Homecare For Seniors Tacoma, Wa}

Homecare for Seniors Tacoma, WA

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Seniors, caregivers, geriatric health care and in-home care; professionals in University Place, Tacoma, Lacey and the surrounding areas of Pierce and Thurston Counties, Washington recognize us as premier providers of home care and geriatric care management.

At Heartwarming Care we specialize in providing in-home care assistance with activities of daily living, such as meal preparation, bathing, grooming, light housekeeping, companionship, assistance to medical appointments, medication reminders, exercise and activity.Our in-home care professionals are experienced in assisting elderly clients who need help with activities of daily living, those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s; cancer/oncology and hospice patients; patients recovering from back, knee, hip, gynecological, urological, general, and heart or plastic surgery. Our professional in-home care services are provided by experienced certified companion aides. We can provide these services at home, hospital, or resident care facility.Heartwarming Care will bill and accept most major insurance companies upon verification of coverage. Personal checks, VISA, and MasterCard are also accepted. We work with most long term care insurance plans.At Heartwarming Care, we employ a well trained staff and take responsibility for providing in-home care, insurance, bonding, and Worker’s Compensation (L&I). All of our staff are First Aid/CPR certified, undergo reference and criminal background checks, and attend new employee orientation and safety training. Additionally, we withhold and deposit all state and federal payroll taxes. By doing so, we remove the family or client from any potential liability or unexpected legal/financial considerations. We also provide Geriatric Care Management services. The Geriatric Care Management services at Heartwarming Care is provided by Elder Assessment & Referral Service Inc.We offer a variety of flexible service options:Hourly – Care provided from 4 to 24 hours a day.Live-In – 24 hour, around the clock care.Bath Service – home visit for bathing, cleaning, dressing, and preparation of one meal.Coverage available 7 days a week / 24 hours per day.No weekly minimum of hours!Contact us today for superb service and professional support!heartwarmingcare.com/

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Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

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Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Last Tuesday, AusAID Australia and the World Bank’s Global Environment Fund (GEF) reached an agreement to give the government of Kiribati US$5 million (AU$4,779,000, NZ$5,985,000, €3,885,000) to install solar panels around the country capital, located on the Tarawa atoll. According to Business Desk of the Brunei Times, AusAID promised AU$3.2 million in funding, while GEF promised US$1 million. The country was the first in the Pacific to make a deal with the World Bank.

The funding was part of a US$530 million (NZ$635 million) package announced at yesterday’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland involving New Zealand and the European Union, Australia, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank Group, and the United Arab Emirates. Also at the summit yesterday, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had announced a national commitment of USD$54,262,000 (AU$51,861,000 NZ$65 million, €42,178,000) to Pacific region energy solutions, of which US$8,348,000 (AU$8 million, NZ$10 million, €6,483,000) would be specifically earmarked for renewable energy and improved energy efficiency in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Kiribati is heavily dependent on diesel fuel for most of the energy available on the national power grid, which supplies power to half Kiribati’s population of 110,000. In addition, a third of the country’s population lacks access to electricity. Once installation of the solar panels is complete, they are estimated to reduce diesel consumption by 230,000 liters (60,760 gallons) a year and give access to the electricity to some parts of the population that currently have no electricity. The European Union already has committed €100 million to sustainable energy in the region, with €10 million of that coming as a result of an announcement made last week.

In a press release about the news, Kiribati President Anote Tong was quoted as saying, “Kiribati faces big challenges it is remote, it is at risk from the effects of climate change, and it is vulnerable to economic shocks. […] Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure, more sustainable power source for the country’s people.” Radio New Zealand International quoted Tong as saying, “It’s the first time we are doing this. We’re excited at the prospect of even substituting fossil fuel to a small extent at this stage. What the system being envisaged will only produce around 500 kilowatts, but this is the beginning of what I hope will be a pattern, the trend in the future.”

The European Union’s Fiji-based head of operations for the Pacific region, Renato Mele, supported alternative energy solutions like solar power for the region, but said that solar power had limitations because climate and environmental conditions sometimes meant batteries required to power the panels had a life of only 12 months, compared to other climates where batteries normally last five years. This created the potential to drive up standard operating costs. Mele has also noted these additional costs though are still lower than the cost of diesel power.

