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Japan landslides prevention experts at work

Japan landslides prevention experts at work

In the aftermath of the floods and landslides, Japanese experts rushed to Sri Lanka to examine the cause of the landslides and how to prevent future calamities. The disaster risk reduction experts are seen inspecting the rocks at Baduraliya. Please see story on Page 10. Pic by Indika Handuwala

Corruption war: CIABOC to recruit 200 experts

Accountants, IT and banking experts to assist investigations By Ranjith Padmasiri The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) is to recruit professionals with experience in different specialised fields to conduct investigations. In a departure from the existing practice of only using Police officers, the new move will include the recruitment of experts [...]

Matara-Beliatta rail track: Lankan engineers signal danger

Matara-Beliatta rail track: Lankan engineers signal danger

By Namini Wijedasa The Chinese company extending the railway line from Matara to Beliatta is not qualified for the contract and follows practices and standards that seriously endanger the lives of those who will travel on that track, an influential engineers’ union has said. The project is being carried out by China National Machinery Import [...]

Qatar crisis: Lanka unlikely to be affected much

Sri Lanka is unlikely to be affected in the Qatar-Gulf spat unless the situation escalates into a protracted crisis that affects the sizeable migrant worker population there. Four Arab nations–Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt–cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, claiming the country supports ‘terrorist’ groups. Qatar has denied the allegation. [...]

World prices plunge, but Lankans pay more for sugar

Sugar prices rose by five to six rupees a kilo at retail outlets yesterday. In addition, there were increases in prices of sugar-based products. The price of a cup of milk tea rose from Rs 35 to Rs 40 while plain tea increased from Rs 15 to Rs 20.  This was the result of the [...]

Death of CEB worker: Coroner wants to question surgeon

A surgeon has been summoned before the Colombo Coroner’s Court after a Ceylon Electricity Board worker died following surgery. Thirty-nine-year-old Kumarasiri Ratnayake was operated on at the National Hospital on May 26 after he injured a nerve when he tried to carry a lamp post while on duty. He died on June 3. The inquest [...]

Drug war: Navy detects 5.5 kg of heroin in northern seas; Police make more arrests in Colombo

Drug war: Navy detects 5.5 kg of heroin in northern seas; Police make more arrests in Colombo

Law enforcement authorities continued to make significant detections of heroin with a large haul of the drug being discovered this week off the northern coast.  On Friday, Coast Guard personnel who were on patrol on board the ‘CG 41″ of the northern naval command, seized 5.5 kilograms (kg) of heroin floating10 nautical miles off Kankesanthurai. [...]

Threats to free media in South Africa: World’s Press calls for renewed solidarity

The Board of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), meeting in Durban, South Africa on 7th June 2017 ahead of the 69th World News Media Congress, has called on the South African government to ensure an environment that better protects media freedom and the independence of journalists, notably in the face of [...]

Ex-aviation minister, private secretary charged under Bribery Act

By Ranjith Padmasiri The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has filed a case against former Civil Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne and his private secretary on charges of causing financial loss to the Government. The CIABOC, in the plaint filed in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, alleges that Mr. Jayaratne had unlawfully [...]

Post-disaster scenes

Post-disaster scenes

 

Drug users constitute nearly half the number imprisoned in 2015

Nearly half of the convicted prisoners directly admitted to Sri Lanka’s jails in 2015 were users of narcotics, latest data compiled by the Dept of Census and Statistics reveals. This is a staggering total of 11,171 people or, 46.4% of the 24,086 convicts who entered prison last year. The majority of drug users (10,993) were [...]

FMM condemns Minister Amaratunga’s threatening, abusive conduct towards journalist

The Free Media Movement (FMM) strongly condemned the incidence of Tourism Minister and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga threatening and turning abusive on a journalist. The FMM, in a news release, stated that, such immature and violent behaviour is not favourable for a better media culture and a healthy democratic future in the country. The [...]

Two MPs of Sri Lankan parents voted to UK parliament

By Neville de Silva in London London-born Ranil Jayawardena whose father is of Sri Lankan origin, was re-elected from the Conservative Party to the British parliament from the North East Hampshire constituency with a healthy majority of almost 28,000 votes. Jayawardena who first won this seat at the 2015 general election got 65.6 per cent [...]

Watch out for melioidosis after disaster

Watch out for melioidosis after disaster

Red alert from expert Dr. Enoka Corea on this ‘great mimic’ of rat fever and TB  Early detection key to saving lives By Kumudini Hettiarachchi As flood waters recede, a strong red flag is being waved on the need to watch out for melioidosis. “Be alert for an increase in melioidosis cases,” urges Senior Lecturer [...]

