News

Home » News

Ministry admits it was not prepared for disaster

Ministry admits it was not prepared for disaster

The Disaster Management Ministry exposed its unpreparedness to deal with a disaster situation, admitting it lacks stocks of basic items such as blankets, life jackets, umbrellas, torches or even boxes of matches to distribute in such situations. In response to this week’s flood havoc that crippled the nation, the Ministry of Disaster Management was in [...]

Amid the floods, threat of water-borne diseases

In the aftermath of the flood havoc, the Health Ministry has directed Medical Officers of Health (MOH) to be vigilant about water-borne diseases and take preventive measures. Health Services Deputy Director General Harsha de Silva said that in the flood-affected districts, the people needed to be cautious about their health as skin diseases, dysentery and [...]

Flexible working hours from July 1

By Damith Wickremasekara Plans to introduce flexible working hours for Battaramulla division public servants will begin from July 1, an official said. Under the scheme, public sector employees in Battaramulla will be able to start work between 7.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. and finish between 3.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. after completing a shift of [...]

President gives blank cheque for flood relief efforts

Officials told to ignore circulars and spend funds President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday directed District Secretaries in flood-affected areas to ignore circulars and spend funds on relief measures to those affected. He told a conference at the Kalutara District Secretariat that his directive should apply to all affected districts. The meeting came just hours after Mr. [...]

Lanka imposes jail term for bottom trawling

A two-year jail term or a fine will be imposed on those found guilty of bottom trawling in Sri Lankan territorial waters, the government has decided. For this purpose, an amendment to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act was gazetted this week. It seeks to prohibit fishing operations utilising trawl nets towed by motorised fishing [...]

USAID slashes aid to Lanka by 92 percent

Sri Lanka will receive only US$ 3.38 million for its programmes here from the USAID in the 2018 budget — a drop of 92 percent when compared with the 2016 account summary published in the latest Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ) for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes. The CBJ is the annual [...]

Warnings ignored

Warnings ignored

Despite repeated warnings by the police and the authorities, people continued to visit flood-affected areas, as seen in this picture taken in Tangalle yesterday. Pic by Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi.

Yapa waxes eloquent while disaster overwhelms ministry

Yapa waxes eloquent while disaster overwhelms ministry

While institutions under his purview were grappling feebly with the rising death and destruction from floods and landslides, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa was in Mexico–talking about how Sri Lanka has put in place a programme to ‚Äúminimise casualties, damage to infrastructure, and economic losses‚ÄĚ in natural calamities. ‚ÄúThe Ministry of Disaster Management has [...]

Charulatha’s Stories wins 2016 Gratiaen

Charulatha’s Stories wins 2016 Gratiaen

The 2016 Gratiaen Prize was awarded to Charulatha Abeysekara Thewarathanthri for Stories at an event in Colombo last evening. The H.A.I. Goonetileke Award for translation was awarded to Aditha Dissanayake’s translation of Batuwangala Rahula Thera’s Ran Karanduwa. The Gratiaen Prize annually rewards creative writing in English by a Sri Lankan citizen resident in Sri Lanka. [...]

Appoint Information Officers as required by RTI Act: Commission

Commission pleased, encouraged by public’s increasing use of RTI The Right to Information Commission (RTIC) has called on Public Authorities (PA) who have yet to comply, to abide by the mandatory statutory duty, to name and publicise the appointment of Information Officers (IO) and Designated Officers (DO), as required by the Act. The RTIC which [...]

Dengue soaring: Two major campaigns from Thursday

The dengue death toll rose to 130 this week with more than 50,000 cases reported islandwide so far this year, according to the National Dengue Control unit. Most cases have been reported from 12 districts — Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Kurunegala, Puttalam, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Jaffna, Batticaloa and Trincomale. Dengue Control Unit Consultant Community Physician [...]

