by Ifham Nizam
The government was concerned about the importation of 140 million face masks weighing more than 495 tonnes between March 17 and October 31, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
Amaraweera told the media yesterday if those masks were not properly disposed, that would lead to serious environmental issues.
The health sector has reported that about 100 companies have approved the import of 15 million KN 95 masks by the end of November, the Minister said.
Amaraweera also said the Covid-19 pandemic was likely to get worse in the future and the virus could spread to water sources, thus the manner of disposing face masks was of great concern.
He also noted that a number of face mask factories had been set up in the country and all those could add to serious environmental problems.
Environment Ministry Secretary, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, said that the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) had submitted a series of guidelines to local government institutions on the proper disposal of face masks.
The matter should be regulated by the Ministry of Health, but in the future the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health would take steps to put in place a mechanism to tackle the issue, he said.
Himantha Randiva Wimalaratne, a Grade Nine student of Ananda College, Colombo, presented to the Minister a new invention which could destroy contaminants including face masks.
Minister appreciated the interest shown by the media in new inventions, and presented a certificate of appreciation to the student for introducing a useful new invention to the country without wasting time when schools are closed due to Covid-19.
The Minister was the first to appreciate the child’s talent. Ananda College Principal, S. M. Keerthiratne expressed his gratitude to the Minister and to Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the Secretary to the Ministry, who is an old Anandian.
The Student’s mother Anoma Ranjani Jayatilake and the teacher in charge of the class, Darshani Perera were also present.
Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’
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.
PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners
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.”
Thilo Hoffman remembered
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.
Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’
Happy New Year!
A Cabinet reshuffle needed
7-billion-rupee diamond heist; Madush splls the beans before being shot
Unfit, unprofessional, fat Sri Lankans
The Burghers of Ceylon/Sri Lanka- Reminiscences and Anecdotes
news7 days ago
New Geneva challenge: Chagie calls for united stand
news6 days ago
UK rejects Lanka’s request for handing over of Gash dispatches to Geneva
Opinion4 days ago
Monumental blunders paralysing Sri Lanka
Editorial6 days ago
The strange case of Naufer
Opinion6 days ago
After Geneva Resolution: What Next?
Midweek Review7 days ago
leaves out Gash dispatches, Swiss embassy abduction drama and India’s accountability
Features2 days ago
How confidence has been eroded
Sports6 days ago
When ‘siri’ means failure?