One News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver noted, “Governments will be able to put the money they (currently) spend on diesel into things like education and health.”

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Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum

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Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Three men are currently seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party of the United States of America: small business owner Andre Barnett, Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert Steele, and former college football coach Robby Wells. Wikinews reached out to these candidates and asked each of them five questions about their campaigns. There were no space limits placed on the responses, and no candidate was exposed to another’s responses before making their own. The answers are posted below in unedited form for comparison of the candidates.

The Reform Party is a United States third party that was founded in 1995 by industrialist Ross Perot. Perot ran as the party’s first presidential nominee in 1996, and won over eight percent of the popular vote, the highest percentage for a third party candidate since. In 1998, professional wrestler Jesse Ventura ran on the Reform Party ticket and was elected Governor of Minnesota. The party fell in prominence during the lead-up to the 2000 presidential election when it was plagued by infighting between ideological factions. In 2000, paleoconservative Pat Buchanan won the presidential nomination, and went on to receive only 0.4 percent of the popular vote in the general election. In 2004, the party opted to endorse consumer advocate Ralph Nader, but ended the year nearly bankrupt. In 2008, Ted Weill won the party’s presidential nomination, but appeared on the ballot in only one state and won a total of 481 votes.

The party is currently trying to rebuild and has opened several new state chapters. They will attempt to appear on the ballot in more states for the 2012 presidential election. The party is expected to nominate its presidential ticket during the National Convention this summer.

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Irish Senator Kieran Phelan dies at age 60

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Irish Senator Kieran Phelan dies at age 60

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Irish Senator Kieran Phelan has died suddenly at the age of 60. Phelan died after falling ill in his hotel in Dublin this morning, shortly before a meeting due to be held by the Seanad.

Phelan sat on the Industrial and Commercial Panel and had been a Senator since 2002. He was also a Laois County councillor and was elected council chairman in 1998. He was a member of the Fianna Fáil party.

Taoiseach Brain Cowen released a statement on the death of Senator Phelan. “Kieran is a well known, much admired and greatly respected member of Seanad Éireann. He is a constituency colleague of mine and a lifelong friend. I will miss him deeply,” he said.

As a mark of respect, Leader of the House Donie Cassidy proposed that the house be adjourned until June 1st.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Irish_Senator_Kieran_Phelan_dies_at_age_60&oldid=4502986”

Posted: June 22nd, 2021 by Admin

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The Variety Of Online Casino Games

The world is changing simultaneously and many industries have to fit new rules after the pandemic. At the same time, some industries experience boosting and live their best times as digitalization stimulates people to search for alternative ways of entertainment. One of the safe and easy ways to have fun and earn money is casino Bitcoin games. However, you need to be careful choosing a platform to play. To know more about the features of a reliable online casino you can check this 7Bit Casino review or proceed reading this article.

Different types of casino games

A reliable online casino will offer many varieties of casino games as well as online casino bonuses

  • Slots. The most popular type of online casino games has numerous varieties and themes. Together with exciting graphics and design online slots, make the gambling experience unforgettable.
  • Table games. Such games as roulette, popular card games as different types of poker, blackjack. Etc. are also very popular among gamblers.
  • Jackpot games
  • Live games. This type of casino game enables one to experience an interaction with a real croupier almost similar to brick-and-mortar casinos experience. Players interact with a dealer in real-time and can play baccarat, blackjack, live poker, etc.
  • Bitcoin games. This type of casino game makes the gambling experience perfect as gamers have many bonuses and lower house edges.

How to choose the best game for yourself

All you need to do to choose the best game to play and win cash is to follow the next working hacks we handpicked for you. These tips are based on the experience of professionals gamblers and using them you could boost your gaming results:

  • Check out bonuses and promotions, such as free spins, deposit bonuses, etc.
  • Take a look at payment methods and choose the most suitable for you.
  • Set bet limits to make the process controlled.
  • Check out VIP programs.

Bitcoin games

There are such benefits of bitcoin games as fast speed of transactions, provably fair gambling, anonymity, and decentralized financial control system. Here are some Bitcoin games examples:

  • Bitcoin blackjack – this game is a perfect choice for a live casino mode. There are plenty of varieties of BTC blackjack that make it even more attractive such as Super 7 Blackjack, 21 Burn Blackjack, Pontoon, and others.
  • Bitcoin slots. Crypto slots offer endless benefits and more gambling opportunities. Speedy depositing and withdrawal and an ability to play anonymously make this kind of slot super-popular today.
  • Bitcoin poker. One of the most popular Bitcoin table games is possible in live casino mode that exhales gambling experience to an unbelievable level.

