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Helping the disabled

Helping the disabled

To discourage transportation of cash due to security reasons, the Government proposed in the budget that all employers should instruct their employees to open bank accounts for their salaries to be remitted. But with infrastructure facilities yet to be improved for the disabled, how convenient it would be for disabled people remains a question. The international [...]

MPs get exempted from duty-free car import ban

The budget proposal to scrap the duty-free-vehicle-import-permit system is to be relaxed with MPs being given some concessions, the Government has decided. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gayantha Karunatillake told the Sunday Times MPs would be given vehicles on concessionary terms which would be finalised next week. He said it was a parliamentary privilege to provide MPs with [...]

Lankan still held without trial in the Maldives

A Sri Lankan arrested in the Maldives over an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen was this week further detained for 15 days, Foreign Ministry officials said. His detention period was extended on Monday pending further questioning on his alleged links with the assassination plot. The 24-year-old Lahiru Madhushanka has not been produced in a [...]

Tax Chief: Collect taxes like bee taking honey from a flower

As the Government set about collecting revenue from direct taxes, Inland Revenue Commissioner General Kalyani Dahanayake has asked the tax department and state banks to be kept open during the weekend and staff to be courteous to all taxpayers. Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank head offices are to remain open today to accommodate last [...]

CBK to get same pension as Rajapaksa

A resolution has been tabled in Parliament by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to place the pension entitlement of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on par with the entitlement enjoyed by her successor Mahinda Rajapaksa. The resolution placed on the Order Paper of Parliament yesterday seeks to revise the monthly pension entitlement of former President Mrs. [...]

World standard heart and lung transplants here

World standard heart and lung transplants here

Sri Lanka will soon embark on groundbreaking heart and lung transplants with support from British medical experts, ending an era where such life-saving surgery was only available abroad at high, prohibitive costs. No heart transplant has taken place ever in Sri Lanka but they will become a reality after Wednesday’s formation of the Sri Lanka [...]

Rotary chief, C’wealth leaders, UN chief in final push toward polio free world

Representing civil society and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary International President K. R. Ravindran joined UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Ministers of Australia, Nigeria and Pakistan and Foreign Ministers of Nigeria, Canada and Britain in a commitment to ending polio, a paralysing disease on the brink of global eradication, a news [...]

Ex-DIG and five others to hang for the murder of businessman

The once powerful Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Vass Gunawardena remained stoic as he was led out of the Colombo High Court premises under heavy guard on Friday afternoon after being handed down the death sentence for the murder of businessman Mohammed Shyam. Vass Gunawardena and his son Ravindu were among six persons sentenced [...]

Hike in smoke test fires up motorists

Hike in smoke test fires up motorists

The Budget proposal to increase the emmission test fees from January saw motorists queuing at emmission test centres. This was the scene outside a centre in Matara before the Government announced this week that the new fee hike would not apply to threewheelers and motorcycles.

Govt. leaves no stone unturned to save housemaid

The Government is awaiting a response to its legal appeal on behalf of the Sri Lankan housemaid who is to be stoned to death in Saudi Arabia, to decide on an appeal by the State, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said yesterday. The move came as Sri Lankan officials in Riyadh, continue [...]

Foreign judges for war crimes tribunals: BASL on the fence

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday took a non-committal stand on the issue of foreign judges sitting on war crimes tribunals expected to be set up soon. It stated that these must inspire the confidence of “stakeholders” and be within the country’s Constitution, a position the Government has also taken. A statement issued [...]

Well-known Gastroenterological Surgeon passes away

Renowned Gastroenterological Surgeon Prof. Dayasiri Fernando passed away yesterday in Colombo. Prof. Fernando pioneered the establishment of Gastroenterology in Sri Lanka and was the founder President and later patron of the Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy Society of Sri Lanka He was the former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura [...]

“Joint Opposition” cries foul over its nominal presence within COPE, PAC

Members of the “Joint Opposition” say a grave injustice has been done to them when naming members to the two oversight committees of Parliament, namely the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Matara District MP Dulles Allahaperuma said yesterday that, of the 24 members in each of the two committees, [...]

Indian army chief, Pakistani naval delegation in Colombo on goodwill mission

The Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh will arrive in Colombo this evening with a high powered delegation on a five day visit and will call on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the commanders of the three forces. The army chief who fought along with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) [...]

Climate change has come to stay, Earth getting warmer

Climate change has come to stay, Earth  getting warmer

Last week, it rained so hard in Mannar that the rain gauge notched 350mm (12 inches) within a day. The waterways overflowed. It was a downpour of tremendous proportions. But, beset like the rest of the world by climate change problems, it was hardly unusual for Sri Lanka. There is no sugarcoating it. Sri Lanka [...]

