Nation 2  


Kadhafi accuses protesters of bin Laden links

TRIPOLI (AFP) - Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi spoke Thursday to the elders of a town west of the capital where he said a drug-crazed mob of youth spurred on by Al-Qaeda had killed four policemen, urging them to bring their children under control.
Speaking on state television by phone from an undisclosed location, the embattled 68-year-old former colonel fretted about unrest in Az-Zawiyah, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Tripoli, as the battle to unseat him began to encircle the capital.
Al-Jazeera television reported heavy fighting there between pro- and anti-government forces and said there had been an undetermined number of casualties.
Addressing the older generation, Kadhafi said Al-Qaeda was behind the problem’s facing Libya, while the youth were on drugs and misbehaving.
“It is obvious now that this issue is run by Al-Qaeda,” he said. “Those armed youngsters, our children, are incited by people who are wanted by America and the Western world.
“Those inciting are very few in numbers and we have to capture them. Others have to stay at home. They have guns, they feel trigger happy and they shoot especially when they are stoned on drugs.”
The “situation is different from Egypt or Tunisia ... Here the authority is in your hands, the people’s hands. You can change authority any way you wish. It’s your call. You are the elderly, the head of the tribes, the professors.”
“They have been brainwashing the kids in this area and telling them to misbehave. These are the one who are under Bin Laden’s influence and authority, under the influence of drugs.”
Kadhafi repeated what he often says, that he had relinquished power in 1977 (after seizing the government in a 1969 coup) and “since then I only have moral authority.”
“It’s not like the old jihad, when we had the Italians occupying our land,” he said, referring to colonial rule from the early to the mid-20th century.
“It’s different. I’ve given the power to you; you should take responsibility for your country.”
After again admonishing the elders of Az-Zawiyah to “take the guns away from the kids,” he said “then you should arrest the ones behind them.”
At the end of an address that lasted about 20 minutes, he offered his condolences to the families of the four people killed, adding sarcastically: “I wonder if Bin Laden is going to help compensate the families.”
“Please do not disappoint me.”
This was the embattled leader’s second television appearance since protests broke out against his 41-year-old rule on February 15.
On Tuesday, in a defiant, sometimes rambling speech on television, Kadhafi vowed to remain in Libya as head of its revolution, saying he would die as a martyr in the land of his ancestors and fight to the “last drop” of his blood.
He ordered the army and police to crush the popular uprising against his iron-fisted four-decade rule that has left hundreds dead.
Residents of Libya’s dissident-held east vowed on Thursday to march on Tripoli to oust the veteran leader.
State news agency Jana said three “terrorists” attacked a security forces post in Az-Zawiyah and slit the throats of three policemen on Thursday.
It quoted witnesses as saying an army unit led by Kadhafi ally Naji Shifsha blasted the minaret of a mosque being occupied by protesters in Az-Zawiyah.
The Qatar-based channel also quoted witnesses as saying pro-Kadhafi forces had attacked Sabratha, which lies between Az-Zawiyah and the capital; Misrata, 200 kilometres east of Tripoli and Sabha, about 650 kilometres to the south.

Iran warships dock in Syria

DAMASCUS (AFP) - Two Iranian warships have docked at the Syrian port of Latakia after passing through the Suez Canal in a move Israel has called a “provocation,” an Iranian diplomatic source told AFP on Thursday.
“The two Iranian naval vessels have moored at Latakia on the Syrian coast,” the source confirmed to AFP.
According to the source, a reception ceremony is slated on Friday at Latakia in the presence of Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari, commander of the Iranian navy, who arrived in Damascus on Wednesday.
Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Sayari as saying the mission to transit the Suez Canal and sail past Israel to Syria had been accomplished without regard for Israeli concerns.
“The Zionist regime may create concern for itself and look at this issue from its own view but we will carry out our plans regardless of this regime and in coordination with the friendly nation in the region,” Sayari said.

