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OPD turns into a doghouse

OPD turns into a doghouse

A dog rests blissfully while there are no patients in the Puttalam Base Hospital OPD because of the strike by pharmacists, medical laboratory technicians and others. The unions are continuing their strike despite a court order for a suspension while tens of thousands of poor patients continue to suffer countrywide. Pic by Hiran Priyankara

More power for China in Norochcholai

China is to play a bigger role in Sri Lanka’s power generation sector by helping to maintain the US$ 1.35 billion Norochcholai coal fired power plant that has been plagued by repeated breakdowns. President Xi Jingping who arrives in Colombo on a two-day visit on September 16 will watch, together with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the signing [...]

New land transfer laws may affect CSE-listed companies

A new draft Bill restricting the transfer of land to foreigners says that if a local company sells a majority of its shares to a foreigner within twenty years of purchasing land, that property transaction will be deemed null and void. Lawyers warned that this might have implications for local companies listed on the Colombo Stock [...]

Govt. to invest Rs. 230 b more in crisis- ridden CPC

The Government is to invest more than Rs. 230 billion for a string of projects of the crisis-ridden and loss-making Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) within the next two years, senior officials said. The CPC’s Acting Chairman, S. Amarasekara, who is also the Prime Minister’s Secretary, said the biggest investment would go for the Sapugaskanda oil refinery [...]

Fishing talks fail as Lanka rejects Indian proposals

Sri Lanka has rejected a proposal to allow Indian fishermen to enter Sri Lankan waters for three days a week through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Government to resolve the fishing disputes, Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday. The details of this rejection and other matters that were taken up at the [...]

After NGOs, Foundations to come under watch

Foundations incorporated through Private Members’ bills in Parliament will be monitored by the NGO Secretariat in new laws being drafted by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, officials said this week. The laws will also impose controls on non-profit organisations registered with the Registrar of Companies, trusts and some societies, they said. ]Amendments to [...]

Nurses attached to skin clinic had no training

Nurses attached to the clinic where a female doctor -Dr P.A. Priyangi- of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital died during cosmetic surgery had no training, a Magistates Court was told this week, Giving evidence at the inquiry into the death of Dr Priyangi before the Colombo Additional Magistrate, R. M. Augusta Atapattu, a nurse working at [...]

KMC seeks police probe on ‘saffron water’ barrier

The Kandy Municipal Council has decided to request the Inspector General for a probe on why police officers prevented Mayor Mahendra Ratwatte from proceeding along the perahera route to the Sri Dalada Maligawa after the road was washed with saffron water. When the matter was taken up at the council sessions on Thursday, opposition leader [...]

Judgment on asylum seekers tomorrow

The Court of Appeal will tomorrow deliver judgment that will decide the fate of hundreds of Pakistani and Afghan asylum seekers in Sri Lanka. Court heard arguments and counterarguments, consequent to a writ application filed by Aneela Imran, a Pakistani woman seeking asylum in Sri Lanka. She filed the case following a government crackdown on [...]

6 injured, 2 hospitalised as cricket fans clash to enter Dambulla stadium

6 injured, 2 hospitalised as cricket fans clash to enter Dambulla stadium

Six persons were injured and two were hospitalised last morning, following a clash between cricket fans at the Dambulla Cricket stadium over a dispute over tickets, police said. Tickets were sold out for the third and final ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but the guards had allegedly let several people from Colombo into the [...]

Prospects dim for fully commissioned Norochcholai as 2 units take another break

Two units of the Chinese-built Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai are out of commission again, depriving the national grid of 600 MW of power. The third 300-MW unit was fired up last night, but is still on a test run pending official commissioning, said a Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) spokesman. The trouble-ridden Unit 1, [...]

Traditional crafts -A dying art

Though traditional arts and crafts are always an attraction, the craftsmen and women who specialise in these fields struggle to eke out a living. In order to recognize their services and provide them with some form of encouragement, the ‘Shilpa National Exhibition and Awards Ceremony’ is held annually to promote local handicrafts and small industrialists. [...]

Indian rice labelled as local produce found while being packed

An attempt to sell imported rice as a locally produced brand was foiled by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Medical team this week. Acting on information received that a group was unloading and repacking rice in a private car park near Kotahena, a team led by CMC Medical Officer Sasanka Ranasinghe, conducted a raid last [...]

ITN Chairman to be replaced

Chairman of the State-run Independent Television Network (ITN) Rosmand Senaratne is set to be replaced. The Sunday Times learns that Mr Senaratne had declined to carry out certain directives related to the UPFA’s campaign activities for the Uva Provincial Council elections.

Vote harvest speculation behind govt. initiatives on potatoes, onions

Vote harvest speculation behind  govt. initiatives on potatoes, onions

A Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) to pass on savings in shrewder purchases of potatoes and onions following an increased levy on those vegetable imports was welcomed by consumers and the government this week. Nevertheless speculation surfaced that the levy – aimed at boosting locally-grown onions and potatoes – and associated official moves were linked to [...]

Road rules take back seat as accident rate accelerates

Road rules take back seat as accident rate accelerates

One was from the north of the country, the other from the south; and they both died in road accidents this week. In Jaffna, a reckless tipper truck driver snatched the life 25-year-old pregnant Shashidaran Subhashini while an accident involving a three wheeler driver who had dozed off while driving claimed the life of 60-year-old [...]

