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UN team to meet civil society groups

A United Nations delegation visiting Sri Lanka sequel to the US-backed resolution at the Human Rights Council will meet civil society groups to obtain their views on human rights and related issues. The government, which changed its earlier stance not to allow such a delegation to visit Sri Lanka, has now agreed to allow the [...]

Education in tatters, student in tears

Education in tatters, student in tears

With the higher education sector virtually breaking down, this heartbroken university student is seen in tears as his plea to the University Grants Commission to resolve the issue was stopped by the police who fired water cannon at them. Pic by Amila Gamage

Moderate turnout; PC polls relatively peaceful

An estimated 55 per cent voters cast their ballots at yesterday’s elections to the Sabaragamuwa, Eastern and North Central Provincial Councils in what Police described as an election free of major violence. Polling was largely peaceful though election monitoring groups reported they had received a few complaints on election law violations including acts of intimidation [...]

LLRC report: C’wealth ready to help Lanka

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma who arrives in Sri Lanka tomorrow to attend the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference will discuss possible collaboration between the Commonwealth and Sri Lanka on the implementation of the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). During his visit, Mr. Sharma will call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and External Affairs [...]

Mounting oil bills hit economy; Ministry forced to stop spot purchases

Mounting fuel bills have forced the government to abandon the practice of spot purchases from tomorrow and revert to tender procedures to obtain the country’s fuel requirements, Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday. He said only registered suppliers would be allowed to bid when tenders were called. The move came as the Treasury warned that [...]

Govt. rejects appeal to lift TN travel advisory

The Government yesterday rejected calls by the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TNCCI) to lift the travel advisory warning Sri Lankans against visiting the southern Indian state. “There have been more than 20 incidents targeting Sri Lankans or related interests since the start of this year and therefore it was necessary to put [...]

Power cuts end as N’cholai plant is revived

Power cuts have ended, now that the Norochcholai coal power plant is back in operation and generating up to 150 megawatts for the national grid, a source at the Ministry of Power and Energy told the Sunday Times. Another 150 megawatts should be available within the next three days as a team of Chinese and [...]

Rains in the south-west, drought conditions in NP and NCP

Contrasting weather patterns in the island have been observed with the south-west receiving somewhat heavy rains causing minor traffic blocks on roads in Colombo and the suburbs while drought conditions prevailed in the Northern and North Central Provinces resulting in crop damages in over 100,000 acres. Meteorology Department Duty Forecaster Ananda Jayasinghearachchi said that with [...]

Pugoda land fraud main suspect arrested at Colombo airport

The main suspect in the Pugoda land fraud, Madhu Pushpika (36), was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Friday (6) at 8.45 p.m., consequent to a court order obtained by the Gampaha police for same, to conduct further investigations. The suspect was remanded till September 12. Another suspect whom Pushpika revealed was involved in [...]

President gazettes specific UD areas in Hikkaduwa

Several areas coming under the Hikkaduwa Urban Council (UC), have been declared urban development areas by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, by a special gazette notification. The President, who is also the Minister of Defence and Urban Development, has specified several Grama Niladari Divisions to be brought under its purview, by the gazette notification. These will include [...]

Kandy HC judge issues notice on CP PSC, Education Ministry

Kandy High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatileke issued notice on the Chairman- Central Province Public Service Commission, S.B. Beddewela and other members of the Commission, the Chief Secretary- Central Provincial Council, Secretary- Central Province Education Ministry, and the Secretary- Central Province Public Service Commission, to appear in the High Court on October 15, 2012. This was [...]

Mum’s the word on probes by SEC commissioners at their first meeting

Commissioners of Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) met for the first time on Friday, after the induction of a new chairman, but contrary to expectations, there was virtually zero discussion on crucial issues such as current probes and investigations against alleged market manipulation and insider traders. Instead, the Commission headed by Dr Nalaka [...]

Purged diamond in police hands

Purged diamond in police hands

The Chinese national arrested for swallowing a diamond believed to be worth Rs. 1.8m at a Colombo exhibition had the precious stone purged out yesterday, three days after admission to the National Hospital, a spokesperson said. On recovering the diamond the suspect was transferred to the Prisons’ Hospital at Welikada, Prisons Commissioner General W.P. Kodippili [...]

Drug king pin ‘Wele Sudha’ amassed assets worth over Rs. 180m in 2 years

Drug king pin ‘Wele Sudha’ amassed assets worth over Rs. 180m in 2 years

One of Sri Lanka’s biggest drug traffickers, Samantha Kumara Vithanage alias ‘Wele Sudha’ from Badovita off Ratmalana, who started off as a bootlegger and later switched to heroin trafficking for its ‘greater returns’, amassed assets worth a whopping Rs. 180 million or more in two years. He fled the country last year with his wife, [...]

Waste rots, want lots

Waste rots, want lots

Financial problems and a suitable waste disposal site are issues confronting local councils in Colombo’s suburbs, which have caused delays in garbage collection, causing inconvenience to residents.Ratepayers of the Kotte and Dehiwala-Mt Lavinia Municipal Councils and the Maharagama Urban Council are among those affected. A cross section of residents told the Sunday Times that infrequent [...]

