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Talks to register TNA inconclusive

Inconclusive talks were held yesterday between Tamil National Alliance (TNA) constituent partners to reach a consensus on registering the TNA to contest the upcoming elections to the Northern Provincial Council, party leaders said. TNA Parliamentary group leader R. Sampanthan, the other three alliance partners, and other Tamil party leaders met in Mannar to discuss the registration [...]

Night races in Kandy: Who is telling the truth?

Night races in Kandy: Who is telling the truth?

Uncertainty prevails over plans to hold night races in Kandy next month, with high-level authorities saying they have been put off, but the organisers including Kandy Mayor Lohan Ratwatte, saying they were going ahead. Highly placed authorities said that taking heed of the advice given by the Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters, the organisers [...]

Colourful parade to mark Victory Day

Colourful parade to mark Victory Day

Security forces personnel marching with their regimental flags while rehearsing at Galle Face Green yesterday for the Victory Day Parade to be held next Saturday. Pic by Indika Handuwala

Lankan ‘laughed’ as he assaulted women, Sydney police told

A Sri Lankan asylum-seeker laughed as he sexually assaulted a child and two women gathered to see pop star Ricky Martin in Sydney this week, according to information given to Australian police. The man and another Sri Lankan asylum-seeker were charged with indecent assault and common assault. They received conditional bail and will appear in [...]

Live Parliament show on giant screen

The people will be able to watch parliamentary proceedings live on a giant screen to be installed at Jayanthipura in Kotte – as a prelude to live telecasts. The giant screen will be set up at the parliament car park, a senior parliament official said. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa who has spoken in support of the live [...]

Civil nuclear deals with India, Pakistan

Sri Lanka will negotiate civil nuclear cooperation agreements with both India and Pakistan, Atomic Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. Nuclear technology is used in many fields —such as food and agriculture, human health, environment and water resources. “We are trying to develop applications with friendly countries and we have selected a few areas,” Mr. Ranawaka [...]

SriLankan air taxi grounded as a loss, flies anew with Cinnamon Air

By Namini Wijedasa SriLankan Airlines has stopped its unprofitable air taxi operation, just 28 months after it was re-launched amidst much fanfare. “We will not operate our own aircraft,” confirmed SriLankan’s Chief Marketing Officer G.T. Jeyaseelan. The company’s costly lease agreement with the Canadian Kenn Borek Air for float planes, lapsed last month, and was [...]

Bus fare rise would be the last straw, say upset commuters

Bus fare rise would be the last  straw, say upset commuters

By Mirudhula Thambiah A bus fare hike due by July, soon after the electricity price hike, has left commuters angry and frustrated. Buddhika Attapattu, 40, a government sector employee from Gampaha and father of two, said a bus fare hike would be very difficult to accommodate after the string of other recent price hikes. “The fare hikes [...]

Application to assess Duminda’s mental, physical condition refused

An application made to have Parliamentarian Duminda Silva referred to a medical panel to have his mental as well as physical condition assessed, was turned down on Wednesday by Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage. Counsel Upul Jayasuriya appearing for the family of slain Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra pointed out that suspect Duminda Silva claimed to have [...]

New Zealand milk powder in hot water

Agriculture minister warns against imports, foreign pressure on AEA to suspend probe A Government Minister has warned Sri Lankans against the use of imported milk powder while New Zealand, the largest supplier, has mounted pressure to halt an inquiry by the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) over alleged radioactive contamination. The warning came from Agriculture Minister Mahinda [...]

Ceremonial sitting for new SC Judge

A ceremonial sitting for newly promoted Supreme Court Judge Rohini Marasinghe Perera will take place on Wednesday. Ms. Perera, who was a Judge of the Court of Appeal, was promoted to the Supreme Court by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on April 26 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice S.I. Imam. She was the [...]

Gold prices decline spiking demand from abroad as well

Price of 22 karat gold yesterday was Rs 49,800 in the local market, which market sources claimed was a decrease, compared with price fluctuations in the last three months. Three months ago 22 karat gold was sold between Rs.55,000 and Rs.53,000.  Sri Lanka Jewellers Association President K. Radhakrishnan spoke of a further decline in the price [...]

CEB smarting over amended power tariffs

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is not happy with the electricity tariff rates amended on the orders of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It wants more. CEB Chairman W.P.Ganegala told the Sunday Times, “We were expecting an overall increase of 28 per cent, but what the PUCSL (Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, the regulatory body) has proposed [...]

Whopping loan sought to set up new oil refinery

Sapugaskanda can refine mostly Iranian crude now hit by sanctions  The Government will seek US $ 2.5 billion or Rs.320 billion through another loan to set up a new oil refinery in Sri Lanka, Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa declared yesterday.  “This will help us save monies spent on imported refined fuel,” he told [...]

Deyata Kirula exhibition CEO remanded for alleged fraud

Deyata Kirula 2013 exhibition Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kanthi Gunawardane who was arrested in connection with alleged misappropriation of 39 million rupees on May 9, was remanded until May 15 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage. Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers arrested the suspect soon after the Colombo Fort Magistrate rejected her anticipatory bail application [...]

Ear-biting Deputy Mayor out on bail

Ratnapura Municipal Council Deputy Mayor Nilantha Roshan who is accused of biting off a part of the ear of a traffic police officer on duty in the heart of the town, is out on bail. He was arrested following the incident while he was receiving treatment at the Ratnapura General Hospital for injuries, he says he [...]

Parents’ heartbreak over innocent victims of road carnage

Parents’ heartbreak over innocent victims of road carnage

 Accidents, serious injuries increasing Speeding VIP cars set bad example When Javeen and Jeyanthimala brought Janani and Janan from Switzerland for a visit to Sri Lanka they never expected to return home with the lifeless bodies of their precious children – victims of the scourge of road accidents in this country. Sixteen-year-old Janani and 12-year-old Janan [...]

