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Indian vehicle imports curbed

Prohibitive duties may edge out Indian vehicles from Sri Lanka’s market while exemptions to those coming from Japan will give them an added advantage in the market. Amidst this move, the Government has granted clearance for a Chinese investor to set up car-assembly plants in Hambantota and Gampaha. An investment of US $ 20 million [...]

World Bank MD offers fillip to private sector

The World Bank is keen to increase its support for Sri Lankan private sector development and has ramped up support through investments channelled through its affiliate – the International Finance Corporation (IFC). This assurance was given by visiting World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati during meetings she had with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Central Bank [...]

Harmless algae-bearing red rain scares villagers

A harmless algae was the cause of red rain experienced in some parts of the country, Medical Research Institute (MRI) Director Dr. Anil Samaranayake said yesterday. “It’s a moss-like fresh water algae belonging to the group ‘trachelomonas’,” he told the Sunday Times. This week, short spells of red rain were reported in Hingurakgoda, Sevenagala, Manampitiya, [...]

Art of the possible

Mangala upbraided for vilifying Rajapaksa administration

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday advised his onetime Cabinet colleague MP Mangala Samaraweera to engage in ‘maithri bavana’ to overcome the affliction of hatred and enmity he felt towards President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “Mangala Samaraweera should go to a temple and engage in some meditation. It will do him some good,” said Minister Sirisena, who spoke [...]

Engineer’s art on show

Engineer’s art on show

Kottegoda Oration to be delivered by Prof. Anoja Fernando

The annual S. R. Kottegoda Oration will be held on Friday at at the SLAAS Auditorium, Colombo 07. It will be delivered by Prof. Anoja Fernando, former Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna. The topic for the 2012 oration will be, ‘Teaching Ethics and Humanities to Medical Students’.

PSC rejects CJ’s plea for more time

Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake’s request for more time to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the charges in the impeachment motion against her has been turned down, her lawyers said yesterday. The Select Committee has informed her that she must appear in person on Friday as ordered and then make a request for time, [...]

Demo in Jaffna against India’s nuke plant

A demonstration against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in South India was held in Jaffna town yesterday. The New Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party organised the demonstration which was the first protest in Sri Lanka against the nuclear plant. The demonstrators gathered in front of the Jaffna Bus stand and chanted slogans and held placards against the [...]

Sapugaskanda leak: Probe on possible sabotage

The possibility of sabotage in the gas leak at the Sapugaskanda oil refinery will be probed by a three-member committee, Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha told Parliament yesterday. The three-member committee to be appointed by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Chairman Tilak Collure would consist of a retired judge, a chemical engineer and a retired secretary to [...]

Trace of arsenic in kohila curry for MPs

A trace of arsenic has been found in the kohila curry prepared for MPs on Friday, according to initial tests. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa revealed this yesterday in response to a query raised by UNP Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayaka regarding the police investigation that was launched after an unusual colour was detected in the kohila curry prepared [...]

Budget passed amidst uproar

The second reading of the Budget was yesterday passed by a majority of 103 votes amidst objections by the UNP that the Appropriation Bill is unconstitutional. The Government secured 156 votes in favour of the Bill while 53 voted against it in Parliament. The UNP, the TNA, the DNA/JVP all voted against the Bill during the [...]

Nurses picture their woes

Nurses picture their woes

Lankan businesses invited to invest in Uganda

Trading between Sri Lanka and Uganda will be discussed when a business delegation from Uganda arrives, following Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s three-day official visit to the country. However, the local business community wants “more information” before investing in Uganda. President Museveni and President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed five memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between the governments [...]

Wildlife gets new DG

A new Director General (DG) has been appointed for the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) this week. The appointment of Mr. H.D. Ratnayake ended the longest period the Department has been operating without a DG after the position was rendered vacant 15 months ago in July 2011. Assuming duties, Mr. Ratnayake said he will take [...]

State seeks more time to study ‘grease devil’ scare petitions

The Supreme Court has granted the Attorney General time till January 31 to file objections to 61 fundamental rights petitions filed by Jaffna residents who allege they were unlawfully arrested and tortured by the police during the ‘grease devil’ scare last year. The petitioners cited Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya, Jaffna Commander [...]

BASL to meet Speaker with request to stay action against CJ

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) will meet with the Speaker on Wednesday to request the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice to be reconsidered, BASL secretary Sanjeewa Gamage told the Sunday Times. He said the delegation comprising the Bar Association Executive Committee and past presidents would meet with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa at the [...]

Rains assure uninterrupted power supply

Rains assure  uninterrupted  power supply

The days of power-cuts — unannounced or pre-warned — are over at least for now with the rains increasing the country’s hydropower generation capacity. A Power and Energy Ministry official said the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) was now in a position to provide uninterrupted power supply to consumers because hydropower generation had increased and the [...]

Protection for Kalpitiya Bay mammals

The Department of Wildlife Conservation has introduced new regulations aimed at further protecting the natural habitat and biodiversity of Kalpitiya Bay. The regulations relate to sea mammal habitats, said H. D. Ratnayake, director of the Department of the Wildlife Conservation. The whale watching season began in the last week of October and will continue till [...]

Nurses’ islandwide TU action to continue till demands met

Nurses’ islandwide TU action to continue till demands met

Nurses are threatening to cripple State-run hospitals with a countrywide strike, if their demands are not heeded. Saman Ratnapriya, President of the Government Nursing Officer’s Association (GNOA) which consist of about 12,000 nurses, said the strike was a result of failed discussions with both Health Minister Maitripala Sirisena and Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatillake. Among their [...]

