Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No smoking, drinking scenes on TV from sept 01

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa

All programmes telecast on TV channels should not have smoking or drinking scenes, starting from September 1, National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) said.

Addressing a media briefing at the Information Department yesterday (29), NATA chairmen Prof. Carlo Fonseka said that in the case of programmes produced before the date on which the NATA Act became operative, which is December 1, 2006, and if there are practical difficulties in deleting such scenes, TV channels will be permitted to show such programmes under certain conditions.

"In the full 20 seconds preceding the commencement of the programme TV channels should show the opening message provided by NATA without any obstruction or comment, he said.

He also said that whenever smoking/ or drinking scenes appear during a programme, the appropriate message provided by NATA should be telecast occupying not less than 1/5 of the screen.

Fonseka also added that if the programme is subtitled or dubbed in another language, the NATA messages should be shown in the language which the programme is dubbed or subtitled.

"The appropriate message should be aired for the full duration depicting the smoking/drinking scenes and that the some of the messages will be shown with images of illnesses that are caused by smoking or alcohol consumption, he added.

"Images of alcohol and cigarette consumptions have increased dramatically in television programmes in the past few years. Research has shown that these images have a vast impact on viewers, especially young people," Sri Lanka Medical Association Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Mahesh Rajasuriya said.

Rajasuriya also said that tobacco and alcohol are the two worst killers accounting for more premature deaths and ill- health across the world.


Cement controversy: Compromise expected

SLSI in crucial discussions today 

By Lal Gunasekera

An end to the so-called cement crisis would be possible if the discussions scheduled for this morning (30) among the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI), Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) and cement industry, including the importers, manufacturers and traders, yielded intended results, sources said.

The Chairman of the SLSI Kanchana Ratwatte told The Island that a discussion had been scheduled for today among all the stake holders and that he felt a compromise could be reached to end this controversy.

He said that the SLSI was prepared to accept a quality certificate from an accredited internationally accepted laboratory, but the consumers would be purchasing cement at their own risk without an SLS certificate.

The National Cooperation Council (NCC) under the purview of the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade had placed an order for 100,000 bags of cement to overcome a shortage in the local industry, but only 14,000 bags (Each containing 50 Kg) were released to the local market.

The cement was ordered from Lucky Cement Company of Pakistan, with an SLS certificate, which was later withdrawn by SLSI due to "interior quality" of their product.


Skin disease in North Central Province (2 items)

Sand fly inflicts skin disease in NCP

By Percy Kuruneru Anuradhapura Correspondent

The people in North Central Province have been afflicted with a skin dicease due to being stung by the sandfly.

The decrease was fast spreading in the province, the Skin Specialist at the Polonnaruwa Hospital Dr Indira Kahawita said.

The symptoms of the decease were red patches, swellings etc on the skin once bitten by the fly and it did not cause any pain, she said.

The specialist said in the initial stages they looked like pimples. They appear on the limbs, face, nose and the ears.

The fly the size of a mosquito becomes active at night. Hence the medical experts warn the people to use mosquito nets as a precautionary measure and to avoid sleeping outdoors.


Skin disease spreads
Amila Prabath Wanasinghe and Anuradhapura Courts Corr

A skin disease is fast spreading among people in the North Central Province. Around 1,170 patients have been reported from Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts.

The disease is caused due to sand fly bites, according to Dr Asoka Munasinghe of the Provincial Epidemiological Unit.

Addressing an awareness programme for medical personnel held at the Anuradhapura Heritage Hotel, Dr Munasinghe said the uncovered parts of the human body is worst affected by this skin disease. "Following sand fly bites, the wound expands like scars on the body. Most affected patients are from Padaviya, Talawa, Nuwaragam Palatha East and Rajangane," she said. Patients suffering from this disease should visit government skin clinics without delay for medication, she said.


Power from thermal plants


The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is planning to generate power and energy through thermal power plants, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

“Power generating through hydro power plants has decreased and it is not enough to fulfill the consumer demand due to heavy decline in the capacity of reservoirs which are feeding hydro power plants,” ministry sources added.

Victoria hydro power plant’s CEB electricity engineer (operations) J.A.S. Jayasinghe said the entire capacity of the Victoria reservoir is 722 million cubic meters and currently it has only 270 mcm.

“As a percentage it is only 30 percent. When the reservoir is full, Victoria generates 675 Gigawatt hours (GWh) but the present power generating capacity is only enough to generate 70 GWh,” Jayasinghe said.

The Victoria hydro power plant makes the most contribution to the national grid. It generates 1.5 GWh per day at present and fulfills 10 percent of national electricity needs. This is the largest power station and the largest dam in the country as well, he said.

රෝගීන් 16,551 ක්‌ පිළිබඳ වාර්තා වෙයි - මාස 8ට ඩෙංගුවලින් 121 දෙනෙක්‌ මියයති

ඒමන්ති මාරඹේ

මෙම වසරේ ගත වූ මාස 8 ක කාලයේදී ඩෙංගු රෝගීන් 16,551 දෙනකු දිවයිනෙන් වාර්තා වී ඇති අතර ඩෙංගු රෝගීන් 121 දෙනකු මියගොස්‌ ඇතැයි වසංගත රෝග විද්‍යා අංශය පවසයි.

මෙම වසරේ වැඩිම ඩෙංගු රෝගීන් සංඛ්‍යාවක්‌ හා ඩෙංගු මරණ වාර්තා වී ඇත්තේ කොළඹ දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කයෙන් වන අතර එම දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කයෙන් ඩෙංගු රෝගීන් 6563 දෙනකු හා ඩෙංගු මරණ 58 ක්‌ වාර්තා වී තිබේ. මෙයට අමතරව ගම්පහ දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කයෙන් ඩෙංගු රෝගීන් 2504 දෙනකු හා ඩෙංගු මරණ 18 ක්‌ වාර්තා වී තිබේ.

ජුලි - අගෝස්‌තු මාසවලදී මෙතෙක්‌ ඩෙංගු රෝගීන් 6255 දෙනකු වාර්තා වී ඇති බව වසංගත රෝග අංශය පවසයි. මෙම දිනවල පවතින කඩින් කඩ වර්ෂාව සමඟ රෝගය නැවත හිස එසවීමේ අවදානමක්‌ පැවතීම නිසා තම නිවස හා ගෙවත්තේ ඩෙංගු මදුරු කීටයන් බෝවන ස්‌ථාන විනාශ කර දමා ශුද්ධ පවිත්‍රව තබාගන්නා ලෙස මහජනතාවගෙන් ඉල්ලීම් කෙරේ.



ඩෙංගු මඬින්න බී.ටී.අයි. කැට

සන්ධ්‍යා කරුණාරත්න

ඩෙංගු මර්දනය කිරීම සඳහා බී. ටී. අයි. බැක්ටීරියාව යෙදුමට නව ක්‍රමයක් මෙරටට හඳුන්වාදීමට සෞඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය පියවර ගනියි.

මදුරු මර්දනය සඳහා බී. ටී. අයි. දියරය වෙනුවට ඝන කැට වර්ගයක් හඳුන්වාදීම මෙහිදී සිදුවේ. රුපියල් මිලියන 15ක් වැය කරමින් කැට 45,000ක් මේ ව්‍යාපෘතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීම සඳහා අමෙරිකාවෙන් ගෙන්වා ඇති බව බස්නාහිර පළාත් සෞඛ්‍ය සේවා අධ්‍යක්ෂ වෛද්‍ය හර්ෂ අමල් ද සිල්වා මහතා පවසයි.

මේ ව්‍යාපෘතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමේ මූලික පියවර ලබන සතියේ දී දෙහිවල මහ නගර සභාවෙන් සෞඛ්‍ය ඇමැති මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන මහතාගේ ප්‍රධානත්වයෙන් ආරම්භ කෙරේ.

මේ බී. ටී. අයි. කැටයක් වැහි පිහිල්ලකට හෝ මදුරුවන් බෝවිය හැකි වෙනත් ස්ථානයකට බහා තැබීමෙන් මදුරු කීටයන් බෝවීම වැළැකෙන බවත් මේ කැටයක් මාසයක් පමණ සක්‍රීයව පවතින බවත් ඒ මහතා පැවැසීය.

මදුරු ඝනත්වය අඩු කර ගත හැකි මෙය සාර්ථක ක්‍රමයක් බවත් වෛද්‍ය අමල් මහතා කීය.


අක්‌කර 100 කට වැඩි ප්‍රමාණයක්‌ හේන් වගාවට එළි පෙහෙළි කිරීමෙන් විල්පත්තු වනෝද්‍යානයට දැඩි තර්ජන

අක්‌කර 100 කට වැඩි භූමි ප්‍රමාණයක්‌ හේන් වගාව සඳහා එළි කිරීමෙන් විල්පත්තුව ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය දැඩි තර්ජනයකට ලක්‌ව ඇතැයි වනජීවී නිලධාරීහු පවසති.

විල්පත්තුව ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානයේ ආරක්‍ෂිත කලාපය එහි සීමාවේ සිට සැතපුමක දුරින් යුක්‌තය. එය වනසත්ව හා වෘක්‍ෂලතා ආරක්‍ෂක ආඥ පනතින්ද පිළිගෙන ඇත. ඒ අනුව මෙම ආරක්‍ෂක කලාපයට ඇතුළු වීමට වනජීවී අධ්‍යක්‍ෂ ජනරාල්වරයාගේ ලිත අවසරය ලබාගත යුතුය.

එහෙත් මෙම තත්ත්වයන් නොසලකා හරිමින් එම ආරක්‍ෂක ප්‍රදේශයට අයත් සිවලාපිටිය, නිට්‌ටිකුලම, හොරවල කදුරුපිටිය, කැබැල්ලෑපීනුවල, කුකුල්කටුව, කෝන්නෑගම, දංගොල්ලෑගම, කුඩා වැව හා ඇහැටුවාගම යන ප්‍රදේශවල අක්‌කර 100 කට වැඩි ප්‍රමාණයක්‌ මේ වන විට එළි පෙහෙළි කර ගිනි තබා තිබේ. මෙම ආරක්‍ෂිත කලාපයේ ජෛව විවිධත්වයට මේ නිසා දැඩි තර්ජන එල්ල වී තිබේ. වසර සිය ගණනක්‌ පැරැණි පලු, වීර, බුරුත හා කොහොඹ වැනි ශාක ද මෙසේ කපා දමා ඇත.

අලි මිනිස්‌ ගැටුම උග්‍රව පවතින වයඹ වනජීවී කලාපය තුළ පිහිටි, සුවිශේෂී වටිනාකමකින් යුක්‌ත ජාතික උද්‍යානයක ආරක්‍ෂිත ප්‍රදේශය මෙසේ කපා ඉවත් කිරීමට ඉඩදී බලධාරීන් මුනිවත රැකීම බරපතළ ගැටලුවකි. මෙසේ ආරක්‍ෂිත ප්‍රදේශය කපා ඉවත් කරමින් සිටි පුද්ගලයන් 7 දෙනකුට මේ වන විට වනජීවී දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව මගින් නඩු පවරා තිබේ. එහෙත් පසුගිය දිනක අත්අඩංගුවට ගත් සැකකරුවන් පස්‌ දෙනකු අධිකරණයට ඉදිරිපත් නොකරන ලෙසට අනුරාධපුර දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කයේ ප්‍රබල ඇමැතිවරයකු බලපෑම් කරන බව වන ජීවී දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ උසස්‌ නිලධාරියකු අප සමග පැවසීය. මේ නිසාම එම සැකකරුවන් වනජීවී ඇප මත නිදහස්‌ කළද උසාවියට ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට වනජීවී නිලධාරීන්ට නොහැකිව තිබේ.

මේ පිළිබඳව අප කළ විමසුමට පිළිතුරු වනජීවී හා ගොවිජන සේවා අමාත්‍ය එස්‌. එම්. චන්ද්‍රසේන මහතා කියා සිටියේ ගොවීන් විසින් හෙළිකර ඇති ප්‍රදේශය විල්පත්තුව ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානයට අයත්ද නැද්ද යන්න පිළිබඳ ගැටලුවක්‌ පවතින බවයි. මේ නිසා එහි සීමා මායිම් ලකුණු කොට වනජීවීන්ට වනෝද්‍යානයට හා ගොවීන්ගේ ගැටලුවලට විසඳුම් ලබාදීමට කඩිනමින් පියවර ගන්නා බව ඒ මහතා වැඩිදුරටත් පැවසීය.
සටහන හා ඡායාරූප
සුබසිංහ බණ්‌ඩාර - කරුවලගස්‌වැව


එල් එන් ගෑස් නිපදවීමට රජයේ අවධානය

සුභාෂිනි සේනානායක

මෙරට බලශක්ති අර්බුදයට පිළියමක් ලෙස ස්වභාවික ද්‍රව වායු (LNG) නිෂ්පාදනය කිරීමට රජය පියවර ගෙන තිබේ.

