Govt. will go for coal project: Karu
By Shelani Perera
Power and Energy Minister Karu Jayasuriya reiterating the government's
position on the coal power project said yesterday the project would be
implemented despite opposition from pressure groups.
Addressing engineers' seminar organised by the Institution of Engineers,
the minister said the Government was determined to go ahead with the project
as coal was one of the cheapest power generation avenues.
He said the ministry had received assurances from more than 580 foreign
firms that the project could be completed in four years.
"We have not committed ourselves to any of them but we are looking at
all options," Mr. Jayasuriya said.
He said the government's short-term policy on power generation for next
three years would be spelt out at next week's budget.
"The budget will announce projects lined up for the next three years.
But there won't be an immediate rise in electricity tariffs. A realistic
tariff rate will be announced later," Mr. Jayasuriya assured.He said the
government's energy policy had the backing of the Asian Development Bank
which had offered financial assistance to improve the infrastructure.
Describing the present power crisis as a painful experience, the minister
said "we have learnt a bitter lesson through it."
Paying a tribute to CEB officials the minister said most of them were
of a high calibre, but he lamented that a few officers who could be easily
identified were allegedly involved in sabotage.
JVP launches anti-truce campaign abroad
The JVP has launched an international protest campaign against the ceasefire
agreement between the government and the LTTE.
Propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa said the JVP had begun the international
protest campaign opposite Sri Lankan missions in Scandinavian countries.
"The agreement is not a peace deal or an agreement on a ceasefire but
an agreement where the LTTE demands have been granted," he said.
Mr. Weerawansa also said JVP leaders would meet President Kumaratunga
for a second round of talks soon to discuss matters relating to the ceasefire
At last Sunday's meeting with the President, the JVP pointed out that
certain clauses in the agreement were detrimental to the country's interest
and the President agreed to discuss the issue in detail at the next meeting,
Mr. Weerawansa said.
UN cover for children
UNICEF will collaborate with the Public Health Department of the Colombo
Municipality to help develop a programme for street children and abused
The Public Health Department will establish a centre to provide vocational
training for street children and counselling for women subjected to violence,
Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne of UNICEF said.
Relief, if rains continue
The CEB is to review the existing power cuts if the present thunder showers
continue for the next few weeks.
A CEB official said if heavy rains continued, the five hour power cut
will be reduced.
"There has been a slight improvement in the water levels in the main
reservoirs, but we need more rain," he said. In a bid to ease the power
crisis the CEB is currently analysing proposals submitted by twenty private
companies willing to sell power to the CEB. The selected companies would
be asked to install their machines by May 1.
Dengue control at schools
The Colombo Municipal Council has begun the 'Healthy School' project in
a move to encourage schools to keep the environment free of dengue mosquito
Chief Medical Officer Pradeep Kariyawasam said schools had been identified
as a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"The environment both inside and outside classrooms are not clean. Classrooms
are poorly lit which encourage mosquito breeding and more importantly affect
children's sight. This is the case in all schools," he said. The Public
Health Department has drawn up a criteria that will enable schools to receive
the 'Healthy Schools certificate' provided that they get 60 points or more.
The project will start at D.S. Senanayake College, Dr. Kariyawasam said.