SRI LANKA

SRI LANKA

SRI LANKA

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Name: Sigiriya
Location: Central Province, Sri Lanka
Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high.

According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure — Sīnhāgiri, the Lion Rock (an etymology similar to Siṃhapura, the Sanskrit name of Singapore, the Lion City).

The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is also declared by UNESCO as the eighth wonder of the world. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigiriya
Name: Adam’s Peak
Location: Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka
Adam's Peak is a 2,243m tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., "sacred footprint", a 1.8m rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas.

Adam's Peak is important as a watershed. The districts to the south and the east of Adam's Peak yield precious stones—emeralds, rubies and sapphires, for which the island has been famous, and which earned for its ancient name of Ratnadvipa.

Access to the mountain is possible by 6 trails: Ratnapura-Palabaddala, Hatton-Nallathanni, Kuruwita-Erathna, Murraywatte, Mookuwatte and Malimboda. The Nallathanni & Palabaddala routes are most favored by those undertaking the climb, while the Kuruwita-Erathna trail is used less often; these trails are linked to major cities or town by bus, accounting for their popular use. The Murraywatte, Mookuwatte and Malimboda routes are hardly used, but do intersect with the Palabaddala road midway through the ascent.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%27s_Peak
Name: Horton Plains National Park
Location: Central province, Sri Lanka
Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 8 kilometres from Ohiya, 6 kilometres from the world famous Ohiya Gap/Dondra Watch and 32 kilometres from Nuwara Eliya.

The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains. Stone tools dating back to Balangoda culture have been found here. The plains' vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan sambar deer feature as typical mammals and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. Forest dieback is one of the major threats to the park and some studies suggest that it is caused by a natural phenomenon.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horton_Plains_National_Park
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN SRI LANKA / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO SRI LANKA.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Sinhala / Tamil / English
Currency: Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR)
Time zone: IST (India Standard Time) (UTC+5:30)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +94
Local / up-to-date weather in Colombo (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Sri Lanka travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Sri Lanka, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO SRI LANKA.

The currency is the Sri Lankan rupee, denoted by the symbol “රු” or ” Rs” (ISO code: LKR). There are coins for 25 and 50 cents (bronze), 1 rupee (old version is big and silver, new version is small and gold), 2 rupees (silver), and 5 rupees (gold). Banknotes range from Rs. 10 to Rs. 5000. Coins that are more than a few years old are typically in quite bad condition.

Credit cards and ATMs, banking services:

ATMs are in many places (especially at bank branches) in the cities and suburbs, less so in the countryside. Be careful of using credit cards, as fraud is on the rise in Sri Lanka. You can withdraw from debit cards too (Cirrus, Maestro, Visa Electron, etc.) where the logos are displayed. Mostly your card will be replaced by your bank once you go back to your country. Not every ATM accepts international cards, try Commercial Bank they accept international cards but charge 400LKR. A better option is Peoples Bank, withdraw up to 100,000LKR with no fee. You can’t send money by Western Union or Money Gram from Sri Lanka abroad. One can only receive money via international money transfer while in Sri Lanka.

BY PLANE:

Sri Lankan Airlines operates seaplane service to destinations such as Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Galle and elsewhere. This is perfect for photography trips because you can get a bird’s eye view of the island and takes less time to get to a destination than using the road. Also the seaplanes land on picturesque lakes and tanks around the island.

Aero Lanka operates domestic flights between Colombo City Airport – Ratmalana, Jaffna and Trincomalee.

  • Cinnamon Air (air taxi), No 11, York Street, Colombo 01, +94 11 2 475 451. A Domestic Airline offering daily scheduled flights from Bandaranaike International Airport to Sri Lanka’s most popular destinations.

Ratmalana Airport (RML IATA) is a major domestic airport in Colombo.

  • FitsAir — Jaffna, Trincomalee. Charter: Ampara, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Hambantota-Mattala, Hambantota-Weerawila, Hingurakgoda, Kalutara, Koggala, Sigiriya, Vavuniya.
  • Helitours — Ampara, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Hambantota-Mattala, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee, Vavuniya.
  • Millennium Airlines — Charter: Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Kalutara, Koggala, Minneriya, Sigiriya, Trincomalee.

BY BUS:

For those on a budget buses are everywhere. As a foreigner you maybe be overcharged, simply ask for a ticket to your destination to get the correct fare. They’re sometimes crowded and uncomfortable, but they get you around for almost nothing; it costs about a dollar to get half-way across the island. If you’re planning on splashing out, AC buses run most routes for twice the price, which offer air-conditioning and a guaranteed seat. However, they’re still uncomfortable. Bus stations are confusing places, especially the big ones, but almost everyone will be delighted to practise their English and help you. Also, when travelling by bus, it is local etiquette in most buses to provide or give up the very front passenger seats to members of the clergy such as monks or priests if they are present.