මේ පිළිබඳව සොයා බැලීමට කැබිනට් අනු කමිටුවක් පත්කර ඇති අතර එම කමිටු වාර්තාවේ නිර්දේශ ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට ද රජය තීරණය කර තිබේ. විදුලිබල නිෂ්පාදනයට, ප්‍රවාහනයට, ගෘහස්ථ පරිභෝජනයට හා පොහොර නිෂ්පාදනයට ස්වභාවික ද්‍රව වායු භාවිත කළ හැකි බව පවසන ඛනිජ තෙල් කර්මාන්ත ඇමැති සුසිල් ප්‍රේමජයන්ත් මහතා, මේ අංශවලට ද්‍රව වායු අදියරෙන් අදියර හඳුන්වා දීමට රජය පියවර ගන්නා බවද පැවැසී ය.

පළමු අදියරේ දී ලංකා විදුලි බල මණ්ඩලය තාප විදුලිබලාගාර සඳහා පියවරෙන් පියවර හඳුන්වාදෙන බව කී ඇමැතිවරයා, වාහන සඳහා ස්වභාවික වායු යොදා ගැනීමේ දී එය සම්පීඩන වායු බවට පරිවර්තනය කළ යුතු බවත් ඒ සඳහා යොමුවීමේ දී මූලික ප්‍රාග්ධනයක් යොදවා ස්වභාවික වායු යන්ත්‍රෝපකරණ හා පරියන්ත ඉදිකිරීමට අවශ්‍ය බවත් පැවැසීය.

තවත් වසර 20 කින් පමණ ඛනිජ තෙල් ලෝකයෙන් ක්‍ෂය වීමේ තත්ත්වයක් උද්ගත වී ඇතැයි කී අමාත්‍යවරයා, බලශක්ති පිළිබඳ ලෝක සමුළුවේ දී ඛනිජ තෙල් පමණක් නොව ස්වභාවික ද්‍රව වායු හා ඒ ආශි‍්‍රත වායු කෙරෙහි විශේෂ අවධානය යොමු වූ බවද කීය.ගෑස් පිළිබඳ ජාත්‍යන්තර සමුළුවේ දී 2010 වසරට අනුව ස්වභාවික ද්‍රව වායු වාර්තාවට අනුව කටාර් රාජ්‍ය 26%, ඉන්දුනිසියාව 11%, මැලේසියාව 10% ස්වභාවික ද්‍රව වායු අපනයනය කර තිබේ. ජපානය 32%, දකුණු කොරියාව 19%, ස්පාඤ්ඤය 9%, බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය 6% ද්‍රවවායු ආනයනය කර ඇති අතර ස්වභාවික ද්‍රව වායු භාවිතය නිසා ඛනිජ තෙල් වලට සාපේක්‍ෂව පිරිවැය අඩුවීම දැවි තෙල් හා ගල්අගුරුවලට වඩා 2/3 න් කාබන් ප්‍රතිශතය අඩුවීම වැනි වාසි අත්වන බව ද ඇමැතිවරයා පෙන්වා දුන්නේ ය.


හොර ඔසුසල් වටලන මහා මෙහෙයුමක්

මරදානේ තැන් 4ක් කොටු වෙයි
ආහාර-ඖෂධ එකම ශීතකරණයක - පුහුණුවක් නැති අයත් ෆාමසිවල

එහෙත් ඇතැම් ඔසු සල් ලියාපදිංචිය සිදු නොකර සිටින බැවින් මේ පියවර ගත් බවත් සෞඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය පවසයි.

මේ අනුව පෙරේදා (27) වැටලීම් එම අධිකාරියේ අධ්‍යක්‍ෂ හේමන්ත බෙනරගම මහතා ප්‍රමුඛ නිලධාරීන් පිරිසක් ආරම්භ කර තිබේ. කොළඹ මරදාන, පංචිකාවත්ත ප්‍රදේ්ශවල ඔසු සල් 10ක් පරීක්‍ෂාවට ලක් කර ඇති අතර ඉන් 4ක් ලියාපදිංචි කර නැති බවට තහවුරු වී ඇත.

පුහුණුවක් සහිත ඖෂධවේදියකුගේ සේවය ලබා නොගැනීම, වෛද්‍ය නිර්දේශ නොමැතිව ඖෂධ නිකුත් කිරීම, එක් එක් ඖෂධ ගබඩා කළ යුතු නියමිත උෂ්ණත්වයේ ඖෂධ ගබඩා නොකිරීම, ඖෂධ හා ආහාර ද්‍රව්‍යය එකම ශීතකරණයේ ගබඩා කිරීම, මෙරට භාවිතයෙන් ඉවත් කළ ඖෂධ තබා ගැනීම, බාල ඖෂධ අලෙවි කිරීම හා වෛද්‍යවරුන් නියම කළ ඖෂධ වෙනුවට වෙනත් මිල අධික විකල්ප ඖෂධ රෝගීන්ට අලෙවි කිරීම වැනි කාරණාවන්ට අදාළව පරීක්‍ෂණ සිදුකරන ලෙස සෞඛ්‍ය ඇමැති මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන මහතා අධිකාරියට උපදෙස් දී තිබේ.

මේ වැටලීම් ප්‍රාදේශීය වශයෙන් ඖෂධ හා ආහාර පරීක්‍ෂකවරු මගින් සිදු කෙරෙන අතර ඒවා නියාමනය කිරීමේ පූර්ණ බලතල පළාත් සෞඛ්‍ය අධ්‍යක්‍ෂවරු හා ප්‍රාදේශීය සෞඛ්‍ය සේවා අධ්‍යක්‍ෂවරුන්ට තිබේ.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Reed industry cries for help


Gamini Pinnalawatte

An exhibition centre should be set up at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to promote traditional handicraft.

From ancient days Sri Lankans have been using reed and bamboo trees for festival decorations and construct walls of their wattle and daub houses. The reed and bamboos commonly known in Sinhala as Bata and Una are also used to make Vesak lanterns and Vesak pandols.

The buckets, made out of reed are used by tea pluckers and toddy tappers, while reed blinds Bata paleli are used by people for protection from sunshine and rains. In addition, large buckets which are made out of reed are also used to stock betel for the foreign market and also for vegetable transportation.

Reed and bamboo trees are grown in many parts of the island where the tropical climate exists.

A dining table made out of bamboos

They are grown mainly in forests, near streams and canals in the form of bushes. The trunk of these trees are thick and hard.

They cannot be easily uprooted or separated from the main root. Although the trunk of the reed and bamboo trees are strong, the wood perishes during a short period.

A manufacturer with a stock of reed

Anura Perera making a reed blind

M. Harischandra and Sarath Edirisinghe finishing a reed blind

We are happy to see that people in the country are now engaging in various scientific experiments to preserve the wood of reed and bamboo trees for a longer duration with the objective of making various other items.

The Sunday Observer last week had a rare opportunity to visit several villages near Kosgama in Avissawella and Kimmantudawa, Paragastota and Delkada in Horana area to meet people engaging in the reed and bamboo industry.

A former executive in the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Gamini Pinnalawatte said he has been making various items from bamboo wood and covers of bamboo shoots such as replicas of ancient sailing ships, pen holders, jewellery boxes and few other bamboo handicraft and sell them at the local market.

Some of these items are also popular among foreign tourists and they purchase them from the local market during their stay in the country.

A resident of Avissawella, Gamini said he has now focused attention towards the manufacturing of eco-friendly bamboo furniture which he believes will be the first ever industry in SrI Lanka.

He said bamboo furniture is very popular in countries such as China, Thailand, India, Philippines, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and bamboo furniture could also be manufactured in Sri Lanka where bamboos could be found in many parts of the country.

Although bamboo is grown in our country, unfortunately no one has so far focused any attention towards manufacturing furniture due to unawareness on the technology and scientific treatments that should be adopted to preserve the wood.

He said if chemical treatment is done accurately, bamboos could be used for years.

We never thought that rubber wood could be used to manufacture furniture, but today rubber furniture is in the export market since they are too considered as eco-friendly items.

Gamini said he studied the market and built up links with a leading bamboo product manufacturers in China and in the neighbouring India.

Their bamboo industry is supported by Government of India's National Mission on Bamboo Applications (NMBA) and they have assured the most needed technical support, marketing inputs, designs and the production.

He also displayed a brochure produced by International Finance Corporation and Mekong Private Sector Development Facility and accordingly bamboo products are penerating large multi-billion dollar global markets like furniture, homewares, flooring and handicrafts in the near future.

He said eco-friendly bamboos have positive carbon and environment aspects when compared to timber forests.

He said bamboo products could also be released to local and international markets at a very competitive price due to low labour cost, investment and material cost.

Gamini also said he exhibited some of his bamboo products at the Government sponsored `Hasitha 2010' and won merit awards. He also got the registration with the National Crafts Council as a craftsman and obtained a stall at the Jana Kala Kendraya, Battaramulla.

He said Sri Lanka targets over 2.5 million foreign tourists by 2016 and he has planned to provide bamboo furniture to Lankan tourist hotels and also export them to countries where tourism industry is highly developed. "I have planned to manufacture bamboo furniture such as sofas, verandah and swing chairs, beds, racks, almairahs, hotel huts, cloth racks, writing tables, dinning sets, pantry cupboards, sink holders, shoe racks, and dressing tables and in addition ave also planned to manufacture bamboo blinds, wall panelling and bamboo flooring for houses and hotels", he said. Even ordinary households, ordinary hotels, hospitals, companies, banks, sports clubs, and Government institutions will love to buy these eco-friendly furniture made out of bamboos because of its elegance and durability.

Gamini finally said that he was highly motivated with the `Be Sri Lankan, Buy Sri Lankan' concept and his only dream was to be a partner of the `Wonder of Asia' by encouraging people to grow more eco-friendly bamboo trees even in their home gardens and help craftsmen to manufacture various items from bamboo trees in the years to come.

A 38-year-old, Anura Perera from Kimmantudawa said he started manufacturing reed blinds 12 years ago and earned about Rs. 15,000 a month.

He said he learned the art of making reed blinds from his parents who have been still in the business.

A father of three small children, Anura said his wife too supports to make reed blinds, but the monthly income cannot be exceeded due to no proper market to sell their products.

He said Government institutions such as the Divisional Secretariat (DS) should extend a helping hand to reed manufacturers to develop their traditional industry, but it is pathetic to say that officials of the DS are not taking any interest even to talk to people who are engaged in the industry.

Anura also said that reed is brought from State forest lands in Bulathsinhala and Ingiriya by traders and sell them at higher prices to them.

He requested public officials to intervene in this and provide reed at nominal prices.

He said over 300 families in his village make their livelihood by making reed blinds and buckets, therefore the State intervention is immensely needed to protect this traditional industry.

A 54-year-old school teacher and also a reed blind manufacturer, M. Harischandra proposed the Government to set up collection centres in Kalutara and Horana to purchase reed blinds, buckets and other traditional items, manufactured out of reed, so that persons who are involved in the industry could make a steady income every month by selling their products to collection centres.

He said the nylon thread, which is used to manufacture reed blinds are very expensive in the open market and proposed officials to take suitable measures to provide them at reduced prices.

He said although public officials in his village offices could take various measures to develop the reed goods manufacturing industry, but none of the higher officials visit them even to look into their problems and grievances.

A 20-year-old reed blind and reed basket manufacturer, Sarath Edirisinghe proposed authorities to hold traditional goods exhibitions in their district at least every three months time, so that manufacturers could sell their products and earn a good income too.

He said the Assistant Government Agent of Kalutara recently called several small scale goods manufacturers in the Kalutara District for a meeting to discuss their needs and grievances.

"Although we made several proposals at the meeting, we have not yet reaped any benefit from that".

A 56-year-old reed goods manufacturer of Paragastota, Guneris Peiris said the reed industry will also become another dying industry unless the officials of the Department of Small Industries take measuresto develop it.

