Fix sensors to detect landslides, says NBRO

Amidst a series of landslides and cracks in buildings and houses reported from the Matale, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Badulla districts over the week, the Government has been advised to fix meters with sensors to detect such landslides in vulnerable areas.

Geologist L. M. C. Moraimada of the Landslides Studies and Services Division of the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) told the Sunday Times that the device which is known as an extension meter needs to be inserted into the ground and sends an alarm in the event of a possible landslide threat.

He said, however, each of the sensors would cost around Rs. 200,000.He said at least 167 locations have been identified as areas vulnerable to landslides in the Matale district alone. Among them were eight schools, he said.

“Re-location of the schools will not be possible. Therefore the best solution would be to fix the sensors so if there is a threat of a landslide people could be evacuated,” Mr. Moraimada said.

In the Walapane area a series of landslides occurred and cracks in houses appeared over the week. In one house the residents had sought the assistance of the Army to clear their personal goods, since they feared to enter their house.

R. M. S. Bandara, Head of the Landslides Studies and Services Division of the NBRO said that the recent heavy rains could be one of the reasons for the landslides and the cracks in the houses.

“The groundwater levels in the upcountry have been rising due to frequent rains and this could be another possible reason,” Mr. Bandara added.

UNP disciplinary complaint for review after elections

A breach of discipline complaint filed against United National Party (UNP) member Sajith Premadasa will be reviewed only after the conclusion of the Local Government elections in March. UNP Committee member Gamini Jayawickrema Perera was referring to a complaint lodged by UNP Member of Parliament Ravi Karunanayaka, alleging that Mr. Premadasa “began hurling abuse” at Mr. Karunanayake during a January 22 National Nomination Committee meeting.

The row occurred over the exclusion of prospective candidates for Beliatta and Lunugamvehera, in Hambantota district. Mr. Premadasa became “angry and abusive” to Mr. Azmi Thassim of Hambantota, the complaint alleges. When Mr. Karunanayake tried to intervene and amicably settle the dispute, Mr. Premadasa turned on Mr. Karunanayake and used “obscene language.” Mr. Karunanayake says that Mr. Premadasa owes Mr. Thassim an apology.

Police seek third suspect on Lankaenews arson attack

Police are on the trail of a third suspect who is reported to have been involved in the arson attack on the Lankaenews office in Malabe about two weeks ago.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Daya Samaraweera told the Sunday Times that, based on a statement made by the second suspect Sisira Jayalath alias ‘Boothaya’, who was taken into custody from Beruwala on Thursday, they were looking for the suspect known as Nihal.

He said that, according to second suspect Nihal, the contract to set fire to the place had been taken by Nihal.

Meanwhile, Officer-in-Charge- Thalangama Police, Upul Perera said that, according to a statement made by second suspect Nihal, a person by the name of ‘Ruban’ had met with them at Dematagoda and given them the contract to set fire to the place.

Vice President- Free Media Movement, Ganasiri Koththigoda told the Sunday Times that a series of previous attacks against journalists and media houses had gone uninvestigated in the past, and the latest is that persons are being falsely implicated in cases.

Our photographer captured this scene of a luxury limousine, sans number plate (left of the picture) plying in the Kollupitiya area yestedray, in spite of the heavy presence of traffic police and the CCTV cameras monitoring traffic movements. This raises the often asked question whether rules do not apply to the rich and powerful of this country. Pic by Sanka Vidanagama.
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