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‘Don’t give up, keep it up’

‘Don’t give up, keep it up’

‘Don’t give up, keep it up’ seems to be the message from lawyers and the Supreme Court staff as Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake returned to her chambers in Hulftsdorp after she confidently faced an impeachment motion against her before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Friday. Pic by Mangala Weerasekera

Lanka, Iran work out deal on huge oil bill

Two billion rupees in unpaid fuel bills to Iran will be diverted to fund the Teheran-aided Uma Oya Project, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Ministry Secretary Ivan de Silva said yesterday. This is in the light of Sri Lanka’s inability to remit the funds to Iran due to current sanctions imposed by the United States. [...]

Bar Council urges PSC to delay probe by two months

Bar Council urges PSC to delay probe by two months

The Bar Council, the policy making body of the country’s lawyers, unanimously resolved yesterday to urge the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to postpone its sittings by two months in line with the recommendation of the Supreme Court. Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha, President of the Bar Association Sri Lanka (BASL), [...]

Govt. to back private unis, won’t privatise state ones

The issue of private universities came up in Parliament on Wednesday, when the votes of the Ministry of Higher Education were taken up for debate. Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayaka said that Government would encourage private higher educational institutions, but would not privatise State-owned universities. “Of the 150,000 students who qualify for higher education in [...]

Illegal fishing: Lanka gets yellow card from EU

The Government will not intervene to secure the release of Sri Lankan fishermen who have been arrested overseas after allegedly straying into territorial waters of other countries, Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.He said the policy would be adopted from January next year as an indication that Sri Lanka was adhering to European Union guidelines. The [...]

Petrie Report baseless and unsubstantiated: Govt.

The External Affairs Ministry reacting on Friday, to the “Petrie report”, or the UN Secretary General’s Internal Review panel, on action in Sri Lanka, said the statistics in the Petrie Report were based on “unnamed sources” quoted in the Darusman Report, and unsubstantiated allegations made by NGOs and certain lower level UN officials. However, a [...]

GA confirms cyanide content in parliament Kohila

The Government Analyst has found that there were traces of cyanide in the uncooked stalks of kohila that led to a food poisoning scare in Parliament two weeks ago. Both samples of cooked kohila curry and the raw ones were sent to the Government Analyst’s Department after food inspectors found that the cooked curry of the [...]

Home-bound lady doc goes missing

Police yesterday were searching for a lady doctor who went missing without trace at Galle, while returning to her Hikkaduwa home from work at the Matara Hospital on Friday evening. According to police, she is 32-year-old Erandi Kulatunga, an anesthetic attached to Matara Hospital. The last known whereabouts of the doctor was shortly before dusk [...]

Four die, several displaced in rains

At least four persons have died and some 271 families affected in overnight rains on Friday that caused flooding in certain areas of the country, a senior official with the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said today. Three persons were drowned after they were swept away in swirling flood waters at Neluwa in the Galle District [...]

Back from Saudi with broken legs

A 26-year-old maid returned to the country from Saudi Arabia with broken legs after she allegedly slipped off the second floor of her employer’s home, officials said. They said Sinniah Sulochini – a native of Batticaloa – was treated for some three months at a Hospital in that oil rich kingdom before returning home on [...]

Sri Lankan maid’s body still in morgue

The body of a young Sri Lankan woman who died while trying to save an Arab toddler from drowning at Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this month continues to remain in a morgue in that country as officials sort out bureaucratic procedures, a senior official with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign [...]

Rs. 5 million not enough for an MP’s work, says UNP member

UNP MP John Amaratunga yesterday said the Rs. 5 million given each MP was insufficient to carry out any significant development work in their areas. The MP made this comment during the votes for the Ministry of Economic Development. MP Amaratunga said Provincial Council members had more money at their disposals than MPs. “You are [...]

Speaker warns MPs: Abide by Standing Orders or face removal

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday warned MPs to abide by Standing Orders of Parliament, or face removal from the House. “If MPs stand up unnecessarily, under the pretext of raising a Point of Order, I will have them removed,” the Speaker said, angered by the actions of UPFA MP A.H.M. Azwar and UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe. [...]

Mistaken identity lands Lankan-born Aussie in jail

A mistaken identity and the Kandy Police, together with the local Magistrate, recently locked up a Sri Lankan born Australian citizen here on holiday, to eight days at the Bogambara Remand Prison. What was to be a holiday with his family ‘back home’, turned into a nightmare for Felix Ranjith Sirimanne, 67, a former Head [...]

Five Russians nabbed in credit card scam

Five Russians nabbed in credit card scam

Five Russian nationals rented three, three-bedroomed apartments in Wellawatte, at Rs. 25,000 a day per apartment. One of their requirements was that, other than the main door, all other entry and exit points be sealed off. They spent lavishly on their food and beverage.The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was soon alerted. Sleuths were deployed as [...]

Central Province CM outlines budgetary allocations

The Chief Minister of the Central Province Sarath Ekanayake presented the Central Province Budget for 2013 on Friday (23rd). He said under the decentralised budget an allocation of Rs. 145 m had been made to members of the council. He added Rs. 3,575 m had been allocated to varous ministries and departments. Development of roads [...]

