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Police happy with new traffic lane rules: Congestion eased to a great extent

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by SURESH PERERA

The mandatory traffic lane rules now being enforced on four key routes in Colombo and its suburbs have helped to ease road congestion to a considerable degree, a senior police official asserted, amidst the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AA) adopting a “let’s wait and see” stand on the issue.

“We are happy with the outcome”, says SSP Indika Hapugoda, Director, Traffic Administration and Road Safety.

There were teething problems at the initial stage, but as the days progressed, the outcome was fruitful, he said. “There was a marked improvement with every passing day and by Friday, there was relative free flow of traffic on the designated routes”.

Asked about concerns raised by private bus operators over three-wheelers and motor cycles being directed to use the specially demarcated ‘bus lane’, SSP Hapugoda replied, “that’s not an issue. There are four private bus associations in the country and only one has complained. The others are happy with the arrangement”.

“There are complaints about traffic congestion aggravating in some areas after the new rules were implemented”, said Devapriya Hettiarachchi, Secretary, Automobile Association of Ceylon.

Many staff members were late by about half an hour after the traffic police began implementing the new road rules, he noted, and added that according to complaints, the bottlenecks were largely at Nugegoda and Kadawatha.

“Anyway, let’s wait and see how the new traffic scheme plays out”, he continued.

The traffic police will continue to strictly enforce the road rules, SSP Hapugoda stressed. “We expect better results on Monday”.

Violators will be fined Rs. 2,000, the director warned.

Divided into four zones, the traffic lane rules are being implemented from the new Kelani Bridge on the Baseline Road to the High Level junction via Orugodawatta, Dematagoda, Borella and Narahenpita.

From Polduwa Junction on Sri Jayewardenepura Mawatha to Rajagiriya Flyover, Ayurveda junction, D. S. Senanayake Junction, Horton roundabout, Library Junction and Liberty roundabout.

From William junction on Galle Road to Dickman’s Road Junction via Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Galle Face Roundabout and the NSA roundabout junction.

From near Anula College, Nugegoda on High Level Road to High Level Baseline junction, Park Road junction, Thimbirigasyaya junction, Thummulla roundabout, Glasshouse junction, Library junction and Pittala handiya (junction).

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COPE meets online for first time in its history

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by Saman Indrajith

The Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) created a history by meeting online for the first time ever on Thursday.

The COPE had Secretaries of three Ministries joining in with its committee meeting through online (ZOOM) becoming the second parliamentary committee holding an online meeting in the country.

Thursday evening’s COPE meeting chaired by its chairman Prof. Charitha Herath connected online with Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Dr) H. S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries W. A. Chulananda Perera and, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government J. J. Ratnasiri via zoom technology.

The Environmental Audit Report on water pollution of the Kelani River was brought before the committee and the meeting held between the Chairman Prof. Herath, Ministers and Members of Parliament and secretaries and other officials continued without any technical hitches.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that facilities have been provided to hold meetings and discussions using online technology in two committee rooms in Parliament.

He said that Parliamentary officials had been working relentlessly for months to install the requisite technological tools and that the efforts have borne fruit and future Parliamentary meetings could be held online as a result.

The Committee on High Posts under the chairmanship of Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also held a discussion with the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kenya, who was living in Kampala, using online technology recently.

 

 

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Legatum Prosperity Index highlights SL’s development of education and healthcare sectors

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During the past decade

One of the key highlights of this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. These improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka, it was noted.

The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on November 17 2020.

The event commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick. 

Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud said that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.

Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena said that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade.

She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.

Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute, Dr. Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world.

The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.

Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

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Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India with Sapna Mehra

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The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo, will be holding an online cookery demonstration on ‘Snack Time: Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India’ on December 5 at 11.00 am on its FACEBOOK page https://www.facebook.com/ICCRSriLanka.

This festival season, the Cultural Centre will present a virtual cookery demonstration by Sapna Mehra. Cooking has been a passionate hobby of Sapna since her childhood days. Growing up in a large family of 17 members, she was very keen on bringing variety to the dining table, and that’s when her cooking journey began, preparing simple wraps, and snacks.

She now specializes in cooking dishes from a variety of cuisines. Originally from Bangalore, she has lived in many cities across India and Sri Lanka, and at present resides in Delhi.

She has a Postgraduate degree in Marketing and has over 12 years work experience in the professional field.

All are cordially invited to attend. For more details, contact the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre on telephone No: 2684698 or Email: iccrcolombo2@gmail.com

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