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It’s mourning time for the PM

It’s mourning time for the PM

Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, under pressure to resign over the controversial attempt by one of his secretaries to get duty concessions for a heroin smuggler, was in more than a mournful mood when he attended the funeral of the Ven. Bopitiye Wanshananda Anunayake Thera of the Ramanna Nikaya in Payagala. Pic by Sarath Siriwardane

Higher taxes for your property

Assessment rates for properties in different local authority areas are to go up manifold from next year. This is because the Government wants to place a Capital Value on the property instead of the present valuation system. This will apply to properties located in Municipal, Urban Council and Pradeshiya Sabha areas. At present assessment rates are collected [...]

GTF to represent Tamils at Mandela’s funeral today

The British-based Global Tamil Forum has held talks with the ruling African National Congress and has been “officially invited” to “represent Tamils” at today’s funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela. GTF Director and spokesperson Suren Surendran held talks with Obed Bopela, Deputy Minister in the Presidency. He is also Chairman of ANC’s International Relations [...]

Speaker gets special media consultant

Cabinet has decided to make an exception in the appointment of a media consultant to the Speaker of Parliament since such a post cannot come under the approved cadre of Government service. The ministers have decided to place the post in line with that of a Consultant to a minister so that it will not require [...]

2,200 new buses; old buses to settle EPF dues

The Government will buy 2,200 new buses at a cost of more than Rs. 5 billion for the Sri Lanka Transport Board from next year.The recommendation came from Transport Minister Kumara Welgama who has proposed that a supplier’s credit be negotiated with the manufacturer — Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC — for this purpose. Cabinet has [...]

Tax relief for night races, CMC loses millions

The Colombo Night Races (CNR) which started yesterday have been exempted from entertainment and all other taxes on a directive from the Western Province Chief Minister and, as a result, the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will lose millions of rupees in vital revenue, it was revealed yesterday.The organisers of the races that attract mainly the [...]

Big fishing deals with Asian countries

The Government is offering Sri Lanka’s fisheries harbours to foreign vessels from Asian countries, including China, in a fresh bid to prevent European countries from exploiting fishing resources in the Indian Ocean.Under the plan, fishing vessels from China, Dubai, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam will be invited to engage in fishing in the international waters in [...]

CPC oil: Billions down the drain

The Attorney General has advised the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) that taking legal action against the supplier of 20,000 tons of High Sulpher contaminated fuel oil valued at Rs. 1,140 million will be a ‘waste of money’, Parliament was informed.The Corporation had consulted the Attorney General who said the fuel specification and the tender conditions [...]

Rs. 4 million worth electronic items recovered

Electronic equipment valued at over Rs. four million, stolen from leading electronic retail outlets country-wide, were recovered by Alawatugoda police recently. Three suspects were taken into custody and were produced before the Acting Kandy Magistrate Mahinda Liyanage, who remanded them until December 27. Earlier as police were unable to make a breakthrough into the case, [...]

Investigation into illegal use of postal franking machine

Postal authorities in Kandy are investigating allegations that the postal stamp franking machine of the Kandy Post Office was taken out of the office to dispatch propaganda material during the recently concluded Central Provincial Council election. The authorities also investigated whether a leftist political party had leaked the news of the incident. The leftist party [...]

Man killed in fireworks factory fire

A 29-year-old man died due to burns after a stock of explosives, exposed to the sun’s heat, caught fire while he was making firecrackers ahead of the festive season, the Coroner’s Court was told. B. Sumith Fernando from Negombo was working at his father’s fireworks factory in Kimbulapitiya when the inflammables he had spread out in [...]

New front determined to stand firm against Pettah extortion

New front determined to stand firm against Pettah extortion

Pettah traders have struck back against alleged extortion by a pro-government vendors’ federation by forming a new front determined to expose thuggery which they claim includes the fire that gutted more than 100 stalls in the Pettah markets last week. Clashes broke out between factions of traders last week over money being collected from businessmen. [...]

CAA renews raids after outdated cheese stocks found at warehouse

The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has deployed special teams to raid and inspect shops and supermarkets after a large stock of cheese which had its expiry date lapsed, was recovered at a warehouse belonging to Lanka Milk Foods Company at Welisara recently. CAA officials of Gampaha found 2,880 packs of outdated ‘Happy Cow’ cheese stocked [...]

Passing of Moratuwa MC budget challenged

Passing of Moratuwa MC budget challenged

Both opposition and ruling party members of the Moratuwa Municipal Council have complained to the Municipal Secretary and Deputy Commissioner that the 2014 budget of the Council had been passed in a fraudulent manner. MC members charged the budget debate took place on Friday with Mayor Saman Lal Fernando chairing the debate. They claim that [...]

‘Sports mafia’ slandering me for my stand against corruption: Aluthgamage

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage admitted in Parliament yesterday that he has some personal problems but said he was being slandered by members of the ‘sports mafia’ who were unhappy with him over certain decisions he had taken to stop corruption in the sports sector. “I have some personal problems but so do 95 per cent [...]

