Alla inlägg av ivan

update from travel partner aitken spence

Warm Greetings from sunny Sri Lanka !!!

It is with a great pleasure that we inform you, that the Sri Lankan authorities have further relaxed the arrival formalities for all fully vaccinated passengers. With this latest implementation, all our discerning tourists can arrive into the Isle conveniently and travel within the country with much ease, enjoying their holiday experiences. Given below are some of the important points in brief for your easy reference.

Visa (Electronic Travel Authorization – ETA) could be applied through www.eta.gov.lk, and it is a very straight forward process, and no unnecessary documentation is required to submit in getting the visas done.

The Department of Immigration & Emigration, Sri Lanka has reactivated the issuance of on arrival visas (ETA) for fully vaccinated Tourists at Colombo International Airport (BIA) as well as at Mahinda Rajapaksha International Airport in Mattala (MRIA) from the 07th October onwards.  

No on arrival PCR tests or any other PCR requirements required during the passengers stay in the country for fully vaccinated tourists. (Departure PCR might be required based on the passengers’ airline or the next landing country requirements).

No compulsory Covid19 local insurance cover is required. Clients could carry their own travel insurance, or they could request ground handling agent to organize Covid19 local insurance cover at their wish, but it’s not compulsory.

Clients could stay at any safe and secure certified leisure hotels. Your ground handling executive will assist you to choose the suitable hotels during their stay.

No more bio bubble concept applicable for fully inoculated passengers. They could visit any tourist site and could be mingle with the local community.

During all the airport operations, transfers, hotel operations, site visits, excursions, etc.., all are following the health & safety protocols released by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority – SLTDA.

Stay safe & healthy !!!

VISA ON ARRIVAL

As a measure to accommodate last minute travel arrangements to Sri Lanka, the immigration and emigration department of Sri Lanka has announced the resumption of issuing visa on arrival at both Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and Mattala Rajapakse International Airport (MRIA).

  1. This service has resumed for a limited number of bonafide travellers who are fully vaccinated and is in effect since 07.10.2021.
  2. This is a service initiated for last minute travel arrangements and for those who do not have sufficient time to apply for an online ETA. All other travel protocols and rules will be considered before granting the visa upon entry.
  3. However, it is highly advisable to apply for an online ETA to ensure expediency and to avoid any delays at the arriving airport.

ny honoärkonsul installerad i västsverige

Onsdagen 6 oktober installerade herr Marcus Pettersson som Sri Lankas Honorärkonsul i Västra Sverige (Västra Götaland och Halland) av ambassadör Dharshana Perera. Detta skedde vid en cermoni i Göteborg. Flertalet andra honorärkonsuler var närvarande, men även personer från affärsvärlden. Sweden-Sri Lanka Business Council representerades av generalsekreterare Leif I Ohlson och styrelseledamoten Ulf Coxner.

Vad är en honorärkonsul?

”Vanligt är att det finns en ambassad i landets huvudstad, och ett antal konsulat som kan ligga i huvudstaden eller på andra orter. Honorärkonsulat är ett konsulat med en oavlönad honorärkonsul. Konsulat och ambassader kan ge ”konsulärt skydd” vilket innebär hjälp åt det egna landets medborgare som befinner sig i värdlandet och råkat ut för problem.

Enligt internationellt regelverk kan bland annat fordon tillhöriga ett konsulat betecknas med CC, vilket står för den (franskspråkiga) diplomatiska benämningen Corps consulaire.”

SRi LANKA OCH VÄSTSVERIGE EN BRA KOMBINATION

Onsdagen 6 oktober öppnas Sri Lankas Honorärkonsulat i nya lokaler i Göteborg. Nyutnämnde honorärkonsul Marcus Pettersson tar emot Sri Lankas ambassadör Mr. Dharashana Pererera och gäster.

Sweden-Sri Lanka Business Council (www.sslbc.se) kommer vara representerat av generalsekreteraren Leif I Ohlson och styrelsedamoten Ulf Coxner, VD för AutoConcept i Kungsbacka.

SSLBC har tagit fram en särskild broschyr med fokus Sri Lanka och Västsverige.

