Victor Melder

SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (MAY 2018) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor - eLanka

Colombo CPI continued to ease, settling below 4%, thanks to the continued moderation in food prices, which grew at its slowest in the past two years. Food prices eased on a sequential basis as well, led by vegetables, sea fish, onions and coconut. Non-food prices on the other hand, showed mild signs of pick up after easing for six continuous months. ‘Alcohol and beverage’, health, transport and recreation index picked up both on an annual and sequential basis, while that of ‘clothing and footwear’ eased. Core inflation mirrored this mild pick-up. Recent trends of moderation in food prices along with the statistical impact of last year’s high base is expected to keep inflation within the central bank’s target range of 4-6%. We forecast inflation to average 4.3% in 2018. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka in its April meeting reduced the upper bound of the policy rate corridor, i.e. cut the Standard Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) by 25bps to 8.5%. Easing inflation, stabilizing inflation expectations, cooling credit growth, and weak economic growth in 2017 warranted a reduction in the policy rate, according to the CBSL. (Daily Island 1.5.2018)

The funeral of world renowned film producer Dr. Lester James Peries will be held at 3 pm today at Independence Square with full State patronage. The remains will be kept at Independence Square from 12 noon to 3 p.m. for the public to pay their last respects. Internationally acclaimed cinematic genius Dr. Lester James Peries passed away on Sunday night, while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo. He was 99. Large crowds, including artistes and politicians are expected to participate in the funeral today. Lester James Peiris was born to a reputed Roman Catholic family in Dehiwala on April 5, 1919. He was eleven years old when he was gifted a 8 mm Kodasco projector by his father. He started writing to the blue pages of the Ceylon Daily News at the age of 17. Rekhawa,” his debut film production showed his extraordinary knowledge in the technique of film industry in December 1956 earned him a commendable reputation as the best production of Sri Lankan Cinema. (Daily News 2.5.2018)

Plantations Minister Naveen Dissanayake said yesterday that the ban on glyphosate had been lifted for tea and rubber plantations from yesterday. However, the ban would be in force as regards paddy and other cultivations, the minister told a press conference in Colombo. Glyphosate was banned in 2015. Independent MP Ven Athuraliye Ratana has stated that he would take to the streets against the government if the ban on glyphosate is lifted. The tea and rubber planters continued to plead with the government to lift the ban as their cultivations suffered severely because of the ban as traditional use of labour to remove weeds was expensive. (Daily Island, 3.5.2018)

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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (APRIL 2018) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor - eLanka


The wreck of one of the famous ships of Her Majesty’s Naval Service – ‘SS Sagaing’, which sank in the Trincomalee harbour during the World War II, has been refloated after 75 years by a team of divers of the Sri Lanka Navy, making a landmark turning point in the field of diving and salvage. This 138m long Passenger cum Cargo Ship launched in December 24, 1924 was hit by Japanese carrier aircraft bomber attacks, whilst at anchorage in the Trincomalee harbour on April 9, 1942. the vessel was subsequently abandoned due to a raging fire onboard. On August 24, 1943, the damaged ship had been sunk to be used as a pier for naval ships. Sri Lanka Navy resorted to refloat the wreck, which was fully submerged 35 feet under the sea, in order to make sea room for expanding berthing facilities in the harbour. The task of salvaging and removing the ship wreck was assigned to Eastern Naval Command and it was undertaken by the Eastern Command Diving Unit headed by the Command Diving Officer (E), Captain (CDO) Krishantha Athukorala on September 11, 2017. Then a comprehensive salvage plan made by CDO (E) was launched by a team of divers supervised by CPO (DIV) ALNSS Liyanage through patching up all damages and strengthening up the deteriorated ship’s structural parts by erecting an artificial ship side into the sunken wreck for dewatering the ship’s internal volume to recover lost buoyancy. After a series of dedicated endeavours made during a period of five months, on March 22 the wreck started to ascent to the surface proving the professionalism and instinct of SLN divers. The operation was assisted by LCdr Sathishka Pathirana and LCdr Shiran Buddhika along with 98 diving sailors permanently deployed to the project. Timely support by the Operations, Logistics, Engineering, Electrical, Shipwright and Medical Departments and the continuous advice received from Director-General Operations were useful inputs in this successful endeavour. The entire proceedings of the wreck refloating effort were orchestrated under the guidance of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe. This project would not have been completed as scheduled without the unstinted support extended by the Tokyo Cement Company by way of providing a Crane Barge almost throughout the period with a full-time operator. (Sunday Island 1.4.2018)

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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (MARCH 2018) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

