Garbage collection dysfunctional, council handicapped, say officials By Anushiya Sathisraja View(s): View(s):Despite lingering concerns over public health issues such as the uncontained spread of dengue and a dysfunctional waste management system in Colombo, officials say they are handicapped — no staff, not enough waste trucks, decades old fleet, no investment, no technical knowledge, and ageing, unproductive workers, and worse — more than 1,000 metric tons of garbage is not collected. “There are 47 wards in the city limits and it is the public health inspectors who check for dengue breeding sites. There is insufficient capital investment to implement an effective waste management strategy, the director of Waste Management in the Western Province, Nalin Manaperuma said. The plan is to recycle 12 per cent, turn seven per cent into compost and incinerate 47 per cent. Although composting will be profitable, the Western Province has constraints on available land.
Naming and shaming View(s):It was chance encounter with a sociology professor during a walk at the ‘Weli’ Park at Nugegoda that triggered the thoughts behind today’s column. Ahthayrole: It’s a big ad titled ‘Public Notice of Apology’ with the word apology in huge letters. Public apology? Ahthayrole: This is what naming and shaming of a guilty person should be. Will that change the world, reduce crime, reduce corruption or give new life to the culture of naming and shaming the corrupt who act with impunity?
Money printing spree ahead of Avurudu View(s):Sri Lanka has printed currency worth Rs.217 billion to service cash-strapped public finances during the period of January 1 to February 17, official data showed. An increase in money printing is normal during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year period, Central Bank (CB) Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy at a media conference on Friday acknowledged a cash flow problem in January but that it has been effectively managed. Precautionary measures were taken against a build-up of adverse inflation expectations and the possible acceleration of demand side inflationary pressures through excessive monetary and credit expansion, he added. Gross official reserves were estimated at US$ 5.6 billion at end February 2017 compared to $ 6 billion at end 2016 while the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated by 1.2 per cent against the US dollar during the year up to March 22, Dr. Coomaraswamy confirmed. The aim of the Government is to build foreign reserves to $7.5 billion by end 2017 helped by $1 billion from a syndicated loan and $1.5 billion from a sovereign bond.
Terrorism strikes, innocents die View(s):T errorism came to the heart of the British capital last Wednesday. The results of those outdated policies are now coming home to roost but at the expense of civilian lives though the Westminster attack might still be the act of a crazed individual with a criminal history. Those who have lived for years under the cloud of terrorism and experienced the threat of terrorism almost daily might be inclined to conclude that one man with a knife was hardly likely to drive democracy to death. While working in Sri Lanka for the local and international media I had covered at least a dozen instances of major LTTE terrorist attacks and saw the resulting carnage. Eventually though the LTTE was banned along with some other groups, British law enforcement agencies looked the other way while the LTTE made hay.
St. Peterâ€™s record third successive win 43rd Joe-Pete Limited Over View(s): View(s):St. Peterâ€™s recorded their third successive win against traditional rivals St. Josephâ€™s with a 54 run win in their 43rd annual limited over encounter played at the SSC ground. The high scoring match saw St. Peterâ€™s taking first lease of the wicket were steered by two batting displays by Sulakshana Fernando who made 90 and Manelker de Silva an unbeaten 107. Thus the Peterites ended up with a formidable score of 311 for 8. St. Josephâ€™s in their run chase despite a fine knock of 73 coming from Dineth Madurawala was able to muster a score of only 257. St. Peterâ€™s 311 for 8 in 50 overs (Sulakshana Fernando 90, Santhush Gunatilleke 31, Lakshina Rodrigo 23, Manelker de Silva 107 n.o.
Conservation forest declared near Wilpattu View(s):Nearly 100,000 acres of land adjoining Wilpattu National Park have been declared a “conservation forest” with immediate effect to prevent further encroachment by people, Forest Conservator General Anura Sathurusinghe told the Sunday Times. He explained that the President urgently signed the gazette during his visit to Russia thereby stopping people with political backing clearing more areas in the forest. The gazette notification gives wider powers to the Forest Department’s five forest reserves – Mavillu, Wepal, Karadikkuli/Marichchakatti, Wilaththikulam and Periyamurippu that have now been gazetted as ‘Mavillu Conservation forests’ and have the highest protection available under the act,” he said. Mr. Sathurusinghe said that in view of the gazette notification presidential and parliamentary approval will be needed to acquire or clear any land. He said that in future they have plans to gazette “Conservation Forests” to increase the forest cover to 32 percent of land in the country.
SportVolkswagen Beetle Owners ’Club has made arrangements to hold the 18th Pride of Ownership Drive today (26). Colombo Hilton has once again has come forward to sponsor the start of the event. Shane Ingram, Director Operations of the Hilton Colombo will do the honors by flagging off the 18th year of Pride in Rally form with 1minute intervals. Over 65 VW’s in air cooled form are expected to participate at this year event with many “First Timers” who will be welcomed to the fraternity. The Club is grateful to the LOLC Group who have come forward as the main sponsor of the event, giving their commitment to support the activities of the club.