He called upon Minister Douglas Devananda to visit the villages of Dalkada, Paragastota and Kimmantudawa in the Kalutara District and look into the needs of persons, engaged in the industry.

He also proposed the Minister to open a special exhibition centre at the departure terminal of the Bandaranaike Airport to enable all traditional craftsmen in the country to sell their products to foreign nationals on their way home, and for the locals to take them overseas as gifts.


Wildlife Dept to tackle Athurugiriya deer problem

by Dhaneshi YATAWARA

The spotted deer herd found roaming in the Athurugiriya area have been seen in places close to Homagama, according to the Wildlife Conservation Department (DWC).

Officials are looking at possible ways to transfer the animals safely to suitable places, until a large enclosure is built to keep the animals away from agricultural and built-up areas.

"This is not a suitable area for them and so we need to find the right place. People do not harm them and with no predators in the area it is a conducive environment for the herd to expand," Wildlife Director General H.D. Ratnayake said. According to the DWC more than 15 years ago, legal permits had to be obtained to raise spotted deer as domestic animals.

When the animal becomes uncontrollable as it grows, owners release them into the closest shrub land or thicket.

These animals later produce a large herd which has now led to a problem in the Athurugiriya area.

The permit system is obsolete now, and today spotted deer are rarely found to be domesticated.

According to the Department, the deer herd at Athurigirya has so far damaged only agricultural crops.


අලි හොරකම් බලා නොසිටින්න හිස සල සලා!

කටේ නරිවාදේ අහෝ මේ අපරාදේ

මවු ඇතින්න මරා දමා හෝ පළවා හැර මව් ඇකයේ කිරිඋරා බොමින් සිටි අලි පැටවුන් පැහැරගෙන යන ජාවාරමක්‌ පිළිබඳව මීට පෙර දිගින් දිගටම අපි කතා කර ඇත්තෙමු. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දිවිගෙවන ප්‍රභූවරුයෑයි කියා ගන්නෝද ප්‍රභූවරුන් ලෙස පෙනී සිටින්නෝද පශු වෛද්‍ය විද්‍යාව ගැන සරසවිවල "ලෙක්‌චර්ස්‌" දෙන ඇතැම් පශු දොස්‌තර ඇදුරෝද මෙම ජාවාරමේ පුරුක්‌ බවට පත්වී අලි සොරකම යදමක්‌ බවට පත්කර ගෙන සිටින ආකාරයද අපි හෙළිදරව් කර ඇත්තෙමු. හබරණ සෆාරිකරුවන්ගේ ජීප් රථවල නංවාගෙන මෙසේ හොරෙන් කොළඹට ගෙනා එක්‌ අලි පැටවකු වනජීවී වැටලීම් ඒකකය මගින් මහරගම අලි හිමිකරුවකුගේ නිවසේ සිටියදී අත්අඩංගුවට පත්වූයේ මේ අතරය. තවත් අලි පැටවකු බලංගොඩ "අලි සොරකුගේ" නිවසේ කාමරයක්‌ තුළ බැඳ දමා තිබියදී වනජීවී නිලධාරීන්ගේ අත්අඩංගුවට පත්විය. ඒ වනවිට මෙසේ මවු මරා හෝ මවුගෙන් උදුරා ගෙනවිත් "ප්‍රභූ - සොරු" ළඟ සඟවාගෙන සිටි අලි - ඇත් පැටවුන් ගණන හයක්‌ බවට වනජීවී විශේෂ වැටලීම් ඒකකය හඳුනාගෙන තිබිණි. ඉන් වැඩි දෙනකු කොළඹ නගරය තුළ හා නගරාශ්‍රිතව පිහිටා ඇති දිවයිනේ ප්‍රකට පෙළේ විහාරස්‌ථාන වීමද විශේෂත්වයකි. අහෝ! ලොවට මහා කරුණාව පතල කළ අප අමාමහ බුදුහිමියන් දෙසූ දහම රැගෙන යනවා යෑයි කියන බුදුපුතුන් සමාජයට දෙන දැහැමි පණිවිඩයද මේ. මවුමරා සොරකම් කර දෙන බිළිඳු අලි පැටවුන් මේ ඇතැම් විහාර තුළ හැදී වැඩුණේ හොර රහසේ රඳවාය.

මහරගම හා බළංගොඩදී අත්අඩංගුවට ගත් සොර අලි හිමිකරුවන් පිළිබඳව අධිකරණය හමුවේ නඩු පැවරුණු අතර සොයාගත් පැටවුන් දෙදෙනා ඇත්අතුරු සෙවණට භාර කෙරිණි. මෙම අලි සොරුන්ට නීතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක වන අයුරුත්, ඔවුන්ට දඬුවම් ලැබෙන අයුරුත් අප බලා සිටි නමුත් එවැන්නක්‌ සිදුවන බව පෙනෙන්නට නොතිබිණි. ඒ ගැන අප වනජීවී සංරක්‍ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ වැටලීම් අංශ ප්‍රධානී සහ සහකාර අධ්‍යක්‍ෂ (නීති) වරයාගෙන් කළ විමසීමේදී ඔහු කියා සිටියේ මේ දක්‌වා (එම අවස්‌ථාව) හඳුනාගෙන ඇති (නීති විරෝධී) පැටවුන් සඳහා බලපත්‍ර නිකුත් කොට එම පැටවුන් නීතිගත කරන ලෙසත්, ඉන්පසු හමුවන යම් නීතිවිරෝධී ලෙස ඇල්ලූ පැටවුන් ඇත්නම් අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන නීතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට කටයුතු කරන ලෙසත් තමන්ට වනජීවී අධ්‍යක්‍ෂවරයා (හිsටපු) හරහා නියෝග නිකුත් වී ඇති බවයි. මේ අනුව හිටපු පාරිසරික අමාත්‍යවරයෙකුගේ සමයේදී හා හිටපු වනජීවී අධ්‍යක්‍ෂවරයකුගේ සමයේදී අලි පැටවුන් සොරකම නොසලකා හැර හෝ පැටවුන්ගේ අයිතිය නීතිගත කර එහි කටයුතු අවසන් කළේය. මෙයින් අලි හොරු නොහොත් "ප්‍රභූ සොරු" මහත් උද්දාමයට පත්වූවා නිසැකය. මීට හඬ නැඟූ පරිසරවේදීන්, ජනමාධ්‍යවේදීන් පරාජයට පත්වූ බව එදා ඔවුන් සිතන්නට ඇත. ඔවුන්ට නගන අවලාද සිනහ මැද ජාවාරම්කරුවන්ගේ සවුදිය බඳුන් එකට ගැටෙන්නට ඇත. එහෙත්, මේ ධර්ම ද්වීපයේ අහස - පොළොව නූහුලනා අපරාධ සිදුකොට නිරයෙන් එතෙර වන්නට හැකි යෑයි ඔවුන් සිතන්නේ නම් එය මිථ්‍යාවක්‌ම වන්නේ යෑයි බෞද්ධ ධර්මය අනුව අපි කල්පනා කරමු.

තත්ත්වය මෙසේ තිබියදී නැවත නැවත අලි පැටවුන්ගේ සොරකම් ගැන අසන්නට ලැබිණි. වනගත ඇතින්නන්ගෙන් පැහැර ගන්නා ලද අලි පැටවුන් අතුරුදන් වන බවට වන තොරතුරු දිගින් දිගටම මාධ්‍ය ඇතුළු පරිසරවේදීන් වෙත ගලා ආවේය. ඒ අනුව අලි පැටවුන් හතළිහකට (40) ආසන්න පිරිසක්‌ මෙසේ හොර රහසේ ස්‌ථාන ගණනාවක රඳවා තබා ඇති බවට වාර්තාවේ. මෙයින් බොහෝ ස්‌ථාන බෞද්ධ විහාරස්‌ථාන වීම කැපී පෙණුනි. වනජීවී වැටලීම් ඒකකයට ලබාදුන් මෙවන් ඔත්තු සඳහා අවසානයේ ඔවුන් ක්‍රියාත්මක නොවුණේය. ඒ සඳහා හේතු ලෙස කියවුණේ මෙවන් ස්‌ථානවලට කඩාපැන වැටලීමක්‌ කළහොත් අපට වෙනත් ගැටලුවලට ලක්‌වීමට සිදුවනු ඇතිය යන්නයි. මේ අනුව මෙතෙක්‌ වෙහෙර- විහාරවල සහ තවත් අලි ඇතුන් සම්බන්ධ ප්‍රභූ පුද්ගලයන්ගේ නිල නිවාස යනාදිය පරීක්‍ෂා කිරීමට තරම් ජගතෙක්‌ අප රට තුළ සිටියේ නැත. එහෙත් උතුම් වනසත්ව හා තුරුලතා ආරක්‍ෂා කිරීමේ ආඥපනත අනුව තවදුරටත් බලපත්‍රයක්‌ නොමැතිව අලියකු ළඟ තබාගැනීම, ප්‍රවාහන යනාදිය සපුරා තහනම් කටයුත්තකි. තමන්ගේ තරාතිරම කියාපාන්නට සමාජ තත්ත්වය පෙන්වන්නට කුමන අසූචිවළක්‌ තුළ හෝ ලගින්නට සූදානම් බව පෙන්වමින් මෙම "ප්‍රභූ-සොරු" ඒ උතුම් වන සත්ව නීතිය බිඳ දමමින් අලි පැටවුන් බලහත්කාරයෙන් සඟවා තබාගත්හ.

හීලෑ ඇතින්නක නම් ඇය ගැබ්ගත් කාලවකවානුව අලිපැටවා බිහිකළ දිනය යනාදී සියලු තොරතුරු වනජීවී නිලධාරීන්ගේ අධීක්‍ෂණය යටතේ වාර්තා කළ යුතු අතර අලුත ඉපදුනු පැටවා සඳහාද බලපත්‍රයක්‌ ලබාගත යුතුවේ. එහෙත් මේ සියලු කාරණා මෙන්ම නීතියද තුට්‌ටුවකට නොසලකා රටේ සාමාන්‍ය මිනිසුන් අතර ප්‍රභූන් ලෙස දිවිගෙවන අලි සොරු අගේට නීති කඩා වැජඹෙද්දී නීති රකින බලධරයෝ නිදි වැදී සිටියහ.

අප විමසීම් කරන සෑම මොහොතක්‌ පාසා කීවේ මෙම සොර අලින්ට (සොරෙන් ගෙනා) බලපත්‍ර ඇති බවකි. එහෙත් පරිසරවේදීහු නිරතුරු සෙවිල්ලෙන් පසුවූහ. ඔවුන් මෙම සොරකම ගැන කතා කරන විට එය වසාගැනීමට බෞද්ධ ලකුණ පෙරට දමා ඒ තුළ සැඟවෙන්නට මොවුහු කටයුතු කළහ. අති උතුම් දළදා වහන්සේත් බෞද්ධාගමත් පළිහක්‌ කරගත් මෙම අලි සොරුන් පරිසර ක්‍රියාකාරීන්ට, මාධ්‍යවේදීන්ට චෝදනා කළේ දළදා මැඳුරට හා බෞද්ධාගමට පහර දෙන මිෂනාරීන් ලෙස හඳුන්වාය. එහෙත් අද මේ සියලු ජාවාරම්කරුවන්ගේ ප්‍රභූවරුන්ගේ කටේ නරිවාදං රෙද්දපල්ලෙන් බේරෙන්නට පටන් ගෙන තිබේ. සත්ව හිංසනය හා සොරදෙටුකම ඉස්‌මතුව පෙනෙන්නට පටන්ගැන්මත් සමඟ ව්‍යාජ අවිහිංසාවේ හැදියාවේ වෙස්‌ මුහුණු ගැලවෙන්නට පටන් ගෙන තිබේ.

