The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 3

The Nation Sunday, November 16, 2014 Page 3
news
Sandun Jayawardana
Lanka Sathosa Ltd. was marginal-
izing local dairy producers, despite
the government’s promises to uplift
the local dairy industry, Chairman
of Pelwatte Dairy Industries, Ariyas-
eela Wickramanayake charged.
Wickramanayake claimed a stag-
gering 225 tons of milk produced by
his company were currently lying at
his factory as he was not able to sell
them. “This is despite it being Rs.100
cheaper than foreign milk,” he fur-
ther said.
The Pelwatte chairman blasted
Lanka Sathosa Ltd. for choosing
to sell imported milk while giving
the cold shoulder to the local dairy
industry. “There are 268 Sathosa
outlets, but none of them are sell-
ing Pelwatte dairy products. If the
government wants to uplift the local
industry, government owned shops
have to actually sell local products,”
he pointed out.
He cited the trader’s commission
for milk powder, which is Rs.125 per
kilogram as being the main problem.
“This is far too high and it ends up
being charged to the consumer,” he
added.
Wickramanayake said he was not
willing to pay such a large commis-
sion when it ends up being charged
to the local consumer. “I don’t want
our consumers to pay Rs.125 more
for milk. But importers do pay (the
commission) and that is why their
products are sold everywhere,” he
claimed.
Repeated attempts to contact Lanka
Sathosa Chairman Nalin Fernando
for comment proved futile.
‘Sathosa’ cold shoulders
local dairy industry
ArthurWamanan
The Health Ministry has commenced
discussions with the Sri Lanka Foundation
Institute (SLFI) to commence a special diplo-
ma on Cosmetology for beauty salon and spa
operators in the country. The course will be
a “must for all” salon and spa operators as
theMinistrymuch concern about the health
and well being of the citizens.
Additional Secretary to the Health Minis-
try and Director, Cosmetic Devices and the
Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDA), Dr.
Amal Harsha de Silva told
The Nation
that
the move would help improve the standards
of salons and spas in the country. The cours-
es are to be offered for a nominal charge as
the Ministry seeks to ensure that salon and
spa operators are suitably qualified.
“We are in the process of discussing the
matter with the SLFI. A decision on this
regard will be reached in the near future,”
he said. He however added that the diploma
course would not be applicable for those in-
volved in cosmetic surgery. “That (cosmetic
surgery) is completely different from cosme-
tology,” he said.
“What we hope to do is educate the beau-
ticians on the proper use of cosmetics and
equipment so that clients do not risk side
effects owing to unsuitable treatment,” he
said.
Meanwhile the Health Ministry will con-
tinue with its educational programs for
beauticians and spa operators island-wide.
“Educating is better than implementing re-
strictions. Therefore, we decided to conduct
awareness programs which would encour-
age beauticians to do their job effectively
and professionally,” he added.
Health Ministry takes up
beautification
Plans have been made to re-
lease the amended cut-off marks
of the Grade Five Scholarship Ex-
amination by tomorrow (Nov. 17),
Education Minister Bandula Gu-
nawardena revealed in Parliament
on Friday.
President MahindaRajapaksa in
his Budget proposals for 2015 as
the Minister of Finance announced
that the number of those who
qualified for scholarships will be in-
creased from 15,000 to 25,000.
On Friday morning,
The Nation
contacted the Education Ministry
officials, but no one seemed to
know about the matter. Even the
Media Unit referred us to Minister
Gunawardena. Meanwhile, on the
same day, the Minister revealed
that the Sinhala medium cut-off
marks would be brought down
from 163 to 157 and Tamil medi-
um cut-off marks from 159 to 152.
The official decision will be made
known to the school principals by
tomorrow and the cut off marks for
admissions to particular schools
would be announced only on Jan-
uary 09 next year.
Minister Gunawardena said that
258,000 students had passed the
examination. He also said that the
Department of Examinations had
already sent them certificates via
the respective schools.
A stipend of Rs. 500 provided to
the students who got through the
examination had been increased
by 300 per cent up to Rs. 1,500 by
the Budget. Applications from stu-
dents seeking admission to new
schools on the basis of new cut-off
marks would be sent to schools
through the zonal directors, the
sources said.
World Bank...
It has now been revealed that N. Sa-
chithanantham, one of the managing part-
ners of Scarlet Engineering, is actually the
father of Engineer Sterjilatharan.
Premachandran charges that the Chief
Secretary of the NPC is also complicit in
wrongdoing as it was she who had appoint-
ed the engineer and had allowed him to con-
tinue in the project for four years since 2010,
despite the World Bank having recommend-
ed that engineers be appointed for each dis-
trict. “The chief secretary backed by others
however, has resisted this recommendation
and had kept him as the chief engineer for
four years where he oversaw the entire proj-
ect (in the north),” he alleged.
He further alleged the Northern Prov-
ince’s Commissioner for Local Government
and Assistant Commissioner for Local Gov-
ernment were also among senior officials
involved in the fraud.
The total cost of the project is US$86
million. A sum of US$50 million has been
committed for the project, according to the
project’s overview.
After learning that Engineer S. Ster-
jilatharan had been involved in the project
for since its inception,
The Nation
also con-
tacted the World Bank via email last evening
to ascertain how it was that he had been
able to commit such a fraud for four years
without coming under any of the checks
and balances that are put in place on Bank-
financed projects. However, a response had
not been received at the time this edition
went to press.
The Nation’
s continuous efforts to con-
tact Ven. Thera proved futile, but Rat-
napura District MP Thalatha Athukorala
who accompanied Premadasa along with
Ranjith Madduma Bandara, acknowledged
that Jayasuriya’s possible candidacy was
discussed.
