Sri Lanka promotes MICE tourism for potential stakeholders in Dhaka



Ashrafuzzaman Uzzal
Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Professor Sudharshan Seneviratne

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Professor Sudharshan Seneviratne

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In the `Evening of MICE Promotion’ Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Professor Sudharshan Seneviratne highlighted the emergence of Bangladesh as a key target market in the South Asian region with its palpable presence.

He said, Bangladesh has proven its self-determination, economic development and resilience within a very limited time frame while broadening its horizons especially in the fields of trade, investment and tourism.

He also said, 50 years of reflection of the two nations will undoubtedly maximize its collective potential in the coming years and the `Evening of MICE Promotion’ will be the first of many in unleashing centuries of solidarity and fraternal ties between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


The event was held on 1 September at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Dhaka Bangladesh. The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) in collaboration with the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Bangladesh and SriLankan Airlines convened the program. The event included a Media Briefing, Business Match Making Program between the Sri Lankan Delegation and the invited Bangladesh MICE buyers, followed by a Business Forum and Dinner Reception held at the High Commission premises. 

The main objective of this exclusive event was the positioning of Sri Lanka as a preferred MICE Destination and showcasing the opportunities to Bangladesh Travel Trade, Professional Conference Organizers (PCO) and MICE organizations.

More than 80 participants from Bangladesh representing Outbound MICE Agents, Corporates, Association Heads and Incentive Houses and 12 Sri Lankan MICE Industry Companies, the National Flag Carrier SriLankan Airlines and the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) collaborated and engaged in exploring the MICE industry potential of the two countries.


The Association of Travel Agents Bangladesh (ATAB), The Bangladesh Outbound Tour Operators Association (BOTOA), The Tour Operators Association in Bangladesh (TOAB) and the Bangladesh Travel Writers Association (BDTWA) were also partnered with the High Commission of Sri Lanka in organizing the event.

Chairman Sri Lanka Convention Bureau Thisum Jayasuriya said, Bangladesh is a key source market in the South Asian Region for MICE and has shown a positive trend in its increase in the MICE traffic over the past years. The SriLankan Airlines direct air connectivity has positively encouraged to develop the sector. Sri Lanka is working towards catering to the Bangladesh MICE visitors in coordination with the Sri Lankan MICE stakeholders to sustain and increase the volume of Business by adding special experiential features.

In addressing the gathering, Manager SriLankan Airlines in Bangladesh Sharuka Wickrama Adittiya said, SriLankan Airlines will endeavor to provide its best services from departure to the inflight experience and return journey to all its passengers, which will be especially extended to the MICE groups along with a warm welcome on board Sri Lanka’s national carrier. SriLankan Airlines presently operates daily flights on the Colombo-Dhaka sector being an added advantage for all travellers.


Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh hold great fortitude in sectoral cooperation particularly in the areas of tourism, trade and commerce, shipping and people to people contact whilst being significant members of SAARC, BIMSTEC and the Commonwealth of Nations. Sri Lanka shares a great deal of comfort in doing business with Bangladesh and has been able to maintain a symbiotic relationship which entails the future growth of both countries.

This year, the two countries are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations and together will forge ahead in friendship and solidarity.

Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB):

The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) functions under the Ministry of Tourism and Lands of Sri Lanka. The main mandate of the Bureau is to promote MICE tourism and thereby increase the Sri Lanka’s destination appeal in international markets as a preferred destination for MICE.  


SLCB identified Bangladesh as an important market within the South Asian (SAARC) Region. As per the outbound travel trends in Bangladesh, it was projected that there have been approximately 2.6 million trips in 2021.

About Sri Lanka:

A landmark destination in the ancient Spice Trail, Sri Lanka is bursting with wonder. This tropical island is famous for its diverse landscape: from the blue seaside belt to green mountains, and the island's lavish greenery ranging from coconut palm groves to paddy fields and tea plantations, adorned by over 200 natural waterfalls. One must explore Sri Lanka's pristine beaches and visit the `Ramayana trail' sites, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya and the fascinating history of Dambulla. Be it family and leisure getaways, adventure and rejuvenation, Sri Lanka has so much to explore.

Far-right government in Italy, asylum seekers and migrants



Eric Reidy
Asylum seekers in an Italian port.

Asylum seekers in an Italian port.

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The Brothers of Italy party – which topped the polls with 26 percent of the vote on 25 September – has its roots in Italy’s post-war neo-fascist movement. The party’s head, Giorgia Meloni, is set to become Italy’s next leader – and its first female prime minister. She is looking to form a governing coalition with the far-right League party and the centre-right Forza Italia party of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The main issues for voters in the election were rising energy prices, inflation, and Italy’s policy towards Russia and Ukraine. However, the winning coalition also campaigned on a hardline anti-migration platform, promising to implement a naval blockade to prevent asylum seekers and migrants from reaching Italian ports and to follow in the UK’s and Denmark’s footsteps by attempting to send asylum seekers outside Europe to have their claims processed.

Migration and rights experts told The New Humanitarian they expect the new government to also crack down on NGOs and volunteers carrying out search and rescue activities in the Mediterranean and providing humanitarian support to refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Italy.

