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'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 Colombo’s 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..

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..

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..

Balaya

Learn to live with it or learn from it?

Apr 22 (NS) Meetotamulla tragedy has left us with many unanswered questions. What happened? Why hadn’t the authorities acted on the requests by residents? Although the incident took everyone by shock, the tragedy was in fact long in the making. For years, the residents have been protesting about the garbage dump and have continuously requested the authorities to move the dump away from the location. Lack of a timely action had resulted in last week’s tragedy that killed dozens. more..

Unknown de Alwises’ brush with Asian flora

Apr 22 (ST) Singapore is the most unlikely place to look for paintings of botanical and natural history artists of Sri Lanka.  But a chance meeting with Assistant Curator at the Herbarium of the Singapore Botanical Gardens Dr. Ruth Kew in 1998 led to a fruitful introduction to examine a series of wonderful drawings by the artists James and Charles de Alwis. Evocative of the rich tropical flora of Singapore and Malaysia, these finely delineated botanical drawings created for Singapore Botanical Gardens more..

'National issue without dirt slinging'

Apr 22 (CT) Rivira conducted a discussion with Minister of Disaster Management, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa with regard to the destruction of life and property caused by the Meetotamulla garbage mountain, the govt’s intervention, actions taken by the govt pertaining to disaster management and measures taken by them to provide solutions to the garbage problem. Q: Didn’t Meetotamulla clearly prove that the country has continued to fail more..

Protest to stop expansion of SLNS Gotabaya

Apr 22 (CT) The civilians in Mullaitivu have launched a protest against the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) expanding its presence in the Mullaitivu District by acquiring nearly 617 acres for the expansion of the Navy presence in the Mullaitivu District. The civilian protest is led by the Wanni Electoral District, TNA MP, Dr. S. Sivamohan in the vicinity of the Navy base which was established in the Mullaitivu District close to the Nanthikadal lagoon in Sept 2013. SLN base has been named SLNS Gotabaya more..

Meethotamulla tragedy and political garbage

Apr 22 (FT) Meethotamulla tragedy has brought back the politics of garbage to every screen, newspaper and radio. Street protests are happening around every garbage dump. Modern day popular communication technologies have taken over and they broadcast/stream live coverage of the tragedy with first-hand information and drama.  There is ample blame being apportioned on the current Govt and regretfully, most of the current politicians including those who oppose Govt policies more..

'In Tissa we sorted the garbage mess'

Apr 22 (NS) The disaster involving the Meetotamulla garbage mountain has become the talk of the town. Rivira Sunday Edition conducted a discussion with JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi regarding the matter and other economic and social issues in the country. Q: The tragedy at Meetotamulla has become a national calamity. What do you have to say about it? A: This isn’t a natural disaster. more..

Six Inches or Six Yards

Apr 22 (CT) I never quite understood it; the logic behind the expectations of Sri Lankan women to wear sarees to work. In a country with humid weather, insane traffic, over populated public transport infested with casual sexual harassment, women are expected to wear six yards of cloth that plump them up and often expose their belly and back, to work. Men, on the other hand, can wear the western formal clothing, trousers, shirt, and/or tie. Nobody ever asked them to reciprocate and more..

Israel & Sri Lankan Islamophobia

Apr 22 (CT) The attacks against this writer practically every week, which have gone on relentlessly over a very long period, have evidently been meant to stop this writer’s articles from being published. But the articles continue to be published in the Island, the Colombo Telegraph (CT), and the Sri Lanka Guardian and there are no signs that the attacks will have their desired impact on any of the Editors. Consequently this writer can safely ignore the attacks. more..

Methane levels very high at Meethotamulla: Japanese experts say final report soon

Apr 21 (AM) Methane levels at the Meethotamulla dump is very high, Japanese experts in the country to investigate into the cause of the collapse and aid SL’s waste disposal protest, have said. Ten-member team of specialist in various related fields, including geologist, civil engineers and waste disposal management experts told reporters that while ordinarily methane levels in the air were at 0.5%, methane levels at Meethotamulla more..

Unfair to blame present govt. for Meethotamulla tragedy: Malwatte Prelate

Apr 21 (DN) Since the Meethotamulla Garbage problem has been dragging on for nearly 30 years, it is unfair to point the accusing finger at the present government with regard to the recent tragedy that occurred there, Most. Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter said. Thera said only two years, have passed since the present govt came to power and these two years are inadequate to resolve such a longstanding problem of this nature. more..

