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Sri Lanka, new heights in human misery and dog abuse

Apr 22 (Island) Hot on the heels of the VC of Sri J'pura University Prof. Sampath Amaratunge paying Rs. 350,000/- of public money to a pest control company named Ultrakleen/Ultrakil to do the disappearing act on some 30 odd sterilized rabies vaccinated dogs on April 8 and 9, a 40-foot rubbish heap of the Meethotamulla rubbish dump in Colombo crumbles on 200 odd homes in that area burying hundreds of human beings alive under the stinking and slimy rubbish on New Year Day. more..

Meethotamulla disaster and political apathy

Apr 22 (Island) Last year I wrote a piece on the danger of disposing garbage in open dumps such as the one at Meethotamulla and the immediate need to go for a sanitary landfill. While people in the vicinity of Meethotamulla have been agitating, picketing and clashing with the police, the govt adopted the easy wait-and-see approach. Now the worst has happened and the govt should wake up from its deep slumber and as a matter of national priority should go ahead more..

'I am ready to help if asked'

Apr 22 (NS) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa spoke about the macro plans launched by him during the previous regime to tackle Colomboís garbage managemment issues and the interventions readied to tackle the problem scientifically. Q: Politicians allege that you and the previous govt are responsible for the tragedy involving deadly Meetotamulla garbage mountain. What do you have to say about this? more..

Murder at Meethota

Apr 22 (Island) A recent cartoon in the popular Marmaduke series, showed the dog Marmaduke look sadly at the trash cans emptied by urban sanitation workers. The friendly boy tried to make him feel better saying Donít be sad, Marmaduke. We can always make more trash. This must be how so many of those we now learn profited from the garbage dump at Meethotamulla may have felt - that there will be more garbage ahead Ė whenever there was a drop in urban garbage collections. more..

Editorial: Kolombata hunu, gamata kunu

Apr 22 (Island) People who, troubled by the contamination of their wells owing to effluent from a factory, asked for clean water, got bullets from the previous govt at Rathupaswala in 2013. The present administration seems to think the panacea for peopleís burning problems is water; it unflinchingly has police use water cannon liberally to disperse protesters demanding redress for their grievances as we saw on Thursday. People who took to the streets against Colomboís garbage being more..

First direct partnership between G15 and SL

Apr 22 (FT) The first-ever direct partnering effort by G15 global grouping with Sri Lanka will commence on Monday in Colombo. Experts from the G15 grouping, the focused country group that works along with G77, which is the largest coalition of developing countries in UN, will conduct their intense sessions in Colombo from 24 to 25 April, focusing on Intellectual Property (IP) rights of traditional knowledge. more..

Sri Lanka women to play India and England

Apr 22 (Island) The schedule for the practice matches ahead of the ICC Womenís World Cup 2017 was announced today with just over two months to go for the eight-team tournament which will be played in England and Wales from 24 June to 23 July. The practice matches, which will be played at four different venues from 19-22 June, will give sides the chance to acclimatise to the conditions and also test the caliber of teams they will face later, since all teams play each other in round-robin more..

Adithya reaches top 250 in world

Apr 22 (Island) One of the greatest future prospects in Sri Lankaís tennis, Adithya Karunaratne, 15, recently received the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Girls under-18 world rank 205. Karunaratne, who is now training full-time in Spain, thus became the highest-ranked SL player in international junior tennis in the recent history. Karunaratne at present is participating in the European circuit ITF under-18 tournaments. Before turning 15 last December, she had won six ITF titles. more..

Separate ward for dengue patients: Rajitha

Apr 22 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne directed the setting up of a separate ward for dengue patients at hospitals countrywide. He said he had arrived at this decision after a meeting with the heads of several ministries. ďAt present we send dengue patients to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Angoda and Negombo General Hospital for treatment, but a separate ward for dengue patients is essential at every hospital,Ē he said. more..

Domestic workers shunned?

Apr 22 (NS) Domestic workers have complained of being shunned by State authorities including the Labour and Trade Union Relations Ministry over their push for legal protection to be afforded to domestic workers. The Domestic Workers Union (DWU) seeks amendments to the National Minimum Wage of Workers Act, No. 3 of 2016 and the Wages Boards Ordinance. The Act which set Rs 10,000 as the minimum wage for all workers, however in Section 14 which also deals with more..