Wrap Up

These were the main varieties of online casino games. Choose the best one for you and do not forget to play only at reliable online casinos.

Posted: June 21st, 2021 by Admin

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Fake impotence drugs linked to low blood sugar outbreak

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Fake impotence drugs linked to low blood sugar outbreak

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An article in the February 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports on an unusual cause for an outbreak of low blood sugar among men in Singapore: illegal use of sexual performance enhancement drugs that were contaminated with a diabetes drug.

Between January and May 2008, 149 men and one woman between 19 and 97 (mean age 51) were admitted to five public hospitals for unexplained low blood sugar. Similar cases were reported in media reports from Hong Kong. Seven Singaporean patients remained in a coma because of prolonged sugar starvation of the brain, and four subsequently died. The diabetes drug glyburide was found in blood and/or urine samples in 85% of cases; 30% admitted having used illegal sexual performance enhancers.

The contaminated products were a counterfeit version of the drug Cialis (meant for the treatment of genuine erectile dysfunction), and three purported herbal preparation (the affected brands included Power 1 Walnut and Santi Bovine Penis Erecting Capsule). All four preparations additionally contained Viagra in varying concentrations. Two herbal products contained traces of the weight loss drug sibutramine, a compound related to amphetamines.

The drug packaging mentioned names of non-existent overseas production facilities, so the source of the contamination with the diabetes drug could not be established.

The authors underline the risks that is known to be associated with purchasing drugs from unreliable providers or from online resellers. The clandestine use of impotence drugs as sexual performance enhancers seems to have provided a good illustration of this problem. They further call for more efforts by national and international health and law enforcement agencies to curb the manufacturing, international transport and sales of untrustworthy medication.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Fake_impotence_drugs_linked_to_low_blood_sugar_outbreak&oldid=780525”

Posted: June 20th, 2021 by Admin

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Invited or not, news outlets criticize White House decision to pick and choose their peers

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Invited or not, news outlets criticize White House decision to pick and choose their peers

Monday, February 27, 2017

On Friday White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held an informal “gaggle” press briefing but made a point of excluding certain news outlets. The White House’s decision has drawn ire from across the field, including organizations invited to the briefing, such as Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times and CNN, as well as the BBC, The New York Daily News, Al Jazeera, the LA Times, BuzzFeed, The Hill, and The Daily Mail, were all barred from attending the meeting, while Reuters, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, Bloomberg, and the heavily conservative news outlets Breitbart News, One America News Network, and The Washington Times were admitted. Time, the Associated Press, and some other outlets were invited to the briefing but refused to attend in protest.

Spicer held the meeting in his office rather than the usual briefing room. He told the press the smaller gathering was because Trump had already made a large speech earlier in the day. “We want to make sure we answer your questions, but we don’t need to do everything on camera every day.” However, he also criticized media coverage of the Trump administration, which President Trump has cited as unfair. “We’re going to aggressively push back,” one reporter recorded him saying at the gaggle. “We’re just not going to sit back and let, you know, false narratives, false stories, inaccurate facts get out there.”

This meeting took place the day after CNN issued a report claiming the White House had asked high-level employees at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to rebut a story in The New York Times about the Trump administration’s alleged ties with Russia and Vladimir Putin.

“Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless,” said CNN in a statement.

“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” said New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”

“While we strongly object to the White House’s apparent attempt to punish news outlets whose coverage it does not like,” said Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, “we won’t let these latest antics distract us from the work of continuing to cover this administration fairly and aggressively.”

BBC bureau chief Paul Denahar was more formal: “We understand there may be occasions when, due to space or circumstances, the White House restricts press events to the established pool. However, what happened today did not fit into that pattern. On this occasion selected media were allowed to attend the briefing and the selected media, including the BBC, were not.”

National Review contributor David French also criticized the decision: “The only reason to exclude a news organization from a press briefing should be space available, with space allocated on a viewpoint-neutral basis. […] It’s one thing to bash the press. It’s another thing entirely to take steps to deny access to disfavored outlets. When it comes to access, Trump needs to be better than Obama, not worse.” He combined these remarks with a discussion of the Obama administration’s relationship with Fox News.