Fear and suspicion dog EPF-ETF merger

Fear and suspicion dog EPF-ETF merger

Plans to remove the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) from the Central Bank’s control and to merge it with the Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) could fail over a lack of public faith in the Government’s motives. The move — which has been tried and abandoned by previous administrations — is heavily dependent upon beneficiaries of the [...]

Lanka ready to help counter terror, Army Chief tells French envoy

Sri Lanka is willing to offer its expertise and share experiences with France as it faces terror threats, Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe de Silva said yesterday. The offer was made during a courtesy call last week on the Army Commander by the French Ambassador Jean-Marin Schuh in Colombo. While conveying his condolences over the [...]

Budget’s indirect taxes worry public

Budget’s indirect taxes worry public

Critics have hit back at Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake claimed “purse-friendly” Budget this week, saying it contained many indirect taxes, the effects of which would gradually come to roost. There is concern that some measures, including proposed controls on commodity prices, were not practical. Defending the Budget, Mr. Karunanayake said the government had to take [...]

Emmission tests under a cloud of smoke

Emmission tests under a cloud of smoke

The efficacy of emission tests on vehicles is in doubt with revelations that some results are faked and many state-run vehicles exempted from the test. At least 11 emission test centres have been suspended over allegations of handing out falsified test certificates and running defective computerised testing systems. The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) said it [...]

State attorneys, judicial officers must not succumb to external pressures: AG

State attorneys, judicial  officers must not succumb to external pressures: AG

Attorney General (AG) Y.J.W. Wijayatilake P.C. said that law officers of the State and Judicial Officers must remain resolute and strong in the face of criticism. “As we live in an era where the media and some segments of the public are quick to criticise judicial and quasi-judicial decisions, even when there is no basis [...]

Maritime stability a shared responsibility of coastal states: Admiral Dhowan

Speaking at The International Maritime Conference “Galle Dialogue” – an annual event organised by the Sri Lanka Navy, India’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan, said the Indian Navy was cognizant of the fact that maintaining stability in the maritime domain is a shared responsibility of all coastal states, which can best be achieved [...]

Falling branch kills man sheltering from the rain

Falling branch kills man sheltering from the rain

A 37-year-old man who was sheltering from the rain under a tree on Baseline Road, Colombo died after a branch fell on him causing fatal damage to his spinal cord, a coroner’s court was told this week. The deceased, Samantha Warnasiri an accountant attached to a shipping company from Kelaniya, was riding his motorbike with [...]

President says no need to import judges

President says no need to import judges

President Maithripala Sirisena has said that with judges of the calibre of one of the world’s most eminent jurists, C.G. Weeramantry, among us, he saw no reason for Sri Lanka to import judges — an apparent reference to the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution in Geneva. Making the keynote speech at a BMICH felicitation [...]

She wears my ring, say UK bird researchers

She wears my ring, say UK bird researchers

A bird found with a ring on Puttalam lagoon last week caused puzzlement over the link between the ring and the bird. The ring was etched with the words “British Museum London” and bore other markings that were meaningless to many people. One erroneous report stated, “London Museum bird accidentally lands in Sri Lanka with [...]

Bow-wow wows Army top brass

Bow-wow wows  Army top brass

Teesha the war dog flew 4000 feet through the air in the arms of master-parachutist Major Sujith Siranjeewa, earning the Commando officer an Asian record for his jump. Applause thundered around the Uwa Kuda Oya Commando Training School for several minutes as dog and man came safely to earth and a composed Teesha sat up [...]

Shall we get our act together at least in 2016?

Shall we get our act together at least in 2016?

The rainy season this year is coming to an end and the festive season is at hand. It is time to reflect on what we have to do and what we have to avoid as we welcome 2016. I believe that we have to take timely action to develop the country, raise the living standards [...]

Walawe water unfit for consumption

Walawe water unfit for consumption

Since 1930 statutory enactments have been enacted to protect river banks and reservations. Despite river bank reservations being clearly demarcated, a number of illegal settlements have sprung up on either side of the Walawe Ganga. Due to a lack of planning no provision was made to meet the requirements of population increases, and the number [...]

Misappropriation via scams, frauds dominate report

Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment During the years 2013 and 2014, misappropriation in excess of Rs113 million had taken place in 16 instances such as through the preparation of forged documents, taking action contrary to Procurement Guidelines, incurring losses due to irregular and excess payments, financial misappropriation for political and personal affairs, misuse of [...]

Serious financial irregularities, lapses within Central Bank, State-owned Banks

The Auditor General (AG) in his Annual Report for last year has noted several serious financial irregularities and lapses in the State-owned banking institutions including the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). Among these was the CBSL’s purchase of property in Brazil for Rs 122.81 million in 2014, for its future operations. However, the CBSL [...]

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