Cricket coaching staff at loggerheads?

Apr 22 (CT) After an unsuccessful series against an up and coming Bangladesh cricket team, the coaching unit of Sri Lanka cricket seems to be at loggerheads with one another. The coaches seem to be having different ideas on the approach to the methods of coaching a young SL team who seem to go out of ideas in a tight situation. This was evident when the two teams met in the third T20I in Colombo with the SL team going down without a fight. Not that Bangladesh are minnows more..

Political reforms can be done through amendments: Prelate

Apr 22 (Island) Chief Incumbent Rajopavanaramaya, Getambe has in a memorandum submitted to former President Rajapaksa declared that there was no necessity for a new constitution. If there is a need to introduce some reforms those could be introduced through amendments to the existing constitution, Ven. Keppetiyagoda Siriwimala Nayake Thera has said. Destructive forces are jointly making arrangements to more..

Awareness programme on RTI held at the Ministry of Defense

Apr 22 (MoD) An awareness programme was held at the Ministry to educate the staff of the Right To Information (RTI) act. The programme was conducted by the Director General of Govt Information Department Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya and Director of the National Media Centre Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi. The participants were educated on the contents of the Act including the access to information by the general public, responsibility of state institutions to publish information, more..

Election finance reform bill ready

Apr 22 (NS) Elections monitoring bodies say that the draft of a bill for regulating campaign finance and bringing in reforms to election related expenditure will be handed over to the govt next month. Polls monitor, PAFFREL said that the draft would be handed over to the political authorities including President, PM, Secretaries including General Secretaries of political parties, the Chairman of the Elections Commission and the Minister Faiszer Musthapha, in May. more..

Protests banned in Piliyandala for 14 days

Apr 22 (DM) Kesbawa acting Magistrate issued an order restraining any form of protests that would inconvenience the public, for 14 days from today (22) in the Piliyandala police division. Piliyandala police OIC K.R.M. Senevirathne informed courts that a protest had been planned by a group including provincial Council Member Laxman Nipunaarachchi against the dumping of garbage collected from Colombo at the Karadiyana more..

India developing SL port to combat China

Apr 22 (Forbes) As regional powers like China, Russia, Japan, and India vie for political and economic position throughout the eastern realms of Eurasia, many of the less powerful countries caught in the middle are employing what could be called a multi-vector strategy as they engage openly with multiple suitors in an attempt to balance out their respective influences ó and ultimately bringing in more investment, financing, and development for themselves. more..

Minister suspends SLBA

Apr 22 (CT) Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara through a gazette notification announced yesterday of the suspension of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) and calling for a fresh election. He issued the notice about suspending the registration of SLBA and further ordered that fresh elections be convened to elect the new office bearers to the SLBA for 2017. As an interim arrangement, Director General of Department of Sports Development Saman Bandara more..

Khuram Shaikh 'stabbed 40 times with broken bottles'

Apr 22 (BBC) An aid worker from Greater Manchester who was killed in Sri Lanka was shot and stabbed more than 40 times with broken bottles, an inquest has heard. Red Cross worker Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Rochdale, was attacked at a hotel while on holiday in SL on Christmas Day in 2011. A witness, giving evidence for the first time, said when he was attacked it was as if he was being targeted. Inquest in Heywood recorded a conclusion more..

Sri Lanka seeks to carve out niche in medical tourism

Apr 22 (OBG) Rising numbers of tourists from abroad and a state-led campaign to expand medical tourism could attract further investment to Sri Lankaís health care sector, creating additional opportunities for its hospitality industry in the process. The countryís bid to become a centre for health and wellness is supported by improved connectivity and infrastructure, as well as its increased popularity as a tourism destination. Foreign arrivals were up 3.4% year-on-year more..

Hilton Hotels expand footprints in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (SLE) Following the landmark deal by Hilton to manage six more hotels in Sri Lanka, senior management of the Hilton met visiting Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Washington D.C. on the sidelines of the ongoing World Bank and IMF meetings.† Senior Vice President of Hilton Jonas Neihardt met with Minister Karunanayake, facilitated by Nisha Biswal, Senior Advisor of Albright Stonebridge Group, to brief on measures being taken by this renowned global hospitality company of US more..

