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Court bans march by UNP dissidents after major clashes

A court yesterday banned a march from Devinuwara to Colombo by a group opposed to Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as eight people were hospitalised with gunshot injuries and several received outdoor treatment following bloody clashes with pro-Wickremesinghe groups shortly after the march began. Four separate clashes were reported in Devinuwara and Matara between the [...]

Infighting turns into street battles

Infighting turns into street battles

Matara town looked like a battleground yesterday as rival groups of UNP members moved in with poles, bottles and other missiles and clashes erupted between dissidents and factions loyal to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Pic by Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk.

Poaching crisis: Lanka will complain to EU

The Government will take up with the European Union the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters, if India fails to agree to an early solution to the issue, Deputy Fisheries Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne said yesterday.  He told the Sunday Times substantial evidence to show that poaching by Tamil Nadu fishermen [...]

Five die, three missing in double boat tragedy at Mannar sea

Five die, three missing in double boat tragedy at Mannar sea

Five people – four from one family — were drowned and three reported missing in two boat tragedies off the Mannar coast yesterday afternoon amid choppy seas and gusty winds. One of the boats transporting 18 people going on a picnic capsized in Musali while a smaller fishing vessel sank off Mullikulam in the Mannar area. [...]

Court calls for Minutes of Board Meeting and production of Share Registry

Commercial High Court Judge P.W.D.C. Jayatilake this week ordered Directors of Serene Pavilions (Pvt) Ltd to submit the Minutes of the Board meetings and the Share Registry allegedly removed under controversial circumstances from Courts until a final decision in the case is taken. Romesh de Silva, PC., appearing for the Directors Anura Lokuhetty and his [...]

Pak firm gets huge city contract

A Pakistani company has secured a multi-million rupee development project including a hotel, apartments and two housing complexes in Colombo, officials said yesterday.  A six-acre land in Kompanna Veediya has been allocated to the Pakistani company, Imperial, under a 99-year lease agreement. The company will construct apartments for Railway Department employees and for low-income groups who [...]

Police hunt for two suspects, finger prints at crime scene

Probe on killing of late Tissa Abeysekara’s mother-in-law Police are searching for two suspects involved in the killing of the mother-in-law of film director and script writer, late Tissa Abeysekara at her residence in Rajagiriya. Police say according to initial investigations the suspects had entered the premises by scaling a wall and had spent nearly [...]

President Rajapaksa to present Budget 2014 on Nov. 21

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to present Budget 2014 to Parliament on November 21.The Appropriation Bill will be presented on October 21, a month before the Budget is presented. The preparation of Budget 2014 has been completed in adherence to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework 2014-2015. The Budget aims to bring down the deficit to 5.2 [...]

Relief for drought-hit families

Relief for drought-hit families

A family in drought-stricken Polonnaruwa is seen collecting water in different vessels from a bowser. Pic by Karunaratne Gamage

CCD records Colombo Mayor’s statement on burning of CMC files

The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) this week recorded Colombo Mayor, A.J.M. Muzammil’s statement over the burning of Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) files, a senior CCD official said. He said that the Mayor’s statement was recorded after he lodged a complaint with the Inspector General of Police and called for an investigation into the incident which [...]

Late for class

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – When 19-year-old Pavitra Singh, one of 20 million students at India’s universities and colleges, gets her degree in two years’ time, she fears it will not be enough to secure a job. Indian employers tend to agree. Many say graduates from homegrown universities are often unemployable because job seekers do not have [...]

Business as usual at Colombo’s U.S. embassy despite its govt.’s shutdown

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government will not affect the workings of its Embassy in Colombo, an official here said. The US embassy in Colombo will remain open for public business- including visas and support for American citizen’s services. However, with no new Fiscal Year appropriations as at October 1, 2013, as required by [...]

Two-day debate on COPE report this week

A two day Parliamentary debate on the Report of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) which was presented to the House in July will take place this week. The Opposition initiated debate will be held on Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile the Order under the Strategic Development Projects Act to give tax concessions to strategic development project [...]

Convention against Doping in Sport Bill in House on Tuesday

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage will present to Parliament on Tuesday the Convention against Doping in Sport Bill, which will, among others, make provision for the establishment of the Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency, as well as specify the applicable domestic legal mechanism to combat doping in Sport, within the framework of the Convention. Under the terms [...]

Rajapaksa Govt. obstacle to peace and reconciliation, GTF tells Queen Elizabeth

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has written to Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth expressing grave concerns regarding the current situation in Sri Lanka and stating several reasons why the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which will be held in Colombo this November will be an embarrassment to the Organization and to the [...]

GMOA protests reprieve of banned drug manufacturers to overcome shortage

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) claimed that lifting the ban on quality-failed drug manufacturers, due to the shortage of lifesaving drugs, is not the remedy to solve the current crisis in the pharmaceutical sector in the country. Speaking to the Sunday Times, GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr Nalin Ariyarathne said that they are happy that [...]

Lanka’s Development Bonds now only a misnomer

Lanka’s Development Bonds now only a misnomer

Sri Lanka Development Bonds have lost their “development” title as they are now used to repay maturing loans and cover interest, economists said last week, days after Cabinet authorised a 50 percent increase in the SLDB issuance limit for this year.On September 19, Cabinet approved President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s proposal to raise the SLDB issuance limit [...]

Failed finance firm directors face indictment

The Supreme Court this week directed the Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Viraj Dayaratne to consider the filing of indictment against the directors of failed finance company Okanda Finance. The three-member Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Justices C. Ekanayake and Priyasath Dep directed the DSG to consider the action “if appropriate having regard to the material [...]

