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Health goes down the drain at drugs corp

Health goes down the drain at drugs corp

“Your health is our concern” is the motto of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka, but a team of health officials this week discovered that the basement of the SPC head office in Colombo was a breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes. At least 13 employees of the corporation were down with dengue recently. Following [...]

Sign of silence to come

Sign of silence to come

The Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, convener of several meetings to find a common opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential election, seen covering his mouth with his robe at last Wednesday’s joint opposition rally at Muttiah Park. The same night the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera was taken to a Kuruppu Road residence for a meeting with [...]

Sabotage at BIA: Rs. 100m damage to equipment

A strike by a pro-government trade union at the Bandaranaike International Airport resulted in serious damage to vital equipment due to sabotage, an official report said. Airport and Aviation Authority (AAA) Chairman Prasanna Wickremasuriya in the report said the strike had disrupted flights and airport services for more than four hours. He said the estimated [...]

SC opinion: Parliament to get full text

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said yesterday that he would make available to Parliament the full text of the opinion of the Supreme Court on the eligibility of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek re-election for a third term. The Speaker said he would make the copy of the Supreme Court opinion available to Parliament when he received it. [...]

Seevali passes away after decades of silent service

Dr. Seevali Ratwatte, founder president of the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka and former chairman of the Upali Group of Companies, passed away yesterday after a short illness. He was 91. Dr. Ratwatte was the youngest brother of the late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike.  Dr. Ratwatte served as her private secretary and shared a bureau at [...]

Allowances of local councillors doubled

Members of municipal, urban councils and pradeshiya sabhas are to get huge increases in allowances from this month, Local Government Minister A.L.M. Athaullah told Parliament yesterday. Mayors and UCs Chairpersons will get Rs. 30,000 a month while their deputies will get Rs. 25,000. Members of MCs and UCs will get a monthly allowance of Rs. 20,000. [...]

Plenty of fish in the sea, fishermen despair

Plenty of fish in the sea, fishermen despair

The excessive rainfall this week and the risk of floods are causing major hardships for the fishermen in the Chilaw area. They risk their lives to go out to sea and fish but there is no proper market for their catch. The monsoonal rains and vendors from other parts of the country coming to sell [...]

Colombo and Madhu gear up for Papal visit

Colombo and Madhu gear up for Papal visit

The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka has started preparations both in Colombo and in Madhu, two places His Holiness Pope Francis would visit on his apostolic journey to Sri Lanka and the Phillipines next year. A group of Catholic Fathers blessed Galle Face Green last Friday just before commencing work on the stage that will [...]

Govt. hospitals to issue ‘free bill of record’ to all patients

Patients seeking treatment at state-run hospitals will in future be given a free bill of record for the medical services they obtained in a bid to keep a tab on the cost incurred by the state, a senior health official said. Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said currently such a receipt was provided [...]

Come Christmas season, come the rogue traders

Come Christmas season, come  the rogue traders

Santa Claus is coming … and so are investigators prepared to punish traders scheming to cheat customers splashing out on food and other items to celebrate the festive season. “Importers and traders find it easier to dump these expired foods on the unsuspecting public during the festive season,” Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Chairman Rumy Marzook [...]

Intoxicated man falls to his death from 2nd floor of house

Hewage Ariyaratne, 52, and a father of two, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, fell to his death from the 40-foot high balcony of a house in Wattala, police said. The victim had been asleep on the balcony at the time of the incident. He had been employed to repair a vehicle and was later [...]

Return displaced people’s jewellery, money: NPC to banks

Northern Provincial Council chairman C.V.K. Sivagnanam has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking his intervention to help the people displaced before 1996 to get their jewellery, valuables and money held by banks. He says that these jewellery items were pawned by the people who were displaced from Jaffna before 1995/96 and therefore it was unfair [...]