US Army ordered psy-ops on own lawmakers: report

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A US military team conducting psychological operations in Afghanistan was ordered by superiors to illegally target US lawmakers in a bid to get more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone magazine reported.
Thursday’s explosive new report by the magazine accused the command of General William Caldwell, in charge of training Afghan troops, of pressuring a cell of US soldiers specializing in “psy-ops” that normally influence enemy behavior to train their sites on senators and congressmen visiting him in Afghanistan, as well as other VIPs and senior foreign officials.
It said the senators included John McCain, the Republican nominee for the 2008 presidential race, as well as Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin, according to several members of the information operations team and internal documents obtained by the magazine.
Among those the team was repeatedly told to pressure during a four-month period were Representative Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, several think-tank analysts, Germany’s interior minister, and the Czech ambassador to Kabul.
And when an officer sought to bring the operation to a halt, a campaign of retaliation was launched against him, according to the magazine.
“My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” Lieutenant Colonel Michael Holmes, leader of the “information operations” unit, told Rolling Stone.
“I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line.”
The magazine also said Caldwell’s chief of staff asked Holmes how the general could secretly manipulate the US lawmakers.
“How do we get these guys to give us more people?” the chief of staff demanded. “What do I have to plant inside their heads?”
A Pentagon spokesman could not be immediately reached early Thursday for comment.

Makeshift toilets part of life in quake-hit city

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) - For Christchurch mother-of-two Nicky White, the city’s deadly earthquake has left no room for delicacy as her family struggles with the basics of everyday life such as finding a toilet.
Much of the city’s infrastructure was crippled after Tuesday’s 6.3-magnitude shake, which claimed at least 123 lives, forcing White and other residents to rely on their own ingenuity.
White, who has no lawn or garden in her apartment block in the suburb of Woolston, has taken to lining her toilet with a large plastic bag.
“I had nowhere to dig so I put a plastic bag in the toilet bowl and when it starts to fill I tie it up and put it in the rubbish bin,” she said, adding that at times “it stinks the house out”.
Emergency supplies of portable toilets, food and petrol were being rushed into the city, where more than 62,000 homes have no water supplies and 100,000 properties have lost their connection to the sewers.
As residents battle to bring a sense of normality to their lives, authorities were closely monitoring the health situation in the city.
One of the main concerns has been toilets for people in the most devastated eastern areas, which remain without power and water.
More than 350 people had to be removed from one of the welfare centres housing earthquake refugees because of fears there could be an outbreak of measles or diarrhoea and worries about sanitation.
The city’s road network has been clogged with vehicles since the deadly quake as people head to the less affected western suburbs to stock up on food at supermarkets and to drain service stations of petrol supplies.
Civil defence officials said 200 portable toilets had been placed in the city and a further 600 were on their way.
In the suburb of Avonside, one resident -- who has refused to leave her damaged home, which was earmarked to be rebuilt after a 7.0 earthquake last September -- said the portable toilets cannot arrive soon enough.
“I’ve been using a bucket as a makeshift toilet and buried the contents in the garden,” she said.
Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said he knew residents were going through a difficult time.
“This will not get easy in a hurry,” he told a media conference.
“The next few days as we try to work as hard as possible on restoring services, we need to ask that you support us with your understanding of what we are doing.”
In areas without electricity, residents have fired up their barbecues to use as community kitchens, prompting one energy company to offer free refills of LPG gas bottles.
The line of people at one service station stretched for more than 50 metres as people took advantage of the offer.
Owner Robert Wales said he was filling a bottle a minute and some of the people arriving were giving him supplies and donations to pass on to people who were struggling.
“Someone gave us NZ$100 ($75), others NZ$10, and I’ve told them we’ll pick out the people who are really affected and give it to them.”
Officials said food and petrol supplies were now reaching Christchurch and there was no need to panic buy.
Supermarket manager Justin Blackler said people had been coming from all over Christchurch to his store in the Western districts where they were mainly buying bulk supplies of essential items including food, water and candles.

Turkish PM to meet German, EU leaders over accession bid

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with German and EU leaders next week as his country’s EU membership bid faces the risk of grinding to a halt, officials said Thursday.
On Monday, Erdogan will hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hannover, where the two would inaugurate the CeBIT technology fair, a statement from Erdogan’s office said.
He will travel on to Brussels Tuesday for talks with the head of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, and EU President Herman Van Rompuy, it said.
Erdogan’s trip will follow a visit to Ankara Friday by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a vocal opponent of Turkey’s EU accession.
France and Germany advocate a special partnership rather than full membership for the sizeable, mainly Muslim nation, an idea Ankara flatly rejects.
Out of the 35 policy chapters that candidates must negotiate, Turkey has opened talks on only 13 since the negotiations began in 2005.
Eight chapters remain frozen as a sanction for Turkey’s refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels under a trade pact with the EU, with France and Cyprus blocking several others.
Turkey’s chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis said Thursday that Erdogan was also planning a trip to Britain in late March.
“I believe these sets of meetings will help Turkey take the real sense of where Europe stands,” he told AFP.
“Turkey has more self-confidence that she ever did -- with our economic vibrancy, with our young dynamism, with the opportunities around us... It’s time for European intellectuals to calculate the costs of having Turkey in the EU and the cost of keeping Turkey out,” he said.
If Turkey fails to open a new chapter in the accession talks by July, it would make one year without progress.
A senior Turkish diplomat said earlier this month that Turkish-EU ties were headed towards a crisis unless Brussels made gestures to overcome the impasse.
“We are stubborn, you may even say masochistic... If the EU finally says ‘sorry, we can’t have you in’ then so be it. But we won’t be the one quitting first,” he said.