NU BLICKAR VI FRAMÅT

Oktober inleds bra. Från och med idag har avrådan från resor till bl a. Sri Lanka hävts av svenska Utrikesdepartementet. Det innebär att många svenskar kommer att blicka mot paradisön för sin kommande semester. Att komma dit är inga problem. Flera svenska researrangörer har sedan tidigare Sri Lanka i sitt program. Jag är övertygad om att fler tillkommer framgent. Flera internationella flygbolag med goda förbindelser från Sverige landar också på Colombo flygplats. Emirates, Qatar, Air France, SwissAir, LOT Polish Airlines, Air India och Turkish Airlines förbinder kalla Norden med betydligt behagligare temperaturer.

Fler kommer också att få upp ögonen för Sri Lanka genom att ta del av tidningen Vagabonds senaste nummer. Sri Lanka-kännaren och journalisten på Vagabond, Per Andersson, har satt samman en härlig guide på 14 sidor där han listar 20 orsaker till att besöka Sri Lanka. Skynda att köpa ett nummer innan de tar slut.

Covid-situationen på Sri Lanka förbättras stadigt och det är numera enkelt för oss som har vaccinerats att besöka Sri Lanka. Utöver detta har Sri Lanka börjat genomföra en ännu enklare visumhantering för de som vill stanna längre än 30 dagar. Framgent kommer även Sri Lanka kunna vara en attraktiv destination för digitala nomader även från Sverige. Besök www.workfromanywhere.nu och läs om det fina erbjudande som svenska techbolag kan ta del av.

När vi kommer in på svenska techbolag måste Ascentic nämnas som tagit nya steg och exporterar svensk jämställdhet till Sri Lanka. De har infört en jämlik föräldraledighet för sina anställda.  Jag är glad över att vara både affärspartner med dem, och stolt i rollen som generalsekreterare för Sweden-Sri Lanka Business Council som de naturligtvis är medlemmar i. SSLBC styrelse möttes nyligen i Linköping för att planera hur föreningen kan stötta relationerna mellan Sverige och Sri Lanka nu när båda länderna öppnar upp. Att vi möttes i Linköping var naturligt. En stad som mycket symboliserar samarbetat mellan våra två länder bl a. tack vare att IFS är på plats där med sitt HQ. Vi har också kunnat notera hur fler svenska techbolag investerar i Sri Lanka. Under sommaren/hösten har jag noterat minst tre och fler är på väg.

I frånvaro av svensk ambassad på Sri Lanka spelar den svenska affärsfamiljen på plats en viktig roll. För en tid sedan var jag inbjuden som svensk representant att delta i online årsmötet för Nordic Sri Lanka Business Council. Med på mötet var också den norska ambassadören, men hon har förmånen att verka från Colombo. Finland har valt att ha ambassadören placerad i Helsingfors och regelbundet besöka Sri Lanka. En lösning som fungerar mycket bra kunde jag konstatera tidigare i år då jag och den finske ambassadören var talare på ett webinar om Norden och Sri Lanka.

Göteborg kommer den kommande veckan att få besök från Sri Lankas ambassad i Stockholm. Detta då honorärkonsul Marcus Pettersson officiellt installeras av ambassadör Perera och konsulatet öppnar i nya lokaler. Sri Lanka och Västsverige har goda och starka förbindelser. Vi är många som ser fram emot hur dessa skall stärkas ytterligare.

Mat och litteratur är det bästa sättet att lära känna ett land. Kommande vecka finns stora möjligheter (om du är i Stockholm) att lära dig mer om det lankesiska köket. Kända kocken Carola Magnusson som bott på Sri Lanka har bjudit in sin gode vän och kände köksmästaren Rohan Fernadopulle till ett gästspel på Matmekka (Etnografiska Museet) och en (fullbokad) avsmakningsmeny på Stora Skuggans Värdshus. Det skall bli gott!

Nu blickar vi framåt och ser till att relationerna mellan lankeser och svenskar fördjupas ytterligare.

