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Policies from SL receive Future Policy Award 2021 on protection from hazardous chemicals

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Sri Lanka’s Control of Pesticides Act No. 33 of 1980 and the National Policy and Action Plan on Prevention of Suicide of 1997 are among the five inspiring and impactful laws and policies that won the Future Policy Award 2021.

The Award, often referred to as the ‘Oscar on Best Polices’ is celebrating the most effective policy solutions that minimise the adverse effects of exposure to chemicals on human health and the environment. The above two policies from Sri Lanka have contributed to one of the greatest decreases in suicide rates ever achieved in the world. They have saved about 93,000 lives over 20 years at a direct government cost of less than USD 50 per life.

The prize is awarded by the World Future Council and is organised this year in partnership with the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and with the support of the Michael Otto Foundation and the Jua Foundation.

“For the sake of current and future generations, it is absolutely critical that stakeholders make the protection from hazardous chemicals a priority. Sri Lanka and the other winning policies show the way forward and are an inspiration for policymakers worldwide,” says Director of the World Future Council (WFC) Alexandra Wandel.

The High Commission of Sri Lanka in London appreciates Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Scotland Prof. Michael Eddleston for nominating Sri Lankan policies for this award and for all his efforts to gain international recognition to Sri Lanka.

The winning policies of the Future Policy Award 2021 will be celebrated at a high-level        virtual Award Ceremony on 6 July, 2021. To participate at the Award Ceremony and to learn more about the winning policies for the Future Policy Award 2021, visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org/chemicals



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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused

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By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.

 

 

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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas

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By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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