LinkedIn says access restored in China

BEIJING (AFP) - Networking site LinkedIn said Saturday access to its service in China appears to have been restored after it was blocked following calls for Middle East-style rallies in the country.
“We’re now seeing indications that access to the LinkedIn service has been restored in China,” company spokesman Hani Durzy told AFP.
“We will continue to monitor the situation.”
A China-based AFP journalist was able to access LinkedIn on Saturday. However, the website just-ping.com, which monitors web accessibility around the world, said the service was still not available in parts of the country.
The site was blocked in China in recent days after the launch of an online campaign for weekly “Jasmine rallies” in 13 Chinese cities -- a reference to Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” -- rattled government officials already uneasy about the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.
China, which has the world’s largest online population at 457 million, has a huge Internet censorship system that blocks content deemed objectionable by the ruling Communist Party.
Government censors in China have long barred access to foreign social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and in recent days have heavily censored online chat about the wave of unrest sweeping across the Arab world.
LinkedIn, which describes itself as the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 90 million members in more than 200 countries, filed last month to stage an initial public offering in the United States.

Mass march in Bahrain as Mullen wraps up visit

MANAMA (AFP) - Bahraini protesters thronged Manama on Friday to demand the end of the ruling Sunni regime, as top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to embattled King Hamad.
“The people want to topple the regime!” roared tens of thousands of demonstrators in Pearl Square, which has become the epicentre of protests that began on February 14.
“The people should choose their government,” said 23-year-old demonstrator Maitham al-Manami.
A large yellow balloon floated over the square with “Leave” and “The people want to topple the regime” written on its sides. It was tethered to the ground by a rope strung with fluttering Bahraini flags.
The mass of protesters had marched along two routes to the square, where demonstrators have camped in a forest of tents.
Young and old, men and women, they marched in mostly gender-segregated processions on either side of a main highway -- one of the two routes -- waving the red-and-white flag of Bahrain or draping it across their shoulders.
By evening, the crowd had thinned significantly in Pearl Square, which protesters have renamed “Martyr’s Roundabout” in honour of seven victims killed by security forces since demonstrations began.
It took on a festive atmosphere on Friday night, with demonstrators chatting and eating free food distributed from stands. There was also an open microphone for those who wanted to speak.
“I think the time when you can oppress people without any accountability is gone,” said Mohammed Ashoor, 27, sitting in one tent on the square.
Mullen, who arrived in Kuwait on Friday, has now wrapped up his visit to Bahrain, a key US ally and home to Washington’s Fifth Fleet.
He reaffirmed Washington’s support for the monarch’s “handling (of) the popular crisis” and “strong commitment” to Bahrain’s army before leaving Manama, an AFP correspondent said.
The White House said on Friday that US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon telephoned Bahraini Crown Prince Salman to urge “continued restraint” by security forces while backing the Gulf kingdom’s national dialogue initiative.
Many protesters, however, were not enamoured of the Bahraini government’s call for talks, chanting “no dialogue, no dialogue, until the regime falls!” as they marched to Pearl Square.
“The people have said we don’t want dialogue,” read a handwritten yellow sign held by a small boy wearing a Bahraini flag like a cape, who was carried atop a man’s shoulders.
Leading Shiite clerics had called the demonstrations to mourn the victims killed by security forces, urging protesters to converge en masse on Pearl Square.
Signs hanging around the square on Friday signalled that the protests were far from over: “We will not accept any dialogue with he who kills us in cold blood,” declared one banner draped from an overpass.
“A free state and a happy people,” read another, while a third demanded that the government “free all political detainees.”
Official opposition groups have stopped short of demanding outright regime change, instead calling for major reforms including the election of the prime minister and creation of a “real” constitutional monarchy.
In a bid to reach out to protesters, King Hamad this week ordered the release of several Shiite prisoners under royal pardon, some of whom claimed they had been tortured in prison.
Ashoor said the release of remaining political prisoners and the resignation of the government are the protesters’ outstanding requirements for dialogue to begin.
One Bahraini opposition leader was freed in Lebanon on Friday after being held there since Tuesday during a stopover en route to Manama from London because of an outstanding Interpol arrest warrant.

