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Navi Pillay team coming; Govt. changes policy

Experts from the UN Human Rights Council will arrive in Colombo next month to “offer advice and technical assistance” to the Government towards implementing the US-backed resolution on Sri Lanka. In what seems a change of heart, the Government has responded to a letter from UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay, that it would [...]

Drought worsens, more funds needed for relief: Minister

As an unprecedented drought hits rice and other crops countrywide, a government minister warned yesterday that Rs. 3.7 billion allocated for relief might be inadequate. Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said more than 20,000 farmers had been affected and more than 16,000 acres of paddy lands destroyed. He said the Treasury had made available Rs. [...]

IGP assures Hirunika he will look into reports that Duminda is back

IGP assures Hirunika he will look  into reports that Duminda is back

Police Chief N.K.Illangakoon has assured Hirunika Premachandra, daughter of slain politician Bharatha Laksman Premachandra that he will look into reports that Parliamentarian Duminda Silva, wanted in connection with the killing, had returned to the country. She had raised the issue after an unusual VIP movement was witnessed at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) early Friday [...]

Powerful message from Sunera Foundation children

Powerful message from Sunera Foundation children

The Sunera Foundation, which eschews discrimination but instead celebrates differences, staged an inspiring drama by differently abled children to give a timely message about the need to care more for the environment as part of the campaign to eradicate the dengue epidemic. The dance drama was staged at the Journalism Awards Night organised by the [...]

Sorry, we’re up by Rs. 10

We regret to inform you that due to the steep rise in the world market prices of newsprint and other material together with the continuing depreciation of the rupee, we have no option but to raise the price of the Sunday Times by Rs. 10 from today. We assure you that as the highest selling [...]

Mystery over Lanka’s Olympic tickets worth millions

Sri Lanka bought tickets for the ongoing Olympic Games in London to the tune of Rs. 7 million, but who got the tickets is a mystery. The Sunday Times learns that the National Olympic Committee had given complimentary tickets to more than 30 people. But there were hardly any Sri Lankans on the stands, when [...]

More vehicles affected: Vitol refutes charges

More private vehicles were yesterday hit by the country’s latest fuel scam as most of the 20,000 tons of substandard diesel imported entered the market. The government on Friday decided to again blacklist the offending company — Vitol — until investigations are completed and two foreign laboratory test reports are received. But the company in [...]

Major facelift for Panchikawatte

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is to launch a multifaceted development project in the Panchikawatte area. The project will include the construction of shopping complexes, road development, and the upgrading of housing in the area. Several unauthorised structures will be removed and steps will be taken to reacquire property and buildings for which the current [...]

Campus strike: speedy solution promised

The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) is to continue talks with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa to resolve the deadlock over their demands and bring an end to the strike that has been going on for almost five weeks. FUTA spokesperson Dr. Devaka Weerakoon told the Sunday Times that Minister Rajapaksa has expressed hopes [...]

Poultry farmers hit by severe drought

The ongoing drought that has parched several parts of the country has placed many poultry farmers in a difficult situation forcing them to opt for early culling of the birds in a bid to ward off heavy losses, the industry and officials said yesterday. Many farmers in the poultry breeding regions, particular in the Kurunegala [...]

St. Anne’s Church, Talawila celebrates 250th anniversary

St. Anne’s Church, Talawila celebrates 250th anniversary

  As St. Anne’s Church, Talawila marks its 250th anniversary this year, an estimated 500,000 pilgrims are expected to throng its premises today for the annual festival. Already some 200,000 people have already arrived at this Roman Catholic shrine on the north-western coast, according to reports from the area. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith is set to [...]

Z-score report to President further delayed

The much-awaited report sought by President Mahinda Rajapaksa from Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake on the latest Z-score crisis will not be handed over to him tomorrow – a date set by the minister. †Asked when it would be ready, Higher Education Ministry Secretary Sunil Jayantha Nawarathna said it would be given to the [...]

Information Ministry Sec’s comment draws fire from media associations

Four leading media rights organisations in the country have expressed shock and alarm at a comment made by the newly appointed Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath that the Government will not be introducing the Right to Information (RTI) legislation because it would compromise the country’s national security. “We are both, shocked and [...]

Threats make journalists practise self-censorship: Himal Magazine Editor

Self-censorship merits more discussion because the ‘volume of timidity is very high in journalism,’ Editor and Publisher of the Nepal-based Himal Southasian magazine, Kanak Mani Dixit said. Addressing the Press Club on Thursday at the Sri Lanka Press Institute on the topic ‘Media Freedom in South Asia,’ Mr. Dixit said, “We talk about media suppression [...]

CP Health Minister remanded on assault and abuse charges

The Health Minister of the Central Province was remanded yesterday for allegedly abusing the Provincial Health Director and allegedly assaulting a doctor. Minister Kithsiri Amaratunga was produced before Kandy Acting Magistrate and Additional District Judge Augusta Fernando. Provincial Health Director Dr. Shanthi Samarasinghe had lodged a complaint with the Kandy Police Headquarters Child & Women’s [...]

