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Who is responsible for the Meethotamulla garbage accident?

Apr 17 (FT) Garbage is a function of consumption and consumption is a function of affordability. Therefore, it is ironic that the garbage we generate in the richer parts of Colombo is dumped where the poorest city dwellers live.  Successive govts are primarily responsible for not having stricter laws (and enforcement) on production, consumption, disposal, recycling and re-energizing. But businesses and consumers also have a role to play. Do businesses really think beyond getting the product to more..

Meethotamulla: A Preventable Tragedy

Apr 17 (GV) In 2012, I visited Madampitiya to help with research for a friend’s thesis. The subject was the spread of disease in this area, situated close to a garbage dump. The tiny lanes in between the houses were muddy and often, filled with filthy water. This happened because when it rained (as it had been shortly before we visited) the streets would flood, and spillover from the dump would wash into the streets and sometimes, people’s houses. In fact, you would often need to step off the road more..

Crushed beneath a garbage mountain

Apr 17 (roar) On Saturday, the day after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Dayani sat huddled at the threshold of a temple, in Vihara Mawatha, Meethotamulla. Her agonised shrieks, calling for a dead husband and three sons, penetrated the surrounding chaos and stench. Dayani was one among several whose families were trapped in debris caused by the collapse of part of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse more..

Eleven lose lives in road accidents

Apr 17 (SO) Eleven lives were lost in road accidents during the recent Sinhala and Hindu New Year holidays, Police said. The majority of the fatalities were motorcyclists, during the reported 48 hour period. In one incident, a motorcyclist and the pillion rider both succumbed to their injuries when the rider lost control of the motorcycle due to excessive speeding. The accident occurred in the Bulugahamulla area on the Minuwangoda-Veyangoda road on Friday afternoon. more..

High prices and flu fear dampen festive spirit

Apr 17 (ST) The National New Year this year appeared to be a lacklustre affair in comparison to last year, with traders complaining about reduced sales due to rising prices while holiday destinations saw lesser crowds due to excessive heat and the fear of contacting influenza. Most traders we spoke to said sales were low this Avurudu season when compared to last year and attributed the drop to rising prices and declining disposable income of the people. more..

How Sidath sees SL cricket’s next stage

Apr 17 (ST) During our lengthy chat, I picked up an anecdote I thought would be ironical. I was talking to Sidath Wettimuny – former head of SLC interim committee and well-known cricket administrator. He was explaining about an incident which took place when he was at the helm of cricket in SL. “At an ICC meeting, I was in conversation with Bangladesh Cricket President Nazmul Papon. more..

Can’t deliver on all your goals

Apr 17 (ST) My dear doctors of the GMOA, I thought I must write to you again, to congratulate you on your recent successes. Why, with the govt bending over backwards to please you, you seem to be winning all your demands. So, we thought you must be really happy – although your remarks and statements suggest that you are not! I must say I was most impressed by your clever tactics. It is no wonder you have the best brains in the country, as demonstrated by your ‘Z’ scores that got you more..

Filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage expresses optimism for creative journey

Apr 17 (EAR) Acclaimed SL filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage came to Assam in the time of Rongali Bihu to accept an international award in memory of legendary Assamese cultural personality Bhupen-da from Asom Sahitya Sabha (ASS). Prasanna Vithanage, while receiving the third Biswaratna Dr Bhupen Hazarika International Solidarity Award on April 10, in Guwahati, echoed the gesture with the greetings of the spring festival celebrated in his island nation on the same occasion. more..

Rs. 1 billion worth jewellery and gold to be returned to owners soon

Apr 17 (ST) Defence Ministry has decided to fast-track the process of returning almost Rs one billion worth of gold and other valuable ornaments seized by the military from the custody of the LTTE and found in abandoned houses during the final phases of the conflict, a senior official said. “Committee which was appointed to look into this forwarded its recommendations to the President recently. more..

Eashan clocks seasonal best 10.29 seconds

Apr 17 (CT) South Asia's fastest man, Himasha Eashan, clocked a seasonal best 10.29 seconds in the Utech Classic held at National Stadium, Jamaica yesterday. Eashan ran in the fourth final of the 100m which featured former 100m World Champion Yohan Blake and finished sixth competing in lane one. Eashan was among the leading runners at the start but from the half way mark gradually slipped back. "Happy about running seasonal best but I have to do more. more..