Thalassaemia on the rise

The number of thalassaemia patients in the country is on the increase with the latest statistics showing 4,924 carriers of this disease, according to details submitted to Parliament yesterday. In 2005 there were 2,094 patients on record but since then the number has increased to 4,924 by 2010, Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayaka said. The [...]

Huge heroin haul: Pressure on Govt. to hold impartial inquiry

Huge heroin haul: Pressure on Govt. to hold impartial inquiry

Pressure is mounting on the Government to hold an independent inquiry into the largest heroin haul incident in the country involving the Prime Minister and his coordinating secretary. United National Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the Sunday Times that the Government should carry out a proper investigation into the matter. “We understand that the [...]

Budget 2014 does not meet NP’s peculiar needs, says Chief Minister

The needs of the former war-torn Northern Province are not properly reflected in the 2014 Budget and therefore the Provincial Council will seek financial resources from stake holders within the country as well as well-wishers living abroad, said Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. He said the capital allocation for the Northern Provincial Council [...]

Kataragama OIC ordered to produce kapurala in Kandy Courts

Kandy Additional Magistrate Sesiri Herath issued notice on the Kataragama Police OIC through the Senior Superintendent of Police in charge of the District, directing the OIC to arrest the kapurala of the Sella Kataragama Gandadevi Kovil, Nimal Dissanayake and produce him in the Kandy Courts. The Additional Magistrate also extended the warrant earlier issued for [...]

CPC where oil and irregularities mix

CPC where oil and irregularities mix

Large-scale financial irregularities and mismanagement at the cash-strapped Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) have been exposed by the Auditor General, according to the corporation’s annual report presented to Parliament. The report refers to losses incurred by the import of substandard fuel, the fallout of the infamous hedging deal and payment of bonus to the staff when [...]

Click – and tricked

Click – and tricked

Two companies that take money from the public and promise hefty returns to those who view advertisements on their websites are being investigated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). The regulator has requisitioned for the accounts of Panora Advertising (Pvt) Ltd. and Luminous Advertising (Pvt) Ltd. to determine whether they are being run [...]

3,000 apartments to come up in Colombo for state sector workers, says UDA

3,000 apartments to come up in Colombo for state sector  workers,  says UDA

More than 3,000 apartments will be constructed in the next three years by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) in Colombo city for employees of state sector and semi-government institutions, according to a UDA official. UDA’s Urban Regeneration Project head E.A.C. Priyashantha told the Sunday Times that two state lands, one in Madampitiya, Mattakkuliya and the [...]

Sharp increase in HIV cases cause for concern

A sharp increase in the number of Sri Lankans infected by the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) in the third quarter of 2013 as against the second quarter is causing concern in health circles. Sixty-nine HIV cases have been reported in the third quarter (July-August-September) this year when compared to 46 in the second quarter (April-May-June). [...]

Ankutta join list of endemic fish

Ankutta join list of endemic fish

Sri Lanka is home to four species of Ankutta or catfish. One, scientifically classified as Mystus keletius, has been identified as a species native to both Sri Lanka and India, but new analysis by Dr. Heok Hee Ng and Rohan Pethiyagoda on this species has confirmed the Sri Lankan species is different from the Indian [...]

I saw three fish come sailing in

Santa comes with gifts in the festive season – and this is for all of us: researchers have gifted three new species of fish to add to the already impressive list of freshwater fish in Sri Lanka, strengthening the country’s status as a global biodiversity hotspot. The new species emerge from Halmal Dandiya and Hora [...]

Proud industry collapses

Proud industry collapses

Nihal R. Mendis, 47, hangs around the shop of a large-scale furniture dealer who buys his furniture, hoping for a loan to buy necessities for his household. He along with four other carpenters stands there, all waiting for buyers who don’t come to Moratuwa to buy furniture anymore. Less than a year ago business was [...]

Spiralling fatalities focus attention on untrained bus drivers

Spiralling fatalities focus attention on untrained bus drivers

Buses, the common man’s mode of transport, are creating unacceptable risks to life, and private buses – the largest component of the nation’s 23,000 strong fleet – are the most dangerous, experts warn. Transport authorities agree, and say transport licence rules will be altered to prevent private fleets from employing drivers with no passenger transport [...]

Ambitious UPFA rebels wreck council budgets

Ambitious UPFA rebels wreck council budgets

Local council members exchanged blows, hurled abuse at each other and offered foreign trips to win votes as a number of UPFA-controlled councils struggled to pass budgets. At least 16 local council budgets have been defeated so far and others hang in the balance. On Friday, the Kesbewa Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) budget was defeated by [...]

Lawyer files case against Matara cops for harassment

The Supreme Court granted leave to proceed in a fundamental rights petition filed by an Attorney-at-Law complaining of the degrading manner she was treated by the Matara Police Station Officers and the harassment she was subjected to when she went to surrender an alleged suspect wanted by the police The petitioner, Ms. Rajika Prasadini Wijethunga [...]

Scrooge rules Christmas sales so far

With fewer than 10 days to Christmas, shoppers are mostly keeping a tight hold on their wallets, burned by a barrage of price increases from the Budget. Sales in the last two weeks have been slow although some shops put up “Sale” signs well ahead of the Christmas season for electronic items and household goods. [...]

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