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Govt. gobbles money from EPF: AG

The Auditor General has pointed out several accounting deficiencies and management inefficiencies in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), including failure to credit millions of rupees into members’ personal accounts. The disclosures are contained in the AG’s report on the financial statements of the EPF. These statements were included in the Fund’s 2010 report, which was [...]

No lessons learnt, no reconciliation as dons’ strike continues

No lessons learnt, no reconciliation as dons’ strike continues

The prolonged strike by academic staff has seriously affected all universities as seen in this picture where four Sri Jayawardhanapura University students languish in an empty lecture hall with nothing to do and no one to teach them. Pic by Mangala Weerasekera

SLMC sticks with UPFA, major storm in party

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has decided to contest the upcoming provincial council elections with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), sparking off a rift within the party. A high command meeting of the party at its headquarters Darussalam saw a stormy session with General Secretary Hassan Ali and legal advisor Nizam Kariyappar walking [...]

JHU pulls out of PC polls

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has decided to opt out of the upcoming provincial council elections on the grounds that it was not the time for elections when people were undergoing economic difficulties and hit by drought. JHU spokesman Nishantha Warnasinghe said the party’s position had been conveyed to the UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha [...]

Hi-tech measures to stop job swindles in the Middle East

Sri Lankans seeking jobs in the Middle East will now face electronic fingerprinting and biometric scanning prior to departure to crack down on rampant fraud and other irregularities in the recruitment trade, a senior official said yesterday. Scanning devices would be installed at the departure and arrival areas of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and [...]

Enter Swiss firm as CPC’s overpriced oil deal backfires

A Swiss-based company has emerged to negotiate a disputed payment deal the UAE-based Fujairah Petroleum Company had signed with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to supply up to 160,000 tons of low sulphur oil. Last week the Sunday Times reported that the government agency stands to lose at least Rs. 1 billion from the deal [...]

Govt. could help Lankan jailed in Saudi once charges are framed: SLFEB

Government would consider legal assistance to Sri Lankan migrant employee G.G. Thungasiri once charges are framed against him, a Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau official told the Sunday Times.Deputy General Manager D.D.P. Senanayake said the Saudi authorities were investigating the matter and charges had not been framed as yet. He said legal assistance would be [...]

Trinco Port area open for investment: Dy. Minister

More than 4,000 acres of land at the Trincomalee Port is available to the private sector for investment projects, Ports Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said. He said in addition to Sri Lankan companies, Indian, Singaporean and Swiss companies have already made offers for a range of investments to the tune of US dollars 2,518 million [...]

TNA’s Sumanthiran drops opposition to Govt.’s land notice

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran has withdrawn an application in the Court of Appeal, challenging the Government’s controversial land circular for the North and East. This was on the basis of an undertaking by the Government not to implement provisions of the circular. Mr. Sumanthiran said he reserved the right to file a [...]

Govt. says prices slashed, but traders stick to old prices

Despite a Government decision to slash the prices of several commodities with immediate effect, traders both wholesale and retail are still clinging on to the old price tags, the Sunday Times learns. The traders claimed they would have to dispose of the old stocks before reverting to the new price list formulated by the Government, [...]

‘Nobody’s’ children together again

‘Nobody’s’ children together again

Two siblings, Tharusha Lakshan (9) and Chalanika Kaveesha (2) from Badulla who would have been separated from each other for the rest of their lives are together again following the intervention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The fate of the children unfolded when their father, R. D. Thilakarathne was arrested for killing a relative, 37 year-old [...]

Major parties finalise nomination lists as closing date nears

Major parties finalise nomination lists as closing date nears

With nominations for the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provinces due to close on Thursday, the UPFA has decided to field its former chief miniterial candidates to lead their campaigns, while the UNP and the JVP have picked its leaders in the provinces to spearhead their campaigns. Interviews being conducted at the UNP headquarters Srikotha [...]