Mathews set to return for Delhi Daredevils

Apr 17 (CT) Angelo Mathews is set to make a comeback for Delhi Daredevils. The all-rounder has joined Daredevils' camp ahead of their clash with Kings XI Punjab. Mathews was nursing a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the ODI and T20I series against Bangladesh at home. Mathews is now likely to feature in the playing XI against KXIP. Earlier, it was suggested that Mathews will miss a major part of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but has recovered sooner than expected. more..

Smoking drops by 47%

Apr 17 (SO) 80% pictorial warning and 90% tax imposed on cigarettes, one of the highest in the world have helped reduce smoking by 47% in SL, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Health Ministry imposed a tax and pictorial warning to control the non-communicable diseases in the country. As a result, tobacco companies have taken this as a war waged against them and they will react. Multinational drug and tobacco companies more..

Manufacturing, services industries expand

Apr 17 (FT) The country’s manufacturing and services industry grew in March according to the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) Survey conducted by Central Bank. It said the Manufacturing Sector PMI recorded 66.5 in March, which is an increase of 9.4 index points compared to Feb 2017. “This indicates that the manufacturing activities continued to expand in March 2017, largely attributable to increasing orders and manufacturing activities due to New Year seasonal demand more..

Singapore expertise sought to expedite Household Transfer Management Project

Apr 17 (ST) Sri Lanka is seeking Singapore expertise in expediting the implementation of the Household Transfer Management Project (HTM) with the aim of introducing a National Digital Identity (NDI), which will ensure that all financial and non-financial digital transactions are conducted in a transparent but secure manner. The Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Ministry Secretary has been directed by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management more..

Abducted businessman found hiding in Nochchiyagama

Apr 17 (Island) A businessman allegedly abducted by a white van gang on April 9 has been arrested by the police while hiding in the Nochchiyagama police area, DIG Priyantha Jayakody said that the CID had arrested Loku Ralalage Ajantha Pushpakumara a few days after his wife lodged a complaint with Kekirawa police alleging that a group of armed persons claiming to be from the Bandarawela police station more..

Two Sri Lankan traders smuggle 25 gold bars in rectum, held at Mumbai airport

Apr 17 (HT) Two Sri Lanka nationals were arrested at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport for allegedly smuggling 25 gold bars worth Rs87.45 lakh in their rectum on Saturday night. Both the arrested accused — Jameer Abdul Wahid, 42, and Althaf Sahul Hameed, 48 — are frequent fliers. Wahid, who flew in from Dubai, was intercepted at the arrival hall and then 13 gold bars weighing 1,516 grams and valued at Rs 45.48 lakh were recovered from his rectum. more..

Australia-Sri Lanka partnership boosts revenue of local fishing and farming sectors

Apr 17 (Island) In 2010 the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian Govt entered into an agreement with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to implement the Local Empowerment through Economic Development (LEED) PROJECT in Northern Sri Lanka. The total value of the grant was 5.7 M US$. The project commenced operations in 2011 in Vavuniya North and gradually expanded to the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullativu in 2012 and 2013. more..

Mayhem in Meethotamulla

Apr 17 (FT) Confusion and heartache reigned in Dahampura, Meethotamulla, Colombo over the weekend as residents were still trying to make sense of the disaster that struck them on the Sinhala Hindu New Year’s day killing an estimated 21 people and displacing nearly 200. A colossal pile of garbage gave way when a suspected explosion underneath triggered a landslide that engulfed some 60-100 houses in the vicinity, more..

Rs. 61.3 b worth agreements inked in Japan

Apr 17 (Island) On the occasion of the PM’s visit to Japan, the Exchange of Notes for the three development projects amounting to 45.7 billion Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 61.3 billion) were signed on April 12 in Tokyo between Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan on behalf of the Govt of Japan and Prof. Dhamika Ganganath Dissanayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka in the presence of Shinzo Abe, PM, and Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Toppling the govt: JO day-dreaming: Rajitha

Apr 17 (SO) More Joint Opposition (JO) MPs will cross over to the Govt as their hopes of toppling the govt has not become reality with the Govt being in office for over two years, making comprehensive reforms within the country’s socio-economic fabric, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. The JO MPs think that the Govt will be toppled very soon, but no such nothing will happen as the Govt has successfully moved forward since the day it assumed office, he said. more..

