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SL’s first nuclear power plant could be built by 2032 – Atomic Board

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The Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board stated in the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Energy and Transport that if all activities go as planned, the first nuclear power plant can be built in Sri Lanka by 2032 with Russian technical support.

This fact came to light when the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Energy and Transport met in Parliament recently (09) to discuss the current status and future activities of the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board. The committee was chaired by the Member of Parliament – Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda.

It was discussed in length in the committee regarding the production of skilled professionals in the field of welding and related technology in Sri Lanka. The members of the committee pointed out that there is a great demand for experts in this field in industrialized countries including Korea and the need for a formal mechanism to produce skilled workers with formal certificates in the said field.

Officials mentioned that the training and certification system for those who already have professional experience in this sector and those who are new entrants in the field is conducted at the training center run by the board. However, since there is no proper awareness among the people about this training, the committee advised to prepare a plan and take steps to make awareness and involve more young people.

It was also discussed that Saudi Arabia hopes to get preserved coconut coir from Sri Lanka for the project of planting 10 billion trees in Saudi Arabia. Chairman of the Committee MP Hon. Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda mentioned that the country can get a large amount of foreign exchange by providing facilities for the said process of sterilization. Accordingly, the Committee advised the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board to take steps to prepare the sterilization facility.

The members of Parliament, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, Yadamini Gunawardena, Isuru Dodangoda, Udayakanta Gunathilake, M. Udayakumar, Kumarasiri Ratnayake and Akila Ellawala participated in the meeting.

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Retired Major and Agent Arrested for Recruiting Sri Lankan Mercenaries for Russian Army

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The Human Trafficking, Human Smuggling and Maritime Crime Investigation Division (CID) arrested a retired major and an employment agent, identified as leaders of an organized scheme that recruited retired military personnel as mercenaries for the Russian army.

These two suspects were remanded till May 2 upon being produced before Negombo Magistate’s Court yesterday evening.

Investigations have revealed that the agency was promoted by young women, including popular actresses currently featured in well-known television dramas.

It is alleged that they deceived these individuals, promising them employment in Europe with work visas, ultimately defrauding them of significant sums of money.

The arrests occurred at the residences of the suspects in Wariyapola and Digana, respectively.

The arrested Major, previously a member of the Army Special Forces, is identified as Wijebandara and the agent is named Bandula.

According to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), these arrests are part of a broader operation, with additional suspects expected to be detained.

The CID has also uncovered that Chathuranga, who operated a large-scale agency on Katugastota Road in Kandy, is a key figure in this racket. He has reportedly fled to Russia and is currently in hiding.

Further revelations indicate that the recruited ex-military personnel were sent to Russia under the guise of performing maintenance work at military camps, but were instead employed as frontline mercenaries. A retired corporal, who managed to escape from the Russian mercenary force, disclosed that around 500 Sri Lankans are engaged in military activities within the Russian forces. This information led to the arrests of Wijebandara and Bandula.

The investigation has also highlighted that many of those recruited into the Russian mercenary forces from Sri Lanka, particularly from commando and special forces backgrounds, were ostensibly hired for non-combatant roles but were ultimately used in active military operations. According to the escaped corporal, those attempting to flee were either shot or captured and imprisoned.

This same corporal disclosed that his deployment was orchestrated by the retired Major from Wariyapola and that the logistics for his travel to Russia was arranged by Bandula and Chathuranga. The group of 37, including the corporal, departed for Russia from Katunayake International Airport on February 24. They have all retired from military service. The return of the corporal to Sri Lanka on March 1 was facilitated by the Red Cross and the Russian Embassy. He also revealed that two of his companions, who fled with him, have been captured by Russian forces and are currently detained in a military facility.

It has been reported that two Sri Lankans were killed in a drone attack by the Russian army in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on March 8 of the previous year, following the deaths of two others in Russia from an attack by Ukraine.

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Man arrested over selling overpriced Vadai to tourist

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The Tourist Police in Moragolla has arrested a man over selling an overpriced Vadai and tea to a foreign  tourist in Kalutara.

Footage of the incident had sparked public ire after going viral online.

It has been revealed that the suspect is a 60 year old residing in Kalutara and is usually seen loitering near the eatery.

Police say that investigtations have revealed that he had duped foreigners visiting the eatery many times.

He is to be produced before the Kalutara Magistrate Court tomorrow (April 19).

It is also reported that officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) and the Moragolla Tourist police have also arrived at the eatery, and sternly advised the owner after questioning him.

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NPP’s 7-point statement on Easter attacks, presented to the Cardinal

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The National People’s Power (NPP) today (April 18) presented to Archbishop of Colombo – Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, their 7-point statement pledging to mete out justice to the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks.

The statement included key points such as implementing law against those responsible for the attacks so as to mete out justice to those who lost lives in the attacks and family members of the victims and to take action against those who were directly or indirectly involved in the attacks.

NPP members Professor Krishantha Abeysinghe, Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala, President’s Counsel Upul Kumarapperuma, Rohan Fernando and Aruna Shantha Nonis participated in the occasion.

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