NPC minister resigns to facilitate corruption probe against him

A Northern Provincial Council (NPC) minister yesterday temporarily stepped down from his portfolio until allegations of corruption, abuse of power and misuse of funds were fully probed. Education, Sports and Cultural Affairs Minister T. Gurukularaja conveyed his decision to the General Secretary of his party- the Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK)- Mavai Senathraja yesterday. He [...]

Dengue cases and deaths: Numbers up to now exceed all of last year’s

Dengue cases and deaths: Numbers up to now exceed all of last year’s

The number of dengue cases is on the rise, with a health official warning that it was out of control. According to Dengue Control Unit Consultant Community Physician Dr. Prechila Samaraweera, 59,760 cases have been reported so far this year, compared to 55,150 for the whole of last year with 150 deaths, compared to 97 [...]

Historic Thanthirimale decked in light for Poson

Historic Thanthirimale decked in light for Poson

The Wijeya Newspapers group lit up the historic Thanthirimale Raja Maha Viharaya and its sacred premises on Poson poya day, on Thursday, 8 June 2017.  The 3-day Aloka Pooja programme was sponsored by the WNL Group for the 14th consecutive year. Pictures show the resplendant Viharaya and sections of the large groups of devotees visiting [...]

Sharp sugar price dip in world market: No sweet news for Lankans

An increase in special levy has forced a price hike on sugar in the local market snowballing into upward revision of all sugar based products. A cup of tea with milk went up yesterday by Rs 5. The increase in commodity levy from Rs 13 to Rs 23 from Wednesday is despite world market prices [...]

Inept Govt. found woefully wanting in disaster management

Inept Govt. found woefully wanting in disaster management

Opposition decries Govt’s mealy mouthed response to its (mis)handling Adjournment Debate on the recent floods, landslides By Sandun Jayawardana A.ccusations that the Govt lacked a proper disaster response mechanism to respond to the recent flood and landslide devastation, were leveled from many quarters of the Opposition, during last Friday’s Adjournment Debate (AD) on the recent [...]

CMC blessed the collapsed Wellawatte building twice, inquiry finds

CMC blessed the collapsed Wellawatte building twice, inquiry finds

By Chrishanthi Christopher The authorities did not monitor or inspect the work on the Wellawatte building that collapsed, and there was no mechanism for checking the construction work, the industry regulator has found. The Colombo Municipal Council had also given blanket approval for the building — twice in the span of three years. Apart from [...]

How to cope with disaster: Lessons from Japan

How to cope with disaster: Lessons from Japan

The Japanese Disaster Relief Expert Team concluded that Sri Lanka’s infrastructure is not strong enough to withstand a rainfall such as that experienced last month. Member of the team, akeya Kimio, told the Sunday Times that the country had not invested in coping with disasters of such magnitude and disasters were to be expected when [...]

PTL’s CEO was secretly present at bond commission hearing

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe will give evidence tomorrow before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) probing the issue of treasury bonds from February 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. The AG is expected to be crossexamined regarding his assessment on the losses to the secondary market by the Central Bank’s controversial Treasury Bond issue under former [...]

Colombo city residents thrash municipal services breakdown

Colombo city residents thrash municipal  services breakdown

Residents of the capital city ranging from households to temples are demanding that the Colombo Municipal Council clear the mountains of garbage rapidly piling up on their streets and their doorsteps. People say the council officials are not even responding to calls. Since the 10-storey high Meethotamulla garbage mountain created by the CMC collapsed killing [...]

Protect unique Sinharaja with a strict eco-tourism plan

Protect unique Sinharaja with a strict eco-tourism plan

Local and foreign visitors roam this rainforest, home of elephant and leopard, without restriction By Kumudini Hettiarachchi A stunning image of a majestic elephant emerging from a mist-laden forest fills the screen…………a little while later along the same pathway tread a group of carefree tourists, both local and foreign. These are the ‘Vistas of Eastern [...]

‘Plastic rice’ claims put to the test to ease real fears

Lanka Sathosa says it held back stocks of rice and sent samples for testing to further investigate suspicions of ‘plastic rice’ following consumer complaints. Chairman T. M. K. B. Tennakoon, said four metric tonnes of rice out of 20 Mt had been held back. He said only a few people have complained that they suspect [...]

Drop in Lankans seeking jobs in West Asia

Drop in Lankans seeking jobs in West Asia

The number of Sri Lankans seeking jobs in West Asian countries is showing a gradual decline due to low salaries and poor labour rights, officials said, but job agencies put the blame on a minimum wage condition set by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment. According to SLBFE statistics, the number of Sri Lankans [...]

