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Vatican envoy coming; Church says Pope’s visit is on despite polls

Vatican envoy coming; Church says Pope’s visit is on despite polls

The Master of Ceremonies for the papal visit to Sri Lanka will arrive in the country on Wednesday as the Catholic Church yesterday expressed confidence that the visit would take place despite an intensive campaign for the Presidential election. The Master of Ceremonies will meet Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, bishops and other members of the organising [...]

Port workers for poll work; labour hired; officials deny

More than 1,000 workers of the Colombo Port and heavy equipment, including cranes, have been moved out from the premises for pro-government election activities, hampering day-to-day operations of the port, trade union officials said. The allegation came as the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday resolved to provide legal assistance to any groups or [...]

China’s H’tota fuel project runs into fire

The Government is considering an unsolicited, single-bid proposal by a Chinese firm to set up a US$ 101 million oil pipeline between the Hambantota tank farm and the Mattala airport despite a study deeming the project to be economically unfeasible, the Sunday Times learns. The study was coordinated by the Road Development Authority and commissioned [...]

Some academics won’t attend Temple Trees meeting

An invitation to university academics and non-academics to attend a ‘progress review’ meeting at Temple Trees tomorrow amid an intense campaign for the presidential polls has drawn protests. The invitation has been sent by the Higher Education Ministry and the University Grants Commission. The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) has strongly objected to the [...]

India’s NSA to meet President, Gota and Sirisena

India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, who will be in Sri Lanka tomorrow, is to meet the opposition’s common candidate Maithripala Sirisena, the Sunday Times learns. Mr. Doval, who will be here to deliver the keynote address at “Galle Dialogue 2014,” will also meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He will [...]

Police unit to work with polls chief to deal with complaints

A Special Police unit headed by a Deputy Inspector General is to be set up at the Election Secretariat to coordinate with the Commissioner of Elections in a fresh move to act on complaints during the polls campaign, a senior official of the department said. The move follows a request by Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya. [...]

Wide smooth roads at tremendous cost

The first thing you notice about Hambantota is those roads. They are wide, smooth and mostly empty. They also do not come cheap. The cost of the main expressways (completed as well as proposed) and the two flyovers are published with this article. Three projects alone have cost nearly Rs. 59 billion: The Siribopura flyover, [...]

Fifteen million eligible to vote at 2015 Presidential election

The registration figures of voters which will be used for the upcoming Presidential elections were released by the Elections Commissioner this week. Accordingly more than 15 million Sri Lankans are registered voters and are eligible to vote at the January 8 Presidential election, the Elections Department said. According to the latest figures compiled this week [...]

Stop building roads in the wet season, says NBRO

Stop building roads in the wet season, says NBRO

The National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) has called on road construction companies to carry out work – including road carpeting – only during the dry season to minimise post-construction problems. The call came after the banks of the newly-constructed “18-bends road” collapsed, destroying one house and causing another to become uninhabitable due to landslide risk [...]

Validity of minor health staff appointments under probe

Validity of minor health staff appointments under probe

The Health Ministry is currently carrying out investigations into the validity of the 584 minor health staff appointments made just two days prior to former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena announcing he was quitting the Government. Acting Health Minister Lalith Dissanayake said that the appointments have been stayed pending the inquiry, adding they would be re-employed [...]

Maithripala: From paddy field to Parliament to presidential candidate

Maithripala: From paddy field to Parliament to presidential candidate

Maithripala Sirisena, the man who is set to challenge incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January poll, once spent more than 18 months in jail over suspected links with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)– a link that was later proved, he did not have. He joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) while he was [...]

The cloning of the President

The cloning of the President

Larger than life and multiplying rapidly, the Rajapaksa cutout population is drawing ire and mockery. Nadia Fazlulhaq reports “Api Mahindata” (We are for Mahinda), “Ape Janapati” (Our President), “Api Hambantota” (We are Hambantota) – the thousands of banners and life-sized cutouts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa across villages, cities and expressways will soon be joined by [...]

ST journalist on Kadir schol to MASCOM

ST journalist on Kadir schol to MASCOM

The sixth Lakshman Kadirgamar journalism scholar, Ms. Aanya Piyari Wipulasena of the Sunday Times left this week to follow a post graduate diploma course at MASCOM, the prestigious mass communication college in India. The scholarship is given by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Foundation in partnership with MASCOM in memory of the late Foreign Minister of Sri [...]