Some of the news organizations invited to Spicer’s meeting also opposed the exclusion of their peers:

“Some at CNN and New York Times stood with Fox News when the Obama admin attacked us and tried to exclude us,” said Fox anchor Bret Baier via Twitter, “a White House gaggle should be open to all credentialed orgs.”

The Wall Street Journal strongly objects to the White House’s decision to bar certain media outlets from today’s gaggle,” added a representative for the newspaper. “Had we known at the time, we would not have participated and we will not participate in such closed briefings in the future.”

The White House Correspondents’ Association took a milder view: “We’re not happy with how things went today,” said association president Jeff Mason. “I don’t think that people should rush to judgment to suggest that this is the start of a big crackdown on media access.”

Donald Trump has stated the mainstream media portrayed the first month of his presidency unfairly, calling some of their reports “fake news” and the press themselves the “enemy of the people” and insisting they refrain from using anonymous sources. “I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources,” he told the Conservative Political Action Committee in Washington D.C.

“President Trump’s calls for an end to anonymous sources was alarming. It is not the job of political leaders to determine how journalists should conduct their work, and sets a terrible example for the rest of the world, where sources often must remain anonymous to preserve their own lives,” said Joel Simon of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Invited_or_not,_news_outlets_criticize_White_House_decision_to_pick_and_choose_their_peers&oldid=4536955”

Posted: June 20th, 2021 by Admin

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Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England

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Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England

Monday, December 2, 2013

Police in the West Midlands in England today said nearly 200 kilograms worth of drugs with value possibly as great as £30 million (about US$49 million or €36 million) has been seized from a unit in the town of Brownhills. In what an officer described as “one of the largest [seizures] in the force’s 39 year history”, West Midlands Police reported recovering six big cellophane-wrapped cardboard boxes containing cannabis, cocaine, and MDMA (“ecstasy”) in a police raid operation on the Maybrook Industrial Estate in the town on Wednesday.

The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated

The seized boxes, which had been loaded onto five freight pallets, contained 120 one-kilogram bags of cannabis, 50 one-kilogram bags of MDMA, and five one-kilogram bricks of cocaine. In a press release, West Midlands Police described what happened after officers found the drugs as they were being unloaded in the operation. “When officers opened the boxes they discovered a deep layer of protective foam chips beneath which the drugs were carefully layered”, the force said. “All the drugs were wrapped in thick plastic bags taped closed with the cannabis vacuum packed to prevent its distinctive pungent aroma from drawing unwanted attention.” Police moved the drugs via forklift truck to a flatbed lorry to remove them.

Detective Sergeant Carl Russell of West Midlands Police’s Force CID said the seizure was the largest he had ever made in the 24 years he has been in West Midlands Police and one of the biggest seizures the force has made since its formation in 1974. “The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated”, he said. “The drugs had almost certainly been packed to order ready for shipping within Britain but possibly even further afield. Our operation will have a national effect and we are working closely with a range of law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in this crime at whatever level.”

Expert testing on the drugs is ongoing. Estimates described as “conservative” suggest the value of the drugs amounts to £10 million (about US$16.4 million or €12 million), although they could be worth as much as £30 million, subject to purity tests, police said.

Police arrested three men at the unit on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. The men, a 50-year-old from Brownhills, a 51-year-old from the Norton area of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, and one aged 53 from Brownhills, have been released on bail as police investigations to “hunt those responsible” continue. West Midlands Police told Wikinews no person has yet been charged in connection with the seizure. Supplying a controlled drug is an imprisonable offence in England, although length of jail sentences vary according to the class and quantity of drugs and the significance of offenders’ roles in committing the crime.

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Posted: June 19th, 2021 by Admin

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Car Retal In Sri Lanka

Given Sri Lanka’s fairly modest size, getting around can be a frustratingly time-consuming process. The island’s narrow roads, congested with pedestrians, cyclists and tuktuks make bus travel laborious, while in many cases travel by rail is even slower. Even with your own vehicle you shouldn’t expect to make rapid progress. Getting from Colombo to Kandy, for instance (a distance of not much over 100km), takes around three hours by bus or train, while the bus trip across the island from Colombo to Arugam Bay takes at least ten hours by public transport for a distance of 320km.