Picture Corner

Picture Corner

Pix by Amila Gamage, Indika Handuwala, Anurada Bandara, Sameera Weerasekera and Gamini Mahadura

Bitter protests over sugar cane

Bitter protests over sugar cane

Protests are growing over a private sugar cane cultivation in Dehigama, Rideemali-yadda, where lands from the Madhuru Oya forest will be allocated. Environmentalists and villagers conducted a religious ritual to protect the trees of the forest. According to their belief the trees cannot be felled after these religious observances are held. A large number of [...]

Nandikadal lagoon fish perished without oxygen, says NARA

Nandikadal lagoon fish perished without oxygen, says NARA

By Malaka Rodrigo Thousands of fish seen floating in the Nandikadal and another nearby lagoon in Mullativu this week died because of a lack of oxygen, experts say. Nandikadal is where a decisive battle against LTTE terrorism took place in May 2009. So the news of the dead fish triggered more curiosity. The Fisheries Ministry [...]

Cattle thieves get away with murder

By Kasun Warakapitiya Several instances of horrifying acts of animal cruelty, especially directedagainst cattle, have come to light recently. In Monnankulama at Galgamuwa, 11 cows including five pregnant animals had been slaughtered. This was the third such horror reported. The owners of the cattle that had been slaughtered claimed that although the police had investigated [...]

Students help less fortunate Students

Students help less fortunate Students

Relief for flood and landslide victims have been flowing in since the disaster occurred two weeks back. Students and teachers of Weeraketiya Primary school, seen carrying their donations, supporting the students of Pathegama Primary School in the Walasmulla education zone. Pix by W.A. Nelka

51,249 children, 5-17 years, never attended school: Survey Report

In Sri Lanka (SL), more than 51,000 children in the 5-17 years age group have never attended school, while 452,661 children were currently, not attending school, revealed a Child Activity Survey (CAS) – 2016 Report. The report was published by the Dept of Census & Statistics and the Ministry of National Policies & Economic Affairs, [...]

Relief package for students severely affected by the devastation- Education Min.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) will provide a relief package next week for students who were severely affected by the recent floods and landslides. The Education Minister has directed Principals and the Zonal Directors of Education (ZDE) to submit a report, this week, on such students. Accordingly, a special application form has been sent to [...]

Scholarships for disaster-orphaned students- WPEd.Min.

The Western Province (WP) Education Ministry (EM) will submit a proposal next week to introduce a scholarship programme for students who lost their parents in the recent floods and landslides. WPEM, Secretary S.G. Wijayabandu said information is now being collected about such students at Grama Niladhari level and at school level. Accordingly, the disaster-orphaned students [...]

School children’s relief items piles up at the MoE- CTU

Relief material collected by schoolchildren for disaster victims are stacked in school premises without any effective plan to distribute them to the affected areas, claims the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), yesterday. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said that, in response to the school authorities’ appeal to students in national and provincial schools, it is learned, [...]

Thembili Dansala by Mahasen MV, Kala Oya

Thembili Dansala by Mahasen MV, Kala Oya

The annual Thembili Dansala organised by the students of Mahasen Maha Vidyalaya, Kala Oya, took place this week. Pix by Karuwalagaswewa Jayaratna.

Sinhala Language Teaching Cell at Jawaharlal Nehru Uni.

The Govt intends to establish a Sinhala Language Teaching Cell at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and a Sri Lanka Cultural Centre (SLCC) in India. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has obtained Cabinet approval for the projects and is in discussions with the Indian Govt for this purpose. Once established, interested students in the SAARC countries [...]

“Smile thus last forever” Congress in Cosmetic Dentistry

“Smile thus last forever” Congress in Cosmetic Dentistry

Asian Regional Aesthetic Dental Congress – 2017 Vice Chancellor (VC)- University of Peradeniya (UoP), Prof. Upul B. Dissnayake, addressing the Asian Regional Aesthetic Dental Congress (ARADC) – 2017, as its Chief Guest, said that, organising the ARADC was to share and update new knowledge, which should be used to fill the gap between the demand [...]

MoE-British Council ‘Improving Teacher Education in Sri Lanka’

An Agreement was signed between the Ministry of Education (MoE) and The British Council (TBC) on May 9, to jointly implement ‘Improving Teacher Education in Sri Lanka’ (iTESL) project, as a part of TBC’s Education reform programme TRANSFORM. The TRANSFORM programme’s main aim is to educate young people with the knowledge, skills, creativity and opportunities [...]

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