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Tip of the dump: A national govt sans one voice

Apr 22 (DM) As in any other case no politician in the country had the courage and the integrity to take the responsibility for the Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster that had claimed more than thirty lives. The death toll is feared to rise as a similar number of people are said to have gone missing after the collapse of the dump on the Sinhala and Hindu New Year day.   The incident is a clear indication of lack of planning and disunity among the constituent parties in govt activities. more..

ඉන්දීය රංගන ශිල්පිනී අර්චනා ගුප්තා

Students to participate in the 18th Asia Physics Olympiad meet the President

Apr 22 (PSL) SL group of students who are leaving for Russia to participate in the 18th Asia Physics Olympiad Competition met President Maithripala Sirisena today (20). The group of students comprised of Amaya Dharmasiri from Maliyadewa Girls’ School, Kurunegala, Nisal Punsara from Rahula College, Matara, Chathura Jayasanka from Richmond College, Galle, Dimal Thanuka from Royal College, Colombo, Muhammad Aflal Afam from St Joseph’s College, Trinco, more..

M'thotamulla: Two children without parents

Apr 22 (DM) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said they had identified two children who had lost both parents in the Meethotamulla catastrophe while two other children had lost one of their parents. NCPA Deputy Chairman Sajeeva Samaranayake said they had submitted a report to the Department of Probation and Child Care Services on the plight faced by the four children. Probation and Child Care Services Officer of the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretariat said more..

Urban excitement over barn owls

Apr 22 (ST) Barn owl is a rare bird in SL categorized as near threatened in 2012 National Red List, but it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke that one was seen in Kirulapona on April 1. It had been attacked by crows and had fallen from the roof of a four-storey building, where it had taken refuge. It was handed over to wildlife expert Jayaweera who later released it. “Even through it had been attacked by crows, there were no external injuries.” more..

Amunugama highlights Japan-funded projects in Kandy in wake of visit

Apr 22 (FT) Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama this week highlighted a range of benefits the Kandy district received following the recent visit to Japan along with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said during the visit matters concerning economic, social, political and religious relations were discussed with Japanese leaders. Following are excerpts: “For a long time Japan has been assisting in development projects in the Kandy district. They have financed such projects. more..

Docs strike in Polonnaruwa acalled off after several hours

Apr 22 (Island) Patients were turned away at hospitals in the Polonnaruwa district as doctors there staged a one day token strike. There were over 3,000 patients visiting the clinics, while 1,500 came to the OPD of the Polonnaruwa hospital alone. The GMOA said the strike staged in Medirigiriya, Hingurakgoda, Bakamuna, Attanakadawala, Galamuna, Pulasthigama, Aralaganwila and Welikande was successful. President of the Polonnaruwa branch of the GMOA more..

'Dumping garbage in Dompe halted'

Apr 22 (AD) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna says that the Municipal Commissioner of Colombo has agreed to halt the disposal of garbage collected from Colombo at the waste site in Dompe. Following the recent collapse of a section of the garbage dump in Meethotamulla, a decision had been taken to dispose of the garbage from Colombo at sites in Dompe, Wattala and Piliyanda. However, the residents of these areas had resorted to more..

Anti-garbage mafia exposed

Apr 22 (CT) Kesbewa Chief Magistrate has issued notice on JVP Western Provincial Councillor Lakshman Nipunaarachchi and six other persons to appear in Court on 24 April, for having allegedly staged a demonstration against the dumping of garbage at the Karadiyana garbage recycling centre recently. Those noticed to appear in Court are former Chairman of Boralesgamuwa Urban Council C.A. Priyashantha, former Chairmen of Kesbewa UC, S. Ranaweera and L. Perera, more..

The amazing food that we underrate

Apr 22 (DM) Latest medical research is showing that our health is closely linked to the food we eat while the preventive or curative measures for various ailments could also be connected to our diet. For instance, in the case of cancer many western hospitals are no longer giving radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancer patients because the curative level is low and the side effects are many and painful. Instead DNA tests are being done for cancer patients and in many instances more..