අලි පැටවුන් වනාන්තර තුළින් සොරකම් කොට ගෙන ඒමත් සමඟ පරිසරවේදීහු ඔවුන්ගේ තොරතුරු එක්‌රැස්‌ කිරීම දිගින් දිගටම රහසේ කරගෙන ගියහ. ඒ අනුව කොළඹ ආශ්‍රිත විහාරස්‌ථාන කිහිපයකම (සොර) අලි පැටවුන් සිටින බවට අනාවරණය කරගෙන තිබිණි. එහෙත් මෙම සතුන්ට එරෙහිව නීතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමේ හැකියාවක්‌ නොතිබුණේ ඔවුන්ගෙන් බොහෝ දෙනකුට නීත්‍යානුකූල බලපත්‍ර ලැබී තිබුණු හෙයිනි. මෙම බලපත්‍රද ලබාදී තිබුණේ වනජීවී සංරක්‍ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව මගිනි. ඒ හිටපු අධ්‍යක්‍ෂ ජනරාල්වරුන් දෙදෙනකුගේ සමයේදීය. මීට අදාළ සහකාර වනජීවී අධ්‍යක්‍ෂවරයාගෙන් මාධ්‍යවේදීන් ප්‍රශ්න කරන හැම අවස්‌ථාවකදීම දැන ගන්නට ලැබුණේ ඉහළින් ලැබී ඇති නියෝග මත මෙසේ බලපත්‍ර ලබාදී ඇති බවයි. එහෙත් මෙය නීති විරෝධී තත්ත්වයකි. (මේ පැටවුන්ට නීත්‍යානුකූල මවු සිටියේ වනයේය.) වන සත්ව ආඥපනතට අනුව නීතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කරමින් වන සතුන්ගේ ආරක්‍ෂාවට කටයුතු කළ යුතු ආයතනයෙන් මෙවන් කාර්යයක්‌ සිදුවීම සැබැවින්ම ලැඡ්ජාසහගත කටයුත්තකි. මාධ්‍යයට (රටට) එකකුත්, අලි සොරුන්ට තව එකකුත් කියනා මෙවන් නිලධාරීන්ගෙන් රටට ඇති ඵලක්‌ වේද? සංරක්‍ෂණයට ඇති සෙතක්‌ වේද? අප විශ්වාස කරන්නේ මොවුන් සියල්ලෝම රටට ඇති පිළිකා බවයි. අලි ජාවාරමේ තවත් එකිනෙක ඈඳුණු පුරුක්‌ බවයි.

මෑතකදී හරි අපූරු ප්‍රවෘත්තියක්‌ මාධ්‍යයට ලැබිණි. එයින් කියෑවුණේ අවුරුදු 2 - 2 1/2 ක පමණ අලි පැටවෙකු පන්නිපිටිය ප්‍රදේශයේ ළිඳකට වැටී ඇති බවකි. දෙනෝ දාහක්‌ දිවිගෙවන පන්නිපිsටියටත් වල් අලි ඇවිල්ලද කියා සිතනවාටත් වඩා වැදගත් සිතිවිල්ලක්‌ පරිසරවේදීන්ගේ හිත් තුළ වහා ජනිත විය. ඒ නම් නියත වශයෙන්ම සොර අලිපැටවකු බවයි ඒ. අප වහ වහා එම ආරංචිය වනජීවී සංරක්‍ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට ලබාදුන් නමුත් එදා අනෙක්‌ කෙළවරෙන් අසන්නට ලැබුණේ ඒ පන්නිපිටියේ අහවල් පන්සලේ අහවල් හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ අලි පැටියා. අම්මත් එක්‌ක නාවන්න ගෙනියන කොට පොඩි වළකට වැටිලා. ඇත් ගොව්වා කොළ කපන්නලු ගිහිල්ලා හිටියෙ." වැනි පිළිතුරකි.

එදාද අලි පැටියා "යහතින් ගොඩආවේය" තත්ත්වය මෙසේ තිබියදී පසුගිය අගෝස්‌තු මස 22 වැනි සඳුදා රාත්‍රියේ අපූරු අලි මෙහෙයුමක්‌ කොළඹදී සිදුවිය. වාහන තදබදය පැවැති වේලාවක පිට කෝට්‌ටේ හන්දියෙන් ලොරි රථයක පටවාගෙන වයස අවුරුදු පහකට අඩු අලි පැටවකු ගෙන යනු පරිසර හිතකාමියකු දුටුවේය. ආරංචිය වහවහා අදාළ අංශ වෙත සැලවිය. පැටවා සමඟ ලොරි රථය පරිසරවේදීන්ගේ ග්‍රහණයට නතුවිය. කොළ පැහැති 28 ශ්‍රී 2536 දරණ මෙම ලොරි රථය වනජීවී සංරක්‍ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ හැඩහුරුවට තීන්ත ආලේප කර ඊට ළඟින් යන ලාංඡනයක්‌ද පින්තාරු කර තිබූ එකකි. කරුණු විමසීමේදී මේ තුළ අලි පැටවා ප්‍රවාහනයට අදාළව බලපත්‍රයක්‌ තිබුණේද නැත. ඒ අනුව වහාම ලොරි රථය වැලිකඩ පොලිස්‌ ස්‌ථානය වෙත ගෙන එන්නට පරිසර ක්‍රියාකාරීහු කටයුතු කළහ. එහෙත්, එහිදී මෙම අලි පැටවාට බලපත්‍රයක්‌ ඇතැයි යන පණිවිඩයක්‌ ලැබීමෙන් වැලිකඩ පොලිසිය මෙම ප්‍රවාහනයට බලපත් නැති අලිපැටවා හා සැකකාර රියදුරා සමඟ ලොරිය නිදහස්‌ කළේ කිසිදු කොන්දේසියකට යටත්ව නොවේ. ඉන්පසු අලි පැටවාට හිංසා වන පරිදි හැල්මේ පලා ගිය රථය හඹාගිය පරිසර ක්‍රියාකාරීහු නැවතත් ලොරිය අල්ලා වනජීවී නිලධාරීන්ගේ අත්අඩංගුවට පත් කළහ. පසුව බත්තරමුල්ලේ වනජීවී ප්‍රධාන කාර්යාලයට රැගෙන ගිය ලොරි රථය හා අලි පැටවා එහිදී වනජීවී අත්අඩංගුවට පත්වූයේ නීතිවිරෝධී ප්‍රවාහනය හා හිංසනයට යටත් කොටය.

රියදුරුගෙන් ලබාගත් කටඋත්තර පරිදි පන්නිපිටිය ප්‍රදේශයේ ප්‍රධාන හා ප්‍රකට පෙළේ විහාරස්‌ථානයක හිමිනමකගේ දැනුම්දීම පරිදි නාරාහේන්පිට ප්‍රදේශයේ තවත් ප්‍රකට විහාරස්‌ථානයක හිමිනමක්‌ වෙත භාරදීම සඳහා අලි පැටවා රැගෙන ගොස්‌ තිබිණි. කෙසේ හෝ අවසානයේදී බලපත්‍රයක්‌ රැගෙන ආ පන්නිපිටිය ප්‍රදේශයේ හිමිනමක්‌ වෙත වනජීවී සංරක්‍ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව අලි පැටවා නිදහස්‌ කර හැර තිබිණි. බලපත්‍රයේ සඳහන්ව තිබී ඇත්තේ "රොනල්ඩ්" නම් නමැත්තෙකුගේ නමකි. ඔහු විසින් ඉහතකී හිමිනමට අලියා පරිත්‍යාග කර ඇති බවත්, ඔහුගෙන් හිමිනමට අලි පැටවා මාරුකිරීමට අදාළ ලිපි ලේඛණ ඒවනවිටත් වනජීවී දෙපාර්තමේන්තු=වට ලැබී ඇති බවත් එනිසා අලි පැටවා නිදහස්‌ කළ බවත් වනජවී සහකාර අධ්‍යක්‍ෂ (නීති) උපාලි පත්මසිරි මහතා අප කළ කරුණු විමසීමේදී කියා සිටියේය. මේ වනවිට බලපත්‍රයක්‌ නොමැතිව හා හිංසාකාරී අන්දමින් ප්‍රවාහනයට අදාළව අදාළ ඇත්ගොව්වාට හා ලොරි රියදුරුට රුපියල් 21000 බැගින් අධිකරණයෙන් දඩ නියම වී ඇත. එහෙත් සොර අලි හිමිකරුවන් නිදැල්ලේය. කෙසේ හෝ අපට මෙහිදී මතුවන දැවෙන ප්‍රශ්ණයක්‌ ඇත. එය වනජීවී දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට නැඟෙන්නේ නැත්තේ මන්දැයි අපි ප්‍රශ්න කර සිටිමු. එනම්, රොනල්ඩ් නමැත්තාට මවක්‌ නැති අලි පැටවකු ලැබුණේ කොහෙන්ද යන්නයි ඒ. මේ බලපත්‍රය නිකුත් කර ඇත්තේ වනජිවී දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවෙන්ම නිසා මේ පැටවාගේ මවු හෙළිදරව් කරන ලෙස අපි වනජීවී දෙපාර්තමේන්තු නීති ප්‍රධානීන්ට අභියෝග කර සිටින්නෙමු. නැතහොත් රොනල්ඩ් නමැත්තා හොරෙන් අලි පැටියකු අල්ලාගෙන ඇත්දැයි හෙලිදරව් කරන ලෙසද එසේනම් ඔහුට දඬුවම් පමුණුවන්නේ දැයි අපි ප්‍රශ්න කරන්නෙමු.

දන්නා පරිදි හීලෑ අලි ඇතුන්ගේ සංගමයේ රොනල්ඩ් නමින් අලි අයිතිකරුවකු නැත. එසේ නම් රොනල්ඩ් කවුද? ඔහුට මේ අලි පැටියා ලැබුණේ කෙසේද? මේ රොනල්ඩ් වෙනත් අයකු වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටින්නකුද? මේවාට පිළිතුරු දෙන ලෙස අපි බලධාරීන්ගෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිමු. හොරෙන් අලි අල්ලා ඒ සොරකම් වසන්නට වැදි බණ දේශනා නොකරන ලෙසද ලොවට මහා කරුණාව පතල කළ බුදුන්ට මෙන්ම බුදුදහමටද නිගරු නොකරන ලෙසද අපි මෙම ප්‍රභූ-අලි සොරුන්ගෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටින්නට කැමතිය.

ජගත් කණහැරආරච්චි

Coal Plant Running On Old Technology

By Indika Sri Aravinda

The Norochcholai coal power plant is operating on technology which is over 20 years old, a senior official at the plant told The Sunday Leader.

He also said that key instruments in the plant have begun to gather rust as it is located near the sea in Puttalam.
A section of the power plant caught fire last week but did not hamper operations. This was the second time that the power plant had caught fire.

The Norochcholai coal power plant was expected to deliver 300 MW of power to the national grid but the official said that the plant is currently capable of producing between 150-200 MW of electricity as a result of the old technology in use.
A Chinese company is currently maintaining the plant but the agreement expires in five years. China Machinery Engineering Company has given a thirty-year warranty for the coal power plant, the official said on the condition of anonymity.
The second stage of the coal power plant is expected to be completed by the year 2014.
Meanwhile, there are also environmental concerns over the power plant. Sea water used to cool the power plant is released back into the sea.

The water released into the sea is however above the average heat and is posing a threat to hundreds of fish, officials said.

When contacted by The Sunday Leader, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawake said that there was no threat to the fish. The Minister however admitted rust does build on some of the instruments because of the sea nearby but the rust is always washed off and fresh paint is applied on those areas.


Double check that expiry date

Consumers should be extra careful when buying dairy products and goods that need special storage.

Nadia Fazlulhaq reports

Expiry dates on food items are no guarantee of freshness, it would seem. A family in Thalawathugoda made this dismaying discovery when a bottle of "fresh" milk bought from the neighbourhood supermarket turned out to be anything but fresh. The milk, bought for a pregnant family member, turned out to be wholly undrinkable.

Dairy products, fish and meats should be stored and displayed in well-cooled conditions 24 hours a day. Photos: J. Weerasekara

Even more dismaying, however, was the response when the family attempted to make a complaint and bring the matter to the attention of the relevant parties. Thalawathugoda resident Princeton Ananthanayagam described to the Sunday Times what happened regarding the bottle of stale milk.

“On August 6, my mother-in-law purchased several grocery items, including the bottle of milk,” Mr. Ananthanayagam said. “The milk was for my sister-in-law, who is expecting a baby. She is a foreign national. We have been ensuring that she gets a regular supply of fresh milk.

“To our disgust, when we opened the bottle of milk, a bad smell filled the kitchen. The contents of the bottle were discoloured,” he said. “We checked the label on the plastic bottle. It was not past the expiry date.”

Mr. Ananthanayagam promptly went to the supermarket to make a complaint, and to ask for another bottle of milk in exchange. He was told the item could not be exchanged. As it was a Saturday, with most offices closed, Mr. Ananthanayagam decided to call the milk manufacturer’s hotline. A voice spoke from an answering machine.

