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Sunday December 3rd, 2023

Sri Lanka to investigate private domestic carrier after emergency landings

A file photo of a Cessna – 172 Skyhawk D-EIMN

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority is investigating back-to-back technical failures recorded by the domestic carrier Sakurai Aviation Limited whose services have since been suspended, officials said.

A Sakurai-owned light aircraft made two emergency landings in one week owing to technical failures.

Sakurai Enterprises Company Limited in Japan is the parent company of the domestic carrier.

“We were informed on Monday first about an engine failure because the aircraft was in close proximity to the Katunayake airport and the chances of a crash on our runway were high. The pilot had to do an emergency landing in a paddy field nearby,” Shehan Sumanasekara, Director-Operations (all airports) of Sri Lanka Airport and Aviation Services told EconomyNext.

“Last week’s incident was a partial engine failure and yesterday’s incident was a complete engine failure. It was an unfortunate incident, but it’s definitely something to worry about when the same aircraft company reports back to back tech failures.”

Only an investigation will reveal what happened and allow authorities to determine if inspections and maintenance work were done on time and properly, Sumanasekara added.

The first incident was reported on December 22 when a training aircraft of the company made an emergency landing on a beach in Payagala, as per a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) statement.

Preliminary investigations revealed to a technical glitch, reports said.

On Monday (27), however, the CESSNA 172 aircraft belonging to Sakurai Aviation carrying four passengers (two pilots and two tourists) made an emergency landing in a paddy field in the Kimbulapitiya area in Katunayake close to the Bandaranayake International Airport (BIA), according to a Civil Aviation statement.

The injured persons are currently hospitalised.

The plane which was travelling from Sigiriya to Ratmalana airport had to land owing to a technical failure, as per reports.

“The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka will be conducting a special investigation into this incident which took place today at 1.52 pm in the Kimbulapitiya area in Katunayake,” Captain Themiya Abeywickrama, Director General of CAASL said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Sakurai Aviation was not available for comment. (Colombo/Dec28/2021)

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Sri Lanka UGC wants to boost number of IT-related degrees

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s University Grants Commission is of the view to boost the number of Information Technology (IT) related degrees in state universities with an aim to pave the way for a digital economy.

Sri Lanka’shigher education system has been producing more graduates in Arts stream while the degrees in highly demanded IT and other engineering services are being looked at only now.

“We do have a high demand for engineering, science, AI, computer and electronical engineering

studies,” Chairman of University Grants Commission, Sampath Amaratunga, told reporters at aa media briefing on Friday

“However, while avoiding neglecting the humanities, we should develop new IT skills.”

Amaratunga confirmed that a student who studied in any stream could obtain an IT degree, including students who studied in the arts stream.

The UGC data show that out of 18,490 engineering technology stream students who sat for their Advanced Levels (A/L) in 2022, 10634 were eligible for university.

“Even streams like agriculture should be encouraged to use technology,” Amaratunga said. (Colombo/Dec 2/2023)

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Sri Lanka leader inaugurates Climate Justice Forum at COP28 in Dubai

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe launched Climate Justice Forum (CJF) at the ongoing 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) held in Dubai in a move to gather support for vulnerable nations hit by climate-change led disasters.

This year’s climate summit held in Dubai’s EXPO2020 features a raft of issues for countries working to find common ground in tackling climate change, including whether to phase out fossil fuels and how to finance the energy transition in developing countries.

Wickremesinghe inaugurated the Climate Justice Forum at COP28 on Saturday and emphasized the critical importance of addressing climate issues with a sense of justice and equity.

The President had been in talks with many nations vulnerable to climate change disasters including African and South American countries to get their support for the CJF.

The move is to compel advanced and developed countries to look into the poor nations hit by the climate changes and help them to get over economic and debt burdens by either investing more in green energy initiatives or writing off debts to ease financial pressure.

Sri Lanka, which is now facing an unprecedented economic crisis, has seen increasing losses and damages, both human lives and physical properties due to climate change-led disasters like floods, drought, and earth slips.

In his speech at the COP28 forum, Wickremesinghe on Friday said the Climate Justice Forum will provide a platform for constructive and proactive engagements. (Dubai/Dec 2/2023)

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Sri Lanka IMF review goes to executive board on December 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The first review of Sri Lanka’s International Monetary Fund program is scheduled to go the lender’s Executive Board for consideration on December 12.

Sri Lanka officials were expecting the review to be completed in December as soon as official creditors gave their assurances.

According to the notice Sri Lanka had missed one performance criterion and has requested modifications.

Sri Lanka has outperformed on a number of quantity targets including inflation. In addition to quantity PCs there was also one non-accumulation of arrears.

There would also be re-phasing of access. The review was originally expected around September with another review based on December data, leading to September and March disbursements.

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