'Police not the answer to people's protests'

Apr 22 (DM) Police force is not an answer to the protests being held against the dumping of garbage in the suburbs of Colombo, the JO said while referring to the gazette notice issued by President Sirisena. The gazette notice made garbage disposal by LG authorities an essential service, warning that anyone found to be involved in disruptive activities related to garbage disposal, transport and segregation could be arrested more..

Pre-polls boost for JSS

Apr 22 (CT) UNP has decided to further strengthen the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) ahead of the 2017 LG polls, sources said. Chairman of the JSS Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has decided to increase its membership to around 500,000 while staging youth and women's conventions as the first step of this project. Minister has decided to enlist persons aged below 35 in the youth front while appointing separate executive committees to each of those unions, sources said. more..

Legislation to enforce garbage recycling

Apr 22 (DM) The Govt will, within two months, introduce legislation to enforce the recycling of garbage, informed sources said yesterday. They said the PM was monitoring the progress of the new Bill, which is now under preparation. “Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in Asia that does not have specific laws pertaining to recycling of garbage and therefore the govt has decided to introduce laws pertaining to this issue,” a source said adding that this matter was being expedited more..

Key suspect in Sri Lanka editor killing given diplomatic post by Gotabhaya

Apr 22 (EN) The chief suspect in Lasantha Wickrematunga's assassination was given a diplomatic post by the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa but it was withdrawn soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa won the January 2010 election, fresh evidence has revealed. Rajapaksa has denied any involvement in the January 2009 assassination of Sunday Leader editor Wickrematunga and a string of other attacks more..

Hitting the road on his cycle for senior citizens

Apr 22 (ST) A 38-year-old man from Vavuniya has set out on a cycle tour covering a distance of 1,515 km with the aim of raising awareness about the plight of senior citizens in the country. Tharmalingam Prathapan, a teacher and artist began his initial lap of the journey last Saturday to Jaffna via Kilionochchi from the Kandaswamy temple in Vavuniya. Before he set off, Mr. Prathapan told the media he was appealing to President and PM to look into the welfare of senior citizens more..

19 sailors barred from leaving Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (CT) 19 multi-national seafarers are being prevented from leaving the country after the Captain of their vessel, Liberia registered Marito, apparently died under questionable circumstances, official said. The group made up of 15 Filipinos, 2 Russians and two Slovenians are currently accommodated at a hotel in the city and not allowed to leave the country until investigations are completed, International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) Inspector Ranjan Perera said. more..

A day in the life of a stilt fisherman

President’s Gazette Violates Rights: CRPS

Apr 22 (CT) The Chairman of the Consumer Rights Protection Society (CRPS) Ranjith Vithanage said that the Gazette Extraordinary issued by the President on 20 April, related to the disposal of garbage, has infringed upon the rights of the Sri Lankan citizens. He said the Gazette issued by the President blatantly violated the rights of the citizens of this country enshrined in the 1978 Constitution has been blatantly violated. Vithanage has said in a media release that through more..

Aussies out to increase Lankan pain

Apr 22 (Cau) The Under 19s have already secured the Youth ODI series ahead of Sunday's final match but want a big finish in Hobart Australia's Under 19s have already sealed their one-day series against Sri Lanka, but there will be no let-up in intensity says fast bowler Iain Carlisle. The hosts lead Sri Lanka's Under 19s 3-1 after four games of the Youth ODI Series, after a four-wicket win on Friday secured an unassailable advantage. But Carlisle, a 17-year-old quick who represented NSW Metro more..

'SL keen to boost economic ties with India'

Apr 22 (PTI) Sri Lanka is looking forward to strengthening economic cooperation with India, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said, noting that development of the strategic port town of Trincomalee will be discussed during his visit to the country next week. Wickremesinghe will arrive in New Delhi on April 25 on a five-day visit during which he will hold talks with PM Narendra Modi to further expand ties in a range of areas. more..