CMC gets ‘aggressive’ with thosai kades

CMC gets ‘aggressive’ with thosai kades

Colombo vegetarian cafe owners have a month to clean up their act after being shamed at a public meeting by photographs of their filthy establishments. Four in five of these outlets, commonly known as thosai kades, have very poor hygienic conditions, the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) said. Its inspectors have been visiting the outlets over [...]

Nuwara Eliya landslide victims still living in camps

The 1,580 evacuees who were evacuated due to the danger of landslides in several areas of the Nuwara Eliya District are housed in camps where they are presently living in adverse conditions which include the cold weather. They were moved to 13 camps on October 30 due to the National Building Research Organisation cautioning about [...]

Despite evidence police neither see nor hear Govt. supporters’ evil

Despite evidence police neither see nor hear Govt. supporters’ evil

Police are yet to make headway in last week’s election violence, as one of those injured still remains in a critical condition at the Colombo National Hospital. With under two months for the Presidential election, violence is widespread islandwide. The most brutal of these cases is reported from Maggona, where a United National Party (UNP) [...]

Citizen’s Power Group to rally for abolition of Executive Presidency

A People’s Rally titled ‘Escaping the Trap’, to agitate for the abolition of the Executive Presidency and re-establishment democracy, will be held at 3 pm on Tuesday, December 2, at Hyde Park, Colombo. The rally is being organised by artistes, academics and civil society activists of the Citizens’ Power group. the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, [...]

A dozen dead every two days on our roads

A dozen dead every two days on our roads

Four years into the “Decade of Road Safety”, every day sees six people killed and 50 injured in road accidents. New statistics show 1,972 persons were killed in road accidents during the first 10 months of this year and more than 16,000 were injured. Despite the belief that the increase in the number of vehicles [...]

Govt. may release Indian trawlers next week

The Government is likely to release Indian trawlers in Sri Lankan custody, Fisheries Ministry Secretary R.M.B. Dissanayake said yesterday. He said the External Affairs Ministry would in the coming days recommend the release of the vessels which were taken into custody by the Sri Lanka Navy along with the Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri [...]

Employees of Sirisena’s brother attacked by unidentified group

The driver and two assistants of a container owned by the brother of Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena were attacked by an unidentified group in the Marandagahamula area last morning, police said. The lorry had transported a stock of rice from Polonnaruwa to be unloaded at the Marandagahamula wholesale rice market. The lorry driver said [...]

Ex-CJ says President’s nomination cannot be challenged in court

Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said yesterday that there was no scope to file legal action challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s nomination for the January 8 elections. Mr. Silva told the Sunday Yimes that after the election process began there was no legal provision to challenge the nominations. “But there is provision to file an [...]

Court registrar caught transporting 8kg cannabis

The Registrar of the Bandarawela Magistrate’s courts was yesterday arrested for allegedly transporting eight kilograms of cannabis in a three-wheeler, police said. They said the detection was made close to Bandarawela town following a tip-off that a vehicle was transporting cannabis. The Registrar and the three-wheel driver who were detained are to be produced before [...]

Police transfers after polls proclamation will remain – spokesman

Over one hundred police transfers made after the proclamation for the Presidential election, will remain unchanged, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said yesterday. He said these transfers were made before the gazette notification for the Presidential elections by the Commissioner of Elections. “All transfers including 85 Officers-In-Charge (OIC) will stand as they have been implemented,” [...]

5th consecutive ‘Galle Dialogue 2014’ to ensure plain sailing

“Galle Dialogue 2014”, the International Maritime Conference organised by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence, will be held for the fifth consecutive year in Galle on Monday and Tuesday, Themed “Cooperation and Collaboration for Maritime Prosperity”, this year’s dialogue will be held at the Lighthouse Hotel in Galle. [...]

TRC to impose ban on use of contraband phones next year

The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), with effect from next year, will ban the use of all phones smuggled into the country, said a senior TRC official. The move will ensure that only phones with the proper standards will be used by the public in future, TRC Chairman, Anusha Pelpita told the Sunday Times. “This will [...]

Hambantota: Haven for projects

Hambantota: Haven for projects

Rs. 600 billion pours into Hambantota development with more to come Decisions made in Colombo, while few know the whole picture Govt. not providing sufficient info to local businessmen Miles of gleaming asphalt and mega infrastructure looming up from the sparsely populated terrain make Hambantota different to any other district in Sri Lanka. Ever since [...]

Rural areas will be cheated out of education: unions

Rural areas will be cheated out of education: unions

A large number of schools across the country with only Advanced Level (A/L) Commerce and Arts streams could be downgraded to primary schools, trade unions claim. The new “1000 Schools Project” aimed at improving the science and technology streams in government schools will select only 1000 schools out of the close upon 3000 schools that offer [...]