'Gazette notice: No solution to garbage crisis'

Apr 22 (DM) JVP condemned the gazette notice issued by the President declaring that garbage disposal by local govt bodies was an essential service. It said this move was not a solution to the garbage crisis. JVP said it was an attempt to suppress the people's right to protest out of a reasonable fear that garbage would be dumped in the vicinity of their homes while those responsible for taking the lives of innocent people by more..

PRECIFAC Chairman hands over reports

Apr 22 (DN) Chairman of PRECIFAC Preethi Padman Surasena handed over reports on three state institutions, where they had concluded investigations into large scale fraud and corruption which occurred during the regime of former President Rajapaksa. Commissionís Secretary M.W. Gunadasa said that the reports had the observations and recommendations of the Commissionís Chairman and Commissioners; High Court judge Vikum Kaluarachchi, Piyasena Ranasinghe, more..

SAITM founder welcomes govt decision

Apr 22 (Island) South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando said that after the govt decision to list his institute in the Colombo Stock Exchange his aspirations had been fulfilled. "My only hope is to see that SAITM churns out brilliant doctors in the future and added the students passing out from the institute founded by me will be trained not only to treat patients but to do the work of an attendant in an emergency." more..

Govt to introduce new legislation on export of minerals

Apr 22 (FT) Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the Govt is drawing up plans to introduce a mineral policy with the aim of discouraging the export of raw materials that can be developed into value added products within the country. He said that, soon, proper regulations will be introduced to discourage exports, adding that minerals such as graphite, ilmenite, and rutile Ė 3 minerals currently exported in its raw form Ė more..

CBK, MR invited for SLFP May Day rally in Kandy

Apr 22 (DM) Former presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa have been invited to participate in the SLFP May Day rally to be held at Getambe in Kandy, Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake said. He said party members from across the country were expected to attend the rally in Kandy. ďThe joint opposition is also holding a May Day rally in Colombo. A May Day rally should not have a political agenda, but should be about the rights of the workers,Ē he said. more..

From protector to executioner! Wildlife official shoots wild elephant

Apr 22 (FT) Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) has strongly protested the shooting of a wild elephant by Wildlife officials as an act of alleged self-defence.†It said as the oldest conservation organisation of its kind, the founder of the initial national parks and prime instigator in the setting up of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), this act of needless destruction of a nationally-protected species by those who should be protecting them counters every principle of conservation more..

Asylum seeker from SL let himself be tortured to support his bid to stay in Britain

Apr 22 (MO) An asylum seeker allowed himself to be tortured with hot iron bars to support his bid to stay in the UK, judges have ruled. He claimed five scars on his back were evidence of how he was badly treated by authorities in his native Sri Lanka. But rejecting his claims, the Court of Appeal ruled that he probably consented to the torture in as part of a ruse called self-infliction by proxy or SIBP. more..

Honesty and Reliability: Sports Act or none

Apr 22 (CT) As with many in SL, another problem has arisen regarding actions of a National Sports Body SL Aquatic Sports Association regarding the disbursement of funds given by Ministry of Sports to cover expenses; in 2015 swimmers from schools were participating in a swimming championship in Thailand. Funds were given to cover the cost of air tickets by Sports Ministry, cost of tickets had been collected from parents by SLASA, of children who were to go to Thailand. more..

Should we have socio-economic rights in the constitution?†

Apr 22 (CT) Thank you very much for that welcome,† Itís great to be here in Colombo. Iíve always liked the quality of intellectual dialog here very good. I was briefed that I should speak on incorporating socio economic rights in the constitution. What Iím going to do is try and develop a conversation. I realize this is a subject of live and passionate debate in Sri Lanka. Iím not going to directly talk about the Sri Lankan constitution for two reasons.††First, because Iím not equipped to do so. more..

'Use abandoned pits not wildlife sanctuaries'

Apr 22 (NS) The FSP was in the forefront of the campaign against the Meetotamulla garbage dump. Pubudu Jagoda, Propaganda Secretary of FSP, revealed the reasons for the tragedy and their future plans to avert such catastrophes. Q: How do you explain the disaster that occurred in Meetotamulla? A: The previous govt had a national infrastructure development plan. Present govt named it Megapolis Development Plan. more..

