JHU National Congress today

The 8th National Congress of the JHU will be held today at 2.30 p.m. at the New Town Hall, Ananda Kumarasway Mawatha Colombo 7.

The theme at this year’s congress will be, “In Search of a Dharmarajya.” Rev. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera JHU leader will preside and a new committee will be selected for the year 2011-12. Homage will be paid to the late Arisen Ahubudu and late K.M.P. Rajarathne.

Writ application against Registrar of Pesticides on arsenic issue

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday directed the Registrar of Pesticides to file objections by September 26, on being cited as a respondent in a writ application filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (Guarantee) Ltd., for the importation of certain pesticides containing arsenic and other elements harmful to human life.

The petitioner also cited the Central Environment Authority, the Commissioner General of Agrarian Development, the Consumer Affairs Authority and the Attorney General as respondents. Ravindranath Dabare, Counsel for the petitioner, said that qualified individuals tested the pesticides and found they were contaminated with arsenic, which is harmful and that the relevant authorities were not carrying out their duties to prevent the importation of such harmful pesticides.

They said that, after going through statistics provided by hospitals, they found that approximately 20,000 patients had received treatment for kidney ailments from the same area, due to the use and consequent exposure to such pesticides.

The petitioner is seeking Court to issue an order directing the Registrar of Pesticides to devise a method to prevent the importation of such pesticides and save the people from consequent harm.

Top dog Tina bids farewell

Tina the police dog of the Anuradhapura police, and holder of the record as the finder of the largest amount of explosives, died last Sunday. Tina has saved many lives by 'sniffing' out explosives, which otherwise would have caused untold misery.

The roadblock at Medawachchi, with Tina in attendance, was instrumental in detecting the smuggling of explosives. On September 22, 2006, a Colombo-bound Dolphin van from Vauniya, was stopped here. Tina was on duty. She smelt danger and kept sniffing under the only item in the van, which was a meat box.

Because of Tina's persistence, her handler, Sgt S.M. Thushara knew there was something dangerous hidden there. On closer scrutiny, they found explosive matter with a suicide kit, a claymore mine and a few remote-control gadgets. When confronted and interrogated, the driver confided to the presence of more explosive material in the vehicle. It was Tina who detected all the dangerous stuff thus preventing a catastrophe.

Tina, a German Shepherd born in India on 11.3.2005, was a gift to the Sri Lanka Police Kennels. She was trained in Kandy to sniff for explosives, before being transferred to Anuradhapura police for further training. Sgt Thushara took charge of her as her personal handler, and was now lamenting her demise.
Tina had fallen ill and was being taken to the Peradeniya veterinary hospital for treatment when she passed away at Naula. Tina was buried with police honours.

Gruesome find on Delft Island

Eight human skeletons unearthed on Delft Island in Jaffna District have been sent to Colombo for forensic analysis. A team of builders who were constructing a building for the Divisional Secretariat office in the Island on Friday came across the gruesome find.

Police were informed of the find and a medical team dispatched to the place. Kayts Magistrate Joy Mahadeva who visited the scene with the Jaffna Judicial Medical Officer Dr. S Sivaruban on Saturday ordered that the remains be sent to the Government Analyst’s Department in Colombo for forensic analysis.

The Magistrate directed that a report be submitted to Court on the findings. She also asked that protection to the site be provided to prevent it from being tampered with. The area has been sealed off by the Police who want to probe further whether there are other human remains in the area.

Southern Expressway opening delayed

The opening of the Southern Expressway has been further delayed, Road Development Authority (RDA) Chairman R.W.R.Premasiri said. He said that the delay was as more time was needed to instal closed circuit TV cameras, put up the gates at access roads and complete more construction work.

“President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed that the opening should be done after completion of all the work”, he said. He said it should be ready for opening in a few weeks time. Earlier the highway was officially due to be opened on September 2.

Whales victims of ‘sea traffic’

The government is looking to regulate the whale watching industry as well as shift sea lanes to prevent accidents from taking place as the industry keeps growing at a rapid rate, Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratna said.

He said a proposal has been made to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as many whales were being killed along the route and their carcasses washed to Sri Lankan shores.

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