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BMICH denies social media allegations about poisoning stray dogs as totally untrue



The Management of the BMICH yesterday said in a statement that there was a sinister smear media campaign accusing it of poisoning and killing the stray dogs found on its grounds.

The statement signed by CEO of the BMICH, Sunil Dissanayake said: The Management of the BMICH refutes the false claims presently circulating on social media that we are eradicating stray dogs roaming on our premises, by poisoning and killing them.   These claims are completely untrue.  We give below the true facts.

Large numbers of stray dogs find their way into the BMICH premises and cause many problems to our customers, visitors and staff.  Our customers were attacked by these dogs on four or five occasions.

These dogs attacked a staff member about two months ago who had to be administered rabies injections and medical care.

We have received numerous complaints by parents of students who attend various classes held in our buildings.  They state that they feel extremely unsafe with the large packs of stray dogs on our premises.

Before the dogs began to attack our customers and staff, we undertook a joint programme with EMBARK to vaccinate and sterilize the dogs found in our compound, as well as take away the puppies.

This was carried out as we did not wish to drive out the stray dogs and thought that we could allow them to remain on our premises, while making it safe for our customers

However, an increasing number of dogs began to appear on our premises.  Under these circumstances we had no other choice but to have them relocated out of the BMICH premises.

We are aware that this smear campaign is being carried out by a few persons, who go around Colombo feeding stray dogs, who have barged into the BMICH premises, many times, purportedly to feed the stray dogs.  The BMICH Police Unit informed them that they had entered in an unauthorized manner without permission, were trespassing on our premises and we’re not adhering to health regulations such as wearing masks. They were warned and sent away.

These persons have clearly used photos taken elsewhere, for their lying and irresponsible smear campaign

The BMICH follows strict regulations during the pandemic, including not permitting any unauthorised persons to enter our premises.

However, we inform those who forcibly enter our premises to feed the stray dogs therein, if they are true dog-lovers, to take away these dogs for adoption, in the same way that EMBARK has been doing, to the best of their ability.

While appreciating the importance of animal life and protecting them, the main responsibility of our Management is the safety and security of our customers and staff.

The BMICH is an iconic landmark of Sri Lanka and as the Management of this esteemed institution it is our responsibility to ensure the safety, security and satisfaction of all who enter our premises.

We strongly request the persons carrying out this smear campaign to be more responsible and civic conscious, not only towards stray dogs but also to our citizens.

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GL follows up Udaya’s initiative, negotiates concessionary crude oil supplies with UAE



Balance-of-payment crisis continues to stagger govt.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The United Arab Emirates (UAD) has agreed to discuss a possible arrangement to provide Sri Lanka crude oil on concessionary terms in the face of the country experiencing a severe balance-of-payments crisis, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris took up the matter with UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Prof. Peiris is on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s delegation to the UNGA.

In late August, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila sought the intervention of the Acting Head of the UAE Embassy in Sri Lanka, Saif Alanofy. Minister Gammanpila also met the Iranian Ambassador in Colombo in a bid to explore the possibility of obtaining oil from Iran on concessionary arrangements.

The Foreign Ministry statement on Prof. Peiris meeting with the UAE Minister dealt with the financial crisis experienced by the country. “Foreign Minister Peiris explained the challenges Sri Lanka is experiencing in respect of its external budget, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Peiris focused in particular on the country’s requirement for oil and requested concessionary arrangements from the UAE.”

The Foreign Ministry quoted Minister Al Jaber as having said that the UAE would be happy to assist and proposed the establishment of a strategic framework to take the process forward.”

The ministry stressed that both sides agreed to follow-up rapidly.

Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila earlier told The Island that concessionary arrangements were required to procure oil as part of an overall strategy to overcome the developing crisis.

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader and Attorney-at-law Gammanpila said that increase in fuel prices in the second week of June this year was only a part of the government’s response to heavy pressure on foreign reserves. Minister Gammanpila said that the decision was taken close on the heels of dire warning from the Central Bank.

Minister Gammanpila said that in spite of foreign currency crisis, the government ensured an uninterrupted supply of fuel. According to him, Sri Lanka spent as much as USD 3.5 to 5 bn annually on oil imports depending on the world market prices.

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President attends 9/11 commemoration in NY



President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday attended the special commemorative event near the Manhattan Memorial in the United States to mark the 20th anniversary of terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.

The terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001, targeting the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defence.

Coinciding with the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and the 9/11 Memorial Museum jointly organised the event. Other Heads of State and government representatives, who were in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, were also present at the event to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in those attacks.

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FSP calls on govt. allies not to pretend to oppose adverse deal with US firm



By Anuradha Hiripitiyage

Due to the secret agreement signed with US firm New Fortress Energy, Sri Lanka would soon face a situation akin to the one already faced by Ukraine, the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) predicted yesterday.

“Sri Lanka is trying to reduce its dependency on coal and switch over to LNG. With this in mind, several coal and diesel power plants are to be converted into LNG in the coming decade. Now, we will entirely depend on the US to provide us with LNG to power these plants. Given that the US intends to control the seas in which Sri Lanka is placed strategically, they will not let us off the hook once they establish their foothold here. We are in deep trouble,” FSP Propaganda Secretary, Duminda Nagamuwa said.

Nagamuwa said that some constituents of the government were pretending that they opposed the transfer of government’s shares in the Yugadanavi Power Plant to New Fortress Energy. “But this is not the time for theatrics but for concrete action”, he said.

Nagamuwa said that the agreement between the government and US Company New Fortress Energy to construct a new offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification terminal at Kerawalapitiya as well as the transfer of government’s shares in the Yugadanavi Power Plant had to be scrapped.

“Even government ministers agree that the agreement was not discussed with them. Several affiliates of the government are trying to convince the people that they are fighting this decision from inside. However, past experience has shown that when push comes to shove they will stay with the government. They must show the leaders of the government that they are not puppets,” he said.

Nagamuwa said that if those affiliated to the government were serious in their opposition to undermining Sri Lanka’s energy security they should show their commitment by doing something concrete.

The Yugadanavi Power Station at Kerawalapitiya already produced 300 MWs of energy and there was a plan to build another 350 MW plant there. The US Company had now been allowed to build an offshore LNG receiving, storage, and regasification terminal and to provide LNG to the existing Power Station and the new 350 MW power plant to be built, he said.

“Now we are under the power of the US. We will soon be facing the plight of Ukraine,” he said.

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