Public and the authorities at 6s & 7s

Apr 17 (CT) A serious communication breakdown between the public and the authorities conducting the search and rescue programme of those affected by the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse is being reported from the area. With the official death count rising to 27 yesterday, Police and the Tri- Force personnel, managing the search and rescue operations, in the area claim that there is a lack of information more..

Ranil cuts short Vietnam visit

Apr 17 (AT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and wife who arrived in Vietnam on Sunday on a four-day official visit on the invitation of Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Xuan Phuc, has decided to cut short their visit because of the tragedy at Meetotamulla. Sources said he decided to cut the visit short as a result of the disaster at the Meetotamulla garbage dump, which has killed over 26 people. PM was to get back to Sri Lanka on Wednesday (19). However he is expected return to Island before that date. more..

AG lambastes CMC over the tragedy

Apr 17 (Island) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said that hapless people of Meethotamulla had paid a very heavy price for the failure on the part of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) and others to address garbage problem. Official recalled how he had castigated the top CMC administration for its failure to solve garbage problem in early Feb this year. He alleged that garbage collection as well as disposal had been turned into a mega business at the expense of the hapless people. more..

Meethotamulla tragedy: Residents curse former, present govts

Apr 17 (Island) Nuwan Bopage of civil society group representing the interests of Meethotamulla residents said that many lives could have been saved had rescue operations got underway within a couple of hours after a section of the garbage dump collapsed on adjoining houses at about 1.30 pm on New Year day (14). Police reported 26 deaths by Sunday afternoon in the wake of a woman receiving treatment at more..

Japan to send expert team for Meetotamulla disaster

Apr 17 (EN) Japan has offered to send technical experts to evaluate the situation after the collapse of the Kolonnawa garbage dump that killed at least 21 and destroyed nearly 150 homes. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who is visiting japan said in a statement that Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe offered technical assistance top deal with the disaster. A Japanese technical team was expected in SL shortly. His remarks came as police reported another two deaths overnight raising to 21 more..

Colombo garbage no problem-Commissioner

Apr 17 (Island) Colombo Municipal Commissioner V. K. A. Anura said that action had been taken to remove garbage without causing problems. Asked whether he could confirm reports in the wake of Meethotamulla tragedy that Colombo garbage was to be moved to Dompe, Commissioner said that he had never made such an announcement. He alleged that the media was causing unnecessary problems by reporting on sensitive matters irresponsibly. When it was pointed out that people had more..

Garbage turns gory

Apr 17 (FT) As hundreds of military rescue workers continued digging through tonnes of rubbish and rubble in search of more bodies and Govt officials work on relief measures despite the Avurudu and Easter holidays, the blame game intensified yesterday over Friday’s tragedy in Meethotamulla with the death toll rising to 26. Officials confirmed that by last evening the number of people killed by the collapse of garbage more..

Meethotamulla; a disaster that could have easily been avoided

Apr 17 (DM) The National New Year’s day and Good Friday Meethotamulla mayhem or massacre reminds us of callous disregard or irresponsibility regarding the people’s lives by political authorities and other decision making bodies in Sri Lanka. It was not once or twice that alarm bells in Meethotamulla rang for those in power but repeatedly from the day garbage dumping was started there. Once the residents pleaded for the protection of their children’s education as the school near garbage dump more..

The Politics of garbage and the need for recycling plants

Apr 17 (DM) If a country is not able to manage its own garbage, that creates serious questions about its citizens’ discipline, respect for natural environment including protection of animals - even though people are highly educated or with high literacy rates. Sri Lanka is no exception to this case. On 14th April 2017 the Sinhala and Tamil New Year day, so far 16 people have died, many people were injured and over one hundred houses were destroyed or damaged due to a collapse of more..