Direct Investment (FDI) into Sri Lanka has grown to over 1.63 billion US dollars in 2017, doubling the 802 million dollars achieved in the previous year. The Board of Investment (BOI) reported that 1.63 billion dollars achieved in 2017 is the highest ever surpassing the 1.61 billion dollars in 2014, with significant growth across key sectors. “The strong growth is a direct consequence of the Government’s reorientation of economic policy towards investment and export driven growth, rather than debt-funded public infrastructure spending,” the BOI said. Among the highest growth sectors were export-oriented Manufacturing (+27%), Services which includes Tourism and IT (+50%) and Infrastructure (+190%). The highest FDI came from China, followed by Hong Kong, India and Singapore. The BOI, under the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, is the first point of contact for foreign investors into the country. “The BOI has initiated work on developing several new export promotion zones including Milleniya, Bingiriya, Weligama and Mawathagama. These will be the first comprehensive BOI zones to be developed since 2000.” In order to facilitate FDI, the new Inland Revenue Act provides accelerated investment allowances over and above normal depreciation until companies recover their total fixed investment. The foreign exchange regime too has been liberalized to improve the investment climate via the new Foreign Exchange Act. The Prime Minister earlier said the country’s target is to achieve 5 billion US dollars in FDI by 2020 while International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said he is confident of achieving 2.5 billion US dollars of FDI this year.  (Daily Island 1.3.2018).

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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (FEBRUARY 2018) Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor - eLanka

Lanka’s 2017 apparel performance has matched the recent forecast made by the Minister of Industry and Commerce-even exceeding a little. “We expect that the final total apparel exports for entire 2017 would clearly exceed the exports of 2016, and expect it to be in the range of $ 4.7 billion” forecast the Minister of industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on January 16. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the launch event of an Apparel Industry Suppliers Exhibition in Colombo. Apparel export revenue data issue by both Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) confirmed Minister Bathiudeen’s forecast. According to these latest data, the total Sri Lankan apparel exports for Y2017 was US $ 4.818 Bn (an increase of 3.06% from 2016’s $4.67 Bn). This is the highest annual export revenue to be recorded for Lankan apparels. Only for the month of December 2017, the exports were at $ 452 Mn –a 21% increase in comparison to 2016 December’s $374 Mn. Interestingly, December 2017 monthly exports too were the highest ever exports for any December. 45% of apparel exports in 2017 (at $ 2.163 Bn) went to US while 42% (at $ 2.025 Bn) headed to the EU. Year on Year exports to US showed a 2% increase in 2017 from 2016’s $2.121 Bn. Still, YoY exports to EU surged by a larger 4.13% to $ 2.02 Bn in 2017, from 2016’s $1.944 Bn. It is estimated that two-thirds of Lankan apparel workers are women and therefore this sector is a major industry supporting the development of the country’s female labour force. (Daily Island 6.2.2018)

Sri Lanka’s tourism has taken off to a healthy start in 2018 with January bringing in record arrivals. According to data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) yesterday, tourist arrivals in January amounted to a record 246,972, up by 12.6% from 219,306 in the corresponding month of 2017. In 2016, arrivals in January amounted to 194,208.

India continues to lead arrival figures with 43,643 up 40%. Arrivals from China stand second at 24,819 but were down 22%, whilst arrivals from UK were up 15% to 22,410. German tourists rose by 20% to 14,985 and those from France rose by 14.5% to 12,209.
Tourists from Western Europe increased by 14.9% to 83,324 in January. Travellers from East Asia were down 15% to 41,462.
Eastern Europe tourist arrivals rose 15.1% to 30,550 in January where Russia continues to lead arrival figures with 11,634 up by 12.5%.
Arrivals from the Middle East rose by 25% to 11,200 and South Asia by 32% to 54,815 and Australasia by 23% to 11,011.
The Government is sticking to the 2.5 million tourist arrivals target which was set for last year, as the industry fell short of the arrival target in 2017. 
Tourist arrivals in 2017 hit a record high with the number of foreign visitors rising 3.2% to 2.1 million while revenue also rose by a similar percentage to an all-time peak of $3.63 billion.“With first four months being the season for us, I am pretty confident that we will do well this year. We will comfortably surpass the 2.5 million arrival target set for 2018,” Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga said. (Daily Financial Times 8.2.2018)

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Mulbury – Melbourne Business Awards Winners / Upcoming Sydney Markeys & MIFGS / Custom Framing


Winners of the Melbourne Business Awards!

Late December, Mulbury, (unexpectedly) won the  2017 Melbourne Business of the Year!

We’re not normally people for self-praise but we are very honoured to win this prestigous award. A big thankyou to the Kingston City Council for the nomination and of course the Melbourne Business Awards Association for recognising the efforts of many local businesses. 