Grads complain over promotion chances lost

Grads complain over  promotion chances lost

Our years of toil count for naught About 10,000 graduates who have received teacher appointments two to six years after being recruited are demanding the Education authorities add the total years to the teacher service. Ceylon Teachers Services Union (CTSU) Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said these graduates were recruited in 1994, 1995, 1999, 2005 and 2008 [...]

GCE O/L exam expected to be affected by polls activity monitors, unions warn

Candidates sitting the G.C.E Ordinary Level Exam scheduled to be held on December 9 are expected to encounter problems due to the propaganda activities leading up to the upcoming Presidential election,  polls monitors warned. With the exam due to commence in eight days, the Examination authorities are still in the process of carrying out discussions to come [...]

Horizon College gets degree awarding status

Higher Education Ministry has recognised the Horizon College of Business and Technology (Pvt) Limited as a Degree Awarding Institute. It has been empowered to award Bachelor of Science in Business Management (Human Resources Management) and Human Science BSc., degrees.

Tuition classes for GCE O/L banned from December 3

The Examinations Department has announced that holding tuition classes, conducting seminars, distributing leaflets or model papers targeting the G.C.E.Ordinary Level Exam this year, will be prohibited from midnight of December 3 (Wednesday). Examinations Commissioner General W.M.N.J Pushpakumara said this ban will last throughout the examination period. The Ordinary Level Exam will be held between December 9 [...]

Education Services Ministry sets impressive targets for minimum facilities schools

The Ministry of Education Services has set several targets for 2015 including providing of a uniform for every school going child as well as shoes, for children in schools with minimum facilities. The Ministry is also targeting to achieve 100% school admissions for primary education. According to the Ministry’s plan of action tabled in Parliament [...]

OpenArc recognised to offer BIT degree of Moratuwa University

In a bid to create synergy and enable an output of graduates of very high value, the University of Moratuwa (UOM) has recognised OpenArc as a partner organisation to offer the Bachelor of Information Technology Degree of Moratuwa University. Since 2007, OpenArc has offered one hundred and fifty two scholarships to deserving school leavers to [...]

Rotoract with Rotary dares to dream

The Rotaract Club of Victoria Higher Education Campus (VHEC)  has been officially chartered with Rotary International  and is  set to pursue its task of serving society  for a better tomorrow under the slogan “Dare to Dream.’ The event was held recently at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo with a distinguished group of guests in attendance. The [...]

Four Negombo area schools get Mahindodaya labs

Four Mahindodaya technical laboratories were handed over on November 26 to students by Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena as part of the national programme to set up 1,000 secondary schools. The four labs were opened at the Davisamara Maha Vidyalaya in Seeduwa, Raddolugama Sri Pagngnananda National School in Katunayake, the Andiambalama Maha Vidyalaya and the Kimbulapitiya [...]

Parents’ Day at Batti Nursery school

Parents’ Day at Batti Nursery school

The Parents’ Day celebrations of Infant Jesus Nursery School at Batticaloa were held at the St Cecilia’s Girls’ College hall on Tuesday. Rev. Fr. T.A.Julian, Diocesan Director of the Catechetical Centre, Nursery Education Assistant Zonal Director M. Puvirajah, St Cecilia’s Girls’ College Principal Rev. Sr. Arul Maria and Rev.Sr.Noeline were the chief guests. The function ended [...]

Walk to mark start of St. Benedict’s 150th year celebrations

St. Benedict’s College, Colombo 13, a Catholic educational institution managed by the De La Salle Brothers since 1865  will be celebrating its 150th jubilee in 2015 with a series of programmes which will commence with the “Benedictine Walk” on February 7, 2015..As an awareness programme leading to the Walk, the Old Boys’ Union has organised a get-together [...]

Exhibition of Chinese letters and calligraphy

The Sri Lanka-China Society in collaboration with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with foreign countries (CPAFFC) and with the co-operation of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka has organised a Chinese characters and calligraphy exhibition which is to be held on December 4 and 5, 2014. The venue of the exhibition will be the J. [...]

Chennai Rotoract Club gifts shoes to Jaffna school students

Chennai Rotoract Club gifts shoes to Jaffna school students

One hundred and fifteen students of Nunasai Maha Vidyalaya, Madagal were gifted shoes by the Rotaract Club of Chennai at a function organised by the Nallur Rotary Club. Indian Deputy High Commissioner S. Thadchanamoorthy was the chief guest while Nallur Rotary Club president T.Ravinathas, Indian High Commission officials K.S.Marva and V. Rajagopal participated as special [...]

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