Parliament Mafia: Housing Robbery

Apr 17 (DM) A house to shelter from the heat and rain and work for sustenance are two basic demands of resettling communities. Not only were their homes destroyed during the war and work disrupted by displacement, but they have spent years, if not decades, running from camps to make-shift shelters. These communities have depended on meagre savings, remittances and humanitarian relief as the local economy more..

Gota blames govt

Apr 17 (CT) Had the incumbent govt followed through the plan to create a sanitary landfill, the Meethotamulla tragedy could have been prevented, said former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He added that the 2015 Budget had allocated funds for this plan. Within the last two years if this plan was implemented, the issue with regard to the Meethotamulla garbage dump would have been solved, he said. more..

Southern Expressway nets in Rs 178.6 million in week ending 14 April

Apr 17 (CT) The average daily revenue generated through Southern Expressway tolls had increased nearly by 25% during the week prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year, Expressway Operation, Maintenance & Management Division Director said. From 7 Friday to 14 Friday 607,500 vehicles have travelled through the Southern Expressway and had generated revenue of Rs 178.6 million during the said days. more..

RITES secures largest export order from Sri Lanka for Indian Railways

Apr 17 (PTI) Indian Railways will supply modern locomotives and train sets worth Rs 680 crore to Sri Lanka, in the largest export order for the public transporter. Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), a railways PSU, has secured its largest export order from Sri Lanka Railways for the supply of 10 broad gauge diesel locomotives and six DMU (diesel multiple units) train sets. more..

Sri Lanka to allow assets hoarded abroad to be brought back

Apr 17 (EN) Sri Lanka will allow assets stashed abroad to be brought back with the payment of a remittance fee or no tax if the funds are invested in dollar-denominated govt debt under proposed less restrictive exchange control. The funds, however, should not have been acquired by criminal activities or have anything to do with terrorist finance. Sri Lanka enacted a draconian exchange control act in 1953 barely 2 years more..

Sri Lankan recruiters nearly double fees for Saudi agencies recruiting housemaids

Apr 17 (AB) Sri Lankan recruitment offices have nearly doubled the fees they charge from Saudi Arabian agencies recruiting Sri Lankan housemaids, according to a Saudi recruitment official. The chairman of the recruitment committee of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dammam, Hussain Al-Mutairi said that SL recruitment offices have turned their back on agreement with their Saudi counterparts more..

Norochcholai power plant breaks down

Apr 17 (DM) The power failure which occurred in several areas this morning was due to the breakdown of a power generator in the first phase of the Norochcholai Coal power station (Lakvijaya), Ministry Media Spokesman said. Breakdown was caused due to a technical failure in a boiler belonging to the first phase of the plant. He said the malfunctioning of the generator would not affect the National Power Supply. more..

Vietnam and SL agree to strengthen ties

Apr 17 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to enhance commercial trades between the two countries by USD 1 billion and to strengthen ties in the govt and private sector. Apart from strengthening ties in the commercial trade sector, the Premiers agreed to deepen relations in investments and tourism. While praising the achievement of the unity govt in directing more..

President tells officials to provide relief to victims regardless of cost

Apr 17 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena had ordered that relief be provided to victims of the Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster regardless of the cost, a media statement issued by the President’s office said. Addressing a meeting held at the Ministry of Disaster Management to provide relief to the victims, the president told officials to do their best to help the disaster victims fast. more..

Disposal of garbage in state-owned lands to be banned

Apr 17 (AD) Disposal of garbage in state-owned lands under the UDA will be banned, effective from May 1, Minister Champika Ranawaka says. UDA explained that in an instance where a provincial council or state-owned company would require an area to dispose of their garbage, said company would have to bear the necessary expenses using their allocated funds. Ranawaka expressed his sympathies towards victims more..

Emerging challenges in the power sector

Apr 17 (CT) Sri Lanka Economic Association, abbreviated as SLEA, under its new President Dr. Upananda Vidanapathirana, has ventured into generating public discussion of critical economic issues with a view to finding appropriate solutions for them. The objective? There are at least two. It would keep the public informed of the true nature of the critical issues, while getting the policymakers to act promptly. To facilitate this, SLEA has assembled professionals in the field to discuss more..