Continue reading to find out more about…

By bus

By train

By air

By car

By rickshaw

Buses are the standard means of transport. Services reach even the remotest corners of the island, though they’re generally an uncomfortable way of travelling. Trains offer a more characterful, if generally slower, means of getting about, and will get you to many parts of the country – eventually. If you don’t want to put up with the vagaries of public transport, hiring a car and driver can prove a reasonably affordable and extremely convenient way of seeing the island in relative comfort. If you’re really in a rush, consider SriLankan Airlines’ network of “air taxis”, which offer speedy (albeit inevitably pricey) connections between Colombo and other parts of the island.

By bus

Buses are the staple mode of transport in Sri Lanka. Buses screech past on the island’s major highways every few seconds, and any town of even the remotest consequence will be served by fairly regular connections. That’s the good news. The bad news is that bus travel in Sri Lanka is almost uniformly uncomfortable and frequently nerve-racking as well, given the gung-ho driving styles of some drivers. The average Sri Lankan bus journey is a stop-start affair: stomach-tightening bursts of speed alternate with periods of creeping slowness, all played out to an accompaniment of parping horns, blaring Sinhala pop music and the awful noises of mechanical protest as the long-suffering bus careers around yet another corner with every panel rattling – before the inevitable slamming-on of brakes sends everyone lurching forward in their seats. And if you haven’t got a seat, so much the worse. If you do, you’ll probably find yourself serving as an impromptu armrest to one of the countless unfortunates standing packed in the aisle. The rear seats in large buses are the best place to sit, both because there’s usually enough legroom to stow luggage comfortably under the seat in front, and because you won’t have a very clear view of whatever craziness the driver is attempting.

Buses come in a variety of forms. The basic distinction is between government or SLTB (Sri Lanka Transport Board) buses and private services.

SLTB buses

Almost all SLTB buses are rattling old TATA vehicles, usually painted red. These are often the oldest and slowest vehicles on the road, but can be slightly more comfortable than private buses in that the conductor won’t feel the same compulsion to squeeze as many passengers on board, or the driver to thrash the vehicle flat out in order to get to the next stop ahead of competing vehicles (accidents caused by rival bus drivers racing one another are all too common).

Private buses

Private buses come in different forms. At their most basic, they’re essentially the same as SLTB buses, consisting of large, arthritic old rustbuckets that stop everywhere; the only difference is that private buses will usually be painted white and emblazoned with the stickers of whichever company runs them. Some private companies operate slightly faster services, large buses known variously as “semi-express”, “express” or “inter-city”, which (in theory at least) make fewer stops en route.

At the top end of the scale, private minibuses, often described as “express” and/or “luxury” services (although the description should be taken with a large pinch of salt) offer the fastest way of getting around. These are smaller vehicles with air-conditioning and tinted, curtained windows, though the tiny seats and lack of luggage space (your baggage will often end up on your lap or between your legs) can make them more uncomfortable than SLTB services, especially if you’re tall. (If the vehicle isn’t packed to capacity you could try paying for an extra seat on which to put your luggage – the conductor might insist you do this anyway.) In theory, express minibuses only make limited stops at major bus stations en route, although in practice it’s up to the driver and/or conductor as to where they stop and for how long, and how many people they’re willing to cram in.

Fares, timetables and stops

Bus fares, on both private and SLTB services, are extremely low. Note that on the latter you may have to pay the full fare for the entire route served by the bus, irrespective of where you get off. If you do want to get off before the end of the journey, let the driver/conductor know when you board.

Services on longer and/or less frequently served routes run to fixed timetables. Services on shorter or particularly popular routes tend to leave as soon as the vehicle is full. In general, departures on longer-distance routes tend to be more frequent in the morning, tailing off in the afternoon. Seat reservations are almost unheard of except on long-distance buses to Jaffna.

Another problem with Sri Lankan buses is the difficulty of finding the relevant service. Most timetables and signs are in Sinhala only, as are many of the destination boards displayed by buses – it’s useful to get an idea of the characters you’re looking for (see Sinhala place-names). All bus stations have one or more information booths (although they’re often not signposted) where staff can point you in the right direction, as well as providing latest timetable information. If arriving at a larger terminal by tuktuk, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of your driver in locating the right bus.

