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US to boost electric mobility in Sri Lanka

The U.S. government, through its development agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is committed to accelerating clean energy to drive social and economic sustainable growth in Sri Lanka. On August 16, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Power and Energy,

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Asia Cup Victory: Morale Booster for Sri Lanka

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The victory of Sri Lankan cricket team in the Asian Cup tournament is very significant for Sri Lanka for more than one reason.

 There is no “superstar” in the present Sri Lankan cricket team, unlike the so-called superstars in Indian and Pakistan cricket teams.  Nobody expected that Sri Lankan cricket team would beat India and Pakistan so convincingly and decisively.

While Sri Lankan cricket team do not have some world-ranking players now unlike the earlier days, the remarkable success of the Sri Lankan cricket team is due to the team effort and high level of confidence in their own capability. In the final match, even as   Sri Lanka lost five wickets for less than 60 runs, the remaining players did not lose heart and fought with determination while facing the experienced front line bowlers of Pakistan.

During the last several months, Sri Lankans have been undergoing tremendous stress due to economic hardships and political uncertainties. Massive agitations were organised by small section of Sri Lankans, while majority of Sri Lankans did not participate in the agitations and observed the scenario helplessly.

Many Sri Lankans felt that Sri Lanka could have become a laughing stock in the eyes of the world when agitators entered the President’s house and occupied it, with the President of Sri Lanka fleeing from the house and later on fleeing the country.  Even the Prime Minister’s house was attacked, with international media publishing such bad news extensively.  Certainly, many enlightened Sri Lankans felt that Sri Lanka deserve better.

Today, Sri Lanka has been driven to a situation where the debt commitment could not be honoured and countries like India have to rush essential goods and fuel to Sri Lanka to ensure that the Sri Lankans would atleast have the minimum requirements met.

Further, Sri Lanka is now heavily dependent on The International Monetary Fund to keep the Sri Lankan economy in shape. To add insult to injury, the Human Rights Commission is discussing the human rights violation in Sri Lanka during the ethnic war. Sri Lankans know that it was a war where the terrorists have to be necessarily eliminated and some bloodshed is unavoidable. Sri Lanka was really fighting to protect its territorial integrity and any government in any country would have behaved in the same way in such situation.

Such developments as above have brought down the morale of Sri Lankans considerably.

While Sri Lanka has several inherent strength and can bounce back to reveal its full potential, what is needed now is that the morale of the people should be kept high and they should gain the confidence that they can do whatever that is needed in the present juncture.

In the last few months, there have been no developments in Sri Lanka that could make Sri Lankans proud and Sri Lanka desperately need to hear some success stories.  This is what the Sri Lankan cricketers have given to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan cricketers have shown that with grit, determination and unity of purpose, they can achieve great aims, even when no one expects them to do so.

Let this morale-boosting victory be the starting point for revival Sri Lankan economy and public life, forgetting the unsavoury past in the last few months.

US to boost electric mobility in Sri Lanka

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1 min read

The U.S. government, through its development agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is committed to accelerating clean energy to drive social and economic sustainable growth in Sri Lanka.

On August 16, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung attended a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding between the USAID Sri Lanka Energy Program and David Pieris Motor Company (DPMC) that will facilitate the electrification of three-wheelers, commonly known as “tuk tuks”.

Under this partnership, DPMC, Sri Lanka’s largest automotive company, will convert internal combustion engine three-wheelers to electric three-wheelers and offer after sales services through their island-wide service centers. USAID-supported Sri Lanka Energy Program will provide technical assistance to DPMC and establish a network of charging stations that will help build an enabling environment for the uptake of electric three-wheelers.

“The partnership between USAID and DPMC to electrify three-wheelers is innovative and exciting, and it stands to greatly benefit Sri Lanka’s economy. Plus, sustainable energy projects like this program help create a greener future for all Sri Lankans,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung.

The transportation sector is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Sri Lanka. Transitioning to electric three-wheelers will help mitigate negative environmental impacts, reduce dependency on fossil fuels and will minimize the foreign exchange outflows for fuel.

“As pioneers who introduced and built the three-wheeler industry in Sri Lanka, creating sustainable employment for over 500,000 people along with convenient and accessible transport to supplement both public and personal transport island-wide; DPMC is deeply committed to ensuring the successful introduction of the electric three-wheelers. We have been on this journey since 2016 and have successfully converted and tested several prototypes. With support from the USAID Sri Lanka Energy Program, we are confident that the infrastructure required to ensure market acceptance and commercial viability can be established,” stated Rohana Dissanayake, DPMC’s Chairman and Managing Director.

Rick Whitaker, Chief of Party of the USAID Sri Lanka Energy Program, and Naalaka Madugalle, Director/Chief Operating Officer, DPMC signed and witnessed the agreement on behalf of their organizations.

This is the second partnership announced by USAID’s Sri Lanka Energy Program for electric mobility. In June 2022, the program signed a similar agreement with VEGA Innovations to promote electric three-wheelers and support the manufacturing of locally designed batteries and inverters.

The USAID Sri Lanka Energy Program is a key activity under the longstanding partnership between the American and Sri Lankan people. Since 1961, USAID has provided more than $2 billion (approximately 700 billion LKR in current exchange rate) to programs in support of economic development, entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, and environmental conservation, as well as other sectors, in Sri Lanka.