Min. of Finance meets IMF, WB officials

Apr 22 (NR) Minister Ravi Karunanayake says SL’s Economic Development Plan gained much praise during the Spring Meeting of the World Bank Group and the IMF currently underway in Washington DC. Minister said he held separate discussions with representatives from both the World Bank and the IMF. He also participated in the G24 Finance Minister’s Meeting held concurrently in the US capital. He was appointed the first Deputy Chairman of the Board of Finance Ministers of the IMF. more..

Incentives for dugong hunters to abandon illegal killings 

Apr 22 (ST) Two people who were arrested while transporting 80 kilos of dugong flesh in a three-wheeler have been released on bail by a court. There were detained on Sunday, April 9, by the navy at Thavulpadu in Mannar and handed over to to regional officers of Department of Wildlife Conservation. They were then produced in court and released on surety bail of Rs.100,000 each. DWC unit in Mannar is investigating, according to Channa Suraweera who is overseeing its marine unit. more..

EU Parliamentary group opposed to Sri Lanka tariff concession

Apr 22 (PTI) A European Parliamentary group has tabled a resolution in the EU Parliament against granting the GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka for its exports to the 28- member bloc, citing concern over Colombo's worryingly slow progress on key issues like human rights. The motion if approved by 376 out of 751 members would see the non granting of the concession which would have made more..

Looking across the Palk Strait

Apr 23 (SO) When PM Ranil Wickremesinghe meets with his Indian counterpart, PM Narendra Modi, in Delhi this Wednesday, it will be to lay the groundwork for the political summit between Sri Lanka and India in mid-May when Mr. Modi makes a state visit to Colombo. Being our immediate neighbour on the Asian Continent, the world’s biggest, fastest-growing, economic region, relations with India naturally take precedence over all other bilateral ties. more..

Ensuring a better MP for you

Apr 23 (SO) Sri Lankan politicians are the most reviled group in contemporary society but they continue to hang on to office for decades despite changes of govt. In an article elsewhere in this edition the bashing of politicians after the collapse of the Meetotamulla Garbage Mountain has been discussed and the prediction made that the same politicians or those of similar ilk are likely to surface much to the detriment of the country and people. The main challenge to Sri Lankan more..

Govt seeks space for trash: Agony continues

Apr 23 (SO) Ajith 24, at the moment could simply be described only as depressed and miserable. He is among a few that lost every member of the family. Ajith had momentarily left home that afternoon last Friday when he heard the news that several houses have collapsed and were buried under the garbage. The event took place between 2.30 – 3 in the afternoon. Ajith who was frantically trying to locate his house and other more..

M'mulla: Tragedy that was waiting to happen

Apr 23 (Island) Meetotamulla was a tragedy that was waiting to happen. With over 30 people, including children killed, millions of rupees worth of property damage caused, dozens whose houses were buried and at risk of further rubbish slides and methane gas explosions forced to evacuate their homes, the concerned authorities have been forced to open their eyes. The Rip Van Winkles who have now awakened are making what amends they can - not out of their own pockets or the millions more..

Enter confusion into foreign policy

Apr 23 (CT) When national security is in the final essay at stake, one is constrained to sound a timely warning lest the govt gets encouraged by gentle criticism and hence runs away with the idea that, by some weird sense of imagination this country belongs to its members. It does not. Not even to the President and the PM and the entirety of the Cabinet or the whole of Parliament, lest some strange mental alchemy has persuaded them into a conviction that a public trust is de facto ownership. more..

'Joint Opposition is hallucinating'

Apr 23 (SL) The govt hopes to address all the expectations of the people soon, Minister Gayantha Karunatillake said. Expressing hope the UNP will be able to make this year’s May Day a success, Minister said he was confident that the UNP will be able to win the elections in 2020.  Q: Has the New Year been good for the people? A: I think this year the people enjoyed the New Year free of any fear or intimidation. more..

Transparency vital in ties with India, China

Apr 23 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe leaves for New Delhi next week on what is a working visit with Indian leaders in the backdrop of some controversial issues in an otherwise seemingly friendly environment between the two countries. It is no secret that India entertained concerns over SL’s previous Administration cosying up to China a little more than India would have liked. Given the nature of the situation, however, the incumbent Govt in Colombo (which India was happy to see more..