Gold jumps as high as $1,418.20 per ounce
LONDON (AFP) - The price of gold soared to within sight of record highs on Thursday as investors flocked to the safe-haven precious metal amid heightened concerns over ongoing unrest in Libya, analysts said.
Gold hit as high as $1,418.20 per ounce on the London Bullion Market at about 1320 GMT.
That marked the highest level since early January and was not far off the record $1,431.25 hit on December 7 amid deepening worries over the eurozone debt crisis.
“The market drew more support from the ongoing unrest in Libya as safe-haven buying remains the key driver behind the ongoing rally,” said VTB Capital commodities analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov.
Gold rises in times of economic and geopolitical uncertainty because it is widely regarded by investors as a safe store of value.


LOCAL events

Ambassador Jayatilleka on Global Advisory Council on Climate Change
Newly-appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr Dayan Jayatilleka has been appointed to the Global Advisory Council on Climate Change, Human Security and Democracy Project of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The 12-member Council is chaired by the Prince of Morocco and includes Mario Soares, the former President and Prime Minister of Portugal.
The Project (http://www.global.ucsb.edu/climateproject/about.html) is geared towards bringing together persons from both private and public sectors, as well as academic experts, civil society activists and workers with the intention of building a better understanding of how diverse perceptions and priorities are altering the understanding of the social and political effects of climate change.
Dr Jayatilleka is one of 12 members of the Global Advisory Council which comprises:
Moulay Hicham ben Abdullah, Chair Prince of Morocco; Foundation for Research and Development in the Middle East
Mario Soares, former President (1986-1996) and Prime Minister (1976-1978, 1983-1984), Portugal
Lakhdar Brahimi former Special Envoy, United Nations Secretary General, Algeria
Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), chancellor of TERI University, head of Yale’s Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI)
Kader Asmal, former Minister of Water Affairs, Government of South Africa, 1994-1999; also Minister of Education, 1999-2004
Walden Bello, Member, House of Representatives, The Philippines
Fiona Dove, Director, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Dayan Jayatilleka, diplomat, journalist, author, Sri Lanka
Christine Jogarth, private sector energy specialist
Omar Madre, environmentalist, journalist, Turkey
Chandra Muzaffar, founder and director, JUST, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hans von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary General and Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations, Germany
The Director of the Project on Human Security, Climate Change, and Democracy is Richard Falk, Emeritus Professor of international law and international relations, Princeton University where he taught for 40 years. Since 2002 he has taught at the University of California in Global and International Studies, and since 2005 chaired the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
The University of California considers climate change and ecological balance from the perspective of governance, democracy and human rights and more broadly, human security, areas which Ambassador Jayatilleka has dealt with extensively as Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva where he served as Vice President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Chairman of the Governing body of the ILO, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the UN’s Durban Declaration against Racism and Racial Discrimination and served on the Time For Peace Film and Music Awards Jury. Dr Jayatilleka is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.
EU team commends ‘tremendous efforts of government’
The leader of the South Asia Delegation of the European Parliament, Mrs. Jean Lambert (Greens/UK) commended the government on the “tremendous efforts and progress made by the Government to remove the legacy of the conflict”.
The observations were made during the concluding interaction between the Delegation and the Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris recently.
During the meeting, Prof. Peiris welcomed the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and recalled that this was the 5th interaction between the Delegation and Sri Lanka. The Minister said that much progress has been achieved in the country since the last visit by the MEPs in 2008.
Today, Sri Lanka is characterised by a sense of optimism and confidence arising from durable peace, long term political stability and economic progress. The Government is pleased to have afforded the MEPs an opportunity to hold wide-ranging discussions with all stakeholders in Sri Lankan society, as well as to undertake visits to Jaffna and Vavuniya. This was an opportunity for the Delegation to witness first-hand progress made in resettlement, restoration of normal security conditions and provision of livelihood opportunities to those in conflict-affected areas.
The minister highlighted to the delegation that the government has also given priority to post-conflict reconciliation among civilians, and the Inter-Agency Administrative Committee comprising of key officials has already commenced implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
Furthermore, the Government has commenced a dialogue with the Tamil political parties with a view to evolving consensus on the broader political and constitutional issues.
