Voice generation using text: A deep-learning method   By Aditya Abeysinghe Using text to generate speech similar to human voice is the main function of a text-to-speech (TTS) system. The process of converting text to speech is known as speech synthesis. Speech recorded is used to generate new speech, based on the input of the TTS. Since 1960s, several TTS systems have been developed for speech synthesis for current systems. However, these systems have several issues which led to the use of deep learning methods to synthesize speech. Current methods Two main methods exist for speech synthesis in traditional systems: concatenative and parametric. In concatenation-based synthesis the waveforms in the speech are concatenated to produce a speech stream. This type uses a waveform database to store and retrieve recorded speech. The speech appropriate for each text supplied is selected and joined to the stream to produce the final speech. In ...

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Beddagana Wetland Park – verdant mosaic of wetlands By Arundathie Abeysinghe Located in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, the administrative capital of Sri Lanka and minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Beddagana Wetland Park is home to diverse aquatic birds, butterflies, dragonflies and mammals native to Sri Lanka and Asian wetlands. During the migratory season from August to April, the wetland is a popular stopover of migratory birds similar to a transit location, a haven for diverse flocks of shorebirds or waders which include plovers as well as sandpipers. According to naturalists, the wetlands is home to 50 species of birds, 20 species of fish,119 species of butterflies and endangered mammals such as fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus), a nocturnal mammal included in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list as an endangered mammal in 2008. The extent of the Wetland Park is 18 hectares, a ...

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Swiss International Airlines to resume services from Nov. 4 Source:Dailynews Swiss International Airlines has planned to resume their services on November 4, 2021 to Sri Lanka, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited (AASL) said. The airline will operate a twice weekly winter schedule to Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). The two flights will arrive in Colombo on Friday and Sunday respectively, starting on November 4. Fully vaccinated nationals from outside the European Union can now visit Switzerland again without quarantine requirements. Passengers arriving from Sri Lanka will be able to enter Switzerland normally again, given they can provide either a certificate of full COVID-19 vaccination, full recovery from a Covid-19 infection, or by presenting a negative Antigen Rapid or PCR test result prior to boarding their flight from Colombo. As of November 4, Swiss International Airlines will offer two weekly flights operated by leading Swiss leisure airline Edelweiss between ...

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Airborne survey begins for oil exploration Source:Dailynews For the first time in Sri Lanka, airborne oil exploration have begun in the Mannar and Cauvery basins. Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG), Gravity and Magnetics survey targeting petroleum resources of shallow water areas begun recently, announced the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat of Sri Lanka (PRDS) The survey was conducted by the UK-based Bell Geospace, a world-renowned geophysical survey company which was chosen following an international competitive tender process by the Government. PRDS has hired the airborne geophysical surveying services of Bell Geospace to provide 3D Full Tensor Gradiometry, gravity and magnetic survey data on a Multi-Client basis for the region. Phase one of the survey is taking place over the shallow waters of the Mannar and Cauvery basins over blocks M1, C1 and C2. The long-awaited airborne survey has now been operationalized and it will bring new insight to the petroleum explorations in ...

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Hambantota Port moving at speed despite gloomy market Source:Island The Hambantota Port has signed deals with more than 30 countries as it looks to promote its operations globally.  Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) said that the promotional activities have garnered commendable results despite the gloomy market situation experienced globally.  “We are rapidly moving to diversify HIP’s industrial zone portfolio and at the same time we are widely promoting the location internationally. We have signed with more than 30 investors from across the globe i.e. the UK, Singapore, Japan, Sri Lanka, China and now the Maldives,” Johnson Liu, CEO of HIPG said.  HIPG in a release said: The new operational blueprint of the Hambantota International Port (HIP) is impacting all aspects of the port’s activities. “HIP Speed” is a concept to increase efficiency and momentum across port operations for the benefit of all stakeholders. “HIP Speed will bring a new dimension ...

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BPPL Holdings: Only Sri Lankan company listed in Forbes Asia’s 200 ‘Best Under a Billion’ Source:Bizenglish.Adaderana BPPL Holdings PLC, one of Southeast Asia’s largest brush manufacturers and Sri Lanka’s largest plastics recycler equipped with one of only two plants in the world capable of creating polyester yarn directly from recycled PET plastic flakes, is the only Sri Lankan company to have entered Forbes Asia’s 200 ‘Best Under a Billion’ list. Forbes evaluated over 20,000 publicly traded companies in the Asia-Pacific region this year with revenues of under US Dollars 1 Billion and consistent top-and bottom-line growth from which only 200 were selected. Companies were selected based on a composite score that incorporated their overall track record. This includes debt, sales, and earnings-per-share growth measures over both the most recent fiscal year and three-year period and the strongest one- and five-year average returns on equity. Aside from quantitative criteria, qualitative screens ...

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• • • •  BREAKING NEWS  • • • • It is with great joy to announce that Operation Hope has taken a momentus step and merged with Compelled By Love. This means you now have the opportunity to partner with something even bigger, as we expand our reach to help more people, in more countries.  Our values have always framed how we work and operate, and it is these values that have led us to make this exciting decision to merge with Compelled By Love. Change is not new for Operation Hope. We have had many organisational changes through the years including changing our name. However this change is the most significant. Operation Hope has functioned with a volunteer board, only one volunteer staff and many other volunteers through the years. However, the ability to grow and deepen our partnerships and work has been limited by both our size and capacity. Not ...

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Australia’s Magnificent Giant Cow | The Daily Show With Trevor Noah ‘WORLD’S BIGGEST COW’ | Meet Knickers, the giant steer who the world fell in love with Standing at 1.94 metres (6’4) and weighing more than 1.4 tonnes (tons), Knickers is a big boy. In fact, he’s one of the biggest in the world. And his size caught the world’s attention after this story went viral.  ...

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PETERITE ANNIVERSERIES IN SEPTEMBER– by Algi Wijewickrema Eleven Reverend Priests have held the august position of Rectorship at St. Peter’s College since the first, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Perera. But regrettably I missed recording the anniversary of his handing over the batten to Rev. Fr. Basil A Wiratunga when I recalled another anniversary on 9th September. Although the date is the same the two anniversaries fall three years apart from each other. Fr. Nicholas Perera, after his long and successful tenure as Rector at College (since 29th June 1927 or even before as Manager from 18th January 1922 and as Principal from 1926), handed over the Rectorship to the obvious choice at the time, Fr. Basil Wiratunga, on 9th September 1943. Since the farewell happened to be during the war years and while College was operating from three different locations, the farewell was not as elaborate as it could have been. ...

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