Modi to inaugurate hospital during his visit

Apr 21 (PTI) PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate a well-equipped hospital in the central hill area of Dickoya, built with the Indian assistance on May 12, dominated by plantation workers of Indian-origin. The opening ceremony of the new Dickoya base hospital will be held during PM Modi's visit to Sri Lanka to take part in the celebrations marking the UN Vesak Day. The hospital complex at Dickoya, in the central Nuwara Eliya district has been built with assistance from India. more..

Sri Lanka police launch operation 3552

Apr 21 (EN) Police chief Pujith Jayasundara has launched a major offensive codenamed 3552 aimed at spiritual upliftment of his men and women. An order had been given in February to the 85,000 strong police to meditate every morning before they commence their daily routines, but it is now going out as a 5-page circular with a code name for the drive. Operation 3552 stands for 3 minutes of briefing, 5 minutes of maithri more..

Fairway group to make fertilizer, electricity with garbage

Apr 21 (EN) Fairway group which won a waste management concession said it will process 500 tonnes of garbage a day into power and fertilizer using an incinerator and an organic waste decomposition plant. Fairway Waster Management, was given the Thumbowila-Karadiyana waste dump, in a suburb of Colombo, which already has two million tonnes of waste which is leaching into nearby waterways, land and the air. Site is emitting large volumes of methane (main component more..

18 TN fishermen given Rs 90 lakh for sunk, irreparable boats 

Apr 21 (ENS) Chief Minister K Palaniswami granted assistance of Rs 90 lakh to 18 fishermen whose boats could not be salvaged after they were seized by SL navy. Palaniswami handed over cheques of Rs 5 lakh each to the fishermen at the Secretariat.  The boats, which were in the custody of Sri Lanka, were released through a series of initiatives taken by late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the release said adding the State govt had formed teams to repair 64 boats, which suffered minor damages. more..

Central Authority for solid waste management

Apr 21 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the officials to implement a programme to solve the issue of solid waste management in the country and further instructed to formulate necessary arrangements to vest the power with a Central Authority in that process. He gave these instructions during a meeting held at the Disaster Management Ministry to review the progress of providing relief measures to more..

Tense situ over historic temple reconstruction

Apr 21 (DM) A tense atmosphere prevailed in Manikkamadu area, in Ampara yesterday when a group of Muslims protested against constructing a building for the historic Manikkamadu temple that has one of the Cheithiyas surrounding the Deegavapi Cheithiya. The protestors claimed that the land in question belonged to the Muslims in the area and not to the temple. However the Maha Sangha including Chief Incumbent of Manikkamadu temple Ven. Ambagahapitiye Seelarathana more..

Fee for collecting garbage worth a try: UDA

Apr 21 (DM) A fee being levied from the people by the relevant local govt (LG) bodies for the collection of their garbage might bring about a positive change in attitude among the population, Chairman of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) Dr. Jagath Munasinghe said. When asked, whether the UDA was planning to make a proposal to impose a fee for collecting garbage from each household, Dr. Munasinghe said it was up to the LG bodies to make a decision in this regard. more..

30 new houses for Meethotamulla victims

Apr 21 (PSL) The first phase of the programme to provide houses for the displaced persons, whose houses were completely destroyed, due to the collapse of a section of the Meethotamulla garbage dump, was launched today under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and 30 families received new houses under the first phase . Currently, the Govt has taken steps to provide new houses to all 98 families more..

Lakshman Nipuna Aarachchi, five others summoned before court

Apr 21 (DN) JVP WPC member Lakshman Nipuna Aarachchi and five others have been summoned before the Kesbewa Magistrates’ Court on April 24. They six have been summoned in relation to protests they conducted against the dumping of garbage in Karadiyana. Last evening President issued a gazette notification listing garbage disposal an essential service. As per the gazette notification anyone hampering the collection and disposal or garbage can be arrested without a warrant. more..

Video: Australia toughens process to gain citizenship

Apr 21 (DM) Australia, which hosts one of the largest Sri Lankan Diasporas overseas, will make it more difficult to gain citizenship in a major overhaul of its migration process, the BBC reported yesterday. Aspiring citizens will undergo tougher tests on their English language skills and ability to demonstrate Australian values, PM Malcolm Turnbull has said. Applicants must also have completed four years as a permanent resident - three years longer than at present. more..

Sri Lanka's inflation soars to 8.6% in March

Apr 21 (EN) SL's country-wide inflation soared to 8.6% in March 2017, accelerating from 8.2% in February, making the central bank one of the worst performing in the world. Consumer prices in the capital measured by the Colombo Consumer Price Index also rose to 7.3% in March, up from 6.8% in February. Central bank has a habit of policy when domestic credit cycle turns positive and also prints money adding fuel to the fire, more..