Sri Lanka has also recognised that the Sri Lankan Diaspora overseas, many of whom are resident in EU countries, constitute an important dimension of the future progress of the country, and the Government has already commenced a dialogue with some sections of the Diaspora. The Minister also brought to the attention of the MEPs that as highlighted in the EU Terrorism Situation Report 2010 by EUROPOL, the LTTE remnants overseas still constitute significant threat to European and international security. He cautioned the MEPs to remain vigilant regarding European networks of the remnants of the LTTE and anti-Sri Lanka propaganda.
With regard to relations with the EU, the Minister stressed the multi-dimensional nature of Sri Lanka’s relations with the EU and encouraged greater co-operation on the trade and business front against the background of significant progress in the Sri Lankan economy, which is now growing at approximately 8%. The Minister also highlighted that many leading Sri Lankans in politics, business, education and other fields had been trained in EU countries.
The EU side thanked Minister Peiris and the Government for the extensive efforts made to ensure the success of their visit and appreciated the opportunity to interact with a cross-section of Sri Lankan society. While appreciating their interaction with the Parliament of Sri Lanka, they also welcomed the formation of the EU Parliamentary Friendship Association within the Parliament of Sri Lanka and invited the Members of the Association to visit the EU Parliament. The Delegation also welcomed the process of political empowerment taking place in Sri Lanka and the beginning of dialogue with the Diaspora. Several Members of the Delegation highlighted the need to strengthen trade and business links between Sri Lanka and the EU and the need to attract foreign direct investments. They agreed that this aspect was an important dimension of the future direction of the EU-SL relations. With regard to the situation in Jaffna, Members of the Delegation expressed their favourable impressions regarding post-conflict developments, although foreign direct investment could be enhanced. While recognising the positive developments over the last few months, they stated that further progress was needed in meeting the grievances of the conflict-affected people, including in land related issues and matters concerning the last stages of the conflict. The Delegation stated that they were privileged to see the work of a number of international NGOs, who are working closely with the Government in the North, including with EU assistance.
A cross-party Parliamentary Delegation of the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) headed by Mrs. Jean Lambert (Greens/UK) comprising of six MEPs, is currently visiting Sri Lanka in the context of a wider regional Mission, including to the Maldives, at the invitation of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. The Mission concludes it visit today.
Walk for cancer, walk for life
“Cancer is a diagnosis. Not a death sentence.” This is the hope that needs to be conveyed to the people.
To bring this message to light, friends and family members of cancer victims and survivors will participate in a Walk for Cancer on March 6, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. from Town Hall to Green Path.
Organised by the Sri Lanka Cancer Society, the main aim of the walk is to raise awareness that cancer can be overcome with early detection and timely treatment.
A J B Anghie, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Cancer Society said, “A majority of people in our society still fear cancer, as it is considered to be a fatal disease. We want to change that perception and educate people that cancer is merely a diagnosis and can be treated and cured if detected in time. We hope that the walk will create this awareness and encourage people to take the necessary steps for early detection or prevention.”
As a first in the 60-year history of the Sri Lanka Cancer Society, this walk symbolises the support system and the strength of friends and family towards this cause. Therefore, the organisers hope that people from all walks of life will support its efforts to fight this disease that has had an effect, either directly or indirectly on every family in society. This is the chance for the public to show their support alongside cancer survivors, their families, caregivers, activists, and celebrities by joining the walk which celebrates life and bears witness to those who have triumphed over the disease.
After the conclusion of the walk, there will be a street parade with performances by musicians, dancers, street theatre groups, and others. The day’s events will conclude in a Hawker Street Food Fair on Green Path in Colombo 7. The proceeds from the walk will be utilised to continue the varied projects that are currently under way, and for those in the pipeline. Stafford Garments Industries (Pvt) Ltd are associate sponsors of the walk.
The Sri Lanka Cancer Society is an organisation made up of volunteers and has been in existence since 1948. The Society works towards educating people and helping to control, prevent and cure cancer in Sri Lanka. With its headquarters in Colombo, it has branches in Kandy, Anuradhapura, Moratuwa, Galle and Batticaloa staffed by over 200 dedicated volunteers who work towards achieving these goals.
A Poly Clinic is held every second Sunday of the month to screen patients for all types of Cancer. It is an important step in detecting and preventing this dreaded disease. The Society also runs a Cancer Home in Maharagama where patients receiving treatment at the Cancer Institute are cared for by trained nursing staff.