In the lead-up to the election, there were several high-profile violent attacks against asylum seekers and migrants, including the killing of Alika Ogorchukwu, a 39-year-old Nigerian man who was beaten to death in broad daylight in the town of Civitanova Marche in July, which put a spotlight on racism in Italian society.

The leader of the League party is Matteo Salvini. His tenure as Italy’s interior minister from June 2018 to September 2019 provides a good indication of the policies a new, far-right government is likely to pursue, according to Carmine Conte, a legal policy analyst at the Brussels-based Migration Policy Group think tank.

Salvini closed Italy’s ports to search and rescue NGOs, gutted the Italian asylum reception system, and made it more difficult for people to receive humanitarian protection in the country.

Salvini – who remains on trial over charges stemming from his refusal to let rescued asylum seekers and migrants disembark in an Italian port in August 2019 – is unlikely to return as interior minister because his party performed poorly in this election. But “now we are going… towards hostile, anti-migrant policies on the same level as Salvini,” Conte said.

Ukrainians who have escaped the Russian invasion will likely be exempt from this hardline approach, according to Conte, exemplifying a double standard seen across Europe in the treatment of Ukrainians and people from other parts of the world seeking safety.

According to Migration Analysis 28 September 2022, what a far-right government in Italy means for asylum seekers and migrants
Beyond stoking racism and xenophobia, experts fear Meloni could double down on migration policies that lead to more deaths at sea.

Eric Reidy, Migration Editor-at-large, The New Humanitarian.

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World opinion shifts against Russia as Ukraine worries grow



News Desk, Barta24.com
World opinion shifts against Russia as Ukraine worries grow

World opinion shifts against Russia as Ukraine worries grow

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The tide of international opinion appears to be decisively shifting against Russia, as a number of non-aligned countries are joining the United States and its allies in condemning Moscow’s war in Ukraine and its threats to the principles of the international rules-based order.

According to media reports, Western officials have repeatedly said that Russia has become isolated since invading Ukraine in February. Until recently, though, that was largely wishful thinking. But on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, much of the international community spoke out against the conflict in a rare display of unity at the often fractured United Nations.

The tide had already appeared to be turning against Russian President Vladimir Putin even before Thursday’s U.N. speeches. Chinese and Indian leaders had been critical of the war at a high-level summit last week in Uzbekistan. And then the U.N. General Assembly disregarded Russia’s objections and voted overwhelmingly to allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to be the only leader to address the body remotely, instead of requiring him to appear in person.

That shift against Russia accelerated after Putin on Wednesday announced the mobilization of some additional 300,000 troops to Ukraine, signaling the unlikelihood of a quick end to the war.

Putin also suggested that nuclear weapons may be an option. That followed an announcement of Russia’s intention to hold referendums in several occupied Ukrainian regions on whether they will become part of Russia.

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Socrates and the life worth living



Oscar Davis, Bond University
Socrates and the life worth living

Socrates and the life worth living

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Socrates was notoriously annoying. He was likened to a gadfly buzzing around while one is trying to sleep. The Oracle of Delphi declared him the wisest of all human beings. His life and death would go on to shape the history of Western thought.

And yet he proclaimed to know nothing. The genius of Socrates lay in his professed ignorance of what it means to be human.

Socrates (469-399 BCE) grew up in Athens over two and half thousand years ago. At the time, the Athenians were recovering from a devastating war with the Persians. As they rebuilt, the military general and politician, Pericles, championed democracy as the form of government to bring Greece into its Golden Age.

The Athenians practised a direct (as opposed to representative) form of democracy. Any male over the age of 20 was obligated to take part. The officials of the assembly were randomly selected through a lottery process and could make executive pronouncements, such as deciding to go to war or banishing Athenian citizens.

The Athens of Pericles flourished. Bustling crowds of traders from around the Mediterranean gathered at the port of Piraeus. In the Athenian agoras – the central marketplaces and assembly areas – the active social and political lives of the Athenian citizens would inspire the mind of Socrates.

Socrates teaches us that philosophical contemplation prepares us for the good life. The experience of aporia – in all of its discomfort and disruption – is the very catalyst of wonder. The philosopher, the lover of wisdom, is anyone who dares to escape the cave and look upon the sun, anyone who lives for the values Socrates died for.

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Putin signals a coming escalation



News Desk, Barta24.com
Putin signals a coming escalation

Putin signals a coming escalation

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Vladimir Putin accelerated his war effort in Ukraine yesterday and announced a new campaign that would call up roughly 300,000 additional Russian troops.

In a rare address to the nation, the Russian president made a veiled threat of using nuclear weapons. “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” Putin said. “This is not a bluff.”

His comments appeared to be a shift in his domestic strategy to the war. Ukraine said Putin’s remarks reflected his desperation: Russia’s military has suffered humiliating setbacks this month.

It also seemed to be an effort to startle the U.S. and its Western allies into dropping their support. But at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Western leaders looked undeterred. President Biden said the U.S. and its allies would “stand in solidarity” against Russia and accused Moscow of violating the U.N. charter.

Protests erupted across Russia in response to the “partial mobilization,” and at least 1,252 people have been detained. Russians also rushed to buy one-way flights out of the country.

Experts say Russia currently has 200,000 troops, or fewer, in Ukraine. Putin’s campaign would more than double that, but those called up need training and weapons.

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