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Rajapakshe files out after his removal

Rajapakshe files out after his removal

Scores of files being moved out in a trolley after Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe was removed from his portfolios and moved out of his offices last Wednesday. The outgoing minister said he would reveal a lot of what happened in government. Pic by Athula Devapriya

Young adults shun polls; drop in registration

Disillusionment among young eligible voters has led to a lower registration of electors, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday. “There has been a drop of some 18,000 persons from the Electoral Register for 2017 in the Greater Colombo area,” he told the Sunday Times. Most voters, Mr Deshapriya said, showed lack of interest in [...]

Proposal for foreign company to run expressways

The Government is considering a proposal to hand over the management and operation of existing and proposed expressways to an international company, Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella said.He told the Sunday Times that in terms of the proposal, the company would make an advance payment to operate the expressways for about 25 years and collect the [...]

More than 1,300 foreigners denied entry for security reasons

More than 1,300 foreigners were not allowed to enter Sri Lanka by Immigration authorities last year — many of them from four countries whose citizens are subjected to clearances from the State Intelligence Service (SIS) before being issued Sri Lankan visas, according to the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Pakistani, Afghan, Egyptian and Syrian citizens [...]

New powers for CIABOC: Cases directly in High Court

The power to file cases of bribery and corruption directly in High Courts instead of Magistrate courts and allow the Attorney General to prosecute such cases is among a series of amendments proposed to expedite cases, a senior official said. Sarath Jayamanna, Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), [...]

Getting drunk on food not drink; Lankan doctors unravel medical mystery

NEW YORK – The lead story in last Sunday’s Staten Island Advance recounted the unravelling of a medical mystery: How can you get drunk without imbibing even a drop of hard liquor? Described as “auto-brewery yeast syndrome” – a rare illness with symptoms that mimic intoxication — the medical condition has been identified by a [...]

SLT engineers threaten strike action, allege mismanagement and malpractice

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) engineers are threatening to strike on Wednesday, alleging waste, corruption, malpractice and bad investment decisions by the management. Telecommunication Engineers Union (TEU) said the majority of SLT’s 21 unions were expected to join the strike if the TEU’s demands are not met beforehand. The other unions were not available for comment. [...]

Organ transplant clinics to guide patients and relatives

Special clinics have been set up in the Kandy General Hospital to help patients awaiting organ transplants. Hospital Director R.H. Saman Ratnayake said the role of the clinics was not only to guide patients who required organ transplants but also to encourage people to donate the organs of their close relatives who were dying or [...]

The Colombo Defence Seminar begins tomorrow

The Colombo Defence Seminar will be declared open tomorrow at the Bandaranaike International Conference Hall (BMICH) . ‘Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends’ is the theme of the two-day event which will be attended by more than 800 including 200 foreign participants. The sessions will be addressed by 12 foreign and 15 local experts. Among those [...]

French tourist caught smuggling buffalo skull and horns

French tourist caught  smuggling buffalo skull and horns

A French tourist who tried to smuggle a buffalo skull and two horns out of the country, was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on Tuesday (22). The 56-year-old suspect was to board a flight to Dubai when he aroused suspicion during luggage checks by Security officers at the airport who informed Sri Lanka [...]

Heated words over kite ends in death of father and son

A dispute over a kite resulted in a father and son being hacked to death in Minuwangoda yesterday (26). Police identified the victims as Lal Premasiri De Silva (45) and his son Suraj Dhananjaya (20). According to police, the incident at Gamangedara in Minuwangoda, occurred between two families in the area, with a longstanding dispute [...]

Thalatha Athukorala country’s first ever female Minister of Justice

Minister of Foreign Employment, Thalatha Athukorala was sworn in as the new Justice Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena, on Friday (25). She becomes the country’s first ever female Minister of Justice. Minister of Sustainable Development & Wildlife, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, meanwhile, took oaths as the new Minister of Buddha Sasana that same day. The newly [...]

Dengue mosquito’s next assault looms, health officials predict more infections

Sri Lanka is facing yet another peak period attack from the deadly dengue mosquito in October and November in tandem with the expected rains. So far this year, the lives of whole families have been devastated. More than 143,00 people have been infected with dengue and 350 including children have lost their lives amid severe [...]

2 doctors arrested for attempted sexual assault

Two doctors attached to the Kegalle Hospital were arrested on Friday (25) night for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a woman. According to police, the incident had occurred at about 8.30 pm near a hotel in Kegalle town. In her complaint, the victim had stated that she lives near the hotel and had come to [...]

Land filling: SLLRDC Chairman explains why President’s order was not followed

The President’s Office has called for a report from the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC) over land filling close to a canal in Wattala, despite a presidential directive not to allow the filling of marshy lands in the Western Province in view of floods. Presidential Secretary Austin Fernando and Additional Secretary Sunanda Kariyapperuma had [...]

Rice prices to increase as price-controls come off

Rice prices are set to increase with the removal last week of price-controls on rice. A Pettah trader told us that the wholesale price of rice is Rs 75-92 in the market. He said the imported varieties of Nadu, Ponni and white raw rice were sold for Rs 65, 75 and 80, while local rice [...]

Two estate workers claim Minister has usurped their new homes

Two Hill Country Tamils have petitioned the Court of Appeal that they were maliciously deprived of new houses by Hill Country and New Villages Minister Palani Digambaram and others after their old line rooms were destroyed by fire. They state that the houses–built with their involvement in a joint effort led by the Plantation Human [...]

A just cause

A just cause

The Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind recently held a silent auction to raise funds for the school. The event is one of the main annual fundraisers held by the school to raise the Rs. 130 million needed for the year to fund the education of 550 students in the schools in Ratmalana and [...]