Hatton- N-Eliya road cleared for traffic

The road between Hatton and Nuwara Eliya was opened to traffic a short while ago after it was blocked by mud and boulders caused by a major landslide triggered off by heavy rains on Friday, officials with the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said today. They said the landslide had taken place at Bangalahatha Junction and [...]

Supreme Court requests deferment until point of law is determined

While reiterating there should be mutual respect and understanding between Parliament and the Judiciary, the Supreme Court recommended to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) inquiring into the allegation against the Chief Justice, that it was prudent to defer the inquiry until the Court determines the point of law referred to it by the Court of [...]

Rs. 83 m per month from Southern Expressway

Toll fees from the Southern Expressway bring in revenue of more than Rs. 83 million a month, Parliament heard yesterday. Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways Nirmala Kotalawala said around 283,000 vehicles use the expressway each month. The targeted traffic volume is 300,000 vehicles a month, he said. The Southern Expressway project was financed through [...]

Prime properties given to foreign interests for a song, says Ravi

The Government has handed out prime Colombo properties to foreign companies at well below market rates, as well as tax holidays, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayaka told Parliament. One beneficiary was the KRRISH group, which has been given a valuable property in Fort at far below its valure. “The Department of Valuation has assessed these lands [...]

Don’t obstruct development in North and East, Tamil politicos tell TNA

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been asked by two Tamil politicians not to stand in the way of development initiatives undertaken by the Government in the North and the East. The politicians are Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, and Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan. “The actions of the LTTE have [...]

What’s in a colour? A lot say transport stakeholders

What’s in a colour?  A lot say transport stakeholders

The cabinet maybe revving to go ahead with a decision to introduce a colour coding system for passenger transport vehicles but it may not be such a smooth and bright ride. Private bus and schoolbus owners, drivers and passengers are opposing the moving pointing out that there are far more urgent issues that needed to [...]

Sales plunge as car prices race beyond reach of middle-class consumer

Sales plunge as car prices race beyond reach of middle-class consumer

The price of cars of under 1,000 CC engine capacity has shot up to more than half a million rupees this year, making a small car a distant dream for the middle class. It’s a dashed hope for Madura Fernando, a junior executive at a private company. He was hoping to buy a car before his [...]

Myanmar envoy seeks relief for stranded countrymen on board the Saag Sirius vessel

Myanmar Government is to seek the assistance of local authorities to provide urgent relief to a group of their countrymen stranded on a fishing vessel anchored off Colombo Port for the past four months, diplomatic and maritime officials said yesterday. “I have been in contact with the External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilleke Amunugama and a [...]

Killings unlimited

At least two persons are killed every day in the country, showing a marked increase in homicides during the past few months, police revealed this week. This week brought this fact of local life into sharp focus, with a string of homicides including the killing of an Officer in Charge (OIC) of Police in Ratnapura, a [...]

Sri Lanka shoots into orbit on Tuesday

Sri Lanka shoots into orbit on Tuesday

Government maintained a deafening silence when the question of Sri Lanka’s first satellite was raised in Parliament yesterday during the vote on the Ministry of Economic Development. Opposition UNP MP Ruwan Wijewardena asked why both, the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of defence were silent on the impending launch of a satellite with the [...]

The fire that reduced history to ashes

The fire that reduced history to ashes

The Government Analysts department has launched an investigation into the fire which destroyed Sri Lanka’s oldest printing machine. The fire that broke out last Monday night at the Ruwanwella Purana Viharaya in Kathaluwa, Ahangama, completely destroyed the valuable machinery that rolled out “Lanka Lokaya”– said to be the first Sinhala paper published in Sri Lanka. [...]

Public sector unions threaten massive TU action

Trade unions affiliated to political parties of the governing UPFA – Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), Ceylon Communist Party (CP) and Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) – are joining hands with 46 other public sector trade unions in demanding a pay hike. The unions have put forward three main demands – an increase of Rs.10,000 [...]

Empty boasts and commuter travails

The railway services are seeing a rapid development with an increasing number of passengers and trains, declared Transport Minister Kumara Welgama. But photographs captured by our cameraman portray the dire state of the railway service -overcrowded trains, congested platforms, long queues waiting to purchase tickets and hundreds of people crowding to get in and out [...]

Pioneering brain surgery frees man from agonising headaches

Pioneering brain surgery frees man from agonising headaches

A.K. Sarath Perera, 34, is home now, free of the excruciating headaches that have been assailing him since 2004. Originally from Dehiattakandiya in Ampara District, for now, “home” is a room in Kandy his wife, Sandamali, has rented to keep an eye on him while she has taken on the role of “rice-winner”, working as [...]

Press-ing for freedom, the way forward

Press-ing for freedom, the way forward

The government and parliament must heed the voice of the world and remove all restrictions they have imposed on the media through legislation and ordinances, said Jacob Mathew, Global President of WAN-IFRA (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers). Delivering the Sri Lanka Press Institute’s (SLPI’s) Press Club lecture titled, “The Media Today-Challenges and Opportunities” [...]

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