If you’re on a very tight budget, the standard public buses (CTB) lack air-con and are regularly pretty overcrowded, but they’re dirt-cheap for western standards and run everywhere all the time. Private buses charge about double but are still cheap and often do have air-conditioning and often guaranteed seats. Your best bet is to inform upon arrival in a destination about your way out, and if possible secure a seat already. In all cases, arrive early and preferably travel light. If you’re carrying a lot of luggage, you might have to purchase a seat for your backpack if you don’t want to keep it on your lap or under your feet.

BY RAIL:

Sri Lanka has an extensive railway system serving all major towns and cities in the island except for the North. The railway system in Sri Lanka is picturesque when entering the hill country because of the winding tracks along the mountains especially on the Badullu-Nanu Oya line. Make sure, if you can, to sit on the right side of the train, as it offers the better view. Travel by train is itself a journey to remember, be it travelling to Central Sri Lanka or travelling on the coastal line is just amazing. Highly recommended to travel by train outside Colombo. The Hill train to Badulla is an amazing journey. Preferably choose the express trains, and try to get a reservation beforehand, if you can. There are special Observation cars for tourists to take in the scenery. Trains can be slower than buses, depending if you are on a line that offers an express train or not, but more comfortable and even less expensive than buses.

You can look up train schedules on the official website of Sri Lanka Railways. This site will only give you results for direct connections between stations.

There are three classes of railway cars, although 1st and 2nd class are only available on some Intercity and Express trains. Travelling 3rd class is not as bad as it may sound. Often the difference between 3rd and 2nd class is only a missing armrest between seats. Intercity and Express trains have reserved cars which can be booked online in advance on 12Go Asia website.

Trains are sometimes crowded, especially in the morning and late afternoon. Also, observation car seats for the lines popular with tourists (like the Colombo-Kandy line) are often booked out several days in advance in the high season. So whenever possible you should get a reservation beforehand: see [1] and [2] for more information.

Privately owned train services such as Exporail and Rajadhani Express (which is suspended as of 2018) operate air-conditioned and serviced first-class railway cars to major destinations daily. While this is costlier than travelling by air-conditioned bus, it is much cheaper than hiring a car and offers facilities such as online reservations, friendly on-board services, spacious seating, on-board meals and wireless internet.

Trains offer good alternatives when they are available, and the standard trains are only slightly more expensive than the private buses, if at all. One of the advantages is that 1st and 2nd class train tickets can be reserved several days in advance. Sri Lankan Railways has a useful website in English. There are also more expensive private trains with 1st class wagons and good service to some of the destinations. These obviously come at higher prices, but are still a reasonable and convenient option for travellers on a mid-range or higher budget, with a trip from Colombo to Kandy costing around Rs1700.

BY THREE-WHEELER:

The most common mode of transport in Sri Lanka is via a three-wheeled automobile appropriately referred to as a three-wheeler (tri-Shaw). Also known as tuk-tuks from the noise of their motors. These operate in a manner similar to taxis, and in many situations are a convenient and highly cost-efficient way to get around. Safety is a concern however, as none of them have seat belts and they are open to the sides. They are NOT permitted at Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport, so don’t let a tuk-tuk driver talk you into hiring him on your departure.

Three-wheelers are ubiquitous in Sri Lanka. On any given street, you’ll hardly have to wait more than a couple of minutes without one going by that you can wave down. If you’re travelling with luggage, there are slightly larger three-wheelers with more space for your bags that you can look for. While it may be the most novel way to get around, it may not be the most cost efficient in every situation. Public transport is cheaper by far, and most three-wheel drivers tend to over price foreigners. So, never agree to the first estimate. The best price you can get is about Rs50-75 per km for short journeys and about Rs30-50 for long journeys (more than 15 km). If you do come across a metered tri-shaw make sure the meter is switched on. Taxis are slightly more expensive but surely a lot safer. Having said that, you probably have not experienced everything Sri Lanka has to offer until you travel in one.

BY CAR:

Rented cars usually turn out cheaper than three-wheelers, are less prone to road accidents, and are recommended by most hotels. Rented cars generally come with their own drivers. Often the automobile itself is free but the driver will charge a fee for his services. Some drivers and guides are government-licensed; some are extremely knowledgeable and multilingual, specialising in historical and cultural knowledge, and environmental/natural history for your visits to the ancient sites and the natural reserves. Driving yourself is very adventurous for Western tourists as the driving style is very different from those countries.

