directly strikes a building with
external lightning protection or if it strikes structures on the roof
that are earthed in a manner capable of carrying lightning current
(roof antenna, satellite installation, etc), the result at the earth
impedance is a voltage rise and coupling of the high partial lightning
currents via the protective earth conductor into the building
installation and the connected appliances. Lightning may also directly
strike the power supply lines (low voltage overhead lines) or data
lines, causing high partial-lightning currents to be coupled into the
Nearby lightning strike: Even if a building is not itself struck by
lightning, strikes nearby may cause voltage peaks in the building
installation. The surges reach the wiring of electrical installations
and equipment directly or by inductive or capacitive coupling. Partial
lightning currents maybe coupled via the earth into the earthing
installation and cause significant damage (direct coupling), or
voltage peaks may reach the building installation by induction from
the magnetic field emitted by the lightning channel. Long wiring loops
within buildings in particular may act as antennae and favor inductive
coupling. An electrical field causes capacitive coupling with high
potential difference between two points, for example between a
lightning channel and electric conductors.
Distant lightning strike. Even lightning strikes at distances of
several hundred meters can cause considerable damage on low voltage
and data lines as a result of direct, inductive or capacitive coupling
on to earthling installations of buildings. Even the electromagnetic
field caused by lightning discharges inside clouds or parts of clouds
can couple voltage peaks in to lines.
Switching surges: Switching surges arise from on and off-switching
operations, from the switching of inductive and capacitive loads and
from breaking of short circuit currents. In particular the
disconnection of production plant, lightning systems or transformers
may lead to damage in electrical equipment nearby.
largest voltage peaks on the low voltage consumer network are caused
by lightning discharges. The high energy content of lightning surges
in the case of a direct lightning strike on the external lightning
protection installation or on a low voltage overhead line usually
causes complete failure of the connected loads and damage to the
insulation. Induced voltage peaks on installations in buildings and on
power or data lines can also reach several times the nominal operating
voltage. Switching surges do not cause such high voltage peaks as
lightning discharges, but they do occur far more
frequently and can still result in immediate failure of the
installations. Switching surges reach two or three times the operating
voltages, whilst lightning surges can sometimes reach twenty times the
rated voltage and carry a large amount of energy. Failures often occur
later, since the ageing of the components caused by the smaller
transients causes gradual damage to the electronics.
Limited has always been in the forefront of innovative product lines.
To give consumers the best lightning protection, Rotax Limited have
marketed a high quality internationally renowned product for lightning
protection : OBO-Bettermann. For many years, OBO-Bettermann (Germany)
has been involved in the development and protection and control
systems that ensure a secure supply of energy, even under favorable
conditions and which prevent damages due to voltage peaks or lightning
surge protection devices are divided in to three classes B, C and D,
corresponding to different requirements in terms of installation site,
protection level and impulse current carrying capacity.
purpose of this classification is to provide selective surge
protection, which guarantees a high-energy absorption capacity
together with lowest possible protection level. The subdivision
corresponds to the stipulations of DIN VDE 0675 part 6 A1 and
A2. This standard sets out design guide lines, requirements and tests
for surge arresters used in alternating current networks with rated
voltages up to 1,000 V and rated frequencies between 50Hz and 60Hz.
Rotax Limited will evaluate your
requirement and specify the appropriate lightning protection system of
OBO Bettermann to give the enhanced lightning protection possible. For
lightning protection with total reliability, Rotax Limited is the name
to count on.
grant for children successful at year five scholarship examination
active members of the Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF), who have been
successful at the year five scholarship examination will be eligible
for an award of Rs. 10,000.
This grant will be made
in order of merit for the first 2500 children among those who
are successful in the country.
The monies will be deposited
in an interest bearing savings bank account of National Savings Bank.
The parents or guardian will
be eligible to withdraw the interest accruing to this account at the
end of each year if necessary. However, the principal amount may be
withdrawn by the child on his reaching the age of 18 years.
Members who have membership
for a period of one year and should have contributed continuously on
due dates for a period of six months prior to the scholarship
Those who are self employed
should have regular contributions to the fund at least for a period of
twelve months before the examination.
Applications on ‘official forms’ available at the
ETF office should be submitted on or before due date according to the
press advertisement to reach the Manager (Benefit Administration), ETF
Board, first floor, Labour Secretariat, Colombo 5.
staff clean wells in flood-affected areas
Group of Companies in an effort to bring relief to thousands of people
in the flood affected areas was instrumental in cleaning over 500
wells within two weeks.
The idea to help these poor
people was on the minds of the Jinasena staff long before it was put
According to Managing
Director, Jinasena Engineering Holdings (Pvt) Limited, Rohan Jinasena,
his employees had asked him how they could help these victims. Then
when an announcement requesting assistance for these victims was made
in the electronic media with a contact number, Jinasena responded.
