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New Act to make penalties for nature vandalism ten times higher

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By Ifham Nizam

The government would enhance the penalties for destroying the environment under the new National Environmental Act currently in the pipeline, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said, adding that penalties for such offences would be increased 10 times. 

“Environmental destruction is a grave crime like murder. Those who protect the environment would be rewarded.

An awards ceremony will be held to give them national recognition.”

Amaraweera said that 107,000 saplings had been planted countrywide during the last four months under the Husma Dena Thuru tree planting programme.

The National Tree Planting Programme, which he launched as the Minister of Environment, had become very popular, the Minister said.

“When I became the Minister of Environment, I introduced 20 environmental programmess including Haritha Hetak, the most important among them being the Husma Dena Thuru, tree planting programme. Under this we have set a target of planting two million saplings in the next four years.

A human being needed 550 litres of oxygen. One person needs at least 10 trees to produce this amount of oxygen. Some people cannot appreciate this fact and do not plant at least one tree during their lifetime, the Minister observed.

Amaraweera said trees were worshiped by our ancestors because they knew the value of trees.



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123rd Birth anniversary of Dr S A Wickramasinghe commemorated

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The 123rd Birth anniversary of Dr S A Wickramasinghe, the founder of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka was commemorated in Matara today (13).

Dr Sugiswara Abeywardena Wickramasinghe co-founded the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and was elected to the Ceylon State Council in 1931 and 1946. He founded the Communist Party of Sri Lanka in 1943 and represented the Akuressa Electorate in parliament from 1956 to 1977.

Members of Parliament Dullas Alahapperuma, Weerasumana Weerasinghe and members of  the Communist Party of Sri Lanka and family placed floral tributes at his monument in Matara.

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Social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity – President

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President Rani Wickremesinghe in his New Year Message stressed that social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity

The full text of the President’s message follows:

“The progression of nations, countries and the global community is propelled by the perpetual cycle of renewal, where innovative ideas are nurtured and novel creations come to fruition.

Embracing renewal in accordance with the traditional New Year, the calendar year, or the changing seasons, individuals across the globe find themselves revitalized, endowed with fresh opportunities for growth and advancement. Beneath the surface of these myriad renewals lies a fundamental truth; the paramount importance of social relationships and collective unity.

During the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, we engage in a profound renewal of self, centering our focus on nurturing bonds and fostering a sense of gregariousness. This emphasis on interpersonal bonds is the cornerstone of traditional New Year rituals observed across diverse cultures worldwide.

It is important to emphasize the significance of this pivotal point, particularly during the New Year festivities, as it serves as a poignant reminder of the essence of human connection and communal solidarity.

In the dawn of the New Year, social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity. With this understanding in mind, I extend my heartfelt wishes for a joyous and fulfilling Sinhala and Tamil New Year.”

 

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Sinhala and Tamil New Year auspicious times

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The Auspicious times for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2024 are as follows

13th April
02:41pm –  Punya Kalaya
09:05pm  – Dawn of the New Year
11:06pm –  Lighting of the Hearth

14th April 
00:06am – Starting work, Partaking of meals and transactions

15th April
10:17am – Anointing

17th April
06:52am – Leaving for work

18th April 
10:16am – Planting trees

 

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