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Technology Services Company to be upgraded to contain sand mafia 

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By Ifham Nizam 

 

The Technology Services Company will be upgraded as a government agency to prevent the exploitation of consumers by the sale of low-quality sand at high prices by sand smugglers, a senior official of the Environment Ministry said. 

 In addition to the company’s existing sand mining and marketing activities, it also plans to contribute to the production of calcium carbonate, organic fertilizers and organic herbicides. 

 Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said that the supply of sand for the government development projects should be properly managed. 

 The current amount of sand required for government development projects for the period 2021-2025 was 55 million cubic metres. “But as we have now identified, we can only get 41 million cubic metres of sand during that period,” he said. 

 According to Minister Amaraweera the Technical Services Company had been instructed to set up several sand supplies centres to supply sand at lower prices. Two of these centres would be established at Ambatale and Kegalle first. Thereafter, three more centers were planned to be set up at Athurugiriya, Ratmalana and Kandy. 

 The Technical Services Company, a 100 percent state-owned company under the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau of the Ministry of Environment, has made a profit of Rs. 20.81 million in the first four months of 2021. 

 The company had incurred losses in 2020 and was able to turn a profit this year due to the steps taken to increase the efficiency of the company’s staff. 

 The total revenue earned from the services provided by this company during the first four months of this year was Rs. 239.76.M Expenditure on salaries and other activities during the same period was Rs. 218.95 million. 

 Technical Services Company, Chief Executive Officer, Attorney-at-Law, Thusitha Aluthpatabendige said the profit for the first four months was Rs.20.81 million. 



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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