Two prison probes tackle reasons for riot

Two prison probes tackle reasons for riot

Overcrowding of prisons, easy access to narcotics, resistance by prisoners to search operations carried out by the Special Task Force were the main reasons for last week’s mayhem at Welikada jail, two separate committees that probed the incident revealed. The two committees — one appointed by the Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera [...]

Teachers threaten to resume strike

Teachers threaten to resume strike

Last week teacher trade unions and Education Ministry officials met for discussions but failed to agree on salaries and other issues, while some teachers threatened to go on strike again. Representatives of 16 trade unions met Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, Deputy Minister Wijayamuni Zoysa, MP Mohan Lal Grero and Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Jayaratne . Joseph [...]

Rising sex abuse cases make state health sector sick

Two minor employees of the Kalubowila hospital sought the help of a female co-worker to move a body within the morgue. Not used to such a task, she fainted. When she regained her consciousness, she found herself lying on the floor and realised she had been sexually abused. However, she did not lodge a complaint [...]

Tusks sawn off carcass of Mahakanadarawa Tusker

The famous blind elephant known as the “Mahakanadarawa Tusker” is dead. Its badly decomposed carcass minus the tusks was discovered last week on the banks of a reservoir in Medawachchiya. The tusks had been sawn off. It is not clear whether the animal died from natural causes or whether it was killed. Police are investigating. [...]

Real or psychological, what ails these students?

What has hit schoolchildren in different parts of the country? This is the question that is worrying parents and puzzling epidemiologists as 1,500 students of five schools have fallen ill due to allergies The premises of the affected schools are being cleared with the assistance of the relevant councils, school authorities and parents. School authorities [...]

The dye is cast on the fabric of taste

Despite being illegal, the use of edible food colouring in powdered chillie, turmeric, pepper and assorted spices is well known. But the recent raid by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has revealed the use of fabric dye to colour spices. CAA’s Special Raid Squad Officer-in-Charge Pradeep Kalutaraarachchi said several places in Pettah and Bloemendhal areas [...]

Cigarette pack pics to burn into smokers’ conscience

The new tobacco products labeling and packaging regulations which require cigarette packs sold in Sri Lanka to depict graphic, pictorial anti-smoking messages, will come into operation on March 1, 2013. All cigarette packs will have to carry one of eight pictures depicting illnesses caused by smoking, such as cancer, myocardial infarction, stroke etc., as have [...]

Alleged cheating woman remanded, police told to follow procedure

Remanding a woman who was the wife of a well-known hotelier in Kandy, on charges of cheating several women of their gold jewellery valued at over one million rupees, Kandy Chief Magistrate Ravendra Premaratne ordered the police to follow regular procedure when prosecuting the case. In this case Chandani Sellahewa was charged by the Special [...]

Anti-nuke voice in Jaffna

Anti-nuke voice in Jaffna

Three-wheelers sans safety locks veer sharply towards fatal accidents

Three-wheelers sans safety locks veer sharply towards fatal accidents

Police have begun a crackdown on three-wheelers with illegally modified turning circles for quick turnaround, thus threatening passenger safety. Police said yesterday that factory settings restricted the turning circle in the front wheel, in keeping with safety standards. However, some were removing the locking mechanism, so they could do U-turns in double quick time, they said. [...]

Cargo village in Peliyagoda to reduce container traffic congestion in City

Cargo village in Peliyagoda to reduce container traffic congestion in City

The entry of containers to Colombo City will be completely halted from May next year with the construction of a new cargo village where the containers which are accommodated in the harbour will henceforth be accommodated in the cargo village, Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said. Under this project the existing cargo village [...]

Thirteenth Amendment illegally passed in House, NFF to tell SC

Thirteenth Amendment illegally passed in House, NFF to tell SC

A partner in the UPFA will challenge the constitutionality of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, its lawyer said yesterday. Chinthaka Mendis, Attorney-at-Law told the Sunday Times that he will file a petition in the Supreme Court next week arguing that the amendment has been “illegally passed” without recourse to due process. Mr. Mendis said the [...]

Death on the roads

Incomplete infrastructure projects–especially roads and bridges–continued to claim lives over the past few months. The latest to fall victim to these death-traps was a father-of-four who was travelling to work Friday (16) morning on a motorbike. Piyadasa Samarasinghe (46) from Elpitiya died when he lost control of the vehicle on the uneven surface and his motorbike [...]

Dengue rises unabated while BTI spraying is delayed till January

More cases of dengue were reported last month, compared with the corresponding period last year, but plans to spray BTI bacteria as part of the anti-Dengue campaign, has been delayed until January. This year, 37,500 suspected dengue cases were reported to the Epidemiology Unit (EU) from around the island, with 3,033 cases reported in October- [...]

Jaffna’s female trishaw drivers bridge the gap

Jaffna’s female trishaw drivers bridge the gap

The programme initiated by the Women Education and Research Centre (WERC) to introduce female three-wheeler drivers in the North, is a success, says Jaffna Divisional Secretariat’s Female Development Officer Uthayani Navratnam. Since its inception in February this year, female drivers are seen in Jaffna, with the municipality allocating a three-wheeler stand for them in Jaffna. “Old [...]

Mahinda Rajapaksa: Where to from here?

Mahinda Rajapaksa: Where to from here?

United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Jayalath Jayawardena, recuperating at the Sri Jayawardenepura hospital after a heart ailment had an in important visitor: President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who turns 67 today. Newspapers showed pictures of Rajapaksa at Jayawardena’s bedside, clasping his hands and wishing him a speedy recovery. It is not certain whether Opposition UNP Leader Ranil [...]

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