50,000 tons of rice from Bangladesh to meet Christmas demand

Sri Lanka will import 50,000 tons of rice from Bangladesh on a government to government basis, in a bid to ensure food security. The Cabinet approved the purchase of the rice stock to meet the anticipated demand during the forthcoming festive season, when the rice would be sold at an affordable price to consumers, through [...]

President a dictator with total control over judiciary, media: Party chief Anura Kumara

President a dictator with total control over judiciary, media: Party chief Anura Kumara

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna leaders this week depicted Sri Lanka as a country laden with debt, run by an autocratic President who exercised total control over the media and the judiciary, seriously compromising their independence in recent years. They were addressing crowds gathered at Viharamahadevi Park on Thursday for the 25th “Il Maha Viru Samuruwa” commemorating [...]

False alarm delays former Acting Magistrate’s funeral

Funeral arrangements of a former Acting Magistrate in Kaduwela was disrupted yesterday, when Police Emergency- 119, received an anonymous call to say that the deceased was allegedly assaulted and killed by his son. Police had then obtained a court order from the Kaduwela Magistrate, to remove the body from the funeral parlour for a Judicial [...]

Rajapaksa: Foxier than the Old Fox

Rajapaksa: Foxier than the Old Fox

After spending three thousand two hundred and eighty eight days in office as Sri Lanka’s fifth Executive President, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to issue a proclamation calling for a presidential election within the next four days. It will be, arguably, his most controversial political gamble yet. Rajapaksa cleared the first hurdle in his third [...]

Excise Dept. office in N’ Eliya to come tumbling down

An Excise Department building in Nuwara Eliya, built 10 years ago is to be demolished as it has not met proper building standards. The first floor of the two-storey building was used as an office while the upper floor served as a meeting space and lodging purposes. Those who worked at the now abandoned office [...]

3 arrested in connection with ex-LTTE cadre’s killing in Mannar

Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of a former LTTE cadre in Mannar earlier this week, and the suspected murder weapon recovered as police continue to investigate the motive for the killing. Krishnasamy Ponnuthurai, 48, and the father of two, died instantly, when he was hit by a rifle bullet around [...]

Sri Lanka urged to take up robotic surgery

Sri Lanka urged to take up robotic surgery

It is the new frontier in modern medicine – surgery with the use of small tools managed by a robotic arm. Behind the robotic arm, of course, is the surgeon, controlling it from a remote console. Be the Asian centre for robotic surgery, is what Sri Lanka is being urged to achieve not just by [...]

Commissioner prepared to admit horoscopes for NICs

People lacking formal birthdate documentation may bring along a horoscope if they need a National Identity Card, with the authorities determined to issue NICs to everyone needing them within six months. The Commissioner-General of the Registration of Persons, Sarath Kumara, said the NIC drive followed a request from the Elections Commissioner that cards be issued [...]

Lust and foul murder in the dead of night

Lust and foul  murder in the dead of night

It was one of the most puzzling and grotesque crimes – the young woman whose body lay naked beside a stream had vanished noiselessly in the night while her mother lay sleeping in the same room. Now, as detectives prepare to go to court, details of the tragedy are emerging. The alarm was raised on [...]

Govt. hospitals to issue ‘free bill of record’ to all patients

Patients seeking treatment at state-run hospitals will in future be given a free bill of record for the medical services they obtained in a bid to keep a tab on the cost incurred by the state, a senior health official said. Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said currently such a receipt was provided [...]

Scarred women seek recognised surgeons after botched-up operations by quacks

Several women who suffered severe injury and have been scarred and marred after ‘treatment’ from a so-called ‘Age Reversing Clinic’ in Malabe have now sought help from qualified plastic surgeons. While plastic surgeons in one voice lashed out at these “unsafe and unsterile” clinics where cosmetic surgery is being doled out in tiny rooms in [...]

Favouring China at India’s expense will have dire consequences: Sampanthan

Favouring China at India’s expense will have dire consequences: Sampanthan

The Committee Stage debates of several Ministries were held in Parliament this week, with Votes of the Ministry of External Affairs among those taken up. Following are excerpts of speeches made in the House: UNP Kandy District MP, Lakshman Kiriella: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has mishandled many issues. We have lost three consecutive [...]

