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Swimming pool for Colombo University:MOU signed with alumni support1

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Signing of the MOU. From L to R: Alumni ExCo Member J. M. S. Bandara, Thilan Koththigoda, Prof. Chandrika Wijeyaratne, Vice Chancellor, Rajeev Amarasuriya, Mrs. Sunethra Peiris, Alumni Head of Administration and Asanka Ranhotty, Co-Chair, Swimming Pool Steering Committee.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed last week between the Alumni Association of the University of Colombo and KWA Architects for the Architectural and Structural Work for a new 50 Meter swimming pool for the University of Colombo.

The Alumni Association of the University of Colombo has undertaken to construct a professional standard swimming pool for the university meeting a long-felt need. Construction is due to commence by the middle of this year.

Once built,The proposed swimming pool complex the facility will benefit present and future generations of students of the University of Colombo for years to come, the Alumni Association said in a news release.

KWA Architects have agreed to provide all the design and structural work without charge. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Thilan Koththigoda, Precedent Partner of KWA Architects said that they and their partners, all of whom have benefited from the national u iversity system, consider this project as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. Many of the Architects at KWA, including himself are products of the local university system and they considered this a give-back opportunity..

KWA began in 2001 as an independent design studio mainly focusing on built space and interior design. Now, it is a registered Chartered Architectural Practice with portfolio covering a wide range of projects for private clients and developers, in Sri Lanka and the Middle East. Its special focus is on tourism, leisure, commercial/retail and residential architecture as well as master planning and urban design.

The project team will comprise Architects Thilan Koththigoda and Ms. Thushari Wijesundera as the lead architects, Chartered Engineer Nuwan Bandaranayake, Director Engineering of Edifice Consultants (Pvt.) Ltd as the Structural Engineer, Chartered Engineer Shiran Jayalath as the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineer and Hasitha Gunasekera, Managing Director of ARQS Consultants (Pvt) Ltd as the cost consultants

Rajeev Amarasuriya, President of the Alumni Association of the University of Colombo said that when the University requested the support of the Alumni Association to construct this Swimming Pool Complex, they undertook it although it was a very large project as it would benefit many generations of present and future students. They had undertaken many major projects for the university including a 400-bed Women’s Hostel Complex at Buller’s Lane and were now happy to take on a larger project for which he invited alumni support.



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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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