Of course, if you’re not on a budget and especially if you’re pressed for time, renting a car with driver for the whole or part of the journey can be a convenient way to follow your itinerary, and will in some cases allow you to see two sites on one day. Daily rates vary between Rs5000 and 10,000 per day excluding fuel, depending on the kind of car you want and whether you book via a hotel or travel agency that will take a commission.

You can also rent a car without a driver but you will need to bring your international driving license and get it validated by the Automobile Association of Sri Lanka to be able to drive on your own. You can opt to pay an agency to do this for you in advance. Otherwise, you must do it in Colombo, and it will take a day. You will find international car hire agencies in Colombo Airport and some local companies in Negombo’s beach area.

Travelling by car can also increase the fuel expenditure, Since the fuel price is increasing in Sri Lanka as well, it would be a bit more expensive than other mediums of travel. (depends on your vehicle type)

TOUR OPERATORS:

Tour operators are happy to get you a van and a driver who will take you all over the island but beware, the roads are bumpy and slow. If you book off-the-cuff when you arrive, ask to be shown on a map where you are going before agreeing to any ‘tour’ of the island and research before you arrive so that you have a clear idea of where you might like to travel. Senseless backtracking to lengthen the trip and increase the cost is a real danger, as is a driver’s wish to take you on unwanted shopping expeditions in an effort to gain commission. Travel websites specialising in Sri Lanka are easily found and have greatly increased the choice that is readily available to independent travellers seeking tailor-made tours. The best of them will produce clearly-stated travel itineraries and some are flexible enough to make late changes to itineraries. Ask to see their booking conditions and anti-fraud policies.

TAXI COMPANIES:

Taxis are a better way of getting around Colombo than three wheelers as, due to the metering, they often turn out to be cheaper. Rates are about USTaxis are a better way of getting around Colombo than three wheelers as.55 and they have full day packages (approx 8 hours and 80km) for around US$40. They will also take you outstation for around USTaxis are a better way of getting around Colombo than three wheelers as.30-0.35 per km with no waiting charges. You can also set up your own itinerary and travel around that way as opposed to whatever the tour operator tells you. Transportation companies such as Uber are also available in the country,It is advised to transport in a taxi which has a specific company tagline.

EAT:

Sri Lanka and South Indian food share a lot in common, and many local restaurants describe their menus as Sri Lankan & South Indian. There are a number of regional variations, though, the different types of hopper, devilled prawns, cuttlefish, chicken, etc., and the common fiery addition to any curry, pol sambol made of grated coconut, red chilli powder and lime juice.

Sri Lankan food is generally spicy, but you can always ask for less spicy options if you prefer. Sri Lankans eat with their right hands – this isn’t a major problem, because every eatery can provide cutlery if you can’t eat otherwise. But try the Sri Lankan way (tips of fingers only!); it’s harder than it looks but strangely liberating.

Food is generally very cheap, with a cheap meal costing about a US dollar. The most expensive tourist-orientated places seldom charge more than US$10. The staple food of Sri Lankans is rice and curry – a massive mound of rice surrounded by various curries and delicacies. If you want to eat a cheap lunch you can follow the Sri Lankan crowds and duck into any of a million small cafes, confusingly called ‘hotels’. These normally sell a rice and curry packet, as well as ‘short eats’, a collection of spicy rolls. This is ideal for backpackers and those who want to get past the touristy hotels selling burnt chicken and chips – you’re charged by how much you eat, and unless you’re absolutely ravenous it probably won’t cost over a US dollar.

If you are taking road trips outside Colombo, there are endless options for places to stop on the road for lunch. Rest houses and hotels along major roads throughout Sri Lanka have good restaurants that offer both Sri Lankan and Western menus. If you are less adventurous, you can easily get good sandwiches and soups at these restaurants. These places have excellent rice and curry plates, and you will be served many different types of curries over an extremely generous portion of rice. These meals are extremely delicious and will leave you full and happy at the end of the meal. Eating is definitely a memorable experience in Sri Lanka.

Kottu (Kothu) Roti (a medley of chopped roti, vegetables and your choice of meat) is a must-have for anyone – tourist or otherwise – in Sri Lanka. It is uniquely Sri Lankan and tastes best when made fresh by street vendors. However, several kottu roti restaurants have been closed down due to their use of stale and old roti, which made some patrons sick. Use caution, and even better, talk with the locals to figure out where the best kottu roti restaurants are.

