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Rupee plunges, driving prices up

A continuously weakening rupee to the US dollar may lead to a price spiral in essential food items, the trade warned yesterday. However, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal claimed on the telephone from Washington where he is on an official visit “it was not really right to say so”. “With the increase of the [...]

Hello, hello, can you hear me

Hello, hello, can you hear me

In a ringing coincidence, a protesting nurse takes a telephone call while she and her colleagues were staging a picket and token strike outside the Health Ministry on Wednesday, with one of their demands being an extra allowance for telephone calls. Pic by Nilan Maligaspe

Colombo opened up for casinos

Gazette notification allows gaming centres outside restricted zone The Government will not restrict casinos to a zone in D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10, but will allow similar ventures in other parts of the city, according to a gazette notification issued last week. The notification, issued under the Strategic Development Projects Act, states that permission has [...]

UPFA vows to restore Jaffna’s glory

First off the mark to launch its campaign for the long-awaited Northern Provincial Council elections, the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) vowed yesterday to “take Jaffna back to its glory days”. A spokesman for the alliance told the Sunday Times the UPFA would not be stampeded into nominating a chief minister from its list of [...]

Copycat ‘White Van’ in police net

A ‘bogus’ white van packed with armed men who abducted known drug dealers and later released them on a ransom payment, was busted by police intelligence at Mawaramandiya in Polonaruwa yesterday night. The five-member gang led by a serving Army Sgt. Major was picked up in a sting operation following a tip-off from an individual [...]

No counsel retained by us, say five suspects in murder case | Businessman Mohamed Shyam’s killing

Five suspects involved in the businessman Shyam’s murder case told court they did not retain lawyers, but lawyers denying their claims said they were retained by the relatives of the suspects. When the non-summary inquiry into the killing was taken before Colombo Additional Magistrate A.M. Shahabdeen first suspect Koralage told court that he had not retained [...]

SC puts off FR case against CJ 44 till July 25

Petitioners object to Chief Justice nominating Bench The five judge-special Bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday put off for July 25, support for the fundamental rights violations petition filed against the appointment of Mohan Pieris as Chief Justice 44. Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for the Centre for Policy Alternatives and its Executive Director Dr. [...]

Appeal Court judgment nullifying PSC proceedings against CJ 43

AG’s request to set aside findings takes precedence over MPs motion  The special five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court refused the motion filed by two Parliamentarians asking the court to hear them before deciding on an appeal by the Attorney General seeking to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal that nullified the [...]

COPE report to House on Tuesday

Recommendations to strengthen the powers of the Auditor General (AG) will be included in the report of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) which will be presented to Parliament on Tuesday, its Chairman Minister D.E.W.Gunasekera said. The Report will also recommend that the salary of Rs. 48, 940 paid at present to the Auditor General [...]

Authorities throw the book at each other for term-test mess

Serious blunders in term test question papers in several provinces are causing major problems for students and parents – while authorities are blaming each other for the mess. North Central Province’s Education Minister Peshala Jayaratne said the shortage of permanent administration officers and in-service advisors was the reason that affected the grade six Sinhala examination paper. [...]

Jealous undergrad missing after botched knifing incident

The Peradeniya University undergraduate who allegedly attacked a fellow undergraduate with a sharp instrument has been identified, police said. The victim who was hospitalised was identified as one Kulatunga from Wattala while the suspect is said to be from Hatton. In this case, the assailant undergraduate, is alleged to have had a love affair for around [...]

A good catch for the brave-hearted

A good catch for the brave-hearted

With repeated warnings of turbulent seas in most parts of the country, fishermen had opted to stay away for safety reasons. However yesterday a group of fishermen from the southern coastal town of  Mirissa who braved the seas returned to the shore with their nets overloaded with tuna. Pic. By Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk

SL hooked on substandard Indian drugs from blacklisted manufacturers

SL hooked on substandard Indian drugs from blacklisted manufacturers

Some of the Pharmaceuticals imported into the country, mostly from India, are repeatedly failing to comply with quality standards, and authorities are facing difficulties in withdrawing them from the outlets after the quality tests are done. According to the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) of 2012, over 110 drugs have failed to comply with [...]

Polls Chief refutes “No election monitors from anti-Lankan Europe” quote | Right of Reply

Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya, commenting on our last week’s front-page report headlined ‘No election monitors from anti-Lankan Europe: Polls Chief’, claims the story is not true. He says: I requested for views and suggestions prior to the Party Secretaries’ meeting held at the Elections Secretariat on 12/07/2013, and some political parties suggested that Observers [...]