Dayasiri J., Sarath E. sworn in as CMs of NWP, CP respectively

Former UNP Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera and former Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayaka were sworn in before President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the two new Chief Ministers for the North-Western Province (NWP) and the Central Province (CP) respectively on Thursday. Mr Jayasekera who crossed over to the UPFA prior to the election, polled the highest number [...]

The error is regretted, but it was, nevertheless a huge delegation sent at great cost

The error is regretted, but it was, nevertheless  a huge delegation sent at great cost

Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premajayantha and former Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama have taken up cudgels with the Sunday Times Diplomatic Editor’s news item last week captioned “Mammoth delegation, Twitter fiasco, infighting, mar President’s UN visit” and they both say that they were not part of this mammoth delegation. The Sunday Times stands corrected. [...]

An apple a day in Sri Lanka may not keep the doctor away

An apple a day in Sri Lanka may not keep the doctor away

The premier organisation representing the largest volume of doctors in the country, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) issued a warning to the public on the consumption of imported fruits as they suspect chemicals used in the fruits may be injurious to health. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne said though there is no research [...]

Building on safety

Building on safety

An experienced mason was shifting bricks on the seventh floor of a partially built apartment block in Borella last week when he fell 80 feet to his death. Ranawaka Arachchige Chandana, a 42-year-old father of two, sustained severe injuries to his brain, abdomen and chest and died before admission to the National Hospital, Colombo. The construction [...]

Odyssey to our Kachchativu

Odyssey to our Kachchativu

Sri Lanka Navy’s fast attack craft moves out of the Northern Naval Area Headquarters in Kankesanthurai that Monday morning and cruises the calm, blue waters of the Palk Strait. We are some three kilometres from the coast. Towering coconut trees sandwiched between buildings appear to the left. To our right, the hot sun kisses the [...]

CHOGM 2013 preparations meet with official optimism and some public scepticism

CHOGM 2013 preparations meet with official optimism and some public scepticism

With little over a month left before the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting begins in Sri Lanka, officials engaged in the large scale development work in the city, say they are on track to complete the work on time. However, the public has mixed feelings about the ongoing work. Project manager Priyanka Suriyaarachchi, in [...]

Opposition decries Maldives’ 2nd round presidential poll deferment as “a judicial coup”

Opposition decries Maldives’ 2nd round  presidential poll deferment as “a judicial coup”

“It’s a judicial coup,” said Hamid A Ghafoor, Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) International spokesman, describing the country’s Supreme Court decision to indefinitely postpone the second round of voting in the country’s presidential election fixed for September 28. The Court ruling shattered the optimism expressed by international election monitors, as well as the United Nations (UN) [...]

Minipe PS Chairman hospitalised after attack

Minipe Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Wasantha Jayasundara –a die-hard supporter of the Chief Minister of Central Provincial Council Sarath Ekanayake– was admitted to the Hasalaka hospital along with two other individuals following an attack by another faction. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Chamika Premasiri said nine suspects along with two Prado vehicles and a Montero Jeep [...]

Dark secrets of a black beauty

Dark secrets of a black beauty

Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ refers to a black panther, Bagheera. This was really a black leopard and even though Badheera was fictitious, black leopards do exist. But are their days numbered in Sri Lanka, is the question that many wildlife enthusiasts pose. Another black leopard faced a brutal death in Deniyaya a few days back. [...]

Poor mental health: National institute can’t cope with the demand

Poor mental health: National institute can’t cope with the demand

About a month ago, a 25-year-old youth killed his father, then walked into the nearest police station and informed that the body was lying in his house. He also told police that he was suffering from a mental illness for over 10 years.  Following a court order he was later admitted to the National Institute [...]

Dead child’s parents to sue hospital for negligence

Legal action would be taken soon against those who were responsible for the death of five-year-old Buddhini Kaushalya who died while being treated at the Nawaloka Hospital, the lawyers for the dead child’s parents said. “We will file action after studying the evidence given at the magistrate’s court inquiry into the child’s death,” lawyer Raveendranath Dabare [...]

Contempt charge against Minister fixed for December 6

The contempt of court charges against Minister Rishard Bathuideen for allegedly threatening the Mannar Magistrate in July last year has been fixed for inquiry by the Court of Appeal for December 6. The inquiry was fixed after the Supreme Court dismissed on September 17, an appeal by Minister Bathuideen against the Appeal Court decision to overrule [...]

Private bus crews waive the rules

Around 15,000 buses enter Colombo daily. A majority of them are private buses. Apart from overcrowding, failing to issue tickets and speeding, private buses also violate the fundamental rule of picking up and dropping commuters off only at bus stops. Irrespective of whether they be outstation or city buses all of them pass through Pettah and [...]

Son allegedly burnt with iron rod by father for failing exam

A 38-year-old man was arrested after he is alleged to have branded his child with a heated iron rod after the 10-year-old boy failed to pass the Year Five Scholarship Exam held recently, police said. They said the alleged incident took place at a line room in a tea estate in Bogawantalawa while the boy’s mother [...]

Parents handicapped, son makes it to the top with 186 marks

Parents handicapped, son makes  it to the top with 186 marks

With all the news about the recently released scholarship examination results, the Sunday Times came across a very talented student who got through the examination after he secured 186 marks. The most striking detail of this success is that both Thiwanka Buddhika’s parents are speech and hearing impaired. Little Thiwanka comes from a village in Naminioya [...]

Yes, Ranil can: Why I support him

Yes, Ranil can: Why I support him

It is indeed a quirk of destiny that the very person who initiated the ‘Ranilta Be’ (Ranil can’t) poster prior to the Presidential election of 1999 should now be writing this article explaining why I believe that Ranil Wickremesinghe ‘can do it’. My reasoning, however, behind both these actions remains the same.  In 1999, during [...]

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