In a move to promote Sri Lanka as a research destination among the academics in South Asia, SriLankan Holidays, the leisure arm of SriLankan Airlines, welcomed a group of scholars from the Gandhi Institute of Technology & Management (GITAM) University in Visakapatnam led by Prof. D .Ravinath recently, states SriLankan Airlines.
During their six-day tour, the academics visited the Colombo and Hambantota Magampura Harbours as part of their research, “Operation of harbours in Sri Lanka.” The Colombo Harbour is one of the world’s busiest ports, which currently has the capacity of 4.1 million TEUs and a dredged depth of over 15 m (49 ft). Ranked among the top 35 ports, it handles the most of the country's foreign trade.
Situated close to one of the world’s busiest shipping lines - the East-West shipping route-- the country’s second international seaport, Magampura Hambantota Harbour was constructed to get more foreign trade into the country. It will service the ships traveling along the East-West shipping route which passes six to ten nautical miles (19 km) south of Hambantota. The opening of Magampura harbour has a 22m depth and the port is expected to have a 1.5 km long breakwater, with a minimum basin depth of 17m. When completed, this will be the biggest port constructed on land to date in the 21st century.
Commenting on the tour, Prof. D. Ravinath of GITAM University, India said, “The trip was well-organised starting from Chennai to Colombo and back. The reception on arrival at the BIA was heart-warming and the best moment for everyone from GITAM. They shall cherish every moment of it as everyone felt proud and honored by the hospitality provided by SriLankan Holidays and SriLankan Airlines. The reception was one of the best that we had and what a way to start a tour to a great country which is so well developed, disciplined, neat and organized. Hats off to the administrators and the government.”
“As the national carrier of Sri Lanka, it is vital that we play a key role in facilitating and encouraging academics and researchers to travel to Sri Lanka to fulfil their research needs. In addition to taking the message of Sri Lanka’s rapid development to the world, they would also promote the country as a research destination among their fraternities,” said SriLankan Airlines Regional Manager, Saminda Perera.
SriLankan Holidays Manager, Gayan Peiris said “We wish to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Sri Lankan High commission in Chennai, Lanka Sportsrizen, the officials of both ports, the officials of the Chamber of Commerce and to our colleagues in Chennai. This was one of the largest Indian research groups handled by SriLankan Holidays and as we expand we hope to facilitate many more academics in the days to come.”
Gandhi Institute of Technology & Management University in Visakapatnam has been a prime educational institute in India that offers a wide range of programmes leading to Diploma, Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees focusing on knowledge and employability.
This is the first of the annual tours of the academics. The next batch consisting of 155 students are expected to arrive in the island, during the next academic year.