Kandy town’s public facilities get a new look

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday declared open, among other public facilities, a pedestrian walk in Kandy town, enabling the public to avoid walking on the main road. The pedestrian lane extends from the clock tower to the goods shed bus stand.The opening of the multimillion rupee facilities started with a new shelter at the clock tower [...]

Amended Standing Orders to better COPE as waste, corruption continue unabated

Parliament is looking to amend Standing Orders, to give more teeth to the oversight committee on Public Finance, the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE), its Chairman, Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said on Friday. The Minister’s comments came when he presented the Second Interim Report of COPE to Parliament, in which, once again, massive waste and loss [...]

Buyers recoil from soaring veg prices

Buyers recoil from soaring veg prices

“Two hundred and forty rupees per kilo, 240 per kilo, 240 per kilo …” goes the mantra by retail vegetable vendors in cities and suburbs as worried shoppers search the market for cheaper vegetables with prices of most vegetables having sky-rocketed. The most popular vegetables have gone up in price, with beans being sold at [...]

End of the show for NFC chairman; new man in from tomorrow

End of the show for NFC chairman; new man in from tomorrow

National Film Corporation (NFC) Chairman Ashoka Serasinghe has been removed from his post following a string of complaints to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by artistes and trade unions who accused him of corruption, misuse of powers and favouritism. Mass Media and Information Ministry secretary Dr. Charitha Herath told the Sunday Times that Mr. Serasinghe has been [...]

Kenny G, the saxophonist who doesn’t blow his own trumpet

Kenny G, the saxophonist who  doesn’t blow his own trumpet

He’s the best selling saxophonist on the planet, but Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, better known as “Kenny G”, will not accept the title of ‘Superstar”. Playing in Sri Lanka for the firs time last night, his demeanour insists he’s just another guy who happens to play sax The fame and crowds have nothing to do with [...]

Nandana quits SLFP, wants Rajapaksa regime out

Nandana quits SLFP, wants Rajapaksa  regime out

Nandana Gunathilake quit the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and stepped down as Chairman of Panadura Urban Council stating that the whole government and the present political system were corrupt and all politicians for democracy and a corrupt-free society should unite for a change of the present Rajapaksa regime. On Friday, the former JVP stalwart, presidential [...]

Colombo and Madhu gear up for Papal visit

Colombo and Madhu gear up for Papal visit

The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka has started preparations both in Colombo and in Madhu, two places His Holiness Pope Francis would visit on his apostolic journey to Sri Lanka and the Phillipines next year. A group of Catholic Fathers blessed Galle Face Green last Friday just before commencing work on the stage that will [...]

Prasanna wants WPC members at school development meetings

Western Province schools have been instructed to ensure the participation of three members of the Provincial Council in their School Development Society (SDS) meetings. Letters have been issued with the signature of WP Chief Minister (CM) Prasanna Ranathunga, outlining clear instructions on how the meeting should be held, and includes the names of the three [...]

Treasury yet to oil CPC’s lubricant plant

The Petroleum Industries Ministry’s move to set up a lubricant mixing plant with investments from Malaysia has been delayed as the Treasury is yet to grant approval for the project, officials said. Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the Sunday Times the plant was to be set up on a 20-year Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT) basis, but [...]

PS vice chairman assaults principal

Teachers’ unions have condemned the assault on the principal of Thibbatuwawa Maha Vidyalaya in Kekirawa by the Vice Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabhawa (PS). He said that the latest incident took place after Principal Lalith Madushanka Jayasiripura had taken the children outside after school, on the request of the Education Department, to pay homage to [...]

India giving SUVs to NPC members

India has offered eight SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) to Northern Provincial Council members after the failure of a move to obtain duty-free vehicles for all the members, PC sources said. The Sunday Times learns that initially the Indian government planned to give Indian manufactured cars by importing them with duty free concessions to all 38 [...]

