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UPFA politico arrested for threatening journalist

A UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) member from Medirigiriya was arrested for threatening a journalist who exposed illicit felling of trees on the pretext of flood control measures in the area. The PS member, Nishantha Pradeep Kumara had telephoned the journalist and threatened him for reporting the news item. The member had not identified himself, but [...]

Case against Tangalle PS chairman to begin in High Court in two weeks

Killing of British tourist Khurram Sheikh The case against the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and eight others who allegedly killed British tourist Khuram Sheikh and raped his girlfriend will begin in the Colombo High Court within the next two weeks, legal sources said. On Thursday, on the advice of the Attorney General, the suspects were indicted [...]

House debates ‘come alive’ on giant screen from Wednesday

Live proceedings of Parliamentary debates will be telecast from Wednesday over a giant screen installed opposite the Parliament grounds at Jayanthipura in Kotte. Among the first debates to be telecast will be the debate on new regulations under the Strategic Development Projects Act. The debate on the regulations that seek to give tax concessions to casinos [...]

Heavy rains and strong winds to continue for two more days

Heavy rains will continue for the next two to three days, Met. Department Director General S. H. Kariyawasam said. He said most parts of the country would experience rain in the afternoons and nights with some areas experiencing heavy showers upto 100 mm. “What we are experiencing are inter-monsoon rains with strong winds and thunder,” [...]

Mystery behind Airport police takeoff

Mystery behind Airport police takeoff

Amidst confusion and contradictory reports as to what was happening, the Airport Police Station opposite the VIP lounge of the BIA was being dismantled yesterday. The police, the Airport Authority and security officials gave conflicting reports as to why the station was being moved out three weeks before Commonwealth leaders arrive here for the CHOGM. [...]

‘Super-rich’ tax in the budget

Sri Lanka’s ‘super-rich’ are in for an unpleasant surprise next month.  The Government is considering the introduction of an additional tax on wealthy Sri Lankans in the 2014 budget to be presented on November 21. An official source told the Sunday Times the annual income and assets of wealthy Sri Lankans would be taken into account [...]

Indian poaching: President convenes meeting

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for an immediate meeting of all stakeholders to formulate a common position on the issue of poaching in Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishermen. As the first step, the President on Thursday directed Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratna to chair a meeting in Jaffna. The directive came after the President had [...]

CPC reportedly buying Iranian crude thru’ third parties

A crude oil shipment delay and changes in a bill of certification have given rise to speculation that Sri Lanka is procuring Iranian crude from third parties despite imposed sanctions imposed by the United States. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) contracted a company by the name of Mercol General Trading LLC to supply a consignment [...]

Police stop polls, democracy at stake in Maldives

MALE: The beleaguered Maldivian Elections Commission was forced to call off presidential polls, for the second time in weeks yesterday as disenchantment against the Maldives Government and the judiciary grew. Police moved into Elections Commissioner (EC) Fuwad Thowfeek’s office in the morning preventing any ballot boxes or election material from moving out, saying they would not [...]

New rules to curb shady deals by finance companies

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has issued regulations to prevent, among other things, registered finance companies from writing off loans or leases granted to their own directors or relatives of directors.  Five new directions have been made on the back of stinging criticism over the CBSL’s failure to prevent yet another finance company [...]

Kotahena residents, police in dark over who distributed forms

Residents in Kotahena yesterday complained to Police that an unidentified group had distributed forms seeking personal information. Kotahena Police Officer-in-Charge I. Ovitigama said the residents had asked him whether he knew who the group was.He said if any state intelligence agency was collecting data the police were usually informed beforehand. The forms that were distributed [...]

2014 Appropriation Bill to be introduced on Tuesday

The 2014 Appropriation Bill will be presented to Parliament next Tuesday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Finance Minister, will present the Budget on November 21, following which, the debate on the second reading of the Budget will begin and continue till November 29. The Committee Stage debate of the Appropriation Bill will continue till December 20, with [...]

Opposition, Govt. allies gear up for anti-casino debate in House

The Opposition will call for a vote by name, when the Order made under the Strategic Development Projects Act to give tax concessions to a “casino project” in Colombo, is taken up for debate in Parliament this week. The debate scheduled for Thursday and Friday, will go ahead despite opposition from religious leaders as well as [...]

SLN, Fisheries officials hike vigilance against illicit fishing

Fisheries authorities and the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) have stepped up action against illegal fishing methods used by local fishermen, officials said. The SLN arrested 89 fishermen off the east coast, for using ‘Hambili del’ or ‘Purse Seine’ nets meant for deep sea fishing. Navy spokesman, Commander Kosala Waranakulasuriya said the arrests made by Eastern Naval [...]

Baby born in three-wheeler dies from fall

A newborn infant died when it fell to the floor of a three-wheeler, when an expectant mother gave birth while she was on her way to the maternity hospital, a Coroner’s Court inquiry was told. Wanitha Priyani (26) was on her way to Castle Street Maternity Hospital from Kaduwela, Malabe, when she gave birth before [...]

Final draft of Prisons Bill to be handed to Minister

The final draft of the Prisons Bill aimed at improving standards in the country‘s over-populated prisons, will be presented to Minster of Justice Rauff Hakeem tomorrow by Justice Hector Yapa who headed the Committee appointed to draft the new Bill. The new legislation will replace the existing Prisons Ordinance with a view to streamlining the [...]