Health workers continue crippling action despite court order

Despite a court injunction on Friday on six health sector trade unions suspending a strike called by the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM) on Tuesday, most workers stayed away from hospitals further inconveniencing patients. By last evening efforts by respective hospital authorities to inform the strikers that the Colombo District Court had [...]

Evil thrives in Sri Lanka in the absence of corrective action

Evil thrives in Sri Lanka in the  absence of  corrective action

With the grant of Independence, Sri Lanka’s business sector began to develop slowly. Regretfully, it is on the decline now. The tea industry was a gift to us from the British. Foreign companies earned large profits. We were left with limited benefits. During the recent past because of the tea industry there were some increased [...]

The temple bell tolled – but it was too late

The temple bell tolled – but it was too late

The single mother of a child aged just one year and nine months weeps. A little hamlet near Beruwala is in mourning. The 23-year-old mother, a resident of Akkara 80, Munhena in Maggona, will not see her daughter, Heshani Pabasara, again. Heeding a court order, the mother, Samanthika Priyadarshani, had been sending the child to [...]

Raids to restore rice price stability

Raids to restore rice price stability

As rice prices shoot up amidst a shortage, a deputy minister warned yesterday that raids would be carried out on mills that hoarded paddy without milling it and releasing the rice to the market. Deputy Internal Trade Minister Hemal Gunasekara told the Sunday Times the ministry had called upon millers, traders and importers to give [...]

From Facebook friendships to sexual harassment: Police probe cases

From Facebook friendships to sexual  harassment: Police probe cases

Two more complaints where women were harassed by men with whom they built a friendship via social media – Facebook – were received at the Kotahena police. Kotahena Chief Inspector Hemantha Ovitigama said that the women lodged complaints at the police regarding incidents where they were harassed and threatened by men using fake accounts over [...]

Concerns, misgivings, unease aside, e-NIC set to invade individual privacy

The data collection programme of all Sri Lanka’s citizens over the age of 15, with a view to establishing a database, some of which would be included in an electronic National Identity Card (e-NIC), has drawn criticism from Opposition legislators. They say it would lead to an invasion of individual privacy, which a senior Government [...]

Trade unions hit out at ad hoc changes in the Pensions Department

After rendering her services as a mathematics teacher for over 22 years, Nilmini Ilangamage left service a few months ago. But instead of enjoying her retirement with her children she was sent from pillar to post to obtain her pension and gratuity payments. “I kept calling the officer handling my file in the Pensions Department [...]

Give us more!

Give us more!

A picketing campaign demanding a pay hike of Rs. 10,000 for all employees was held this week in-front of the Fort Railway Station by government, semi government and private trade unions. Pic Anurada Bandara

Dengue danger will loom large in years to come: ADB report

Dengue will continue to claim hundreds of lives in Sri Lanka with about 400 deaths annually and over 60,000 cases by 2030, 700 deaths annually by 2050 and up to 353,000 cases and over 2,000 fatalities by 2090: This is the alarming forecast made in the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) latest report, “Assessing the Costs [...]

Construction worker’s death from 40-foot fall prompts order for safety gear

Colombo Additional Coroner Ashroff Rumi this week suggested that construction workers be provided with safety gear. He said this at the inquiry into Wednesday’s (27) death of a 30-year-old worker who fell 40 feet at a construction site in Charles Place, Colombo 3. The deceased, Chadan Richard, an unmarried resident of Ussakele, Olangamuwa in Haputale, [...]

Import of 1000 cc motorbikes awaits Gazette notification

The Motor Traffic Department (MTD) is awaiting Treasury approval to issue a Gazette notification permitting the import of high powered motorcycles ranging in engine capacity from 450 cc to 1001 cc, officials said. The Cabinet last month approved the import of high capacity bikes after payment of applicable duties and taxes, and registration with the [...]

Passport to scam and sham

He was every bit a rich mudalali ready to pay any price for antique collectibles. A colleague, pretending to be knowledgeable in artefacts, acted as his adivsor. That was how they busted on Monday a major racket involving the sale of artefacts, this time it was a colonial passport. It was Kollupitiya Police sub-inspector Prasad [...]

Flouting of election laws, abuse of State property, violence hold sway

An upsurge in election related violence and flouting of election laws using illegal propaganda and abuse of State property, including using Govt. officials for the ruling party’s campaign, are among the highlights of the Uva Provincial Council (UPC) election campaigns, with less than three weeks for the polls. Badulla District JVP candidate Krishnan Selvarajah, was [...]

The bitter pill

The bitter pill

V.G. Ukkurala and his son set off from their home in faraway Badulla, taking the night bus to Colombo to reach the National Hospital in the capital by 4 a.m. to attend a clinic for his heart ailment. He was in time for the clinic and was prescribed drugs for treatment. The two waited for [...]

Lanka in grip of new form of terror with drug cartels, expert warns as top gangster nabbed

Lanka in grip of new form of  terror with drug cartels, expert warns as top gangster nabbed

While eagle-eyed surveillance officials foiled an elaborate plan by notorious drug peddler “Kudu Chamara” to flee the country this week a former top policeman warned Sri Lanka was experiencing a new form of terrorism in the booming narcotics trade. “The real mafia behind this whole drug racket is in Colombo,” the country’s first Police Narcotics [...]

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