New highway delights Lankan expats

Updated 27 October 2013
0

New highway delights Lankan expats

Sri Lankans in the Kingdom expressed delight over the opening of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (CKE), which would take them to the island’s capital in 20 minutes from Colombo airport instead of the regular two hours duration in the past.
The high mobility link between Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake and the capital Colombo will be realized on Sunday with the opening of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (CKE) by the country’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The link between the International Airport and Colombo with enhanced safety is designed to boost the country’s economy in addition to providing pleasant travel for road users.
The 25.8 km long CKE is a four-lane user-fee levying highway with a designed top speed of 100 kmph. It consists of three interchanges, namely Peliyagoda, Jaela and Katunayake. It connects the CKE to the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) at Kerawalapitiya junction.
The expressway has been constructed according to international standards to ensure the safety of road users and emphasis has been given to increase the mental and physical comfort of passengers and drivers, according to the Road Development Authority.
The Ministry of Highways has announced the toll fee for vehicles using the CKE from Peliyagoda to Katunayake, indicating that the toll fee for cars, cabs, jeeps, and small vans will be Rs300, while the total toll fees for lorries and buses will be Rs600.
“This is a good news to all Sri Lankans as well as tourists, who use the Colombo airport,” Ali Packeer, an accountant at a steel company in Riyadh told Arab News yesterday. He added that in the past traveling to Colombo took more than two hours because of the heavy early morning school traffic.
Priyan Attygalle, chief executive officer of American Express said that most international airports in different countries have a highway to go to the city center. “I am very happy our country is now blessed with a similar facility, which is going to help everyone who frequents Colombo airport for business and leisure travels,” he noted.
Attygalle also said that people who go on short trips do not like to spend hours on traffic to reach their destination.
Another banker who works for an Arab Bank said that this project fosters a better image of the country to foreigners who visit the country for various purposes.
An Indian expatriate, who frequents Colombo for business purposes, said that in the recent past it took nearly two hours to reach Colombo from Katunayake airport. “It only takes one hour to come to Colombo from India by air. The investors who came to Sri Lanka were very much concerned about this delay.”
“The opening of the expressway and the short time that will be taken to reach Colombo will boost investment and tourism,” Secretary to the Ministry of Highways Ranjith Premasiri said in a statement made in Colombo yesterday.


Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

Updated 20 October 2018
0

Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

  • The journalist died after a fistfight at the consulate in Istanbul
  • Deputy intelligence chief, royal court adviser removed from positions, 18 Saudis arrested

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.
Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing, the public prosecutor said.
“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice,” a statement on the SPA said.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri was removed from his position and Saud Al-Qahtani from his advisory role at the Royal Court, through royal decrees.
Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.
King Salman also ordered the creation of a ministerial committee, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the country’s General Intelligence agency and issue the results of its work within a month.
Members of the committee include the interior and foreign ministers as well as the heads of the General Intelligence and State Security.
A team of Saudi investigators were sent to Istanbul and have been working on the case with Turkish detectives, who entered the consulate on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia promised a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened to the journalist in Turkey.