We’ll be returning to the Kirribilli Art & Design Market on Sunday, March 11th. 

Please keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for more announcements as we will be selling at various markets throughout 2018. 


For our 21st year in a row, Mulbury will be returning to the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show from Wednesday, March 21st – Sunday March 25th. 

As always we will be giving a double pass to the show! Keep an eye on your emails early March for our next newsletter with all the details.

Proud to say that Gerry is my brother. He and his wife Val are a go-getter couple and are always attuned with the environment.

A visit go their ‘Mulbury Gallery’ should a must for each one.

Victor Melder

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SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF (JANUARY 2018) Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor - eLanka

It has been estimated that four kilos of heroin are consumed daily by 45,000 addicts in Sri Lanka. Dangerous Drugs Control Board (DDCB) Chairman Prof. Ravindra Fernando made this revelation during a media conference at the DDCB auditorium. Prof. Fernando said the addicts consumed an estimated 1,478 kilos of heroin annually. Heroin is mostly smuggled into the country in Indian and Pakistani fishing vessels. Cannabis is illegally grown in an estimated 500 ha in the Eastern, Uva and Southern provinces of Sri Lanka, according to the DDCB. Prof. Fernando said a special programme to eradicate drug menace by 2020 was being formulated by the government with the cooperation of the police, DDCB, the Excise Department, the Department of Prisons, the Sri Lanka Customs, the Coastal Protection Authority and the armed forces. (Daily Island, 2.1.2018)

The National Hospital  said there had been 512 incidents including road traffic mishaps and firecracker related incidents on 30 and 31 of December. National Coordinator (Training) at the National Hospital Pushpa Ramyani de Zoysa said that last year a total of 479 incidents including RTA had occurred. Of those injured, 194 had been admitted to hospital, she said, adding that 117 of them had been road accident victims. In 2016 there were 113 victims of road accidents. The number of domestic accidents recorded in 2017 was 68. There were 43 domestic accidents during the last two days of 2016. The National Coordinator Training said that 161 persons had fallen and injured themselves on Dec. 31. There was a drop in the number of firecracker injuries. The incidents of violence too showed a 12 percent decrease. In 2016, there were 48 cases of violence while in 2017, the number had dropped to 42, she added.  (Daily Island, 2.1.2018).

In a report by the National Venereal Diseases and Prevention of AIDS project it is stated that there are 7500 persons identified as gays in Sri Lanka. Blood samples of about 1.2 million suspected persons had been examined and 280 persons among them had been identified as victims of AIDS, stated the Director of National Venereal Diseases and Prevention of AIDS Dr Sisira Liyanage. Among this group there had been Women, Men and Children as victims and a majority had been Gay persons, Dr Liyanage states further. He also said in engaging sex without using condoms had been the main cause of the spread of Venereal Diseases, and they had also detected patients suffering from Syphilis and Gonorrhea during their examinations. The report also indicated that a large number of patients suffering from AIDS and Venereal Diseases were found in Colombo, Gampaha, Galle, Kalutara and Kurunegala Districts (Daily Mirror, 4.1.2018)

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7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.
Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040
E-mail < >
Web Site < >

Victor Meldor



1. ‘Silverscene’ -, Newsletter of the Silver Fawn Club Inc, Qld, Nov/Dec 2017.
2. Newsletter – Burgher Association (Australia) Inc, Summer 2017 edition.
3. ‘The Vine’, Evergreen’s Newsletter, December 2017.
4. ‘The Old Aloysian’, Journal of The Old Aloysians Sports Club (Australia) Inc, December 2017.

1. ‘Railway Development and a Viable Alternative to the Central Expressway Connection to Kandy’ – Panel Discussion, Institute of Engineers, Sri
Lanka, November 2, 2017.
2. Ocean Currents – Climate of Sri Lanka, Study, University of Moratuwa.
3. Fr Dilan – Log Book of Charitable Works to November 2017.

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7, Benambra Street, Broadmeadows, Vic 3047, Australia.

Telephone + 61 3 9309 4040

E-mail < >

Web Site < >


                                 ACQUISITIONS   FOR  THE  MONTH  OF  NOVEMBER  2017


  1. Supplement to the Sapumal Foundation Collection  – Rohan de Soysa, additional notes by Neville Weereratne, 2017

       (Donated by Neville Weereratne, Hughesdale, Vic)

  1. Ceylon by S.A.Pakeman, 1964
  2. Guide to the Collections of the Colombo Museum, Part 1, Archaeology and Ethnology, 1912.
  3. Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka, 2012.
  4. Edge of Nowhere by Nalini de Sielvie, 2004.
  5. Serendib, Isle of Dreams by Nalini de Sielvie, 1998
  6. National Parks of Ceylon, A Guide by Lyn De Alwis, 1969.
  7. The Flower Boy by Karen Roberts, 1999.
  8. Once Upon A Tender Time by Carl Muller, 1995.
  9. Sri Lanka, A Travel Survival Kit by Tony Wheeler, 1984.
  10. The Road from Elephant Pass by Nihal De Silva, 2003.
  11. Ceylon by Ashley Gibson, 1929.
  12. Anuradhapura, Greatest of Ceylon’s Ancient Cities, Ceylon Tourist Board, 1953.