Mr. Ananthanayagam then called the Consumer Affairs Authority. He was told the authority did not work on weekends, and that it accepted only written complaints. He then wrote out a complaint and delivered it to the Consumer Affairs Authority, upon which the authority informed Mr. Ananthanayagam that they “did not have powers to take action against the company.”


Mr. Ananthanayagam told the Sunday Times that consumers should be able to make complaints about substandard consumer items any day of the week, weekends included. The Food Act of 1980 empowers Food and Drug Inspectors, Medical Officer of Health (MOH), and Public Health Inspectors (PHI) to inspect, raid, seize and take legal action where there is a suspected infringement of food regulations.

According to a Ministry of Health official, these inspectors and officers look into complaints only on working days

“The Ministry of Health does not have a 24-hour hotline service,” said K. Alwis, Chief Food Inspector, Food Control Unit, Ministry of Health. “Also, there is no food inspection unit as such that operates every day of the year. These health and food inspectors are government employees attached to local councils.”

When the Consumer Affairs Authority was asked to comment on the matter of the stale milk sold to Princeton Ananthanayagam’s family, and the relevant authorities’ failure to act on complaints made by the Ananthanayagam family, the Sunday Times was told that the authority took action only in cases of “expired food items.”

He said inspection and action relating to cases of spoilt goods or poor storage facilities was not part of the Authority’s functions. “Between January and July, the Consumer Affairs Authority conducted more than 25,000 raids and found expired goods in up to 4,000 shops and supermarkets,” Consumer Affairs Authority chairman Rumy Marzook told the Sunday Times. “Last week, following raids in Colombo city, we filed action against 20 supermarkets for selling expired goods.”

The Colombo Municipal Council has instructed all leading manufacturers of dairy and frozen food products to ensure that retail shops and supermarkets selling their products keep these food items in appropriate storage, at the required temperature levels, and that the expiry dates on all food items be regularly checked.

“We receive very few complaints about spoilt goods, as consumers return spoilt goods directly to the outlets where the goods were bought, and are given replacements at no extra cost,” said Colombo Municipal Council Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam.

“Temperature can be a problem,” he said. “Heat tends to build up in most of the cold rooms in retail shops and supermarkets. We have found oozing ice cream containers, micro-organisms in containers, and texture and quality changes in dairy products. To cut costs, a large number of grocery stores switch off their refrigerators and freezers.”

Dr. Kariyawasam said the Municipal Council food inspection unit was considering ordering special thermometers for checking temperatures in display cabinets, freezers and refrigerators.

“Budget is a consideration,” he said. “One thermometer costs Rs.500,000. Because of financial constraints, an order for these special thermometers has been held up. Meanwhile, the public should be extra autious when buying food items.”

Colombo residents can call (011) 2676161 to make complaints to the Municipal Council's Food Unit on weekdays, Dr. Kariyawasam said. The International Organisation for Standardisation recommends that food items be displayed where the temperature is 20 degrees Celsius or below, and preferably with air-conditioning in place.

“In small stores food is often exposed, and heat leads to spoilage,” said Chandana Dalugoda, president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Sri Lanka Chapter.

Mr. Dalugoda said fish, milk, meat and poultry can spoil fast, and that shops and supermarkets should have a standby generator in case of power outages. He advised buying frozen food items from stores and supermarkets that had a high volume of daily consumers, and food items move fast.

A bottle of milk with its expiry date lapsed but available at a supermarket in Talawatugoda

Fresh attempts at clearing sub-standard cement

By Chris Kamalendran

A fresh attempt to clear a stock of cement which failed to meet required local standards was rejected by the Sri Lanka Customs on Friday.

Customs officials said that the importer of the cement – the Sri Lanka National Co-operatives Board (SLNCB) which comes under the purview of the Co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry -- had provided a certificate on the cement standards from a London institution. But this was not accepted.The move came as the Customs was still carrying out an inquiry into an incident where stocks had been illegally cleared from a warehouse of the Building Materials Corporation (BMC) before obtaining approval of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI).

SLNCB Director General Bandu Ranawaka said they had obtained a standard certificate from a British firm and tried to clear the stocks.“We made this attempt as the SLSI process was getting delayed.
However the Customs was not satisfied with the certificate from London,” he said.

He said they were planning to file action against the SLSI for the delay in providing the certification.Mr. Ranawaka said they had already imported 14,000 bags of cement and ordered 100,000 more. An SLSI spokesman said the process of testing was still on and hence they had still not issued the certificate.

The SLSI had warned on two occasions against the import of cement from the particular company as the stocks failed to meet the required standards. Another consignment which had been imported was illegally removed from the warehouse while the SLSI testing process was continuing.

The SLSI was also carrying out a separate inquiry about the removal of the stocks without its certification. Under existing laws, SLSI certification for cement is required for the import or sale.


South Asia link up with wildlife forensics to combat illegal trade

By Malaka Rodrigo

Wildlife crime is increasing, becoming the second largest illegal trade in the world. South Asian countries which have over 15% of the world’s flora and 12% of its fauna too have not escaped from the wildlife crimes which have become increasingly organized.

Wildlife trade is also transcending national boundaries and to counter this ever increasing threat, wildlife conservation agencies in South Asian countries met recently with the aim of collaborating in wildife law enforcement in the region.

The meeting was held under the aegis of the recently setup South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) at the University of Forensic Sciences, Gujarat. The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) has represented Sri Lanka on this forum by the ex-Director General Dr.Chandrawansa Pathiraja. He said the meeting has become a sharing of experience among wildlife officers in the region on how to confront wildlife crime in the South Asian way and getting to know of new tools that can be used in fighting wildlife crime.

Because of this richness in biodiversity, South Asia has been one of the prime targets of internationally organized wildlife crime networks and to curb this ongoing trend, it become necessary that the existing conservation measures and enforcement strategies are reinforced through regional cooperation. With this aim, the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) has been set up for the development of regional programmes through networking, sharing and effective dissemination of knowledge and information.

Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce (TRAFFIC) – the world’s largest wildlife trade monitoring network - has been a cornerstone of SAWEN helping to set it up and providing technical support. TRAFFIC carries out research and provides analysis, support and encouragement to efforts aimed at ensuring that wildlife trade is not a threat to conservation of nature and wants to strengthen the same in the region.

Setting up its own network to fight wildlife crime, Sri Lankan experts too get together and setup the Sri Lanka Wildlife Enforcement Network (SLaWEN) last January. Representatives of the Sri Lanka Wildlife Enforcement Network with those from international agencies involved in regulation of wildlife trade, including INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and TRAFFIC.

Addressing this forum chaired by Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Dr. Pathiraja said that in an era where the country’s economy is moving forward, the Department of Wildlife Conservation has a major role to play in developing the ecotourism industry which has the potential to be one of the county’s main foreign revenue earners. This will be nullified if the biodiversity, including wildlife, is not conserved properly and stressed the need to curb wildlife crime.

The workshop held in Gujarat two weeks ago mainly aimed at strengthening wildlife forensics. Wildlife forensics is concerned with the use of technology like DNA profiling (‘DNA fingerprinting’) and DNA sequencing and using this information to fight wildlife crime.

Forensics can help curb jumbo-sized crime

Only a few Asian elephants have tusks, so they are not being hunted for tusks locally. But instead, another brutal wildlife crime has started where baby elephants are kidnapped from the jungles. It is believed most of these baby jumbos are being abducted from thejungles around Habarana or the Udawalawe.

The methods utilised to seize these calves from their mothers are not clear, but some even believe these racketeers could have killed the mothers. Another theory is that the elephant herd is disturbed and then the lost jumbos are picked during the panic created. They are then transferred to individuals who are usually powerful figures in society.

So far the Wildlife Department’s Flying Squad has seized three such baby elephants abducted from the wilds. The easiest way to verify these racketeers’ claims is to use wildlife forensics. Whenever a female elephant is named as the mother of the baby, the DNA analysis can be used to verify this claim, as mother-child DNA has similarities that can verify the family bond.

After the existence of this wildlife crime racket surfaced, the DWC has made it mandatory to register all the new jumbo babies. But when registering the parents of the baby jumbos should be named so that it can be mandatory to do a DNA analysis to verify the parenthood of the said jumbos.

Wildlife DG is removed

The Sunday Times was planning to meet the Department of Wildlife Conservation Director General to get his views on using wildlife forensics to curb the baby elephant snatching racket. A message sent by him from Yala said that he will respond to a matter when he got back in Colombo. But he was removed the next day from his post with no reasons given.


Mahout, driver fined for unsafe, illegal transport of elephant calf

Two people were fined Rs. 43,000 last week by the Colombo Magistrate, for the unsafe transport of an elephant calf belonging to the Devramwehera Raja Maha Vihara.

The mahout and the driver pleaded guilty to the charges of transporting this elephant calf without proper permits and in an unsafe manner. It was an offence to transport elephants without prior approval of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), while all domesticated elephants must be registered with the Department.

The chained baby elephant

The truck that was used to transport the calf

The calf had been chained so that one of its legs was suspended above the floorboard and wedged against a wooden pole placed across the open truck.

A headlight of the truck was also not properly working and the vehicle wasn’t in a condition to transport an elephant according to eyewitnesses. Spotting this unsafe transport of the elephant calf, an environmentalist had followed the lorry and complained to the police.

The truck had been stopped at Pitakotte junction around 6.30 pm on Tuesday and taken to the Welikada Police Station.

The driver neither possessed the registration certificate, nor permission from the DWC to transport the elephant. However, the driver and truck were released, after environmental lawyer Jagath Gunawardane pointed out the legal background. The truck was then stopped again at Narahenpita.

The calf was later handed over to Wildlife officers. Later that night, the owner of the elephant calf - Ven. Kolonnawe Sumangala Thera, chief incumbent of Devramvehera - had visited the DWC office and handed over the registration certificate of the elephant. DWC, Flying Squad head Upali Padmasiri said that after examining the certificate, Wildlife officers had returned the calf to the Thera, but had taken legal action on two charges of unsafe transport and without proper permits. He also praised the environmentalists for being alert to the welfare of animals.

A leading animal rights activist, Pubudu Weeraratne was also instrumental in stopping the vehicle. Later a gang had turned up in a vehicle at the Wildlife Office, threatening the environmentalists who had taken action to stop the elephant. On complaining to the police, the police had intervened to provide safe passage to the environmentalists. Ven. Kolonnawe Sumangala Thera alleges that this was an act to inconvenience the monks. The Thera claimed that the calf had proper documentation, countering an allegation made by environmentalists that it was illegally caught from the wilds.

Abducting baby elephants illegally is an ongoing racket, and the DWC has already investigated three such elephants.

However, environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara, who was also present at the scene, said that, though there are documents, it is highly suspicious that the calf was born to a captive female elephant as mentioned in the registration document. The calf could only be around one-and-half-years-old, though the registration indicates it is older.

Sajeewa also says that the mother elephant known as ‘Kalu Amma’ died a long time back and it is highly doubtful that this calf was born to that elephant. He also points out that the features of the picture of the elephant in the registration are different from that of the actual elephant. Female elephants have long gestation periods and owners do not like to keep an elephant that long. Also, there are no known elephant pregnancies in Sri Lanka, say environmentalists.

They say that the Pinnawala elephant orphanage has been the only known place for successfully breeding elephants, so all other baby elephants have a suspicious record and need to be investigated. Besides an elephant pregnancy is also something that cannot be hidden from the public, as they are big animals.

On checking with Wildlife Conservation Department (DWC) Director General H.D. Ratnayake, he confirmed that the elephant calf was registered with the DWC in 2009. He said that a Divisional Secretary has confirmed the birth, so the calf has been registered.


සද්දන්තයින්ට වින කරන පාපතරයින්ෙග් අලි කරුණාව

Read full article: Rivira Sinhala Newspaper

http://www.rivira.lk/2011/08/28/rivinetha1.htm (Opens in Internet Explorer only)

Minister wants to double fish consumption of Sri Lankans by 2013

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the per capita consumption of fish was 13 kg per year, but he would be able to increase it to 21 kgs by 2013. It would be a 60 per cent increase.

Sri Lanka had been exporting 19,000 tonnes of fish annually, but action had been taken to double the amount, he said at a conference on Sustainable Market for Fish held at Eden Spa Resort Hotel recently.