Leif I Ohlson

Förenklad inresa till sri lanka för vaccinerade

Information på engelska om de senaste reglerna för inresa – det har blivit avsevärt lättare för vaccinerade att resa in – välkommen till Sri Lanka.

The Health Ministry of Sri Lanka has released a set of simplified regulations for travel in Sri Lanka;

Travellers (2 years and above) to carry a negative COVID-19 PCR test report and the original vaccination card (if applicable) in English, done within 72 hours prior to embarkation. 
Pre-infected Travellers (during past 3 months) to produce the above or a Rapid Antigen Report (in English) 48 hours prior to embarkation.

Procedure after formalities at the Airport

Vaccinated

  1. Free to travel to the community WITHOUT any other tests or quarantine stays.

Unvaccinated Children of Vaccinated Parents

  1. Up to 12 Years: No further tests are needed.
  2. 12 – 18 Years: Day 1 PCR to be done at a Lab in Katunayake or Level 1 Safe & Secure Hotel before being allowed to go to the community.

Unvaccinated/ Partially Vaccinated

  1. Arrival PCR Test and undergo a 14-day bio-bubble travel in Level 1 Safe & Secure Hotels.
  2. Exit PCR Test/ RAT on Day 12 and be released on Day 14.

Unvaccinated Children of Unvaccinated/ Partially Vaccinated Parents

  1. Up to 12 Years: No tests are needed
  2. 12-18 Years: Protocol same as ’Unvaccinated/ Partially Vaccinated’ Parents.

Pre-infected travellers (within the past 3 months) and arriving with a single dose of vaccine taken 2 weeks after recovery.

  1. If arriving 14 days post-vaccination, the above protocol for ‘vaccinated’ will apply.
  2. If not fully vaccinated, should arrive after obtaining a single dose of Astra Zeneca/ Pfizer BioNTech/ Moderna Vaccine.
  3. If 14 days have not passed post-vaccination, protocols under ‘departed within less than two weeks post-vaccination’ will apply.
  4. Unvaccinated children, up to 18 years will be free to move to the community with their parents.

*For travellers departed within less than two weeks after completion of recommended doses of vaccination, protocols under ‘unvaccinated/ partially vaccinated’ will be applied until they complete Day 14 post-vaccination.

The above protocol will take place with immediate effect until 31 October 2021. This will be revised depending on the COVID-19 situation in the country and globally.

New PCR Testing Lab to Open at Bandaranaike International Airport on 20th September 2021

In view of facilitating the passengers travelling to Sri Lanka, the Airport & Aviation Services have established a new state-of-the-art PCR testing laboratory at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake to provide passengers with PCR test results in three hours. The lab will offer swift COVID-19 testing with the capacity of carrying out more than 500 PCR tests per hour and 7,000 PCR tests per day.This is for people who had both doses of the vaccine and arriving 14 days after the second dose. Travellers who receive a negative PCR test report and are fully vaccinated will not have to self-isolate and are permitted to visit the country.It was also announced that Sri Lankans can now do Rapid Antigen Tests free of charge.The Cost of the PCR Testing ServiceThe cost for the PCR test will be $40 from a passenger and the payment can be made at the airport.Communication to the Passenger and Report IssuanceThe tourists have to remain at the airport until the PCR test results are receieved. Based on the negative report, they can travel according to their plans.Handling of Positive Cases with IsolationIf any passenger is tested positive for COVID-19, such passengers will be isolated from the public and the testing area and will be sent to a quarantine center for treatment.

SVensk jämställdhet på export –

29 / 5000

SWEDISH GENDER EQUALITY BEING EXPORTED

Article today in Sweden´s largest techpaper about Ascentic. 