       (No’s 2 – 13, Donated by Cuthbert Lethbridge, Noble Park)   


  1. HI!! – The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 15, Vol 1, 2017.
  2. HI!! – The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 15, Vol 2, 2017.
  3. HI!! – The Society Magazine, Sri Lanka, Series 15, Vol 3, 2017.
  4. GEO, Vol 6, No 2, June – August 1984.
  5. GEO, Vol 8, No1, March – May 1986.
  6. Illustrated, January 20, 1945.

      (No’s 4 – 6, Donated By Cuthbert Lethbridge, Noble Park)


  1. Newsletter – The Burgher Welfare League of WA Inc, Vol 28.2, November 2017.
  2. Newsletter – The Eighty Club Melbourne Inc, Newsletter No 144, 3rd Edition, Nov 2017 – February 2018
  3. “The Harbinger”, Family Magazine of Australia / Sri Lanka Welfare Guild Inc (ASWG), Vol 42, No 5, November 2017.
  4. “Outreach” Newsletter, Voluntary Outreach Club Inc (VOC), December 207.


  1. 45rpm, “Ceylon Calling”, Part 1 & Part 2, Tamil and Sinhala Christian Devotional Hymns from Ceylon.

      (Donated by Cuthbert Lethbridge, Noble Park) 

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Compiled by Victor Melder

Panic stricken motorists joined long queues outside filling stations in the country following fears of a shortage of fuel after a parcel of 30,000 metric tonnes of petrol imported by the Indian Oil Company (IOC) was rejected as the shipment failed to meet quality specifications. This development has led to a virtual ‘run’ on stocks maintained by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), officials said. With motorists desperate to tank up before CPC stocks also dried up, the demand has zoomed to a level that supplies cannot match, they noted. As a result not only IOC filling stations remained temporarily shut, but many CPC sheds were also hit and remained out of stocks due to the unprecedented clamor for fuel. CPC trade unionists were quoted as saying that some filling stations had not received fresh supplies of petrol since last Thursday and the overall picture appears grim as the next shipment was due on November 8, that’s in three days time. “All indications are that the dearth of fuel is bound to continue, with the situation worsening as existing stocks dwindle faster than anticipated due to the surge in demand”, they predicted. By October 31, the Kolonnawa refinery had in stock 7,000 metric tonnes of petrol and Muthurajawela 4,000 metric tonnes. The average consumption of petrol per day is around 3,000 metric tonnes. With motorists eager to tank up, the question is for how long existing supplies will last, they said. Meanwhile, the Office of Petroleum Resources Minister, Arjuna Ranatunga, in a special statement, urged motorists to economize on the use of petrol. “The CPC has maintained sufficient stocks of petrol to meet the requirements of motorists. However, a consignment of petrol imported by IOC failed to meet quality standards. As a result of halting the unloading of this stock of fuel, a shortfall in supplies has arisen”, the statement noted. It added: “The shortage has caused panic amongst motorists. However, we have been able to supply 80% of the requirements of petrol to the market. There is no disruption in the supply of diesel and kerosene. As this is a temporary development, motorists are advised to use petrol sparingly”. (Daily Island 5.11.2017)

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(OCTOBER 2017)
Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 21 runs to win the first Test played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi (Sri Lanka’s tour of United Arab Emirates & Pakistan). Scores:
Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 419 (Chandimal 155no, Karunaratne 93, Dickwella 83, Perera 33, Abbas 3/75, Shah 3/120, Ali 2/88, Sohail 1/51)
Pakistan, 1st Innings – 422 (Ali 85, Sohail 76, Masood 59, Aslam 51, Herath 5/93, Lakmal 2/42, Fernando 2/77, Perera 1/92)
Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings – 138 (Dickwella 40no, Silva 25, Mendis 18, Shah 5/51, Abbas 2/22, Shafiq 1/7, Sohail 1/7, Ali 1/21)
Pakistan, 2nd Innings – 114 (Sohail 34, Shafiq 20, Ahmed 19, Herath 6/43, Perera 3/46, Lakmal 1/12)
Player of the match: Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)

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