JO to take action over President’s gazette

Apr 21 (NR) Joint Opposition says the Meethotamulla issue arose as efforts by the UPFA led govt to solve the garbage issue were brought to a halt by the present govt. MP Gamini Lokuge said the members of the JO will determine further action pertaining to the gazette. He said they will decide on what should be done in the near future adding much has happened since the govt came into power two years ago. MP questioned the Ministry of Megapolis and how it has benefited the public more..

Mumbai Food: Pop-up serves the Sri Lankan appam with a twist

Apr 21 (MD) At a convention hall in Nariman Point, Lakshit Shetty ladles a dollop of silk smooth, brown-hued batter into a deep-bottom cast iron skillet placed on a gas stove. Using protective gear, he swirls the vessel to ensure that the batter coats its circumference. He uses toothpick to scrape off the edges and conjures up a perfect bowl-shaped multigrain appam. The 29-year-old's expertise in the cuisine is courtesy a six-year stint as sous chef at the ITC group of hotels. more..

Sri Lanka bans anti-garbage protests after dump disaster

Apr 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka has outlawed protests over Colombo's garbage crisis following rallies over the city's waste disposal after a landslide at a giant rubbish tip killed 32 people and destroyed 145 homes. President Sirisena announced that anyone preventing city authorities from disposing of garbage could be prosecuted and face an indefinite period in jail. "Any person who by word or deed causes a disruption of more..

JCT Oil Bank earns Rs 77 mn profit in 2016, up 113%

Apr 21 (DN) Jaya Container Terminals’ JCT Oil Bank has enhanced its profit by 113% in relation to 2015, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. This company had earned a profit of Rs 36 million in 2015. It had earned a profit of Rs 77 million in 2016. It has reduced the selling cost from Rs 96 million to Rs 92 million and administrating costs from Rs 64 million to Rs 55 million. Ranatunga said the primary business of the Jaya Container Terminal Limited is the storing of fuel supplied for vessels more..

Four new papers on Sri Lanka’s constitutional reform published: CPA

Apr 21 (LBO) Sri Lankan policy think tank Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) said four working papers on constitutional reform have been published that discuss several topics relevant to the current reform process. The working paper series by CPA addresses topics such as the unitary state, choosing the prime minister in a parliamentary system, the bill of rights and its enforcement, the electoral system, the parliamentary-constitutional state, and devolution issues. more..

Gone to waste

Apr 21 (DM) Sri Lanka, over the years, has tainted its reputation in risk-reduction in the face of disasters. Events that unfolded following the floods and landslides in the past few years bear testimony to this. While there is no force that can counter the power of nature, the tragedy that struck Meethotamulla last week was entirely the result of our own actions.  Last year, the floods in SL exposed the weaknesses of govt authorities more..

Waugh leads Aus U19s to series win

Apr 21 (Cau) A composed half-century from Austrin Waugh has helped Australia Under-19s take an unassaible 3-1 series lead in the fourth youth one-day international against Sri Lanka in Hobart. Waugh, the son of former Test captain Stephen, struck a measured 60 off 125 balls to dig Australia out of early trouble and reach the victory target of 163 with four wickets to spare at Kingston’s Twin Ovals. The right-hander grabbed his shirt on reaching 50, later explaining the gesture more..

CID, CERT probe Lake House Facebook controversy

Apr 21 (CT) Following Colombo Telegraph’s revelation on the current state of affairs at the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited, the CID and the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) launched an investigation, today, into a derogatory Facebook profile damaging the reputation of the state-run newspaper company. The management of the company, lodging a complaint with the CID this morning, said the Facebook profile had caused a financial damage to company’s more..

PM Ranil Wickramasinghe's corrupt deals

Lawlessness & Garbage dump collapse

Apr 21 (CT) For many decades Sri Lankans have ignored the collapse of their legal system, the crisis of the judicial system and the virtual disappearance of all legal traditions. For this reason, the bond between law and social structure is now weak. This means that the law is unable to keep the political, social and cultural structure of society within a certain normative framework, resulting in chaos. As chaos spreads widely, any kind of catastrophe can become possible. more..

Lessons from Korea

Apr 21 (CT) Bribery Commissioner's Department (BCD) established by statute in 1958, 36 years later, underwent a name- change in 1994 and was renamed the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC). Its Director General Sarath Jayamanne PC, speaking at a function in Colombo yesterday, said that with these changes, CIABOC was also empowered to investigate corruption, not covered by the previous BCD. BCD's powers were limited to more..

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