Flying three-wheelers a fatal attraction

Apr 22 (ST) Having spent months labouring at building sites in Colombo, young Dharshana Madushanka, was looking forward to be with his family during the National New Year celebration. So the 26-year-old bought gifts for his sisterís family in Inamaluwa, Dambulla and decided to travel in his three-wheeler. Mr Madhushanka left on Sunday night expecting to reach his sisterís family early on Sunday. more..

Fighting corruption is good for SL: British HC

Apr 22 (DM) Making progress in the fight against corruption is good for Sri Lanka, for Sri Lankans and for SL businesses, British High Commissioner to SL James Dauris said. Speaking on Corporate Governance: staying ahead of the risk of corruption, he said if corruption was tackled properly, it will be easier for Sri Lankan business to proper. ďGet it right, at least get it better, more..

C.V.Wigneswaran hurts Christian sentiments

Apr 22 (DM) Northern Province chief Minister Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran, who possesses a remarkable flair for getting embroiled in controversial issues, is in the eye of a storm again. This time it is over some remarks made by him during the course of a media interview on April 14th 2017. Mr. Wigneswaran was interviewed by a Tamil website called Thinappuyal meaning Daily Storm. more..

Salley suggests charging special tax from outsiders coming to Colombo

Apr 22 (Island) Tax payers in the commercial Capital must lodge a strong protest against the dumping of garbage of non-Colombo residents in the metropolis, Western Province Organizer of Minister Rishad Bathiudinís ACMC said. "If it is fair for residents of different parts of the country to protest against the dumping of garbage at sites identified by the govt, isnít it fair for municipal authorities in Colombo to impose some sort more..

ĎColombo needs at least three landfills to overcome garbage problemí

Apr 22 (DN) Colombo District needs at least three landfills each with a capacity of 2,000 tons per day to manage the garbage problem, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Minister, observing that sanitary landfills are the best cost-effective and scientific solution to the garbage issue, said Gampaha needs at least two landfills each with a capacity of 1,500 tons per day Kalutara needs at least one with capacity of 1,000 tons per day. more..

Garbage disposal-Missed opportunities end in M'mulla tragedy

Apr 22 (DM) The tragedy at Meetotamulla could have been avoided had one of the several offers made by some private companies and foreign organizations were accepted by the previous governments, former chief ministers, mayors and Colombo municipal councillors said yesterday. They said the first such offer was from the World Bank to the CMC in 1997, when Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was the Mayor of Colombo. more..

MS on Erdogan receiving mandate to rule till 2029

Apr 22 (Island) Declaring his readiness to either abolish or further dilute executive powers as pledged in the run-up to January 2015 presidential poll, President Maithripala Sirisena has referred to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receiving an unprecedented mandate to continue till 2029. President Maithripala Sirisena was addressing proprietors and the top management of private and state-run media on Thursday (20). more..

'Garbage mafia on the decline : 3Rs to the rescue'

Apr 22 (DN) It is time we shelve Not in my backyard, but somewhere else attitude on garbage and support the efforts to deal with the issue in a scientific manner, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Maintaining that sanitary landfills are the best cost-effective and scientific solution for garbage issue in Sri Lanka, the minister pointed out the Colombo District alone needs three landfills with a capacity of 2,000 tons per day. more..

Govt calls for strengthening UN Peace building Fund

Apr 22 (NR) The govt has called for strengthening the United Nations Secretary Generalís Peace building Fund which was positioned to support countries emerging from conflict or at risk of descending into violence. Sri Lanka, a beneficiary of the UN Peace Building Fund after the conclusion of the three-decade long conflict said it is imperative that the UN Peace building Support Office should be further strengthened more..

Sweetmeats much in demand now; but sweet makers say future bleak

Apr 22 (ST) Traditional New Year sweetmeat makers in Kevumgama, Kiribathgoda were busy with their orders last week as usual, but they are doubtful that the younger generation would continue with the traditional food industry. With the busy schedules of people living mostly in the city, and who still follow traditional practices associated with the National New Year, the sweetmeat industry is flourishing. But the traditional sweetmeat makers worry that the industry may soon more..