Australia to provide around 16 billion rupees in aid

The Australian High Commissioner, Bryce Hutchesson, launched the Skills for Inclusive Growth Program with Minister for Skills Development and Vocational Training, Mahinda Samarasinghe. Australia will provide around 1.6 billion rupees in aid and technical assistance, over four years, to strengthen Sri Lanka’s tourism sector – through training and mentoring for employees and small businesses. The Program will benefit local communities and businesses – with an initial focus in Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa districts.It will prioritise the underemployed, particularly local women, youth and people with a disability.It will supportthe full value chain of the tourism sector –for example, food suppliers, hospitality trainers, artisans, surf instructors, spa owners, accommodation providers, taxi drivers – as well as district planners, park rangers, industry regulators and business chambers.“This is a time of hope and opportunity for Sri Lanka.Australia, as a long-standing partner, is glad to be playing a part in supporting Sri Lanka to build a bright future,” Hutchesson said. (Colombo Gazette) “Australia understands tourism. It is one of our most important exports. We also understand skills development. We have a world-class education system and one of the world’s best vocational training systems,” remarked Hutchesson.Speaking at the event, Minister Samarasignhe stated “I express my sincere gratitude to Australian High Commissioner His Excellency Bryce Hutchesson and the Australian Government for committing such a large sum of money for the future development of Sri Lanka not as a loan but as a 100% grant, which is very rare to see in this day and age. This underscores the very special historic bilateral relationship that exists between the people of Australia and the people of Sri Lanka.” This program will help Sri Lanka develop a highly-skilled labour force to take its rightful place as a premier tourist destination. read more

New Sri Lankan Honorary Consul appointed in Scotland

Prof. Eddleston has over 22 years of experience working with academic, research and health organizations in Sri Lanka, particularly in the rural areas of the North Central province. He has been instrumental in bringing in grants worth Rs 500 million to Sri Lankan research which has helped in dramatic reductions of pesticide poisoning deaths in the country. More recently, he was actively involved in organizing the 150th Anniversary of Ceylon Tea at the University of Edinburgh which was attended by around 150 participants. Prof. Eddleston is the Professor of Clinical Toxicology at the Pharmacology, Toxicology & Therapeutics, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh. Professor Michael Phillip Eddleston was appointed as the new Sri Lankan Honorary Consul in Scotland.The Commission of Appointment was presented to Prof. Eddleston by High Commissioner Amari Wijewardene at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London. Prof. Eddleston is widely known among the academic and business community in Scotland and hopes to further the development of commercial and economic relations between Scotland and Sri Lanka. He hopes to forge new academic collaborations and to assist developing the nursing sector through partnerships with nursing groups in Scotland. read more