Express services generally only halt at bus terminals or other recognized stops. Other types of services will usually stop wherever there’s a passenger to be picked up – just stand by the roadside and stick an arm out. If you’re flagging down a bus by the roadside, one final hazard is in getting on. Drivers often don’t stop completely, instead slowing down just enough to allow you to jump aboard. Keep your wits about you, especially if you’re weighed down with heavy luggage, and be prepared to move fast when the bus pulls in – or risk seeing it simply pull off again without you.

By train

Sri Lanka’s train network, built by the British during the nineteenth century and little changed since, offers a characterful way of getting around the island, and for many visitors a trip aboard one of these chuntering old relics (especially on the marvellously scenic hill country line) is a highlight of a trip to Sri Lanka. Travel by rail is, however, generally slower than by bus, and the charm of the experience often involves a fair dose of frustration – delays are the norm and progress can be incredibly laborious, and can seem even more tedious if you end up standing up in an overcrowded carriage. Nonetheless, Sri Lankan trains are worth experiencing, if only once.

The train network

The network comprises three principal lines: the coast line, which runs along the west coast from Puttalam in the north, heading south via Negombo, Colombo, Kalutara, Bentota, Beruwala, Aluthgama, Ambalangoda, Hikkaduwa and Galle to Weligama and Matara (with an extension as far as Kataragama currently under construction). The hill country line runs from Colombo to Kandy then on to Hatton (for Adam’s Peak), Nanu Oya (for Nuwara Eliya), Haputale, Bandarawela, Ella and Badulla. The northern line runs from Colombo through Kurunegala to Anuradhapura and Vavuniya before terminating at Omantai. Two additional branches run off this line: the first to Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa, the second to Trincomalee.

Types of train

Trains comprise three classes. Most services consist exclusively of second- and third-class carriages. There’s not actually a huge amount of difference between the two: second-class seats are slightly more padded and comfortable, and there are fans in the carriages, but the main bonus is that the carriages tend to be (very slightly) less overcrowded. First class covers three different types of seating, which are only available on selected trains. These are seats on inter-city trains and in the observation car on hill country trains; seats in the air-conditioned carriage on trains to Anuradhapura and Batticaloa; and sleeping berths on overnight services. The smallness of the island means that, unlike in neighbouring India, there are only a few overnight trains. These comprise first-class sleeping berths and second- and third-class “sleeperettes” (fold-down seats), plus ordinary seats.

Fares and booking

Despite recent price increases, fares are still extremely cheap. A ticket from Colombo to Kandy in second class, for instance, is currently Rs.190, while even an overnight first-class air-conditioned sleeping berth from Colombo to Batticaloa costs just Rs.900. Advance bookings are only available for first-class seats and sleeper berths, and for second-class sleeperettes and seats on inter-city express services between Colombo and Kandy. Reservations can be made up to ten days in advance at the Berths Booking Office (Mon–Sat 8.30am–3.30pm, Sun 8.30am–noon) at Fort Railway Station in Colombo. You can also make reservations at other stations, though they’ll have to contact Colombo, so try to reserve as far ahead of the date of travel as possible. Tickets for all other types of seat can only be bought on the day of travel.

Timetables can be checked online atrailway.gov.lk/gic.gov.lk(although these may not be completely up to date).

By air

If time is of the essence,SriLankan Airlines’ air taxi serviceoffers convenient high-speed connections between Colombo and many other places around the country. All these flights use Twin-Otter water planes (carrying up to fifteen passengers), which are able to land on convenient lakes and lagoons, giving access to destinations without a fixed runway. Scheduled flights currently run between Colombo and Trincomalee, Ampara, Arugam Bay, Tissamaharama, Hambantota, Dikwella, Koggala, Bentota, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Dambulla (with more destinations in the north and east planned). There are also 30-minute scenic flights from Colombo, Kandy and Dambulla. The only other scheduled domestic air services in Sri Lanka at present are Expo Air’s flights to Jaffna.

If money’s no object and you’re really in a hurry, you can charter a helicopter or private plane throughSimplifly.

By car

As Sri Lankans say, in order to drive around the island you’ll need three things: “good horn, good brakes, good luck”. Although roads are generally in quite good condition, the myriad hazards they present – crowds of pedestrians, erratic cyclists, crazed bus drivers and suicidal dogs, to name just a few – plus the very idiosyncratic set of road rules followed by Sri Lankan drivers, makes driving a challenge in many parts of the island.