Accessibility an essential part of national development

Accessibility an essential part of national development

The failure to establish, even after seven years, an overall mechanism for the effective enforcement and implementation of the accessibility regulations — even in respect of on-going large scale renovations at hotels and hospitals — is thwarting national development.  Although this vital need has been highlighted since 2007 at monthly meetings of the National Council [...]

‘Sober’ Ramith fined 50% of tour fee for ‘touching’ cabin door

Sri Lanka ‘A’ Team cricketer Ramith Rambukwella was not drunk on a British Airways flight, and had only “touched” the door of the aircraft, an inquiry conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has found. “He was not under the influence of liquor,” said SLC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Ashley de Silva. “He had had a couple [...]

CID busts expat Lankans’ credit card scam using local contacts

Two Sri Lankans domiciled in Germany and France, led a gang in Vavuniya to secretly collect and transmit credit card data of Vavuniya residents, to duplicate those credit cards, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) investigations revealed. The breakthrough came following a complaint to the CID last month by a private bank in Vavuniya, that some of [...]

Flying Fish: Fins clipped before flight

Flying Fish: Fins clipped before flight

The uproar caused over the screening of the film Igilena Maluwo (Flying Fish) at the recently held French Film Festival at the BMICH in Colombo has snowballed into a major controversy with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) probing if the producers of the film violated the conditional authorisation given to them by the Defence Ministry [...]

Battle hots up even before nominations

Battle hots up even before nominations

With four days to go for the nominations for the polls in three provinces, signs of winning-at-all costs have already emerged amidst poster wars and reports that parties are preparing to field their big guns.  Nominations will be accepted from political parties and independent groups at the nine district secretaries in the three provinces – [...]

Errant politicos continue to hold sway; say incidents aimed at tarnishing political careers!

Errant politicos continue to hold sway; say  incidents aimed at tarnishing political careers!

More incidents involving local politicians, most of them ruling party members have been reported this week from various parts of the country ahead of the upcoming provincial elections. These were the latest additions to over 90 such incidents during the past 13 months where local politicians were hauled before courts for various offences. On Tuesday, Yatawatta [...]

Three-wheelers: Indispensable death traps

Three-wheelers: Indispensable death traps

Despite 800,000 three-wheelers or ‘tuk-tuks’ operating in the country, of which about 300,000 operate within the Colombo city, according to the Motor Traffic Department, the absence of a regulatory body has made this a transport service filled with unruly drivers and road hogs, experts warned. Three-wheeler accidents account for over 8% of fatal accidents in the [...]

Less fatalities in 2012 compared to 2011 figures: Police Media Spokesman | Right of reply

A news feature in the Sunday Times of July 7, titled Police ‘have no clear strategy’ to limit accidents has drawn a reaction from the Director/ Superintendent of Police G.M.H.B. Siriwardhane, Police Public Relations Division and Police Media Spokesman.He said police have been able to bring down the number of fatal accidents in 2012 when [...]

Lankans say, ‘our cops are corrupt’

Lankans say, ‘our cops are corrupt’

Police Chief says will act on findings of Transparency International survey; 72 percent of Sri Lankans also say people can play role in fight against corruption Mounting reports of corruption has prompted Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon to warn of stern action against his men. His remarks came after a Transparency International survey revealed that most Sri [...]

‘I’m not a politician, I only wish to serve my suffering people’

‘I’m not a politician, I only wish to serve my suffering people’

He may have made a career out of music, had his mother not pushed him to study Law. Canagasabapathy Viswalingam Wigneswaran is still an accomplished sitar player. The retired Supreme Court Judge was, last week, named Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) Chief Ministerial (CM) candidate for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election. “My mother was the [...]

Environmental degradation

Environmental degradation

Despite mangroves being part of a vital coastal ecosystem protecting the shoreline from erosion, residents complain that heavy equipment has been used to completely destroy a lush green 24-acre mangrove at Puliyankudah, Kaka Adiya on the Mohoththuwarama Island in Kalpitiya near Puttalam.     The area is also rich in biodiversity and therefore clearing of [...]

Additional Magistrate’s ruling declared null and void

An accused sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment by Additional Magistrate Kandy was released by Kandy High Court Judge Justice Amendra Seneviratne after a revision application was filed by the mother of the accused. Attorney’s Maneesha Seneviratne, Aftab Jameel on the instructions of Attorney at Law Sunanda Udulagama appeared for the accused. Defence attorneys claimed the [...]

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