google translated.
https://computersweden.idg.se/2.2683/1.752636/de-ska-locka-lankesiska-utvecklare–med-svensk-pappaledighet
They want to attract Sri Lankan developers – with Swedish paternity leave Colombo-based development company Ascentic provides Swedish companies with software developers. And it is also Swedish values that the company has invested the most in to attract staff. Swedish companies’ constant search for software developers can lead to all possible and impossible effects. For Anna Kalm and her husband Patrik Alm, it has meant the start of a whole new life. Nowadays, they have taken their pick and pack and moved to Colombo in Sri Lanka, where they have built up the company Ascentic in recent years.
The idea for the company was born when Anna Kalm worked as a partner manager at Microsoft.
– What all companies had in common was that they had difficulty finding developers to grow, and to scale when demand increased, she says.
However, it did not explain the address of the new company. It discovered the couple on their own in their spare time,- We had been on holiday in Sri Lanka and liked it very much, and we had talked for a long time about starting our own. My husband talked about tourism, but I who had a background in the IT industry was more eager for it, says Anna Kalm.
Only Swedish customers and so it was, with Colombo as a base, and there is hardly a lack of IT skills.
– There were many good companies that worked with off-shoring, especially against the UK, but also other countries. The government of Sri Lanka has invested heavily in IT training, so there is really a good business climate and a good starting point for building that type of company. So we resigned in 2016, Patrik from his job at ABB, and I from Microsoft. Then we sold the apartment and went all-in on this company. It was a lot of hard work during the first two years when we literally lived in the office.
Since the start in April 2017, Ascentic has grown. Today, the company has around 80 employees, three of whom are based in Sweden to be close to customers. Namely, only Swedish customers are the company’s target group. Among the customers who take developer assistance from Ascentic today, we find companies such as Barnebys and Cuviva, but also IT consulting companies that need extra expertise, such as Consid and Bybrick.
Swedish values and parental leaveThat it is an advantage to only work with Swedish customers is also understood based on the profile that the company has chosen to attract developers in the tough competition that exists in Colombo. There, they have chosen to attract developers with Swedish values, such as a flat organizational structure and parental leave.
– In order to get hold of the best developers, we need to be able to offer a workplace beyond the ordinary. Right from the start, we have said that we want to build Sri Lanka’s best workplace, says Anna Kalm, who did not take it for granted that it would work.- Trying to build a Swedish-Sri Lankan corporate culture, it can be more or less of a clash. But for us, it is important to be a modern workplace, with high ceilings, where everyone should dare to express their opinion. Especially in software development, it is counterproductive to work hierarchically and top-down. Then you need input from everyone, and then it is generally important to have an open and good discussion climate, both large and small.
Today, the company profiles itself as a company that works with ”swe lankan software development”, which so far has proven to work well.
– Knowing Swedish values makes it easier to work with our Swedish customers, and most people also want to learn about what is happening in Sweden, and want to learn to understand Swedish culture.
How do you get that message out from the beginning? Is it really possible to attract by working for a company with Swedish culture?- Above all, there has been word-of-mouth spread. From the time we started, we have been dependent on those who were very satisfied being able to spread it further. Sweden is a small country in this part of the world. What people like is how we try to build a good workplace. Those who come here have most often heard about the company culture, and it is more what sells from an employer branding perspective.
Wants to provoke debateBut even though there are few who have an eye on Sweden, which in the usual order is often mixed up with Switzerland, it is something as Swedish as paternity leave that will be the next thing that will attract Sri Lankan developers.- We are making a change there now. Parental leave is not as widespread as in Sweden, so it is relatively easy for the company to have generous policies. Today, you are offered four months of parental leave for the mother, and only one day for the father. The industry looks like in Sweden. Girls often train in IT, but many drop out when they have children. What we are going to do now is introduce equal parental leave for both, with four months. It may sound a little to us in Sweden, but it is not in Sri Lanka, says Anna Kalm and states that it is now a matter of getting that message out.
– We have thought that we will do something about it. We want it to provoke debate about the conditions, and about creating a gender-equal industry, so we hope that it will spread in the future.
Do you know if it is something that is in demand at all?
– No, therefore it will be very exciting to see how it is received. It is also about creating a balance and flexibility in working life, something that people have learned to appreciate now that they have worked at home during the pandemic.
For Ascentic, it will also cost a lot to pay for those who want to be on parental leave, but that is not a deterrent.
– We feel that it is worth making that investment. It is an important question to push if you want to get through that change. As far as we know, we will be the first company in Sri Lanka with that offer, so it will be exciting to see how it is received.