Self-driving

If you’re determined to drive yourself, you’ll need to bring an international driving licence, and then acquire an additional permit to drive in Sri Lanka. These can be obtained from the Automobile Association of Ceylon. They are valid for up to twelve months and are issued on the spot.

It’s also worth equipping yourself with a good map or atlas (such as theArjuna’s Road Atlas). In terms of driving rules, it’s worth remembering that, in Sri Lanka, might is right: drivers of larger vehicles (buses especially), will expect you to get out of the way if they’re travelling faster than you. In addition, many drivers overtake freely on blind corners or in other dangerous places. Expect to confront other vehicles driving at speed on the wrong side of the road on a fairly regular basis.

Reliable car hire companies includeLevens Car Rentalwhich has a good range of cars at competitive rates, with or without driver.

Car and driver

Given the hassle of getting around by public transport, a large proportion of visitors opt to tour Sri Lanka by hiring a car and driver, which offers unlimited flexibility and can be less expensive than you might expect. Some drivers will get you from A to B but nothing more; other are qualified “chauffeur-guides”, government-trained and holding a tourist board licence, who can double up as guides at all the main tourist sights and field any questions you might have about the country.

The main problem with drivers is that many of them work on commission, which they receive from some, but not all, hotels, plus assorted restaurants, shops, spice gardens, jewellers and so on. This means that you and your driver’s opinions might not always coincide as to where you want to stay and what you want to do – some drivers will always want to head for wherever they get the best kickbacks (and you’ll also pay over the odds at these places, since the hoteliers, restaurateurs or shopkeepers have to recoup the commission they’re paying the driver). If you find you’re spending more time stressing out about dealing with your driver than enjoying your holiday, find another one – there are plenty of decent drivers out there.

To make sure you get a good driver, it pays to go with a reputable company which employs only Sri Lanka Tourist Board accredited chauffeur-guides. Make sure your driver speaks at least some English and emphasize from the outset where you do and don’t want to go. Some drivers impose on their clients’ good nature to the point of having meals with them and insisting on acting as guides and interpreters throughout the tour. If this is what you want, fine; if not, don’t be afraid to make it clear that you expect to be left alone when not in the car.

Cars and drivers can be hired through any of our recommended Colombo tour operators, or from many other tour companies and travel agents around the island – we’ve listed the most reliable outfits in the relevant places in the Guide. Alternatively, most hotels and guesthouses can fix you up with a vehicle.

Finally, if this all sounds too stressful (and it can be, unfortunately), you could always just hire vehicles by the day as you go round the island. The actual vehicle-hire cost may be a bit higher, but you won’t have to worry about having to house and feed your driver, and they’re less likely to put pressure on you to visit their favourite shops, restaurants and spice gardens.

By rickshaw

The lines of motorized rickshaws that ply the streets of every city, town and village are one of Sri Lanka’s most characteristic sights. Known by various names – tuktuks, three-wheelers, trishaws or (rather more optimistically) “taxis” – they are the staple means of travelling short distances in Sri Lanka, principally short hops within towns, although they can also be useful for excursions and can even, at a pinch, be handy for long journeys if you get stranded or can’t be bothered to wait around for a bus. The vehicles themselves are mainly Indian-made Bajaj rickshaws, often decorated by their drivers with whimsical fluorescent stickers, statuettes, plastic flowers or other items decorative or talismanic.

It’s impossible to walk far in Sri Lanka without being solicited for custom by the owner of one of these vehicles. If you do need a ride, rickshaws are extremely convenient and can even be fun, in a slightly nerve-racking way, as they weave through the traffic, often at surprising speeds. In addition, the sheer number around means that you always have the upper hand in bargaining – if you can’t agree a decent fare, there’ll always be another driver keen to take your custom.

Rickshaws do have their drawbacks, however. They’re not particularly comfortable for long journeys, and you can’t see much. In addition, tuktuks’ diminutive size compared with the buses and lorries they share the road with (and the often gung-ho attitudes of their drivers) can put you at a certain risk, and you’re likely to experience at least a couple of near misses with speeding traffic if you use them consistently for longer journeys.