Hapless PHIs fight losing battle

Hapless PHIs fight losing battle

The killing of a Public Health Inspector (PHI) and a series of reported assaults and threats have brought into focus the safety of these officers and the reasons behind such attacks. As the dengue death toll rose to 85, with 17,000 cases reported during the first seven months of this year, the Health Ministry declared [...]

Guinea pig rats fed papaya leaf juice concentrate show intriguing results

Rat-tests at the University of Colombo’s Department of Zoology have established a strong link between a “significant” platelet count rise and the juice-concentrate of a particular variety of papaya leaf.The research also found that rats given the leaf-concentrate recorded an increase not only in white blood cells (WBC) but also red blood cells (RBC), with [...]

Over 100 mobile phones recovered islandwide from prisoners

More than 100 mobile phones were recovered this week from raids carried out by prison authorities in Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Galle, Colombo and Negombo prisons, Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera told the Sunday Times yesterday. He said that, among the phones recovered, one was a satellite phone and four 3G phones. “We were surprised at the [...]

Rains in hydro power catchment areas bring some relief: Met. Dept.

The prevailing south-west monsoon is expected to bring rains to the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central Provinces and to the Galle and Matara districts, according to reports from the Meteorology Department. Duty Forecaster Ananda Jayasinghearachchi said isolated thunder showers can be expected in the afternoon in the Eastern and Uva Provinces. Temporarily strong winds will prevail [...]

Lanka computer users unaffected by internet blackout

There were no reports of Sri Lanka’s internet users being affected by the internet blackout on July 9, said Rohana Palliyaguru, senior security engineer of Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT). He said that the DNS changer virus software had very little impact on Sri Lanka, as SLCERT did not receive any complaints of [...]

‘Hot’ phone burns mobile user’s hand

Ranga Duminda, from Gampaha, was ready to go to work at the Postal Department last Monday. His wife gave him his bag along with the mobile phone which had been left to be charged overnight. He answered a few phone calls and waving to his three- year-old daughter left to work. Later at office he [...]

Illegal textile trade ripping through local garments

Illegal textile trade ripping through local garments

Illegal textile trading in the Eastern province is taking its toll on the legitimate textile trade of local businesses. Tamil and Muslim textile dealers in Batticaloa told the Sunday Times that their businesses and income have been seriously affected by Indians who smuggle in garments and clothing items. The businesspeople said they were helpless and [...]

Big business keeps boat people afloat

Big business keeps boat people afloat

Wasanthini Fernando*, from Udappuwa, off Puttalam closely monitors radio and television news. She is keen to find out whether there’s any news about a multi-day trawler which left 10 days back carrying her husband along with several others to Australia.“My husband paid nearly Rs. One million to an agent. Most of the dealings are kept [...]

Flat dwellers vow to fight acquisition of children’s playground

Residents of the Anderson and Chitra Lane Flats in Narahenpita are fretting over moves by the authorities to acquire a portion of the children’s playground, to make way for a housing complex for lawyers and staff of the Attorney General’s (AG) Department. A group of elderly residents from both flats have vowed to fight the [...]

Parenting an art requiring time, skill, patience: STC Prep Head

“Parenting, truly is an art which requires time, skill and an amplitude of patience,” said S. Thomas’ Preparatory School, Kollupitiya, Headmaster N.Y. Casie Chetty at the College Prize Day on Friday (13). “Parents must work diligently to develop this capability, if they are to be successful parents of well developed children who are wholesome in [...]

Bridge of death cries for new lease of life

The bridge across Kala Oya near Eluwankulama Navy camp in the Puttalam District is in need of urgent repairs, villagers say.This 200-metre-long-and-10-foot-wide bridge goes under water during heavy rains, making vehicular movements impossible. The villagers also claim that the bridge gets slippery due to moss that gathers on the bridge and several people and motorcyclists [...]

Character certificates from religious leaders to obtain nominations

The current controversy sparked off by Parliamentarian Wijeyadasa Rajapakse seeking to ban members of the clergy from entering the legislature continues unabated with the JHU, which is the political party most affected by the move, actively canvassing against the proposal. The private member’s bill is unlikely to succeed in view of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s direction [...]

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