Advisory group reccommends measures to reduce failure rates in O/L maths

Restructuring the Ordinary Level Exam mathematics paper, emphasising the importance of learning traditional tables, increasing mathematics periods in schools and establishing a maths teacher training college, are among  recommendations made by a group of experts in the field of education. The Education Ministry appointed a nine-member advisory committee to look into the failure rate at [...]

Teacher union charges Chief Minister of abusing State power

Ahead of possible Presidential elections teacher unions have accused Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga of abusing power by trying to entice members to join a pro-government union, but the Chief Minister has denied the allegation. Teacher- Principal Joint Trade Union claims the Chief Minister  promised several teachers a brand new motor cycle each if they filled [...]

Principal, supervisor transferred over maths paper leak

A principal and a teaching supervisor have been transferred with immediate effect and an inquiry has commenced over the leaking of a third term Grade 11 mathematics paper. The Principal of Godigamuwa Maha Vidyalaya has been transferred to the Minuwangoda education zone while the school’s teaching supervisor who is also in charge of examination supervising [...]

Protest for recognition and more time

Protest for recognition and more time

Over 800 students following the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) course protested in front of the Central Bus Station, Galle last Wednesday (12). Students from higher technological institutions in Labuduwa, Dehiwala, Tangalle and Kegalle also took part in the campaign registering their protest against the Government’s move to shorten the four year course to three years while requesting [...]

Do’s and don’t’s at GCE/OL Exam

Taking a mobile phone into the examination hall is not only prohibited to those students sitting the Ordinary Level Examination this year, but also for invigilators and supervisors, the Examinations Department said. Other examination malpractices that are punishable include impersonation, possessing relevant material, both printed and electronic devices, misconduct or creating disturbance in and outside the [...]

Nearly half of varsity students provided hostel facilities: Higher Education Minister

Only 36,121 out of 94,494 students studying in national universities, have been provided with hostel facilities, Parliament was told recently. In reply to a question raised by Opposition MP Dinesh Gankanda, Higher Education Minister S.B.Dissanayake said that by 2013, except for students of the Open University of Sri Lanka, 46 percent of university students have [...]

Teachers satisfied, increases done on systematic basis: Minister

Increases for teachers set out in a circular issued by the Ministry of Education last Wednesday (12) came under severe criticism from several trade unions, while the Minister of Education scoffed at the criticism saying the teachers were well satisfied. “All the teachers are happy with the increases. These have been effected on a systematic [...]

130th birth anniversary marked of free education pioneer

130th birth anniversary marked of free education pioneer

A commemorative ceremony was held at Central College, Point Pedro to mark the 130th birth anniversary of Dr C.W.W Kannangara – “The Father of Free Education” – attended by scholars who are past pupils of the 54 Central Collages founded under the Free Education Scheme. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Chief Guest, presented a special memento [...]

4,000 in-service advisors for schools shortly

The Cabinet has decided to appoint some 4,000 in-service advisors selected from teachers. The post is considered the highest in the teachers’ grade and lower than the principals’ position. The advisors will be selected from teachers who have reached Grade I. ‘The request to have a separate grade for this sector has been a long standing [...]

Kelaniya varsity to start Tri-Lingual Studies Diploma Course

The Linguistics Department of the Kelaniya University is initiating a Higher Diploma Course in Tri-Lingual Studies from the second week of December, course coordinator Prof. Janaki Wijesekara said. This is a two-year course which would be conducted at the university premises on Sundays. The total course fee is Rs.65,000 which could be paid in three instalments [...]

Jaffna Library best in Lanka

The  Jaffna Public Library was recently awarded the “Swarna Purawara Certificate” on being selected as the best public library in Sri Lanka. S.D. Moorthy, Acting Consul General of India in Jaffna gifted a set of books to Mrs.. Sadasivamoorthy, Chief Librarian of Jaffna Public Library.in appreciation of this honour. Mr. Moorthy appreciated the good work [...]

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