Sri Lankan rickshaws are usually unmetered (although there are now growing numbers of metered rickshaws in Colombo); the fare will be whatever you can negotiate with the driver.Neverset off without agreeing the fare beforehand. The majority of Sri Lanka’s tuktuk drivers are more or less honest, and you’ll often be offered a decent fare without even having to bargain; a small minority, however, are complete crooks who will (at best) simply try to overcharge you or, at worst, set you up for some kind of scam. Also bear in mind that the longer the journey, the lower the per-kilometre rate should be.

Finally, beware of rickshaw drivers who claim to have no change – this can even apply when trying to pay, say, for a Rs.70 fare with a Rs.100 note, with the driver claiming (perhaps truthfully) to have only Rs.10 or Rs.20 change, and hoping that you’ll settle for a few rupees less. If you don’t have change, check that the driver does before you set off. If you make the position clear from the outset, you’re guaranteed that your driver will go through the hassle of getting change for you rather than risk losing your fare.

Posted: June 17th, 2021 by Admin

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Supporters of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi mark detained leader’s 62nd birthday

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Supporters of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi mark detained leader’s 62nd birthday

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar marked her 62nd birthday today, still under house arrest, where she has spent most of the past 17 years.

About 250 supporters met at the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Yangon, not far from Suu Kyi’s home, and held a rally calling for her release. Doves and balloons were released into the air, under the watchful eyes and video cameras of around 50 plainclothes police officers, who were stationed across the street.

The police force was augmented by a dozen truckloads of members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, the political arm of the State Peace and Development, the junta that rules Myanmar.

“The doves symbolise peace. We also released colourful balloons, which rise like her prestige when they fill the sky,” NLD women’s wing leader Lai Lai was quoted as saying by Agence France Presse.

With the party marking marking Suu Kyi’s birthday as “Myanmar Women’s Day,” Lei Lei read out a statement at the ceremony, calling Suu Kyi “irreplaceable” and praising her “honesty, bravery and perseverance.”

Security was beefed up around Suu Kyi’s lakeside home on University Avenue, which is usually open to traffic during daytime, but is closed on significant anniversaries such as Suu Kyi’s birthday or the May 30 anniversary of her detention.

NLD supporters said police were also watching their homes.

“Plainclothes police circled around my house on their motorcycles last night until dawn,” Su Su Nway, 34, was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. She was arrested on May 15 with 60 others during a prayer rally for Suu Kyi in Yangon, and was released for health reasons on June 7. She said around 52 NLD supporters were still in custody.

Suu Kyi is generally barred from receiving visitors, so she spent the day alone. Except for her maid, a personal physician, a dentist and an eye specialist, the only other person to visit with Suu Kyi in the past year was United Nations Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, whom she met for one hour last November at a government guest house.

Winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 11 of the past 17 years, continuously since 2003. Her National League for Democracy won a landslide election in 1990, but the military, which has ruled Myanmar since 1962, refused to honor the results. The country is also known as Burma, but the military government renamed it Myanmar in 1989.

Calls for Suu Kyi’s release have been issued by the NLD, various world bodies and other countries, but the pleadings have been met by no response from the generals.

“In our view, until their constitution is ratified, she will not be released,” Sann Aung, a Bangkok-based leader of the Burmese government-in-exile was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“They are worried that she will be a threat to the National Convention and the referendum,” he told Reuters, referring to the planned national referendum on a new constitution that is being written by the generals.

The Nation newspaper in Bangkok marked Suu Kyi’s birthday with an editorial, saying that sanctions against the Myanmar regime have been ineffective.

“The junta has earned huge amounts of foreign revenue from oil and gas exports, with prices jacked up many times over. With rich mineral resources, energy hungry countries have been attracted to Burma despite the repressive nature of the junta,” the editorial said, also making note of a recent deal that Russia has made to build nuclear reactor in Myanmar.

The paper also said Myanmar bodes ill for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations regional grouping.

“As long as Aung San Suu Kyi remains incarcerated, ASEAN’s reputation and the group’s international standing will be tarnished. Asean leaders have repeatedly appealed to the Burmese junta to free her, but to no avail … today, Burma is the black sheep of ASEAN. Without any current provisions for sanctions, Burma will remain as intransigent in the future as it is today.”

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Posted: June 16th, 2021 by Admin

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