The Shantha Sevana Hospice is the only institution of its kind in Sri Lanka and caters for terminally ill patients. Its goal is to provide relief for patients in the last stages of cancer. The Cancer society also has a Public Education unit which is dedicated to raising awareness amongst the general population about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer.
Unparalleled Splendour – photo exhibition
Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka and Royal College, Colombo 7 has made arrangements to have a photo exhibition to educate children about China’s 30th parallel on February 28, 2011 at Nawarangahala of Royal College.
This exhibition will be declared open on February 28 at 9:30 a.m. by Civil Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne with the participation of Guest of Honour Han Tao, Charge de Affairs of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka and Upali Gunasekara, Principal, Royal College Colombo 7.
As China’s 30th parallel runs from West to East, it traverses regions of incomparable natural splendour, encompassing virtually every type of geography with the exception of desert. Eighty-Seven National Nature Reserves, representing today’s China’s concern with the environment, are located along this corridor accounting for almost one-third of China’s environmental protection zones. The 30th parallel passes through the Changjiang River Valley, China’s most densely populated and economically developed region. Since ancient times, the Changjiang River Valley has been one of China’s most important economic centres. For millennia, the landscapes of this region have been depicted in gorgeous ink scroll painting, reflecting the traditional Chinese principle of harmony between humanity and nature.
Historic corridor
The Changjiang and Yellow River Valleys are known as the cradles of Chinese civilisation. Thirteen World Cultural Heritage sites, one-third of China’s total, are located along this historic corridor. The priceless cultural legacy of the 30th parallel offers a living record of the development of the Chinese people, and provides a tangible link between past and present.
Like a song, like a painting
Stretching from the West to East, China’s 30th parallel, links together a wide range of natural conditions and social customs. One-third of China’s population lives along this corridor, blending the vivid diversity of human culture into a song of the ages. The unique folk-customs and lifestyles of over 40 ethnic minority autonomous prefectures and counties along the 30th parallel combine to create a cultural landscape of harmony.
Lanka helps build 18 MW power plant in Uganda
The largest hydro power plant constructed beyond the shores of Sri Lanka was inaugurated in Kamisha Kabichenge, Uganda recently under the supervision of Lankan Engineers.
This power plant will add 18 MW to their National Power Grid.
This hydro power station was completed by a 200-strong Sri Lankan workforce at a cost of $30 million, by a Sri Lankan company VS Hydro Company.
This hydro power station is 103 metres long and consists of 3x6Mw turbines. Ugandan Power and Energy Minister Simon De Ujanga said that this hydro power station with 100% Sri Lankan engineering expertise and labour is no doubt an asset to their power and energy sector.
Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said that while Sri Lanka turned its focus to renewable energy sources as a solution to our power crisis; it is indeed a privilege and great victory for us to be in a position to introduce hydro power technology beyond our shores.
E-City office for Kandy
The Ministry of Power and Energy recently declared open an E-City at the Electrical Engineers’ offices premises at Power Station Road, Kandy, to provide efficient service to the electricity consumers.
This service will cater to the needs of the consumers in the Central Province and provide solutions to all their electricity requirements, from connections, disconnections and all power-related services.
The Ministry of Power and Energy stated that every power station that was functional during the era of the British rule will be reconstructed and put into use.
Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said at the ceremony to declare open the office that through this E-City office, the people of the hill country will be provided an efficient and friendly service.
Consumers can also forward their complaints and suggestions to this E-City office on telephone number 081-2220227.
Unilever’s A-Rated Quality Supplier
of the Year

JF Packaging (Pvt) Ltd was presented the Unilever’s A-Rated Quality Supplier of the Year Award in a special ‘Supply Chain Business Partner Award Ceremony’ held recently at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. (From L-R): Ms Rumal Fernando, Supply Manager Packaging Material – Unilever Sri Lanka; Amal Cabral, Chairman – Unilever Sri Lanka; Ms Gayani De Alwis, Director, Customer Service – Unilever Sri Lanka and Lakshman De Fonseka, Managing Director, JF Packaging (Pvt) Ltd
Sajith inaugurates pre-school in Ambalantota

Sajith Premadasa, MP for Hambantota District and Chairman of the Janasuwaya Development Movement, has initiated many projects to upgrade and enhance livelihoods and infrastructure of all communities of Hambantota District. The picture illustrates Sajith Premadasa, inaugurating a pre-school in Ambalantota Division of the Hambantota District in the Goda Koggalla village at a cost of Rs.1.2 million