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Wildlife and Nature Protection Society and Canadian partners on environmental webinars

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The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society and the High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka and Maldives last week announced their collaboration on upcoming environmental webinars.

“These joint virtual discussions will feature Canadian, Sri Lankan and Maldivian environmental experts and activists and will facilitate exchanges of best practices between the Sri Lankan, Canadian and Maldivian environmental conservation communities,” a press release issued in this connection said.

On February 22, WNPS and the High Commission of Canada will be presenting a joint edition of WNPS’ “Marine Chat” dedicated to marine plastic pollution and featuring panellists from Sri Lanka, Canada and Maldives. The “Marine Chats” are monthly discussions presented by WNPS showcasing some of Sri Lanka’s best marine scientists.

“WNPS and the High Commission of Canada also share the perspective that young people are key to protecting the planet and that we must support them and provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to advance environmental issues. It is with great pleasure that we announce the participation of world-renowned Canadian artist and activist Benjamin Von Wong in WNPS’ Youth Workshop on March 3, 2021, which will focus on the intersection between art and environmental activism,” the release said.

“Further, we are pleased to share that experts from Ocean Wise – a globally recognized Canadian ocean conservation organization – will be featured in WNPS’ monthly lecture series on March 18. Held every third Thursday of the month, the “Monthly Lectures” are among WNPS’ most popular activities, which give prominent environmental experts centre stage to share their knowledge on a range of issues with the Sri Lankan public.”

Speaking about the partnership, WNPS President Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne said “The WNPS is thankful to the High Commissioner and the broader Canadian Community for their support towards improving the conservation efforts in Sri Lanka. Our country is presently under siege and has seen more destruction in a year than possibly in a decade. Bringing back a balance requires a lot of education and appreciation for Nature and Conservation. Exposing global best practices and success stories and collaborating is the best way forward, and these initiatives will certainly help.” 

The Canadian High Commissioner David McKinnon highlighted that “protecting the environment is critical for our people, our planet, and our economies. We all face the challenge of building a more resilient future for the next generation, where they do not have to choose between clean air or clean water and good jobs. Through our partnership with WNPS, we are pleased to facilitate an international exchange of knowledge and best practices to enrich Sri Lankan, Maldivian and Canadian thinking on environmental conservation and contribute to the discussion on sustainable economic development.”



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Southern MP warns that Russian & Ukranian tourists working here are at risk

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“They may be knifed or their lives threatened”

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists from Russia and Ukraine who are staying in houses in Sri Lanka for long periods are engaging in business activities and should be taxed to prevent them being knifed by competitors, SLPP MP Chandima Weerakkody told parliament on Friday.

“There are many tourists who are staying long term in houses,” he said. “Though they come here they cannot use their credit cards – especially Russian and Ukrainian tourists who cannot use their money through their cards. As a result they have been forced to work and earn something in Sri Lanka.”

He called on the government to have a system where they can use their money.

“In our areas many tourists are cutting hair, some are doing tinkering work, some are setting up pizza shops, some are selling cannabis – I think there is a new name now *for ganja),” Weerakkody said. “If we send the immigration behind the tourists who are coming, even those that are coming will not come.”

“No taxes are being charged from any of these tourists who are doing business. Our (local people’s) taxes are raised. I am asking at least to have a system for the government to collect some taxes

“I want to say in Parliament that in our areas, a knifing (pihi anumak), or some other threat to life (jeewitha tharjanayak) may happen if this situation continues.”

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Kidney sale racket unearthed in Colombo

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Five duped to sell their kidneys at Rs. 15 million each

By Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranjindra Jayasuriya that an investigation has been launched to arrest the suspects involved in the organized racket of obtaining kidneys from poor people promising big money and selling them to local and foreign people.The CCD told the court on Thursday that four men and one woman have parted with their kidneys, and despite promising to pay Rs.15 million per kidney nothing was paid.

CCD reported to court that the victims were operated at a Hospital on Cotta Road in Borella and no money was paid. A mother who was nursing a one-and-a-half-year-old infant was among those cheated.

The police told court that a person from the Bloemendhal area had referred these people through another man and a woman. Required medical tests had been conducted at three private hospitals.

Evidence has been obtained that kidney surgeries had been performed at a private hospital in Borella and the CCD stated in court that this racket was organized targeting poor families in Colombo.

It informed court that they have already launched investigations and will arrest the suspects and produce them before court.After considering the relevant submissions, the Magistrate ordered the CCD to conduct investigations and arrest the suspects and present them to court.

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Record highest number of school students visit Parliament

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School children wave during their visit to Parliament on Thursday (1). Serjeant-at Arms Narendra Fernando said that the largest number of school students in the history of the Parliament visited the Parliament on Dec 1. Over 5,000 students from 32 schools from different provinces visited the Parliament on that day, he said. More than 25,000 students representing schools in different parts of the country had visited to observe the Parliamentary debates after the Public Gallery was reopened for school students from Sept 19.

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