Minister Senaratne said that Sri Lanka was getting US $ 190 million through fish exports annually, but very soon Sri Lanka would export double that amount.

He pointed out that a new training programme on fishing technology was essential to achieve targets. Under the Malasiyan Infofish Project, training would be given to Lankan fishermen on the safety and quality of fish caught. Training on Market diversification and sustainable development in the industry would also be given to fishermen.

Lanka’s tuna was extremely popular in Western countries. The countries in the European Union, China, the United States of America and Japan were buying tuna from Sri Lanka. These markets were highly lucrative. They would be further diversified shortly, Senaratne said.

He said that the Sri Lanka Fisheries Act would be amended in the near future.

The Ministry had also formulated several plans to introduce measures to sustainably preserve tuna and prevent illegal activities at some fish unloading harbours. The Lanka Fisheries Corporation State Industry Act was amended recently.

Minister Senaratne noted that in future international investors would be able to join Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry and commence various development projects. Sri Lankan fishermen would be able to get new knowledge on modern technology, safety methods, maintenance of nutritional values of fish, modern fishing gear and boats.

Organic farming to be encouraged

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Agriculture Ministry has launched a number of programmes to encourage organic farming, a Ministry spokesman said.

Sri Lanka is a country with the minimal chemical fertilizer use as both farmers and the public have realized the value of chemical free foods, he said.

The ministry is also conducting programmes to enhance organic fertilizer production.

Newly developed organic farming methods to reap bumper harvests will be introduced as a national programme for farmers next year, he said.

Currently, there is a big demand, in both local and foreign markets, for chemical free traditional foods that are rich in medicinal value and nutritious, the spokesman said.

He also explained that chemical fertilizer increases crop yield by 40 percent while costing a large sum of money.


Bumper northern rice harvest boosts stocks

COLOMBO, 26 August 2011 (IRIN) - Bumper paddy production in Sri Lanka’s former conflict areas has averted an expected national rice shortage, experts say.

Twin floods in January and February inundated more than 200,000 hectares of paddy land in the eastern and central regions of the island nation, destroying more than 700,000MT of the primary harvest estimated at 2.75 million tons. The main cultivation season runs from October to March.

But now provincial agriculture departments are reporting a bumper secondary harvest 15 percent higher than that of 2010. The secondary cultivation period is between April and September.

"The northern production [boosting] the national supply makes a huge difference," Nimal Disssnanayke, director of the Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI), told IRIN. He said the production from the conflict-affected north began supplementing national stocks in mid-2010 after the 26-year-long civil war ended in May 2009, "But it is this year that we have seen the full impact of that supply."

More than 40,500ha of paddy land was cultivated in the former conflict zone, providing a yield of more than 110,000MT, said Sithaparapillai Gnanachandran, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) northern area coordinator.

Since the middle of 2010, donors and the Sri Lankan government have invested more than US$20 million in assisting paddy farming in the north. Of that, $8 million paid for about 19,000MT of fertilizer for 2010 and 2011.

FAO officials said the northern harvest would have been even better if some areas in the north had not suffered flood damage. "There was around 30 percent complete [flood] damage, but in the rest of the area the harvest was good even though we could not achieve the best yield figure," said Ramanathan Pararajasingam, FAO programme officer.

Farmers in the former conflict zone said before the end of the war, the harvest was mainly sold locally. Yields were reduced because chemicals and fertilizer could not be transported into the conflict areas due to security restrictions.

"Now we get fertilizer, pesticides and other supplies without interruption," said Christine Gurukularajah, a resident of Kilinochchi District, who has farmed 12ha of paddy for three decades. She said more paddy farmers in the former conflict zone were now able to sell at rates comparable to the rest of the nation. "We have buyers now coming from Vavuniya [just south of the former conflict zone] to buy the paddy. Now we have a sure market."

The latest heavy rains worked in favour of the secondary harvest, helping irrigation. "The yield is more compared to previous years as minor tanks were full with water from rains," FAO’s Gnanachandran said.

The increased secondary harvest of 1.92 million tons, thanks also to other high yields nationwide due to fertilizer subsidies from the government, is likely to increase the annual paddy yield to more than four million tons, 2 percent less than the total harvest in 2010, according to the FAO’s latest country brief.


CEB projects loss of Rs. 13 bn

By Ifham Nizam

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) estimates that its losses for 2011 would be in the region of Rs. 13 billion.

CEB General Manager Nihal Wickremasooriya told The Island that it was the projected forecast and it could be higher or lower depending on the weather patterns.

However, Power and Energy Ministry sources yesterday said that the losses could be between Rs. 15 and 20 billion.

CEB sources said that the prevailing weather pattern could be one of the major contributory factors.

"However, the management also took some decisions, maybe to show more prof its by using excessive hydro power. This was not the usual procedure at the CEB. Optimal use of water is the key," he added.

Giving examples, the official said that if hydro costs Rs. 10.00 and thermal Rs. 15.00, there should be a balance, Rather than heavily depending on hydro power alone.

"By raking a gamble, especially when there is no rain, one is compelled to switch to expensive energy sources costing about Rs. 50.00. This in turn puts a lot of pressure on the CEB," he added.

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka says that there had been loss Rs. 3.6 billion since July and the Board losses Rs. 12 million per day on an average.

The Ceylon Electricity Board recorded a net profit of five billion rupees during 2010 thus marking a turnaround for the entity that was making consecutive losses since the 2000.

The Board made a net profit of five billion rupees during 2010. During the year 2010, it earned 121 Billion Rupees by selling electricity while along with other income the total revenue reached 125.48 billion rupees. The total expenses of the entity during the year have recorded a sum of 120 billion rupees.


Adivasi housing project launched next month

Nethali STRUYS

The adivasi housing project will be launched next month with a view to providing homes for the adivasi community.

The Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Ministry is to initiate this housing project with the joint partnership of the Culture and Aesthetic Affairs Ministry.

Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa gave this assurance when he met the leaders of the adivasi community including Uruwarige Wanniyala Attho during a visit to Mahiyangana.

The ministry said that the housing schemes will be constructed in Dambana, Hennanigala, Dalukana, Rathugala, Wakare and Pollebedda.

The government has allocated Rs. 80 million for this and more funds will be allocated later as it is an ongoing programme.

The minister added that since the Vakarai adivasi community has faced more problems due to war and tsunami, they will be given priority. The houses will be constructed in a manner that would suit the culture and lifestyle of the adivasi community.

Adivasi chief Uruwarige Wanniyala Attho who took part in this discussions said that as the former projects launched by governments in the past were failures, the adivasi community is having doubts about this too. But since the ministers themselves visited and discussed the project, they are more convinced now, ministry sources said.


SL Railways earn Rs 918,160 in fines

Irangika RANGE

Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) earned Rs 918,160 in fines from 1010 ticketless travellers during the period from July 1 to 31.

The fines were imposed on long distance and suburban train travellers. A Sri Lanka Railways Railway Protection Force (RPF) Spokesman said teams comprising 40 officers conducted raids on the Sagarika train, Samudradevi train,Udaya Kumari train, Ruhunu Kumari train, train no.39 operating from Matara to Kandy and train no.35 operating from Colombo Fort to Kandy covering all railway stations between these two destinations day and night. Moratuwa, Panadura, Kalutara, Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Wadduwa, Dematagoda, Wanawasala, Gampaha, Weyangoda, Meerigama and Polgahawela were the sections where a large number of ticketless travellers were detected," he said.

The offences included travelling without tickets, travelling in second class using a third class ticket, travelling beyond the destination mentioned in the ticket, trading and begging.

"Checks are conducted on trains and on the platforms."he said. "Special checks will also be conducted in addition to routine checks that are carried out during the rush hour," he said.


Roadside emission tests in full swing


The Motor Traffic Department yesterday said they have mobilized their vehicle emission testing programmes throughout the island. All vehicles driven on roads must comply with the emission regulation standards established by the Central Environment Authority.

"We will take off air polluting vehicles the roads," said the Department's Vehicle Emission Testing Project Director A W Dissanayaka.

The Department issued repair notices to 60 motor vehicles after roadside checks conducted by its emission inspectors in Kandy last week.

Dissanayaka said the owners of these vehicles are supposed to effect repairs and bring them to vehicle emission centres.

The Department conducts roadside emission tests jointly with the Central Environment Authority. "We are yet to establish full coverage of the programme. However, we can safely say that the programme has been mobilized in all districts," said Dissanayaka.

The Department needs more smog analyzers and opacity meters to fully implement the programme, he explained. It has arranged to get more equipment.

Dissanayaka said the public have responded positively to the Department's vehicular emission control effort. "We have received 300 complaints so far from the public against motor vehicles that run on roads emitting black smoke. We are attending to these complaints," he said.

He said the Department has issued letters to the owners of these vehicles to submit their vehicles for emission tests.

The procedure is envisioned to enhance vehicular emission control. If vehicle owners were found to have failed to maintain their vehicles on a regular basis, their revenue and driving licences will be held by the police. Roadside emission tests are carried out by over 200 fixed and mobile emission testing centres throughout the country.


කොළොන්නාවේ ඩෙංගු රෝගීන්ගේ ශීඝ්‍ර වර්ධනයක්

කීට විද්‍යා සමීක්‍ෂණයකින් හෙළිවෙයි

කොළොන්නාව සමූහ – ඒ. සුමනසේන

කීට විද්‍යා සමීක්‍ෂණ අනුව කොළොන්නාව සෞඛ්‍ය වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරි කොට්ඨාසයේ මේ වන විටත් ඩෙංගු රෝගීන් විශාල වශයෙන් වාර්තා වෙමින් පවතින බව ද, මේ වසරේ ජූලි මාසයට සාපේක්‍ෂව බලන විට මේ මාසයේ මුල් සතිය ඇතුළත එම තත්ත්වයේ කිසිදු වෙනසක් ඇතිවී තිබෙන බවක්, පෙනෙන්නට තිබුණේ නැති බව ද කොළොන්නාව සෞඛ්‍ය වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරි වෛද්‍ය වසන්ත වික්‍රමතිලක මහතා පැවැසීය. ඔහු පවසන අන්දමට 2010 ජූනි මාසයේ සිට 2011 ජූලි මාසය දක්වා වූ කාලය අතරතුර රෝගීන්ගේ සංඛ්‍යාව වර්ධනය වී තිබුණේ මේ අන්දමටය.

කොළොන්නාව 33 – 83, මීතොටමුල්ල 14 – 50, ගජබාපුර 06 – 22, දහම්පුර 15 – 36, කුරුණියාවත්ත 03 – 09, වැල්ලම්පිටිය 14 – 18, විජයපුර 01 – 05, සේදවත්ත 11 – 22 හා වදුල්ලවත්ත 04 – 15 වශයෙනි. සෞඛ්‍ය වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරි කාර්යාලය පෙන්වා දෙන ආකාරයට මේ ප්‍රදේශවල ජලාශි‍්‍රත පහත්බිම් ප්‍රමාණය වැඩිවීම රෝගකාරක මදුරුවන් බෝවීමට එක් හේතුවක් වී තිබේ. මීතොටමුල්ල හා සේදවත්ත ප්‍රදේශවල අක්‍රමවත්ව කසළ ගොඩගැසීම මෙන්ම කොළොන්නාව ඛනිජ තෙල් සංස්ථා භූමිය, රජයේ කර්මාන්ත ශාලාව හා කොළොන්නාවේ පිහිටි ජාතික යන්ත්‍රෝපකරණ ආයතනය වැනි ස්ථානවල පවතින අබිලි ද්‍රව්‍ය හා සුන්බුන් ක්‍රමවත්ව ඉවත් නොකොට ගොඩගසා තිබීම තවත් හේතුවක් වන බවය.

රෝගය බෝවීම වළකා ගැනීම සඳහා අදාළ ආයතන දැනුවත් කෙරෙන වැඩපිළිවෙළ රැසක් තම කාර්යාලය මගින් දැනටමත් ආරම්භ කොට ඇතැයි ද වික්‍රමතිලක මහතා කීවේය.