61-180 Units worst affected as per revised electricity tariff hike

61-180 Units worst affected as per revised electricity  tariff hike

CEB gets its wires crossed over industrial and commercial sectors favouring big over small and medium The lower middle-income groups that consume between 61 and 180 units of electricity will be the worst affected in Thursday’s fresh revision of electricity tariffs, said Energy Forum Executive Director Asoka Abeygunawardana.  “There is no tariff increase for consumers [...]

A charged House generates AC/DC current on the debate

UNP Adjournment Motion on electricity price hike The UNP on Thursday moved an adjournment motion in Parliament on the proposed hike in the electricity tariff. The motion was moved by MP Tissa Attanayaka and seconded by MP Sajith Premadasa. The following are views expressed by both Government and Opposition MPs during the debate: – UNP [...]

Aged farmers, widows destitute

Aged farmers, widows destitute

While the powers that be live it up the old, the feeble and the disabled face starvation as farmers’ pension fund begun in 1987 goes bust thro’ Govt. mismanagement Seventy-four-year-old H.P. Babe, a farmer’s widow, was totally dependent on the monthly allowance she received from the farmers’ pension scheme to which her late husband had [...]

Canals choked by highway building sand cause flooding

Canals choked by highway building sand cause flooding

Sand piled up for the construction of the Colombo-Katunayake highway has washed away in pre-monsoonal rains, blocking canals in Peliyagoda and Kelaniya and causing rainwater to flow into houses, residents claim. The Nuge Road and Wanawasala road in Peliyagoda are on marshy land and floods usually affect the area’s residents as the south-west monsoon rains set [...]

Our story on homeless South Eastern undergrads draws favourable response

Our story on homeless South Eastern undergrads draws favourable response

Following the Sunday Times article South Eastern varsity undergrads ‘homeless’ published on March 10, the authorities have taken measures to resolve the problems of students at the Eastern University’s Faculty of Heath Care Science.  Chancellor Dr. Kidner Govindarajah told the Sunday Times that a hostel is being put up in the vicinity of the Batticaloa [...]

Varsity cuisine guarantees no constipation

Varsity cuisine guarantees no constipation

Canteen owners’ mission impossible to provide a packet of rice and curry for Rs. 30 maximum results in rotten veggies, stale fish, low quality rice The food has no quality whatsoever; it is surprising that the food and the canteen surroundings are not inspected by PHIs. Most of the canteens are unclean and infested with [...]

Lion Air Antonov 24: Operation Salvage after 15 years

Lion Air Antonov 24: Operation Salvage after 15 years

Nearly fifteen years after the Lion Air Antonov 24 aircraft was shot down close to Iranativu island in Mannar, Sri Lanka Navy (SNL) personnel salvaged two ten major sections of the wreck as well as a few personal belongings of the 66 persons who perished in the tragedy. The aircraft was shot down on September [...]

Selling gold: But where’s the gold?

Selling gold: But where’s  the gold?

Police decoys bust racket; many arrested including a former Superintendent of Police; hunt for mastermind still on A broker had approached a businessman from Nugegoda six months ago and had told him there was gold purchased from the state which was available for sale. He was told he could buy 50 kilograms of gold for [...]

Remove police and land powers before holding northern elections: Weerawansa

Remove police and land  powers before holding northern elections: Weerawansa

Vows to launch leaflet and petition campaigns and hold public rallies in Kalutara, Gampaha, Kurunegala, Kandy and Colombo As his party prepared for a countrywide campaign next week, National Freedom Front leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa said he has appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to repeal land and police powers for Provincial Councils enshrined in [...]

Lights, food, action! Vesak spirit undimmed

Lights, food, action! Vesak spirit undimmed

With the Avurudu celebrations barely over, Vesak lanterns, pandals and other decorations are already taking shape in houses and workplaces, and busy lantern-makers say the Vesak spirit has beaten the cost of living blues.  Hard at work is S. A. Ariyarathne, 57, who started making lanterns a week ago, with customers attracted by the family’s [...]

Illegible directions and traffic blocks

Illegible directions and traffic blocks

Indicator boards on the roadside are meant to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. But the boards put up under the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway Project tend to do just the opposite. One tiny board announces the bus halt has been moved 100 metres ahead. But both bus drivers and commuters pay no heed to this and buses [...]

India’s President asks judiciary to regulate itself

India’s President asks judiciary to regulate itself

Says this will help the three organs of the Government “maintain a fine balance” essential for the success of a Parliamentary democracy The success of a parliamentary democracy depended on “maintaining a fine balance” between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, President Pranab Mukherjee said in Kolkata on Sunday as he called upon the [...]

BASL urges stop to harassment of CJ43

BASL urges stop to harassment of CJ43

The Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) passed a resolution on Friday evening urging the authorities immediately stop harassing and humiliating Chief Justice 43 Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. A BASL spokesperson said the BASL Executive Committee (Ex-co) deplored that Dr. Bandaranayake has been subjected to what it regarded as an “absolute unnecessary harassment [...]

TRC ordered to provide caller details asking for High Court case info

The Colombo Magistrate on Monday ordered the Director General of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to submit a report on the alleged telephone calls asking for details of a case pending before the Colombo High Court on Monday. Keselwatte Police PC Kumara Hettiaratchi told court that unidentified callers who pretended to be from the Sri Lanka [...]

April was the cruellest month for N-Eliya

Drop in Muslim visitors due to SMS leads to losses for State and private ventures The annual April season in Nuwara Eliya saw a drop of about 35% per cent this year as compared with last year, in the arrival of visitors due to the non-participation by a large number of persons from the Muslim [...]

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