When Jinasena contacted the
media he was told to contact the district secretaries for Kalutara and
Ratnapura for more details. Jinasena was then told by these
secretaries that the wells in the flood affected areas needed to be
“When I told my employees
about the wells they offered to do the job voluntarily, as they felt
they needed to make a contribution towards their fellow brothers and
sisters,” Jinasena said.
The three Jinasena teams
consisting of five people, one driver and one vehicle were then sent
on May 24 to the affected
areas. According to Jinasena, the teams first went to Kalutara. Having
met the relevant officials, they were instructed to first disinfect
wells that a large community had been using.
“However, when the team got
to the location they were unexpectedly met by villagers who had
personal wells in their gardens. These villagers pleaded with my
officials to clean their wells as well. When such a situation arises
how can you turn your back or refuse to clean the wells?” Jinasena
said. The team finally ended up doing much more work than they had
“When disinfecting a well, a
certain procedure needs to be followed. You have to first clean the
well and then disinfect it,” he said. The Jinasena team then moved
on to Ratnapura. However, due to the inefficiency of the relevant
authorities in Ratnapura, the Jinasena team moved on to Matara.
This time there were two teams
consisting of seven or eight people per team. “The teams couldn’t
travel on the Matara roads, but despite the hardships they were
determined to get the job done,” Jinasena said.
According to him, despite the
hardships of these villagers, they tried their level best to help the
teams by supplying them with biscuits and king coconuts among other
At the end of the two weeks,
the Jinasena teams had worked in Kalutara, Horana, Bulathsinhala,
Galpatha, Nagoda, Matara, Kamburupitiya, Marapana, Malimmada,
Sulatanagala, Akuressa and Thejjavila, and other places as well.
The team consisted of H.G.
Mahinda, G.A. Jayasena, W.G.S. Weerakantha, H.A.M. Kumara, M.A.W.
Premasiri, W.K.R. Priyankara, W.J.C. Fernando, P.V.S. Gunasekera,
W.L.W. Thilaksiri, G.P.H. De Silva, R.D. Dharmasena, B.U.S. Pieris,
K.D.I.N. Francasius, D. Abeywickrema, N.K.S. Kumara, J. Prasanna, N.
Jinasena, S. Sirimanne, S. Rapakse, P.M. Karunaratne, L. Kularatne, S.
Senanayake, A.K. Herath, M. Munasinghe and S. Rajapakse.
According to Sirimanne (the
main organiser of the Jinasena staff) and Mahinda (main organiser of
the factory), all team members experienced a different side to life
when they undertook this project. “We have to thank Nishantha
Jinasena and Roshni Jinasena for working with us and giving us the
support and encouragement needed,” they said.
Explaining the tremendous
success of this project, Jinasena said it was amazing to see the
cooperation of his employees and the security guards who are not on
the Jinasena staff. It is their hard work that proved to others how
much can be done in a crisis.
It is also important that more private sector people
come forward to help these people. “I feel that the private sector
should come forward voluntarily to help the victims, rather than wait
for the government to ask for assistance,” Jinasena said.
repair carried out afloat
carrier ‘X-press Malabar’ called in the port of Colombo recently
with a load of transhipment containers.
The Lloyds Register of
Shipping London required an underwater survey so as to extend the
vessel’s trading schedule.
The highly-rated marine
organisation Colombo Engineering Enterprises headed by Kiran Atapattu
was immediately mobilised to carry out the in-water survey, using the
world’s most sophisticated underwater camera — the American J. W.
Fishers MC-1 mini underwater camera.
During the underwater
inspection this state-of-the-art underwater camera which is only five
inches in length detected during the in-water survey that the ship’s
rudder did not have any bottom clearance at all and which the Lloyds
Register wanted immediately rectified prior to sailing of the vessel.
The vessel’s master and
chief engineer immediately summoned Colombo Dockyard Limited for this
job as it is normally a job which is done at the dockyards. At the
same time the vessel’s management contacted Kiran Atapattu, the CEO
of Colombo Engineering who positively gave them a response that this
repair could be carried out by him whilst the ship was afloat and on
his assurance the job was given to be done afloat by his company.
A ship repair team was
immediately mobilised to design and assemble in place a device to
lift-up the rudder while-in-situ.
Initially a team of expert
divers secured the rudder down below to prevent it from swinging
underwater with high strength securing devices.
Then divers provided more
buoyancy to the rudder using ten ton floatation equipment underwater.
Then the repair team cut
openings on the ship’s main deck and inserted very high quality
lifting cables on to the rudder steering gear and the attachments and
after welding on deck heavy steel supports and with a lifting device
using a 150 ton lifting capacity hydraulic jack the rudder was lifted
Immediately a stainless steel spacer ring was
manufactured and fitted in place to obtain the required clearance to
enable the ship to sail and to keep to its trading schedule.