කළපු හා වැව් අසබඩ පාවෙන අවන්හල්

භක්ති ධර්මප්‍රිය මෙන්ඩිස් මන්නාරම සිට

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ කළපු හා වැව් ආශ්‍රිතව පාවෙන අවන්හල් ඉදිකර සංචාරකයන්ට පහසුකම් ලබාදීමේ වැඩපිළිවෙළක් නාවික හමුදාව විසින් ආරම්භ කොට තිබේ. මෙහි ප්‍රථම අවන්හල දැනටමත් දියවන්නා ඔය ආශ්‍රිතව ඉදිකරමින් පවතින බවත් ඉදිරි මාස කිහිපය ඇතුළත දීපව්‍යාප්තව මේ අවන්හල් ඉදිකිරීමට සැලසුම්කර ඇතැයි නාවික හමුදාපති වයිස් අද්මිරාල් සෝමතිලක දිසානායක මහතා ‘දිනමිණ’ට ඊයේ (26) පැවසීය.

මේ අවන්හල් ව්‍යාපෘතිය දේශීය මෙන්ම විදේශීය සංචාරකයන්ගේ ජනප්‍රියත්වයට පත්වනු ඇති බවත් මෙමගින් සංචාරක කර්මාන්තයට නව මුහුණුවරක් ගනු ඇති බවත් නාවික හමුදාපතිවරයා සඳහන් කළේය. මේ ආකාරයේ සංවර්ධන ක්‍රියාදාම රැසකට නාවික හමුදාව මේ වනවිට ඉදිරිපත් වී ඇති බවත් ආරක්ෂක ලේකම් ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ උපදෙස් මත මේ සියල්ල සිදුකරන බවත් නාවික හමුදාපතිවරයා, වැඩිදුරටත් සඳහන් කළේය.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Sinharaja to be expanded soon

By Sandun A.Jayasekera

The Sinharaja Forest Range (SFR) comprising 11,187 hectares will be soon expanded by another 2,488 hectares as a means of preventing state lands being encroached, deforested or used for commercial purposes, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharsahana Yapa said yesterday.

He said as such 12 blocks of land in the Ratnapura District and four blocks of land in the Matara District totalling a land area of 2,488 hectares and belonging to the Lands Reforms Commission (LRC) would be vested with the Forest Department for the purpose of expanding the SFR.

‘There is a delay in acquiring these lands and the payment of compensation. But cabinet approval has been granted recently to vest these lands in the forest department without payment of compensation,” the minister said.

The SFR with its rich biodiversity and a huge impact on Sri Lanka’s weather pattern was declared a Natural World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1988 and endorsed by an Act of Parliament.

The minister said in the recent past there had been a sharp increase in land encroachment, illegal gem mining, the felling of trees and sand mining and in addition requests were pouring in for permission to use state lands for commercial, agriculture and industrial purposes.


CEB finds it difficult to cope with demand

Victoria, Kotmale waters decrease, Kerawalapitiya not functioning

By Ifham Nizam

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is finding it difficult to cope with the country’s electricity demand as water levels in the main reservoirs of Victoria and Kotmale were dropping rapidly while the 300MW Kerawalapitiya Power Plant was shut down for maintenance from yesterday.

U. D. Jayawardena, Chairman of Lanka Transformers Limited (LTL), the company which operates the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant, told ‘The Island’ that they were going in for a scheduled routine maintenance which was due months ago but postponed due to the severe shortfall in hydro power generation.

‘The Island’ learns that the routine maintenance work is a must as failure to carry them out on time might cause severe damage to the plant..

He said the maintenance operation usually takes two weeks. However, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has requested them to speed up the overhaul.

Senior CEB officials told The Island yesterday that the Kerawalapitiya Plant contributes five million GWh of the daily need of 32 million GWh.

The CEB spokesman yesterday said that though Moussakelle and Castlereigh experienced slight showers, the water levels in both Victoria and Kotmale was unsatisfactory.

Meanwhile, the water level of several tanks in the North Central Province had also receded. Levels of the Kala Wewa, Kandalama and Rajanganaya tanks were decreasing rapidly.

NCP residents say they are facing severe inconvenience as it is hard to find drinking water and water for cultivation purposes particularly for paddy, which is the main livelihood of the people in the area.


Wildlife, Railways to work hand in glove - Minimising elephant deaths

By Ifham Nizam

Steps will be taken to minimise elephant deaths due to train accidents with the assistance of the Railway and Wildlife Departments in the Anuradhapura District.

Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S. M. Chandrasena told The Island yesterday that an analysis on how elephants were killed, showed that it was mostly due to the mistakes of humans.

"Most of these elephants are killed by trains that function during odd hours. Being a very intelligent animal, elephants are used to the timing of trains etc. But whenever special trains operate, there are elephant deaths," he added.

He said that it was not a herculean task to clear the thick jungle close to the railway track. "I was instructed by Wildlife Department officials to cut down or clear the jungle areas as it would attract more elephants with lush green grass. So we have to be careful in our planning," he added.

Plans are underway, to minimise these accidents. In this regard, a workshop would be organized next month for all railway employees, including drivers and guards, who would undergo a programme on how to minimise elephant-train accidents, the Wildlife Department says.

A large number of elephants were killed due to train accidents in the Anuradhapura district.

Elephant survey report out next week

Meanwhile, ‘The Island’ learns the much debated report of the first island wide survey of elephants will be released next week. The Digital and Computer Science Department of the Peradeniya University has commenced sorting the data on the elephant survey, Wildlife Director General H. D. Ratnayake said yesterday.

The Survey was carried out from August 11 to 13 covering all parks and reserves where elephants freely roam.

According to the Director General, all data has been computerized, and it includes the number of elephants in each herd, their sizes, assumed ages, their sex and other physical features. "If records of a herd were duplicated the programme automatically nullify the duplication," he added.

The data is being sorted out under the supervision of the Director General and the Dean of the Science Faculty of the Peradeniya University, Prof. Parakrama Karunarathna. Nearly 40 university students are also assisting in this process to minimise numerical mistakes with scientific methods being given priority.

The Wildlife Department informs that this survey will help to find solutions to the human-elephant conflict and proper conservation and management of elephants.


Five year plan to increase coconut production

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Ministry has launched a five-year development plan to promote and increase coconut production in the country under the five-year development plan.

The ministry spokesman said that the aim of this plan is to increase coconut production to 3,650 million nuts by 2016.

The government will provide every possible support to upgrade the coconut industry and encourage local farmers to grow more coconut trees as the population increases, he said.

"Annual coconut production which is estimated at between 2,400 million and 2,700 million nuts at present will be increased to 3,650 million nuts by 2016" he added.

In addition, the Government will take immediate steps to expand the land area under coconut plantation by another 20,000 hectares by the end of the year 2011.

The country annually requires 3,500 million coconuts for local consumption and coconut based products for export.

"The ministry is currently implementing several programmes to increase production to 4,000 million nuts by 2020 to meet the total demand of the domestic and export sectors," the spokesman said.


Most eating houses near NH unhygenic – CMC

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Inspections were carried out on eating houses and boutiques around the National Hospital on Tuesday (23) evening. Chief of the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday that they had inspected ten eating houses in the vicinity of NHSL.

He said that a majority of them were unhygienic. The refrigerator in one eating house had uncooked chicken stored together with prepared food items – and the interior was unclean. Food samples were taken from all the places that were inspected to test for germs and colouring.

He said colouring was used for biryani, yellow rice and prawns. It’s even used to colour white rice red. Some of the eating houses continue to pack cooked rice directly into polystyrene mixed lunch boxes which is harmful – especially if the rice is hot when it’s being served into the box. This is harmful and could cause diseases, Dr. Kariyawasam warned.

He added that some of these eating houses built in the vicinity of the NHSL were unauthorised constructions.


කුරුවිට දොඩම්ඇල්ල සංචාරක කර්මාන්තයට තෝතැන්නක්

කුරුවිට සමූහ – රූපිකා කේ. බණ්ඩාර

සංචාරක කර්මාන්තයට කදිම තෝතැන්නක් වූ “දොඩම්ඇල්ල” සොඳුරු දසුන් මවමින් ගලා හැලෙයි. මේ මනස්කාන්ත දර්ශනය නැරඹීමටත්, කිසිදු උපද්‍රවයකින් තොරව දිය නා විනෝද වීමටත් හැකි ස්ථාන දිය ඇල්ල අවට නිර්මිතව ඇත්තේය.

කුරුවිට - දෙවිපහළ මාර්ගයේ කි. මී. 5 ක් පමණ දුරකින් පිහිටි “දොඩම්ඇල්ල” හන්දියේ සිට දිය ඇල්ලට දුර කි. මී. 1 ක් පමණය. දෙවිපහළ මහ ඇළෙන් ගලා එන ජලකඳ ගලින් නිර්මිත අලංකාර පොකුණකට එක්රැස් වී එතැනින් දිය ඇල්ලට ජලය මුදාහරියි. පොකුණේ සිට දියඇල්ල දක්වා ගලා යන ජල මාර්ගය මඳ දුරක් යද්දී දොඩම් ගෙඩියක් මෙන් වූ ගල් කුහරයකට වැදී නොපෙනී යයි. නැවත මතුවන්නේ අඩි ගණනක් ඈතිනි.

කොටස් කීපයකට වෙන්ව ඇදහැළෙන දිය ඇල්ල පාමුල පළාතම වසාගත් විශාල ගල්තලාවකි. ඒ හැරුණුකොට දෙපසෙහි තිබෙන ගලින් සෑදුණු කුටි මෙහි අලංකාරය තවත් වැඩි කරයි. දොඩම් ඇල්ල ලෙස නම ලැබුණු ආකාරය පිළිබඳව ජනප්‍රවාදයේ කතා රැසක් ද පවතී. කීරගල වසම හිටපු ග්‍රාම නිලධාරී උපාලි ජයසේකර මහතා පවසන්නේ ඉස්සර විශාල දොඩම් ගසක් මේ ආසන්නයේ පිහිටා තිබීම නිසා දොඩම් ඇල්ල ලෙස හඳුන්වන බව ජනතාව පවසන බවය. දිය ඇල්ලේ ඉහළ ගල්තලාවේ දොඩම් ගෙඩි මෙන් කුඩා කුහර පිහිටා තිබීමත්, මේ නම ලැබීමත් කෙරේ සබඳතාවක් ඇති බවට විශ්වාස කළ හැකි බව ද හෙතෙම පවසයි. ගම්වාසී ඩී. කරුණාරත්න මහතා පවසන්නේ නැරඹීමේ පහසුකම් ඇතිකරන්නේ නම් මෙය සංචාරක ව්‍යාපාරයේ උන්නතියට රුකුලක් වන බවයි.


ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ප්‍රථම සත්ත්ව රෝහල ගාල්ල හියාරේ

ඉමදූම සමූහ ලංකින්ද නානායක්කාර

ගාල්ල හියාරේ සුන්දර වන පියසෙහි ලංකාවේ ප්‍රථම වන සත්ත්ව රෝහලක් පසුගියදා විවෘත කරනු ලැබීය. මෙය ලංකාවේ ප්‍රථම වනජීවී රෝහල වේ.

වනජීවී දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව, ගාල්ල මහ නගර සභාව, ගාල්ල වනජීවී සංරක්ෂණ සංගමය එක්ව මෙම වනජීවී රෝහල හියාරේ ජෛව විවිධත්ව කේන්ද්‍රයේ දී පිහිටුවනු ලැබීය.

මේ වන විට තුරුගොමු වලින් සපිරි හියාරේ වනයේ විවිධ වර්ගයේ සතුන් 10 දෙනෙක් නේවාසිකව ආරක්ෂිත කූඩුවල ප්‍රතිකාර ලබයි. මිනිසා සතා සිව්පාවා ගහකොළ එකම යායක එක් එක් පුරුක් මෙන් ජීවත් වේ. මේ සියල්ල එක්වූ තැන අප හිතන සොඳුරු ලෝකය මැවෙන්නාක් වැනිය.