Kilinochchi farmers weep over what they sowed as Iranamadu tank dries up

Kilinochchi farmers weep over what they sowed as Iranamadu tank  dries up

The Iranamadu tank in the Kilinochchi district, from which the Government proposed to supply water to Jaffna, has dried up considerably, with no water being available even for farmers in the area.As a result, officials have decided to limit water to farmers for their cultivations this year. However, some farmers have planted paddy in extents [...]

Travel travails in face of TN terror

Travel travails in face of TN terror

The travel industry is feeling the crunch of the government’s ban on pilgrim tours to Tamil Nadu where scores of pilgrims have been stoned by mobs. Indian media reports have accused supporters of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jeyalalithaa Jeyaram, who is spearheading an anti-Sri Lanka campaign of carrying out the attacks. However, in Colombo, the [...]

President Rajapaksa to inaugurate 58th CPA conference in Colombo on Tuesday

Sri Lanka will host the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference in Colombo, to be declared open next Tuesday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Government and Opposition legislators will join in exchanging views and interacting with nearly 800 delegates from 54 Commonwealth countries attending the conference, held under the theme, “Ensuring a relevant Commonwealth for the [...]

No shortage of fuel while repairs of pipeline to refinery are underway: Premajayantha

The emergency repairs to a pipeline from an offshore point buoy mooring system at the Colombo port, carrying fuel to the oil refinery at Sapugaskanda is expected to be completed in 10 days while adequate measures have been taken to prevent fuel shortages, Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha told the Sunday Times. He said that [...]

‘Vedi Pitiya’ – where villagers fear to tread

‘Vedi Pitiya’ – where villagers fear to tread

An explosive device that blew up and killed two persons and seriously injured three last week on Kandakuli Beach is the latest in a string of accidents that have prompted locals to describe the area as “Vedi Pitiya”, or “Explosives Village.” The accident occurred in Kalpitiya, in the district of Puttalam, on the northwest coast. [...]

There’s value in your garbage

A lot is said these days about garbage and other waste which is left to rot on the city streets. There are others however who make a profit of this same garbage. A group in Pettah work for a private cleaning firm -and garbage collection is their business.Discarded cardboard boxes, newspapers, tins, polythene, plastic and [...]

SC directs UGC, Exams CG to hike Varsity intake by 4,928

A Supreme Court Bench comprising Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, Justices Nimal Gamini Amaratunga and K. Sripavan on Monday directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Commissioner General (CG) of Examinations to admit 4,928 additional students into the universities this year. This is the third alternative among four alternatives of increased intakes suggested by [...]

Extra headaches with extra student intake

Extra headaches with extra  student intake

A senior don says the University Grants Commission proposal to increase the university student intake this year was a “political solution” that gave university authorities no say in the choice of students admitted. Professor Sirimal Abeyratne, head of the Department of Economics, University of Colombo, told the Sunday Times yesterday that an additional 4,900 students [...]

Kapilavastu relics attract devotees in their thousands to

Kapilavastu relics attract devotees in their thousands to

Devotees in their thousands, from around the country, yesterday came to Colombo to venerate the Kapilavastu relics at Gangarama Temple. People were seen queuing since Friday evening, hopeful of fulfilling their spiritual obligation. The exposition which commenced 12 noon yesterday, will continue till tomorrow. Police have ensured maximum security in and around the precincts of [...]

Crying foul over spilt milk: Report tomorrow

Was a state-owned milk processing company throwing away tens of thousands of litres of milk every week? And if so why? The answer will be known tomorrow when a three-member committee hands over its report to Livestock and Rural Community Development Minister Arumugam Thondaman. The minister said he appointed the three-member probe committee comprising an [...]

Brass for gold: Antique thieves switch statues

Antique thieves have got away with an 800-year-old gold-plated Buddha statue after replacing it with a look-alike fake one made of brass, Mathurata police who are investigating the theft at the Wellagiriya Purana Rajamaha Viharaya said. Ven. Mathurata Gnaneswara Thera, the chief incumbent of the Viharaya, had made a complaint to the police, stating that [...]

Brisk voting in Eastern Province, lighter turnout in other provinces

Brisk voting in Eastern Province, lighter turnout in other provinces

Thousands of voters in the Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces went to the polls yesterday to elect representatives to the three provincial councils in these areas. With over 3.3 million registered voters, people voted at 3,247 polling stations to elect their representatives to the PCs. There was brisk voting in the Districts of Trincomalee, [...]

Lowest turnout in Sabaragamuwa Province

Lowest turnout in Sabaragamuwa Province

Of the three provinces that went to the polls yesterday, the Sabaragamuwa Province comprising the Ratnapura and Kegalle districts recorded the lowest voter turnout.In Ratnapura, the city of gems, voters showed little enthusiasm for the provincial council election that was held yesterday, with a general sense of apathy noticed from the public. “When we sealed [...]

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