Stench of death

Apr 23 (ST) My dear residents of Meetotamulla, I am writing to you in shock and horror at a time when the entire country is talking about the disaster in your area and about how some of you had to pay with your lives because some people couldn’t get their act together and decide what to do with the tonnes of garbage produced in Colombo. It was only a few days ago that the entire country was celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. You would have done so too, not knowing that more..


Sagala wins praise for braving Meetotamulla appearance

Apr 23 (Island) While the Meetotamulla tragedy drowned out all other news during and after Sinhala/Tamil new year, one person who seemed to earn some credit even in the eyes of detractors during this period was Minister Sagala Ratnayake who went to the site of the tragedy at least three times braving all the hostility and hooting and jeering by enraged residents. In fact, he was the only govt politician to be seen at the site until the PM turned up after his visit to Vietnam. more..

Govt united to kick start economy

Apr 23 (SO) The IMF appears to be quite optimistic over the economic performance in Sri Lanka if the country makes necessary adjustments to project a sound economic outlook in the forthcoming years. The IMF Chief's willingness to visit Sri Lanka shows that the country is on the path to recovery from an abysmal past. The President, addressing media heads last week said, he along with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is pushing the country back to the path of economic recovery. more..

Yahapalanaya caught in a mess of garbage

Apr 23 (CT) Much has been spoken about in the aftermath of the Avurudu tragedy that took place at Meethotamulla in which over 30 valuable human lives were officially lost, while few still remain missing. Like in any other incident or recent calamities, members of the tri-forces and relief workers rushed to the scene fulfilling their duties (they still are) while politicians from all corners continue to trade charges against each other. more..

Should Thirimanne make a comeback?

Apr 23 (Island) When former captain Arjuna Ranatunga met Bangladeshi journalists a fortnight ago in Colombo, he made some pertinent points while talking about the state of SL cricket. Ranatunga observed that Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal were the two best batsmen in the country. He added that when he was leading the side, he had backed several talented players despite very little return and was puzzled why that wasn’t happening at present. more..

Kapugedera guides Kandy to easy win

Apr 23 (ST) Kandy skipper Chamara Kapugedera slammed a quick-fire unbeaten 105 in only 50 balls that included 14 boundaries and two sixes to guide his side to an easy 39 runs win over Dambulla in a second round match of the Super Provincial limited over tournament played under floodlights at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium yesterday. Kapugedera was also involved in two valuable partnerships. First was of 45 runs for the 5th wicket with Asalanka and other an unbroken 104 runs stand more..

Who created this bubble?

Apr 23 (ST) After reading our last week’s musings column where we wrote about the views of Sidath Wettimuny with regard to Sri Lanka cricket’s present status, someone called and said, You have stirred up a hornet’s nest. While parting with those sentiments he also added, “Why didn’t he come up with a solution? As it is, the situation looks rather glum. Yes, we appreciate his views. We still could say that even during those dark days more..

King Murali to sit on ICC Hall of Fame throne

Apr 23 (NS) Cricket crazy Sri Lanka will warm up to the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy with the news that the island’s most celebrated spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan is to be inducted into ICC’s Hall of Fame. Muralitharan, fondly known as Murali, will be inducted to ICC’s Hall of Fame along with  former Australia captain Karen Rolton, Arthur Morris of  Don Bradman’s invincibles and George Lohmann. The unassuming Muralitharan basked in glory during an illustrious career more..

Presidential Sports Awards on May 19

Apr 23 (ST) Presidential Sports Awards 2016 conducted under the patronage of the Ministry of Sports and the Department of Sports Development will be held at the BMICH on May 19. At this gigantic ceremony, fifty three deserving sports personalities from all fields related to sport will be felicitated. Chairman of the project Saman Amarasinghe said “The Ministry has allocated a sum of rupees ten million for this year’s programme and we are hoping to build on the initial effort more..