මේ පිළිබඳව අදහස් දැක්වූ ගාල්ල මහ නගර සභාවේ නගරාධිපති මෙත්සිරි ද සිල්වා මහතා:– අපේ ගාල්ල මහ නගර සභාවෙන් තමයි මෙහි පාලන කටයුතු කරන්නේ. පැළ තවාන් ඇති කර පැළ ලබා දීම, පරිසරවේදීන්ට පාසල් විශ්වවිද්‍යාල දරුවන්ටත් මෙහි ප්‍රයෝජන තියනවා. මෙය බලන්න එන්න. මම දේශපාලනඥයෙක් වශයෙන් නොවෙයි ගුරුවරයෙක් වශයෙන් අපේ දරුවන්ට කියන්නේ සතුන්ට සලකන්න පරිසරයට ආදරය කරන්න. එවිට අප ලෝකයටම ආදරය කළා වගේ යැයි

ගාල්ල වනජීවී සංරක්ෂණ සංගමයේ මධුරද සිල්වා මහතා: වන සතුන් රැකගැනීම ආරක්ෂා කර ගැනීම ඒ සඳහා- පරිසරයක් සැකසීම අප මුලසිටම සිදුකළා. යම් අනතුරකට පත් වූ සතුන් නිරතුරුවම ගෙන ආවේ හියාරේ වනයටයි. එය අප කාලාන්තරයක් තිස්සේ සිදුකළා. ඔවුන්ට ප්‍රතිකාර කළා. වන සතුන් ගෙනවිත් ප්‍රතිකාර ලබා දුන්නද ශල්‍යකර්ම සිදුකළද ඒ සඳහා නියමිත ස්ථානයක් තිබුණේ නෑ. අවශ්‍ය කූඩු තිබුණේ නෑ. නමුත් දැන් ඒ සඳහා සියලු පහසුකම් නියමිත ස්ථානයක් සියලු පහසුකම් අද මෙහි තිබෙනවා. කුරුළු විශේෂ කිිහිපයක්, මුවෝ, කිඹුලෝ, සර්පයෝ දැන් හරි අපූරුවට නිදහසේ ආරක්ෂාකාරීව අපේ පරිසරවේදීන්ගේ ආදරයෙන් ප්‍රතිකාරයෙන් සුවපත්වෙමින් සිටිති.


ජාතික පුෂ්පය ගැන නිවැරැදිව කියන්න විද්වත් කමිටුවක්‌

සිරිමන්ත රත්නසේකර

විවාදයට තුඩු දී ඇති මෙරට ජාතික පුෂ්පය නිල් මානෙල්ද? මානෙල් ද? යන්න නිවැරැදි තීන්දුවකට එළැඹීම සඳහා පරිසර ඇමැති අනුර ප්‍රියදර්ශන යාපා මහතා විශේෂ විද්වත් කමිටුවක්‌ පත් කර ඇත.

පරිසර අමාත්‍යාංශයේ ලේකම් ආචාර්ය ආර්. එච්. එස්‌. සමරතුංග මහතාගේ සහභාගිත්වයෙන් යුත් මෙම කමිටුව විද්වතුන් දස දෙනකුගෙන් සමන්විත වේ.

මෙරට ජාතික පුෂ්පය ලෙස තද නිල් පැහැති නිල් මානෙල් මල භාවිත කළද මෙරට ජාතික පුෂ්පය ළා නිල් පැහැයෙන් යුත් සුදට හුරු මානෙල් මල ලෙස 1986 දී කැබිනට්‌ මණ්‌ඩලය තහවුරු කර ඇත.

ඒ අනුව පැනනැඟී ඇති ගැටලුව නිරාකරණය කරගැනීම සඳහා ඉහත විද්වත් කමිටුව කටයුතු කරනු ඇති අතර එම කමිටුව මේ වනවිට ඒ සඳහා පරීක්‍ෂණ ආරම්භ කර ඇත.

මෙම විශේෂ කමිටුවේ වාර්තාව අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය ලේකම්වරයාගෙන් සැදුම්ලත් පරිපාලන කමිටුවක්‌ වෙත ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට නියමිත අතර ඉන් අනතුරුව කැබිනට්‌ සංදේශයක්‌ මගින් යෝජිත පුෂ්පය ප්‍රකාශයට පත් කිරීමට නියමිතය.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

ඇතින්නක පීඩාකාරී ලෙස ප්‍රවාහනය කළ රියැදුරකුට ගොව්වකුට 43,000ක් දඩ

ලංකාදීප 2011-08-25

මුල් පිටුව

පිටුව 6

India’s nuke plants are safe and world-class, says Manmohan

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, August 24: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh declared here today that India’s nuclear facilities are "world-class," and all efforts are being made to maintain the best safety standards for both on-shore and off-shore nuclear power plants.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Parliament’s lower house, during the question hour, he said: "Safety concerns are paramount...You have my assurance that while expanding our nuclear facilities we will not compromise on nuclear safety. This is an on-going process. Our nuclear facilities are world-class."

After the recent tragedy in Fukushima, Japan, where a nuclear power plant was hit during a tsunami, Dr Singh said he had ordered nuclear agencies like the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to re-look into the issue of safety of India’s nuclear installations.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came in response to a query from Jaswant Singh (BJP) about the steps being taken for ensuring safety of the nuclear power plants in Rajasthan.

The BJP leader said six nuclear plants were already active in Rawatbhatta in Rajasthan and the seventh plant was coming up. He insisted that the Fukushima tragedy was a lesson and consequences of such disasters are phenomenal.

Earlier, in reply to a question, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) V Narayanasamy said that the prime minister has asked AERB to review the safety measures and has held meetings with the departments concerned and authorities to discuss the issue.

"Four committees have been formed to go into additional security measures after the Fukushima tragedy. AERB has constituted a committee," Narayanasamy said.

India’s operational nuclear plants are located in Uttar Pradesh (Narora, seismic zone IV), Rajasthan (Rawatbhata, seismic zone II), Gujarat (Kakrapar, seismic zone III), Maharashtra (Tarapur, seismic zone III), Karnataka (Kaiga, seismic zone III), and Tamil Nadu (Kalpakkam, seismic zone II). Two new plants are soon to be completed with Russian help in Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulum (seismic zone II).

Meanwhile, the nuclear energy being generated by India’s state-run NPCIL has increased to 24,100 million units (MUs) in the first 11 months of this financial year (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011) from 18,831 MUs in 2009-2010. It is expected to touch 25,500 MUs by 31 March 2012—-an impressive increase of 35 per cent.

This became possible because India is now able to import uranium from several countries since the signing of the historic Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2008, and an increase in domestic production of uranium.

India has signed bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreements with eight countries so far. They are: USA, France, Russia, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Mongolia, Argentina, and Canada. The country needs a hundred thousand tonnes of uranium to power its growing number of civil nuclear reactors to generate 30,000MW nuclear power by 2020.

NPCIL’s installed capacity from its 19 reactors is 4,680 Mw.

The nine Indian nuclear reactors under IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards are: Tarapur 1 and 2, Rajasthan 2-6, and Kakrapar 1 and 2. Thanks to increased uranium imports, the average Plant Load Factor (PLF)—-a measure of average capacity utilisation—-of these nine reactors has increased to 90 per cent for reactors that run on imported uranium as compared to 50 per cent one year ago. Earlier, they were operating much below their installed capacity.

The PLF of the other ten nuclear reactors that are not under IAEA safeguards and run on domestic uranium too has gone up to 60 per cent from 45 per cent one year ago.

Thus, the improvement in uranium supply both from foreign and domestic sources has resulted in 1,500Mw of nuclear power.

Today, India gets barely 3% of its total energy of 4,100 megawatts from nuclear power. Until a year ago, its existing nuclear reactors have been running at less than half their capacity for want of adequate quantities of uranium. The government wants to quadruple total generating capacity to 700 gigawatts by 2032, with nuclear power accounting for 63,000 megawatts, to sustain an annual GDP growth of eight to ten per cent for the next two decades.


Wild life Dept. to supervise Hikkaduwa coral garden’s boat service

By Lalaji Manawadu

Ambalangoda: Glass-bottomed boat service, at the Coral Gardens, Hikkaduwa, operated by 53 boat-owners has been taken under the supervision of the Hikkaduwa branch of the WildLife Conservation Department since July 29, according to an official.

This step has been taken after a discussion the political authorities had with the WildLife Conservation Department, Hikkaduwa Provincial Secretary, Hikkaduwa police, Hikkaduwa UC and glass-bottomed boat owners.

Under the scheme boat-owners have to register at the WildLife Conservation Dept. office paying Rs. 250 annually.

For a half- hour boat ride to the Coral Gardens a foreign tourist has to pay Rs. 1,750. For a Sri Lankan it is Rs. 750. A student has to pay Rs. 650. A boat could only carry six foreigners. The number is increased for local adults and students to ten and twelve respectively.

In addition, those who enter the beach will have to buy tickets at the following rates.: Foreigners - adults Rs. 30,children, Rs. 15, locals - adults Rs. 5 and children Rs. 2.

A ‘bathing zone’ has been allocated in the sea where boats are not allowed to operate. Safety of the bathing public has been assured.

It is said that boat-owners and tourist hotel owners are not happy on these changes as they have less chances to fleece the people.


SL on course to attain 8.5 pc growth

Sri Lanka is on course to achieve an economic growth of around 8.5 percent this year, External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L. Peiris told the diplomatic community in Colombo yesterday.

He said that the economy had shown a growth of 7.9 percent in the first quarter with the projected growth at the end of the year being 8.5 percent. “The prognosis for the rest of the year is very sound,” he added.

Predicting further impressive strides in the field of economy, the minister said that the country’s foreign reserves had risen to an unprecedented US $ eight billion plus.

The poverty has diminished to eight from 12 percent and the unemployment rate has come down to five percent. The inflation remains stable, he added.

The minister pointed out that the end of the conflict and rapid development taking place in the North and East had contributed immensely to enhancing Sri Lanka’s overall economic growth.


National Drug Policy before December


Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena will table the National Drug Policy in Parliament within the next four months.

The formulation of the policy is 95 percent complete, a Health Ministry spokesman said.

According to the spokesman, the main intention of introducing the National Drug Policy is producing essential drugs locally. Minister Sirisena has approved a project proposal presented by the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) to increase its production capacity.

It is expected to produce at least 100 varieties of essential drugs locally by next year in the first phase of the project.

"SPMC produces 52 essential drugs for the country.

The SPMC produces around 50 per cent of the total paracetamol requirement of the country which is over 280 million tablets per year.

The entire requirement is 562 million tablets. Earlier it was only 43 drugs," the spokesman said.


Confusion over national flower

Committee to examine national flower issue


A committee of eminent persons has been appointed to examine various issues related to the national flower of Sri Lanka and submit a report, an Environment Ministry spokesman told the Daily News yesterday.
Our report on Monday

He said that Environment Ministry Secretary Dr R.H.S. Samaratunga has been appointed as the chairman of this 10 member committee. The committee will look into the issue of identification of the correct strain of Water Lily as the national flower. Peradeniya University Botany Department senior lecturer Prof Deepthi Yakandawala at a meeting with Environment Ministry officials recently pointed out that a violet flowered Nymphaea has been erroneously identified in many scientific and non-scientific literature as Nymphaea Nouchali which is the correct national flower. She pointed out that due to this misidentification, the violet flowered Nymphaea which is an alien invasive plant introduced to the country as an ornamental aquatic plant, has acquired an important place in social, cultural and religious events. This has led to the shrinking of the Nymphaea Nouchali variety. She also revealed that there has been hybridization of these two starins complicating the issue further.

The ministry spokesman said that the committee will look into the possible corrective measures that can be taken to avoid any confusion over the national flower of Sri Lanka. The Biodiversity Secretariat has also paid attention to protect the existing Nymphaea Nouchali variety while facilitating its spread in the country.

The spokesman also said that a Nymphaea Nouchali strain which is some what white in colour had been declared as the national flower of Bangladesh in 1971 where as Sri Lanka declared this variety as the national flower in 1986.
"Our native variety is light blue. However this issue will also be considered by the committee which will extend its proposals to a high level administrative committee headed by the Prime Minister's Secretary. Then the final conclusion regarding the correct national flower will be presented as a Cabinet paper," he said.

Confusion over national flower

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

A committee chaired by Secretary to the Environment Ministry, Dr. R. H. S. Samarathunga has been appointed to conduct a review of the national flower. The committee comprises ten members.

They will decide on the correct national flower.

A ministry spokesman said that confusion reigns over the actual identity of the national flower ‘Nil Manel’ (Blue water lily) which is at present under threat of extinction due to hybridizing with a foreign species.

The Environment Ministry has already taken steps to protect the native flower, ‘Manel’.

The spokesman said that the report of the Committee would be handed over to another high level committee under the Prime Minister for further evaluation and identification of the National Flower.

The Cabinet decision to declare the ‘Manel’ (water lily) as the National Flower of Sri Lanka was taken in 1986. The original name of the Nil Manel was as Nymphaea Stellata and it was later re-named Nymphaea Nouchali, the spokesman said.