RTI Com hears 54 major appeals; state institutions ordered to reveal information

The Right to Information (RTI) Commission has concluded — or is in the process of finalising — fifty four (54) major appeals since the RTI Act came into force in February this year, with the first appeal heard in late April, a press release from the Commission states. The release issued on Thursday states that [...]

Relief delayed is relief denied- 3 months after the disaster

Relief delayed is relief denied- 3 months after the disaster

Three months after torrential rains caused devastating floods and landslides, many victims still await compensation for damages. Authorities are faced with the challenge of identifying suitable lands to settle thousands of displaced families who have either lost their homes to the disaster or, have to be relocated from designated ‘danger zones.’ The Disaster Management Ministry [...]

Can Trump turn his presidency around?

STANFORD – The United States’ economy is growing at a modest pace, with low unemployment and inflation. Normally, these conditions would strengthen a US president’s standing with the public. And yet Donald Trump’s approval rating is well below 40%, as one would expect to see during a recession. Of course, Trump’s true popularity may be [...]

Garbage crisis: Seoul searched and found a solution

Garbage crisis:  Seoul searched and found a solution

Perched atop a hillock in Seoul, Korea, is the picturesque Sunset Park. It is resplendent in spring, with glorious bursts of flowers and foliage. Winter brings with it a peaceful serenity while families with children teem there in summer to camp on its grassy plains, play rounds of golf or catch butterflies. There is even [...]

How student’s hi-tech plan to cheat in exam backfired

How student’s hi-tech plan to cheat in exam backfired

As more than 300,00 students studied hard to sit the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) examination at least one of them had a plan for an easier method to pass the exam. However, the student candidate’s plan came a cropper when an over-ambitious accomplice published a pamphlet boasting about his one-upmanship as a tuition teacher par excellence. [...]

Buyer in for uncertain ride on motorbike duty removal

The removal of the 90% excise duty for imported motorbikes of less than 150cc, seen as a gift to the motor vehicle importers, in particular the Japanese made by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, may not necessarily benefit potential buyers. One leading motor vehicle importer when contacted Saturday, tried to draw a distinction between Indian-made Japanese [...]

Sri Lanka Army’s Cormorant Strike VIII from Sept.3-24

The annual Joint Field Training Exercise- Cormorant Strike VIII- is scheduled to take place at Padaviya, Eastern Province and Hambantota, from September 3-24. The Exercise launched by the Sri Lanka Army for the eighth consecutive year, will have 2,675 officers of the Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force, including 62 foreign military personnel and [...]

Liquor addiction and malnutrition growing in N’Eliya district

The marked increase quoted for tenders to operate toddy taverns in the Nuwara Eliya district mirrors the growing liquor addiction of the population in the area. In the Kotmale Divisional Secretariat area, prices offered for licensing of toddy taverns have increased between Rs. 5 – 10 million over the past year. The highest bid being [...]

Infected dog trips up rabies-free campaign

Infected dog  trips up rabies-free campaign

Sri Lanka will not be able to declare it is a rabies free country by 2020 because a stray dog has tested positive this year. A country needs to be free from reports of dogs infected with the deadly virus for three consecutive years to claim it is rabies free, according to the World Health [...]

Rice-growing period in peril without seasonal rains

Rice-growing period in peril without seasonal rains

Water reservoirs in the country have nearly dried up and this will mean cultivation in the next rice-planting season will be a challenge, barring rains in the next few months. In the 2015-2016 Maha season only 756,000 hectares were sown, less than in the same growing season in 2014-2015. Out of this, only 743,000 hectares [...]

More teeth for traffic laws to rein in errant three-wheeler drivers

More teeth for traffic laws to rein in errant three-wheeler drivers

In a move to ensure the safety of three-wheeler passengers, drivers and other road-users, amendments to the Motor Traffic Act are to be presented in Parliament in the coming weeks by the Transport Minister, officials said. National Council for Road Safety Chairman Sisira Kodagoda told the Sunday Times that the amendments, which were still in [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Pix by Amila Gamage, Priyantha Wickramarachchi, Gamini Mahadura and Karuwalagaswewa Jayarathna

The destruction of ancient tanks

The destruction of ancient tanks

Government restrictions placed on the mining and sale of sand and earth has created a big demand for this resource especially at new development projects. Resultantly the mining and sale of these two products has become a major business. In an unfortunate turn of events the mega bucks this commodity fetches has led to strip [...]

New native freshwater fish found in Suriyakanda stream

New native freshwater fish found in Suriyakanda stream

A Sri Lankan researcher has revealed a new species of loach, a freshwater fish, found in a stream in Suriyakanda. Loaches are bottom-dwelling freshwater fish that live in natural streams as well as rivers, the researcher notes. During a fish survey in Suriyakanda two years back, researcher Hiranya Sudasinghe found a fish that looked different [...]

Polythene industry trying to buy time, while standards body is ill-equipped

Polythene industry trying to buy time, while standards body is ill-equipped

After intense lobbying by the polythene and plastics industry a grace period may yet be given to manufacturers. An official of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is hopeful that a grace period will be given to the polythene industry to make the transition to biodegradable polythene. Ministry secretary, Chintaka S Lokuhetti, said he hopes [...]

More than 100 unauthorised structures in Kolonnawa to come down

More than 100 unauthorised structures in Kolonnawa to come down

Part of operation to minimise flooding, says SLLRDC More than 100 unauthoried structures within the Kolonnawa electorate have been identified for demolition, a senior official of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC) said. The move is part of an ongoing operation to minimise the risk of flooding during heavy rains by pulling [...]

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