“The Ven Thera did ask MP Premadasa
how he would respond if Karu Jayasuriya
was proposed as the common opposition
candidate. Sajith was frank and said, ‘I have
an issue with him, but I will be support the
victory of the candidate whoever the party
proposes’.
When MP Athukorala was questioned
over her decision over the common oppo-
sition candidate, she voiced that the party
will be fielding a candidate who can defeat
President Rajapaksa.
I have issues with Karu...
Pope’s itinerary
finalized
Continued from page 1
A further 97 persons from 33 families are
housed at Poonagala Sinhala School while
187 persons from 55 families were being
housed at Poonagala’s Sri Subramanium
Kovil last evening.
Lieutenant Colonel Epsitha Dissanayake,
who is in charge of the four relief camps
in the Poonagala area, told
The Nation
that
renovations were now ‘almost complete’ at
the disused tea factory being renovated by
the army in Poonagala to temporarily house
those who had lost their houses in the Octo-
ber 29 Meeiyabedda landslide.
As such, once government officials in-
spect the site and approval is granted, the
families are due to be moved to the location
early this week.
However, there was still some confusion
regarding how many families would be
moved to the factory since some families
that were not registered with local authori-
ties were known to have been staying at the
houses at the time of the landslide. Some
government officials had earlier indicated
as many as three families had been living in
some of the houses, with only one of them
was registered.
However, all others who are currently
staying at the relief camps after being re-
moved from areas deemed ‘high risk’ are
expected to move back to their homes once
officials of the National Building Research
Organization (NBRO) inspect the locations
and declare that there is no longer a land-
slide threat to these locations.
Koslanda aftermath....
Sandun Jayawardana
With the Vatican having formally
announced the finalized itinerary
for Pope Francis’s visit to Sri Lanka
in January next year, the Catholic
Church reiterated everything was
proceeding as scheduled. Accord-
ingly, the Pope’s visit will take place
from January 13-15.
Director of the National Catholic
Center for Social Communication,
Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando said all
the engagements that had earlier
been included in the itinerary have
been confirmed. However, there will
be an added engagement for the Pope
on the final day of his visit (January
15), when he will visit the Chapel of
the “Benedict XVI Cultural Insti-
tute” at Bolawalana.
Pope Francis will also preside over
the canonization of Blessed Joseph
Vaz, which will take place at Galle
Face Green in Colombo on the morn-
ing of January 14.
Fr. Fernando reiterated any issue
of the Pope’s visit clashing with a
presidential election did not arise at
this point as an official date for such
an election has not been announced
thus far. “It is a matter up to the gov-
ernment and the elections commis-
sioner,” he stressed.
He confirmed the advanced team
sent by the Vatican to inspect the ar-
rangements for the Pope’s visit has
now left.
Following is the finalized official
itinerary for Pope Francis’s Sri Lan-
ka visit:
Monday, January 12, 2015
19:00 – Departure from the Airport
of Rome/Fiumicino to Colombo
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
09:00 – Arrival at the Bandaranaike
International Airport, Katunayake
WELCOME CEREMONY
13:15 – MEETING with the Bishops
of SRI LANKA at the Archbishop’s
House, Colombo – 08
17:00 – COURTESY VISIT to the
President of the Democratic Social-
ist Republic of Sri Lanka at the Pres-
ident’s House.
18:15 – INTERRELIGIOUS MEET-
ING at the Bandaranaike Memo-
rial International Conference Hall
(BMICH) Colombo.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
08:30 – Celebration of Holy Eucha-
rist and Canonization of Blessed
Joseph Vaz in Galle Face Green Co-
lombo
14:00 – Departure to Madhu Shrine
15:30 – MARIAN PRAYER at the
Shrine of our Lady of Rosary of
Madhu
16:45 – Departure to Colombo
Thursday, January 15, 2015
08:15 – Visit to the Chapel of the
“Benedict XVI Cultural Institute” at
Bolawalana
08:45 – Farewell ceremony at the
Bandaranaike International Airport,
Katunayake
09:00 – Departure from Colombo to
Manila
Grade 5 Scholarship
Cut-off marks tomorrow
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna this year too had organized the
Il Maha Viru Samaruwa
for the 25th year to commemorate the fallen
heroes including party founder leader RohanaWijeweera. The party began to commemorate the day after its leader Wijeweera was
killed in November, 1989. Here, a participant at the event place a bouquet of flowers to commemorate loved ones who sacrificed
their lives for a common purpose
(Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake)
Graduates and Final Year students of British College of
Applied Studies (BCAS), which offers LL.B degrees from the
University of Wolverhampton have been required to follow
the entire course of studies for three years at Sri Lanka Law
College after a decision was taken to admit them again.
When contacted, Principal of Sri Lanka Law College, Dr.
Jayatissa de Costa, confirmed that the institute had been
deregistered by the Council of Legal Education but it was
later decided to grant a concession to the students as their
parents had spent hundreds of thousands of rupees already
for them to follow the particular course.
The students are exempted from having to sit the Law Col-
lege Entrance Examination. However, the only way for them
to be eligible to pass out as attorneys-at-law is to follow the
entire three-year course of studies at Law College, he empha-
sized.
Earlier, as part of a set of broad changes, the Council of
Legal Education initiated a process to select suitable educa-
tional institutions that qualified the test of acceptance for Sri
Lanka Law College. This followed concerns that some private
institutes that conferred foreign law degrees did not meet the
required standards.
BCAS had come under flak earlier as one of the beneficia-
ries of its program had been the son of former principal of
Sri Lanka Law College.
Green light for BCAS,
but with conditions
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