MASCOM special award for Daily Mirror journalist

MASCOM special award for Daily Mirror journalist

Lakshman Kadirgamar Journalism scholarship winner 2016-2017 Piyumi Fonseka of the Daily Mirror received her internship certificate and a special award for securing the highest score in investigative reporting at Friday’s convocation at MASCOM, the Kerala based media academy. MASCOM is managed by one of India’s largest multi-media houses, the Malayala Manorama Group and the academy [...]

Wake up, JVP tells Govt., before country heads towards another bloodbath

Amidst a surge of attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned business establishments across the country, in the past few weeks, the JVP urged the government to awaken from its slumber and arrest the spiralling number of racial and communal acts of violence. “The government should have acted fast to nip this in the bud but what [...]

Diplomatic community voices concern over attacks on minorities

The Government has come under fire from civil society groups and Muslims for its failure to act fast in checking attacks on mosques and shops owned by Muslims in recent weeks. This was also debated in parliament on Tuesday, with Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake blaming police sluggishness for the state of affairs, when [...]

Deluge and disaster

Deluge and disaster

Tri forces spearheading rescue operations struggle to reach survivors cut off by flood waters President chairs emergency meeting soon after arriving from Australia People living along riverbanks asked to leave to safer ground as rivers swell in spite of rains easing on Saturday By Sandun Jayawardana Despite an easing of torrential rains yesterday, rescue teams [...]

Getting ready to leave it all behind

Getting ready to leave it all behind

With bitter lessons from last year, people take precautions, heed warnings to evacuate Hundreds of vehicles lined up towards Colombo on Friday as people in Wellampitiya, Angoda, Kelanimulla, and Ambatale started leaving their homes as the Kelani river kept on rising with water spilling into the villages. The Sunday Times team witnessed motorists and people [...]

Living with landslides: Community-based programme teaches combat techniques

Living with landslides: Community-based programme teaches combat techniques

By Malaka Rodrigo As landslide deaths become increasingly regular in Sri Lanka during heavy rains, a community-based science programme offers a life-saving mechanism. Getting to know about an imminent landslide even a second earlier could make a big difference, but often the early signs are ignored. To address this issue, an ambitious programme was launched [...]

Deadly dengue mosquitoes learn ‘dirty’ tricks

Deadly dengue mosquitoes learn ‘dirty’ tricks

They are now breeding in polluted water bodies in urban areas, including soakage pits, septic tanks and even domestic run-offs studies show Need to revise the vector-control methods to include the ‚Äėtradition al‚Äô as well as ‚Äėnewly-found‚Äô breeding grounds By Kumudini Hettiarachchi The ‚Äėdealers‚Äô of dengue bringing illness and death to many a man, woman [...]

Vegetable prices balloon in the wake of shrinking yields

Vegetable prices balloon in the wake of shrinking yields

Falling crop yields have triggered a drastic rise in vegetable prices in Colombo and in remote hamlets. Prices of some vegetables have soared past Rs 200 a kilo. This in turn has prompted hoteliers and suppliers of packed lunches for working people to raise retail prices. In a market in Delgoda, Kelaniya, a road side [...]

Civil Society opposes Cabinet decision for 6,000 prefab houses in NE

Civil Society opposes Cabinet decision for 6,000 prefab houses in NE

Resettlement Ministry proposes Rs 2.1m steel prefab house while building Rs 800,000+ masonry house for itself By Namini Wijedasa Civil Society (CS) groups this week opposed a Cabinet decision to build 6,000 prefabricated (prefab) houses for war-affected families in the North and East, saying the people do not want them and that, the project will [...]

Kalutara, Piliyandala shootings suspects escape to India by boat

Kalutara, Piliyandala shootings suspects escape to India by boat

Dubai-based drug kingpin ‚ÄúMatara Madush‚ÄĚ masterminded shootings According to investigations conducted so far, key suspects involved in the shooting of Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officers in Piliyandala (May 9) and the Kalutara prison bus attack (February 27), had fled to India by boat, while attention was focused on the airports. In the Kalutara prison bus [...]