Running against the wind View(s):My dear Thilanga,I thought I must write to you to congratulate you on our latest cricketing achievement – losing a test match last week to Bangladesh, the youngest test playing country which gained â€˜testâ€™ status nearly two decades after we did. Before the World Cup win, people who loved cricket gave freely of their time and effort to Sri Lanka Cricket. Since then, Thilanga, you have been in and out of Sri Lanka Cricket many times. Take my advice – there is just one more thing to do: introduce a â€˜National Listâ€™ to get appointed to Sri Lanka Cricket. Yours truly,Punchi PuthaPS: We heard you say recently that our plans are focussed on the next World Cup.
Tourism promotion to kick-start in May Digital campaign followed by mega promotion in 2017 View(s): View(s):Sri Lanka’s tourism sector can heave a sigh of relief. After nearly seven years, Sri Lanka Tourism in May will launch a comprehensive destination campaign initially through digital platforms and thereafter through all media. The aggressive digital marketing promotion campaign will focus on boosting markets like Germany, Western Europe, Middle East, China and India, said Sutheash Balasubramaniam, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB). A destination marketing campaign has been in the works for several years but stalled by budgets and bureaucratic delays. But the fact is that these are robust markets in Sri Lanka and despite a near 30-years of instability in the country, these markets have continued to patronize us,” he said.
NewsPakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has stressed the need of fully exploiting Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for the mutual benefit of peoples of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, The Nation in Pakistan reported. The Prime Minister was talking to Pakistan-Sri Lanka Friendship Trade and Investment Association President Iftikhar Aziz who called on him Friday. Aziz has been conferred the Tamgha-e-Kidmat for his meritorious services in promoting the trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “Both Countries should utilise the full potential of Free-Trade Agreement”, emphasised the prime minister. The prime minister congratulated Aziz for conferment of Tamgha-e-Khidmat Award from President Mamnoon Hussain.
NewsThree army personnel have been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with the shooting incident at Rathupaswala in 2013. They were remanded till April 3 after being produced before the Gampaha Magistrate. Three people were killed and many others were injured after violence erupted during a demonstration by residents of Rathupaswala at Weliveriya on August 1, 2013. At the time, the residents had been demanding clean drinking water amid allegations that local water sources had been contaminated by waste from a factory in the area. Human rights groups have long accused the former Government of sending in the army to violently suppress the demonstration, resulting in civilians being killed.
Features"Palette of Colours" a joint exhibition of paintings by renowned artist and art instructor R. Koiiwshiqan along with his disciples Ananya Bagchi, Dr. Jaya Thakur, G. Kowsiga and Mt's Senthanrarai Jeyaruban. The inauguration of the exhibition will be held on 24th of March 2017 at 6.30 pm a t the Lionel Wendt Memorial Art Centre No 18, Guilclforcl Crescent, Colombo 7, the exhibition will remain open for public on 25tr' and 26th March 201.7 from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm. This event is supported by Indian Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, Colombo. 'Palette of Colors' is a gateway into a world of varied designs fused with a fine combination of skill and technique to art that is aesthetically pleasing. Providing a visually delightful spread for art lovers, the exhibition promises a display of around 70 unique creations by skilled artists
NewsDefence Counsel appearing on behalf of Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa today filed a bail application at the Fort Magistrate's Court. Mr. Weerawansa is accused of misusing Government vehicles and causing losses amounting to millions of rupees to the state. The counsel submitted the bail application to court requesting it to consider granting bail to Mr. Weerawansa under exceptional circumstances, as his daughter is currently being treated in hospital. The Fort Magistrate fixed April 3 to deliver a decision on the bail application.
NewsExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India was committed to the protection of the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils, the Hindu reported. “Our aim is to protect the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The Minister’s comments came in the backdrop of the 34th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC), where the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) on Sri Lanka was presented. The report assessed the progress made in the implementation of UNHRC resolution 30/1, on human rights and reconciliation between October 2015 and January 2017, and suggested that more efforts were needed for the improvement of the human rights situation of Sri Lanka. The HRC’s session is coming to an end on Friday and, despite criticism of Colombo’s human rights record, the resolution is expected to get another extension.
NewsA deputy chief of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said that Russia has proposed to set up a service center for Russian-made helicopters in Sri Lanka, Sputnik news reported. Russia has proposed to set up a service center for Russian-made helicopters in Sri Lanka, a deputy chief of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation told Sputnik on Friday. "We’ve submitted our proposals to equip a helicopter maintenance center and provide spare parts for armored hardware to the Sri Lankan side," the agency’s Mikhail Petukhov said at the LIMA 2017 military show in Malaysia. Sri Lanka has 12 Mi-8/17 military transport helicopters, six Mi-24P attack helicopters, 36 BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, and around 50 BTR-80 amphibious armored personnel carriers.