Other foods that you should try include String Hoppers, Hoppers, Pittu and Kiribath.

There are many upscale restaurants to choose from in the city of Colombo. There are several fine dining restaurants at the 5-star hotels which offer both local and international cuisine. These establishments are found largely in western Colombo (along Galle Road), though more are around Colombo and other major cities.

Fast-food outlets such as KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Subway and Burger King can be found in major cities.

DRINK:

In Sri Lanka water from the tap is not considered to be safe to drink in the country. However if you are using bottled water (1.5 litre for Rs60-70 in March 2012) always make sure SLS (Sri Lanka Standard Institute) label is present. Also in some parts of the country you’ll find hard water due to the high presence of lime in the soil.

Fresh milk, due to the climate, spoils easily, and so is often very expensive. Powdered milk, however, is safe and is often substituted.

Thambili the juice from king coconut, is very refreshing. It’s sold at the side of streets throughout the island, you know it’s clean as the coconut is cut open in front of you and it’s cheaper than bottled drinks at about Rs30/- each. Soft drinks are available almost everywhere, normally in dusty-looking glass bottles. The local producer, Elephant, make a range of interesting drinks – try the ginger beer and cream soda. “Coca Cola” and “Pepsi” also available in large and small sizes (plastic bottles) including several local soft drink brands – all available at rapidly multiplying supermarkets all across the country and grocery shops.

The most common local beer is Lion Lager (Rs140 in “wine shops” or Rs200-300 in restaurants in March 2012). For something a bit different try Lion Stout. It is characterized by its tar-like oiliness of body and chocolate finish. Other brews include Three Coins, which is brewed by the Mt Lavinia hotel chain, allegedly to a Belgian recipe.

The traditional spirit is Arrack, which costs about US$4 for a bottle, and is often drunk with club soda. The quality can vary depending on how much you want to pay. However, widely recommended brand would be “Old Reserve” and worth paying US$7.50 for it.

Sale and public consumption of alcohol is forbidden on Poya Days, which generally fall on the date of the full moon, but occasionally it falls a day either side. If you really want to drink on these days, either stock or use your hotel room’s mini-bar.

Accommodation in Sri Lanka has been transformed. What would be recognized as the modern tourist industry began in the 1960s with traditional beach hotels built on the west coast which were aimed primarily at the package holiday crowd and traditional travel operators. But the past decade has brought a major change, with the growth of villas, boutique hotels, and small independent and individualistic properties offering a huge array of choice.

Handicrafts of Sri Lanka. For reed, cane, cotton, paper, leather, wood, clay, metal, and gemstones have been transformed and re-expressed in an array of batiks, toys, curios and jewelery, all exquisite hand made treasures.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Sigiriya
Location: Central Province, Sri Lanka
Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high.

According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure — Sīnhāgiri, the Lion Rock (an etymology similar to Siṃhapura, the Sanskrit name of Singapore, the Lion City).

The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is also declared by UNESCO as the eighth wonder of the world. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigiriya
Name: Adam’s Peak
Location: Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka
Adam's Peak is a 2,243m tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., "sacred footprint", a 1.8m rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas.

Adam's Peak is important as a watershed. The districts to the south and the east of Adam's Peak yield precious stones—emeralds, rubies and sapphires, for which the island has been famous, and which earned for its ancient name of Ratnadvipa.

Access to the mountain is possible by 6 trails: Ratnapura-Palabaddala, Hatton-Nallathanni, Kuruwita-Erathna, Murraywatte, Mookuwatte and Malimboda. The Nallathanni & Palabaddala routes are most favored by those undertaking the climb, while the Kuruwita-Erathna trail is used less often; these trails are linked to major cities or town by bus, accounting for their popular use. The Murraywatte, Mookuwatte and Malimboda routes are hardly used, but do intersect with the Palabaddala road midway through the ascent.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%27s_Peak
Name: Horton Plains National Park
Location: Central province, Sri Lanka
Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 8 kilometres from Ohiya, 6 kilometres from the world famous Ohiya Gap/Dondra Watch and 32 kilometres from Nuwara Eliya.

The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains. Stone tools dating back to Balangoda culture have been found here. The plains' vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan sambar deer feature as typical mammals and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. Forest dieback is one of the major threats to the park and some studies suggest that it is caused by a natural phenomenon.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horton_Plains_National_Park
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN SRI LANKA / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

New York: TBC
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Washington DC: TBC

...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

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