Comatose local bodies paralyse public services

Comatose local bodies paralyse public services

Numerous services that the people expect from their local officials are not being delivered — the result of delays in holding the long overdue elections to 335 councils. Approvals for building of homes and garbage collection are only a few of these services that are not being carried out. In Valikamam, north of Jaffna, where [...]

Sinharaja elephant attacks raise villager fury

Sinharaja elephant attacks raise villager fury

By Malaka Rodrigo Sri Lanka‚Äôs biodiversity hotspot, Sinharaja, is home to two elephants ‚Äď but pressure is mounting to translocate them after one killed two villagers. Last week, some angry villagers demanded the elephants be removed as a man and a woman were killed in Cypresswatte village. The incident happened on May 16. The woman [...]

Roadkill leads to discovery of burrowing snake

Roadkill leads to discovery of burrowing snake

A new burrowing snake was added to the list of species endemic to Sri Lanka when International Day of Biological Diversity was marked on Monday, strengthening the country‚Äôs image as a biodiversity hotspot. A new non-venomous ‚Äėshield tailed snake‚Äô that lives under the soil was discovered from the Badulla District. The scientific paper describing this [...]

Parliament vs Supreme Court: Speaker Anura Bandaranaike’s historic ruling

Parliament vs Supreme Court: Speaker Anura Bandaranaike’s historic ruling

By Nihal Seneviratne A few days after Anura Dias Bandaranaike had assumed office as Speaker, I had a phone call from him asking me to work on his staff. I thanked him very much but declined. But he was persistent, calling me frequently over the next few days insisting that I work with him as [...]

‚ÄėChallenger‚Äô at RAMA mooring

‚ÄėChallenger‚Äô at RAMA mooring

Unobtrusively, ‚ÄėChallenger‚Äô has glided along underwater on a journey that began in November last year, to pause awhile this week at a RAMA mooring, before smoothly and silently starting its next lap checking out the mysteries of the ocean, before arriving at its final destination of Sri Lanka in mid-September. It is expected to reach [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Pix by Amila Gamage, Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa anda Anuradha Bandara

Mosquitoes in control

Mosquitoes in control

The Dambulla Central Bus Halt and its surroundings have become a breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes. State lands in the vicinity of the bus halt being used as garbage dumping grounds has worsened the problem. The number of dengue patients reported from shops located in the vicinity of the bus halt adds veracity to the [...]

Peradeniya University Convocation

Peradeniya University Convocation

The University of Peradeniya held its Convocation this week. The Chancellor’s Procession in progress with Vice Chancellor Prof Lakshman Wijeweera and other Academics. Pix by L.B. Senaratne.

Parents to monitor students’, school activities online: WP Ed.Min.

Parents of students in the Western Province (WP) will soon be able to monitor the progress and status of the respective Education zones and schools in their area, online, in a novel programme by the WP Ministry of Education. “Under this scheme, parents will be able to visit a website and monitor the progress of [...]

Loan enables non-State Undergraduates to teach as well- MoHE

The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) has sought clearance from the Treasury for a scheme where GCE (Advanced Level) qualified persons will be employed as teachers, while pursuing a Degree, said MoE Additional Secretary (Administration), P.G. Jayasinghe. The scheme was proposed earlier, but the MoHE has sought approval only now, with the objective of implementing [...]

Recruitment of graduate teachers: Upcountry Tamil parties at loggerheads

The rift between upcountry Tamil political parties over filling vacancies in Science and Maths subjects in upcountry schools, deepened this week. Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Central Provincial Council (CPC) Member K. Kanagaraja said there are more than 1,000 graduates without jobs in Tamil areas in the upcountry. “During the Tamil-Sinhala New Year period, I went [...]

State Universities’ intake up from 83,778 (2015) to 86,061 (2016)

The number of new students admitted to State universities increased to 28,952 last year, from 25,676 in 2015, the latest Central Bank (CB) Report revealed. Accordingly the number of undergraduates reached 86,061 in 2016, from 83,778 in 2015. In addition, 9 new Faculties, 34 new Depts. and 3 new Centres were established within the State [...]

