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Father, daughter produce biodegradable ballpoint pens with seeds inside

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Sachini Christina Sugirdan presents an eco-friendly carbon pen she and her father produced to Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera

By Ifham Nizam

Nearly 100 kilos of used ballpoint pens are discarded in Sri Lanka on a daily basis and they will take several hundred years to decompose fully, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says.

Amaraweera said so when inventor Sachini Kristina Sugirdan yesterday presented a new eco-friendly ballpoint.

The pen introduced by Sachini and her father Sugirdan is a 96 per cent eco-friendly product made of biodegradable materials to prevent environmental damage. The pens come with vegetable and fruit seeds in them.

The invention is completely eco-friendly and it can be grown as a vegetable or fruit plant without having to dispose of empty ballpoint pens.

Amaraweera said used plastic ballpoint pens discarded took at least 100 years to decompose and it had been proved that micro-plastic molecules do not decompose in the soil for about 400 years.

The Minister said that his ministry had introduced special containers to prevent those discarded items from entering the environment, and added that ballpoint pens and toothbrushes would be destroyed with the help of INSEE Cement Company. “But when ballpoint pens are burnt, the carbon dioxide emitted from them pollutes the atmosphere the Minister said.

Speaking on the occasion, Sachini said that she had introduced the product to prevent environmental damage and that the pen could be planted. This pen can be planted. Then you can grow fruits, vegetables and even yams. She added that the pens came with seeds inside them.



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Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’

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By Norman Palihawadane and Ifham Nizam

The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) yesterday arrested six suspects in the Sapugaskanda Rathgahawatta area with more than 100 kilos of Crystal Methamphetamine also known as Ice.

Police Media Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ajith Rohana told the media that the PNB sleuths, acting on information elicited from a suspect in custody had found 91 packets of Ice.

A man in possession of 100 kilos of heroin was arrested in Modera during the weekend and revealed that a haul of Ice had been packed in plastic boxes.

The PNB seized more than 114 kilos of Ice from the possession of a single drug network.

According to the information elicited from the suspects, more than 100 kilos of Ice were found.

The PNB also arrested six persons including two women with 13 kilos of Ice, during an operation carried out in the Niwandama area in Ja-Ela on Sunday.

DIG Rohana said the ice had been packed in small plastic boxes and hidden in two school bags.

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PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners

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By Norman Palihawadane

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he was confident that differences among the constituents of the SLPP coalition as regards the May Day celebrations and the next Provincial Council elections could be ironed out soon.

Leaders of all SLPP allied parties have been invited to a special meeting to be held at Temple Trees with the PM presiding on April 19.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa said it was natural for members of a political alliance to have their own standpoints and views on matters of national importance. “This is due to the different political ideologies and identities. It is not something new when it comes to political alliances world over. In a way, it shows that there is internal democracy within our alliance.

The PM said: “As a result of that the allied parties may express their own views on issues, but that does not mean there is a threat to the unity of the alliance. An alliance is more vibrant and stronger not when all the parties think on the same lines but when the member parties have different ideologies.”

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Thilo Hoffman remembered

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A copy of the book “Politics of a Rainforest: Battles to save Sinharaja” was handed over to Dominik Furgler, the Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka by the author of the book, Dr. Prasanna Cooray at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo last Tuesday, to be sent to the family of the late Thilo Hoffman in Switzerland.

Hoffman, a Swiss national, who made Sri Lanka his second home for six decades, was a pioneering environmental activist who led the battles to save Sinharaja from the front in the early 1970s, abreast with the likes of Iranganie Serasinghe, Kamanie Vitharana, Lynn De Alwis and Nihal Fernando of the “Ruk Rekaganno” fame. That was the era when the trees of Sinharaja were felled for the production of plywood by the then government. Hoffman was also a livewire of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) for a long time. Hoffman died in 2014 at the age of 92.

The book includes a chapter on Thilo Hoffman.

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