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Clashes erupt as Govt. launches southern development projects

Clashes erupt as Govt. launches southern development projects

From Sandun Jayawardana in Hambantota The launch of the Government’s ambitious development projects in the Hambantota district yesterday was marred by violent clashes between rival groups and police, leaving at least 22 people injured. The disturbances took place as the Government was marking the inauguration of the “Sri Lanka-China Logistics and Industrial Zone’ within the [...]

SLFP wants executive presidency retained and Sirisena to contest

By our Political Editor The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) wants to retain the executive presidency and has decided that Maithripala Sirisena should be the party’s candidate at the 2020 presidential election. The unanimous decision came at a meeting of SLFP ministers just after last Tuesday’s weekly ministerial session. It was summoned by President Sirisena [...]

Italian tyre giant distances itself from big Horana project

By Namini Wijedasa An Italian company that was reported to be investing in a US$ 75 million (Rs 11 billion) tyre production plant in Sri Lanka under the Board of Investment (BOI) has distanced itself from the project. Marangoni is only involved indirectly in the possible US$75 million investment in Sri Lanka, the company says [...]

SL wants written assurance of ban on bottom trawling, India not ready

By Damith Wickremasekera Sri Lanka has sought written assurances from India that its fishermen were moving away from the destructive illegal fishing practice of ‘bottom trawling’ in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters.This assurance must be given if India wants Sri Lanka to consider the return of the poaching Indian vessels already detained here. But the Indian [...]

Tallest Christmas tree still on a gum tree

The “world’s tallest Christmas tree” that Sri Lanka built has still not been evaluated by Guinness World Records. The reason: The application was lodged in the wrong category. It was 10.07am on August 18, 2016, when Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga cut out a square of earth on Galle Face Green and laid the [...]

BIA operations on smooth course, says Airport official

BIA operations on smooth course, says Airport official

While resurfacing work on the main runway of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) began on Friday, flights and passenger movement operations were going smoothly, a Duty Manager at Airport & Aviation Services said. “We have employed additional staff to reduce congestion and so far we have been managing the situation effectively,” the manager said. He [...]

Lester’s and Sumitra’s abode of 47 years sold without their knowledge

Lester’s and Sumitra’s abode of 47 years sold without their knowledge

Nonagenarian and internationally acclaimed film director Lester James Peries’ and his wife Sumitra Peries’ days at the residence they have occupied for more than 47 years may be numbered after its owner sold it to a property developer without their knowledge. The couple had been living in the house on Lester James Peries Mawatha (formerly [...]

APPRECIATION: Judge Christie Weeramantry

APPRECIATION: Judge Christie Weeramantry

Judge Christie Weeramantry World renowned Sri Lankan legal luminary stood for world peace and justice It is with great sadness that I learned of the demise of Judge Christie Weeramantry, a friend and a mentor. In his passing, the international community has lost a towering legal mind who served as an exceptional judge, eminent jurist, [...]

Easy win for Colombo FC

Colombo FC scored an easy 3-0 win over Solid SC Anurdhapura in the Dialog Champions League Super Eight Round at the Kelaniya Football Complex yesterday. The Sri Lanka Football Federation is conducting the tournament. The winners of this competition will receive a cash prize of Rs. 700.000. Matches of the Super Eight Round will be [...]

Bird lovers flock together in the hills

Bird lovers flock together in the hills

Many bird lovers have been spotted in Nuawara Eliya this season on the lookout for migratory birds.

71 out of 100: Yahapalanaya’s 100-Day Programme in retrospect

71 out of 100: Yahapalanaya’s  100-Day Programme in retrospect, a website dedicated to monitor the performance of Parliamentarians, under an initiative of Verite Research, has given a score of 71% to the Maithripala Sirisena administration, based on its latest assessment on the promises fulfilled in terms of the Government’s first 100 Days programme.   The report states that, despite failures to fulfil several of [...]

Sugar crisis likely, huge stocks stuck at port

 Sri Lanka could face a serious sugar shortage soon due to delays in the customs clearance of around 3,000 containers carrying stocks, sugar importers warned. The containers have been held up at the Colombo Port for months because of suspicion after  detection of containers carrying cocaine in sugar cargo. The delays were also due to [...]

Obama appoints Lankan to key administrative post

Obama appoints Lankan to key administrative post

US President Barak Obama has appointed a Sri Lankan to a key administrative post. Dr. Tissa Illangasekare was named a member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. Dr. Illangasekare is a Distinguished Endowed Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Centre for the Experimental Study of Subsurface Environmental Processes at [...]

CEB in emergency power purchases to offset hydro-power shortfall

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is to go in for emergency power purchases to overcome probable shortfall in hydro-power generation, said Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, Dr B.M.S. Batagoda. He told the Sunday Times that, as an immediate measure, the CEB would start purchasing power from three private power plants, by offering [...]

Perpetual Treasuries total assets go up to Rs. 23 b.

Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL), the Primary Dealer (PD) in government securities, who is at the centre of the Treasury Bond (TB) controversy, has upped its after-tax profits from Rs 5.1 billion for the year ending March last year, to Rs 6.8 billion by end September 2016. This puts PTL’s total assets by September 2016, at [...]

‘Come, buy our tickets’

‘Come,  buy our tickets’

Even though lottery sales agents called off a three day strike on Friday, many sales outlets remained shut forcing employees of the National Lotteries Board (NLB) to become salesmen. The strike was called off on Friday after assurances from President Maithripala Sirisena that their grievances would be addressed, a spokesman for the All Ceylon Lottery [...]

GSP Plus: EU to consider concessions next week

President Maithripala Sirisena announced this week that the European Union will grant Sri Lanka the GSP+ concession next week. However, this recommendation of the European Commission will still have to be put to the European Council and European Parliament which will check that all of the conditions imposed on Sri Lanka have been met. The [...]

Tax hikes short-circuit electric car sales, drive investor into debt

Tax hikes short-circuit electric car sales, drive investor into debt

The Government has revised taxes on electric vehicles four times within two years. It has destabilised an emerging market, flung the main importer of electric cars into deep debt and is in direct conflict with efforts by other players within the administration to promote eco-friendly vehicles in the country. In January 2015, shortly after President [...]

Murdercycles revel in the killing zone

Murdercycles revel  in the killing zone

Thousands are riding without licences, they commit tens of thousands of traffic offences and Sri Lanka’s motorcyclists have gained the dubious honour of being among the leading killers on roads across the island. Motorbike riders are responsible for causing the deaths of at least three people every day. Many who die are the riders themselves. [...]

Little hope for the Uma Oya homeless

Little hope for the  Uma Oya homeless

Thousands of fearful people in Bandarawela who abandoned their precious homes after watching their dreams fall to pieces in the wake of the much-maligned Uma Oya hydropower and irrigation project bankrolled by Iran, may be re-settled on tea estates. Yet more families became displaced people in their own homeland this week as a result of [...]

Passive euthanasia exists as good medical practice

Passive euthanasia exists as good medical practice

The focus was turned to euthanasia, assisted-suicide or mercy killing, as doctors took to the debating floor to look at an issue the country has put on the back-burner. Organised by the ‘Mid-country Psychiatrists’ at the Tourmaline Hotel in Kandy, the friendly verbal sparring event whether Sri Lanka should legalise euthanasia or not, was preceded [...]

Construction industry faces worker crisis amidst the boom

Construction industry faces worker crisis amidst the boom

Large scale development projects in post war Sri Lanka have taken the construction industry by surprise, but job vacancies for construction workers are going a begging. The building industry, a sector that contributes almost 10 per cent to the country’s GDP is seeking workers from neighbouring countries to fill in these vacancies, the Board of [...]

Projects endanger remaining forest cover

Projects endanger  remaining forest cover

Forestry officials responding to recent reports of large-scale destruction of land in Wilpattu National Park deny such damage, while environmentalists charge that deforestation is widespread in the country. The Conservator General of Forests, Anura Sathurusinghe, denied the existence of new large-scale clearances of forest cover around Wilpattu. “We have taken action against a party who [...]

Few mighty millers accused of rigging rice market

Few mighty millers accused  of rigging rice market

Farmer groups and small-scale paddy millers are accusing heavyweights of manipulating the rice market. They say large-scale millers are gaining control by buying up stocks released by the Government. Brokers are buying paddy from Government stores on behalf of large-scale operators, while some are using fraudulent documents to claim they are small-scale millers. All-Island Farmers [...]

Sirisena’s presidency travails amidst dilemmas of a double-headed Govt.

Sirisena’s presidency travails amidst  dilemmas of a double-headed Govt.

Two years ago today, Maithripala Sirisena contested Mahinda Rajapaksa for the Presidency.  Few expected him to win. Sirisena won, defying opinion polls, political pundits and astrological predictions. President Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in the very next day in a chaotic public ceremony at Independence Square, only hours after the final results were announced. Immediately afterwards, [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Buttala: Jumbo going the wrong way

National interest vs private profit

National interest vs private profit

Police recently uncovered the unauthorised excavation of soil from an irrigation tank in Sigiriya by a contractor whose job it was to strengthen   the bund of the tank. Instead of transporting soil from areas outside of the tank area to reinforce the bund, the contractor who had obtained Rs 1.5 million from the Department of [...]

Nuwara Eliya caught in big freeze

Nuwara Eliya caught in big freeze

The Nuwara Eliya District has been subject to suddenly varying weather patterns with extremely high temperatures during the day freezing temperatures at night. This sudden fluctuation in temperature is posing problems to residents. Among the worst affected are the homeless, those involved in providing security services and three-wheeler drivers. We picture some of the strategies [...]

NCP farmers affected by changing weather patterns

NCP farmers affected by  changing weather patterns

Over the past year, hundreds of farmers in the north central province suffered huge financial losses caused by changing weather patterns. Farmers say they were initially affected by unusually heavy rains which flooded their fields. The floods were followed by a prolonged drought. The changing weather patterns over the year they said, had completely upset [...]

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