Illicit fags become dear as the Law butts its smuggling

Illicit fags become dear as the Law butts its smuggling

The sale of illegal cigarettes is on the decline with law enforcement agencies cracking down on outlets involved in the business. As cigarettes are heavily taxed, it has long been observed that many of the imported sticks are smuggled into the country to avoid taxation, and sold at a much lower rate. The Ceylon Tobacco Company [...]

Press Complaints body marks its decade

Press Complaints body marks its decade

The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL), the self regulatory body of the newspaper industry celebrated its tenth anniversary this week. Established on October 15, 2003, the PCCSL stated in a release this week that it has adjudicated on over one thousand three hundred complaints during the ten year period. The PCCSL is managed [...]

Southern education Minister shares success behind Grade 5 Scholarship Examination

Southern education Minister shares success behind Grade  5 Scholarship Examination

The Southern province had the most number of students who obtained marks above the cut off point at the year five scholarship examination, with 4702 students achieving the feat, an analysis of the results has shown. Hambantota district marked the highest per centage of students who exceeded the cut off point with 13.89 followed by [...]

Religious leaders denounce moves to set up more casinos

Religious leaders denounce moves to set up more casinos

The Congress of Religions summoned a news conference in Narahenpita on Thursday morning to denounce Government moves to expand the casino industry. Two gazette notifications will be submitted for Parliamentary approval next week. One of them seeks permission for a joint venture between an Australian casino mogul and a Sri Lankan businessman. The news conference, though [...]

Colombo hotels get ready to make a kill during the CHOGM

With their Room rates set to increase drastically, leading hotels both in the city and the suburbs are busy preparing to accommodate the visiting delegates of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Training staff members and upgrading facilities are under way in hotels designated as ‘CHOGM Partner Hotels’. Room reservations from November 10-17 for the [...]

Protest campaign against monk’s alleged sexual abuse of orphan

Protest campaign against monk’s alleged sexual abuse of orphan

Probation officers, along with child rights activists, vow to conduct a protest campaign against the inaction of police and child protection authority officials to arrest a Buddhist monk for allegedly causing sexual harm to a boy under his supervision at an orphanage in Vavuniya. After a Judicial Medical Officer’s (JMO) report revealed that a 10-year-old [...]

Dirty tactics used by micro lending companies in Batti area

As many as 50 complaints of cases of harassment and intimidation including cases of sexual harassment by persons collecting payments due to finance companies and by other persons lending money have been reported to the District Secretary of Batticaloa.  According to District Secretary Ms. P. S. M. Charles finance companies which have started different micro [...]

Rathupaswala water crisis and new moves to dam it

Rathupaswala water crisis and new moves to dam it

Almost three months after the Rathupaswala’s people power protest in demand of clean drinking water was crushed by the Army shooting in which three people died, uncertainty and intrigue still loom large — with the official test reports yet to be made public. Although the tense situation has somewhat subsided, the affected residents are still [...]

Pomp and pageantry at inaugural Central Provincial Council sitting

Pomp and pageantry at inaugural Central Provincial Council sitting

The maiden session of the sixth Central Provincial Council was declared open by Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Governor of the Province.  The Governor was escorted to the Council premises at Pallekelle by white uniformed police outriders where he was welcomed by the Chairman of the Council, Mahinda Abeykoon and Secretary of the Provincial Council S. Meegaskumbura. He [...]

Southern Province plans major development drive

Southern Province plans major development drive

The Southern Provincial Council (SPC) is planning to develop the province in many areas including tourism, with a number of new projects earmarked to make the areas more attractive to tourists. One of these will be a project centering on the picturesque area of Deniyaya where a tourist zone is to be set up by 2014. [...]

Severity, brutality of crimes increase though numbers dip

Severity, brutality of crimes increase though numbers dip

Kumara Ramanayaka, 57, retired Warrant Officer of the Sri Lanka Air Force, was attending a religious ceremony in his village in Yakatuwa, Minuwangoda, last Sunday, when there was a sudden electricity failure plunging the place in darkness. He then decided to return home on his motorcycle, as only his wife and two children were at [...]

Wildlife enthusiasts become foster parents to 20 crocs

Wildlife enthusiasts become foster  parents to 20 crocs

Many are the negative stories reported regarding conservation of animals, especially that of reptiles.  But proving this trend wrong, a group of wildlife enthusiasts hatched a clutch of crocodile eggs and they are now the proud foster parents of baby crocs. The group is none other than the Wildlife Conservation Society of Galle (WCSG).The happy [...]

Heavy rains, lightning and high winds forecast

Heavy rains to continue for the next two to three days, Met. Department Director General S. H. Kariyawasam said. He said that the rain will be most prevalent during the afternoons and nights while most parts of the island would be affected. In some areas rainfalls of about 100 mm. can be expected. “This is the [...]

Indian elephant expert critical of conservation methods

Indian elephant expert critical of conservation methods

A scientific approach is needed to solve the Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) and Sri Lanka must not make the same mistakes that India did, Indian elephant expert Ajay Desai said. As co-chair of IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist group Mr. Desai was in Sri Lanka to deliver a talk on ‘’A Way forward with Elephants” at a [...]

Public interest vs Vested interests

Public interest vs Vested interests

The pubic as are usual victims of business people encroaching pavements and areas meant for the public use. Already many such areas have been illegally taken over. This situation extends even to the newly re-constructed roads which government has allocated as ‘cycle lanes,’ which are meant specifically for public use. A case in point is the [...]

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