No reduction in medical fees until gazette notice appears, says GAMCA

A private medical group yesterday refused to reduce the fees for a health clearance certificate sought by Middle-East bound workers, despite a directive from the authorities. A top official with the Gulf Approved Medical Centres Association (GAMCA) told the Sunday Times yesterday that the directive was yet to be endorsed by gazette notification and until [...]

Drought: There’s not a drop to drink

Drought: There’s not a drop to drink

People in Puttalam are struggling to get potable water. The failure of the monsoon rains has posed a serious threat to the agricultural sector as well as to people in most areas. While Government claimed it had taken measures to provide relief to those affected, our photographer recorded a different story. The problem has reached [...]

Weatherman has no good news as drought destroys crops

Weatherman has no good news as drought destroys crops

As Met Department officials warned yesterday that the prevailing dry weather would continue for some time, a senior agrarian official said the drought had destroyed more than 20,000 acres of paddy and other crops. Agrarian Development Commissioner General Sunil Weerasinghe said Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Puttalam and Kurunegala were the worst affected districts while farmers in Vavuniya, [...]

No clues to museum robbery yet despite Rs.1 m reward

Almost five months on, the National Museum robbery remains an unsolved case, despite a Rs. 1 million reward for information leading to the arrests of suspects, Police Spokesman Ajith Rohana said yesterday.Not even the release of a computer-generated sketch of a suspect has brought any worthwhile responses either, he said. “To date, we haven’t got [...]

Redress for abused children coming slowly but surely: Additional Solicitor General

Redress for abused children coming slowly but surely: Additional Solicitor General

Slowly but surely the wheels of legal bureaucracy are turning to bring quick redress to child victims and mete out justice to perpetrators of violent crime against them. A pilot project is underway in Gampaha, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Jaffna Districts to clear cases involving crimes against children within six months of the first complaint [...]

CJ calls on minister to expedite legislation

Chief Justice Shirani Bandartanaike has again told Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to expedite legislation for a National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP) to provide quality drugs to the people at affordable prices.She gave the directive when the fundamental rights case filed by the People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients and another petitioner came up for [...]

Esala perahera draws less crowds this year

With the annual Esala Perahera concluding on Thursday after parading the streets of Kandy for 10 days, there were mixed reactions from officials, police, shopkeepers and hotel owners among others.“The crowd and the traffic this year at the Perahera were significantly less than in previous years,” Kandy Deputy Mayor K.L. Suminda Wickremasinghe said. He said [...]

Wimal Weerawansa to hand over renovated Maligawatte flats

The renovated Maligawatte flats will be handed over to the residents under the patronage of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa today. The Maligawatte flats were built in 1973, and this is the first complete renovation work done after 39 years. The renovation was under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ‘Mahinda Chinthana vision [...]

Pay your bus fare with prepaid smart card

A prepaid smart card facility and a passenger care hot line are among the new measures the transport authorities are introducing to deal with a growing number of complaints against private bus crew or operators.Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayake said tenders had been called for the supply of smart cards for launching the project [...]

Violations all along the campaign trail

With just five weeks to go for the North Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections, party campaigning is hotting up even as election laws are being flagrantly violated. Up to yesterday, a total of 64 complaints of election law violations have been lodged with the Campaign for Free & Fair Elections (CaFFE), a local [...]

The stalling saga of CPC’s fuel fiasco

The stalling saga of CPC’s fuel fiasco

Two weeks ago a worker at the Colombo Port operating a transfer crane detected a difference in colour in the diesel being pumped into the crane from a bowser of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). He pointed this out to the driver of the bowser, who in turn said since the stocks were issued directly [...]

A shocked village mourns the loss of a dedicated principal

A much-admired school principal in Minuwandeniya, the latest victim of a senseless killing was laid to rest on Thursday, as villagers lamented the loss of a good man who had worked tirelessly to raise the educational standards of the children in the area. Fifty two year-old Anura Edirisinghe had served as principal of the Yakkalamulla [...]

Further arrests ordered with re-remand of those already in custody

Further arrests ordered with re-remand of those already in custody

Mannar Magistrate A. Judeson ordered the CID to arrest 26 more suspects allegedly involved in the attack on the Mannar Magistrate’s Court on July 19. The Magistrate also ordered further remand until August 14, of 13 suspects earlier arrested by the Police. Although the CID has completed its investigations into the alleged phone calls made [...]

Ban slapped on mackerel shark fishing

Ban slapped on mackerel shark fishing

The over-fished Thresher Shark, or mackerel shark, has come under special protection with a Government ban on the exploitation of the endangered animal. The ban came into effect with a July 25 amendment to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act. The ban states that“no person shall catch Thresher Shark species of the family Alopiidae when [...]

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