Undue protests at self-requested Principal’s transfer: MoE

Principal of Bandaranaike College, Gampaha, D.M.L.P. Dissanayake, has been transferred, in compliance with a request he made to the Ministry of Education (MoE) in October last year, to be moved out of his position. Hence, he has been released from the Central Education Service to the Provincial Education Service, with the permission of the Public [...]

75th Convocation of Peradeniya University

75th Convocation of Peradeniya University

The new Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya (UoP), Prof K.M. de Silva, presided over its 75th Convocation for 3,404 Graduates. Prof K.M. de Silva graduated from the UoP, and later, was its Professor of History. The Faculty of Arts with 930 Graduates had the largest number Conferred, while the lowest was from the Faculty [...]

Al Manar International Girls‚Äô School’s Golden Awards

Al Manar International Girls‚Äô School’s Golden Awards

The Golden Awards Ceremony of Al Manar International Girls’ School, was held recently at the Tower Hall, Maradana, under the patronage of its Director- Shazmin Shariff and its Head Mistress- Roshana Hussain. Ambassador of The Republic of Cuba, Juana Elena Ramos Rodriguez, was the Chief Guest, while Attorney-at-Law, Rasheed M. Imtiyaz was Guest of Honour. [...]

Access to UN info’ via its Digital Library

The United Nations (UN) now permits access to explore UN documents, votes, speeches, public domain publications and more online. The UN Digital Library (UNDL) platform allows those interested in information and news related to the UN, digitally, free of charge. With almost 900,000 records and counting, the system incorporates content presented in various “stand-alone databases” [...]

St. Anthony’s College, Wattala, Jubilee Anniversary

St. Anthony’s College, Wattala, Jubilee Anniversary

The Jubilee Anniversary ceremony of St. Anthony’s College, Wattala, was held recently with the participation of the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and the Minister of Tourism Development & Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith laid the foundation stone for the new school entrance and blessed the newly built quadrangle. The ceremony [...]

Chamathya receives ‘Emerging Young Leaders Award 2017′

Chamathya receives ‘Emerging Young Leaders Award 2017′

Chamathya Fernando of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, was honoured with the ‘Emerging Young Leaders Award 2017′, organised by the US Dept of State. Chamathya, a past pupil of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, coordinated the ‚ÄúStop the Violence‚ÄĚ Campaign of Sri Lanka Girls Guide Association (SLGGA) and has represented Sri Lanka and SLGGA at various UN [...]

Kotahena Good Shepherd Convent’s Student Parliament inaugurated

Kotahena Good Shepherd Convent’s Student Parliament inaugurated

The inauguration ceremony of the Student Parliament of Good Shepherd Convent, Kotahena, was held on Friday (26) at the school premises, with Lecturer in Politics & International Studies at the Open University, Nawala, Dr Athula Siri Samarakoon, as Chief Guest. The chief posts of the Parliament are Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Prime Minister, Leader of the [...]

CEWET Scholarships now open to Applicants

Applications have been invited from children of Estate Workers’ who are Estate residents, for award of scholarships by theCeylon Estate Workers‚Äô Education Trust (CEWET). These scholarships are available for GCE Advanced Level, Undergraduate courses, and for students undergoing Vocational/Technical courses. Students with a minimum of 6 Credit passes at the GCE Ordinary Level or, passed [...]

Pakistani student delegation in Sri Lanka

Pakistani student delegation in Sri Lanka

An 8-member student delegation, along with their teachers, from The City School, Lahore, led by Mrs Shazia Zahid, is on a visit to Sri Lanka from May 24-28. The students visited the High Commission of Pakistan today, for a briefing. The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Dr Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra, while [...]

Foundation for 3-storied building at Sri Dakshinaramaya

Foundation for 3-storied building at Sri Dakshinaramaya

The foundation-laying ceremony for a 3-storied building at the Sri Dakshinaramaya at Temple Lane Colombo 10, was held recently. Provincial Councillor and initiator of the Pragna Pradeepa concept to assist schoolchildren, Jayantha de Silva, being received at the ceremony.

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.