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In the air, there’s a feeling of Christmas

In the air, there’s a feeling of Christmas

A singing human Christmas tree and police family girls in angelic costume were among the highlights of the Police carol service held on Friday night. Pic by Indika Handuwela

20% in CSE companies must be held by public

Sri Lanka’s stock market regulator, after three to five years of discussions, has introduced rules prescribing the minimum quantity of shares that must be held by the public after January 1, 2014 in companies on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). This means than some companies which are controlled by majority stakeholders with just a fraction of [...]

Poaching crisis: Minister to visit India

Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne is to visit India to discuss the issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters. He told the Sunday Times he would meet India’s Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar who is in charge of fishing. “I have received an invitation from him and have asked the Indian High Commission to [...]

CPC issues red notice to state agencies

The Petroleum Industries Ministry will enforce with immediate effect a maximum two-month credit limit for state institutions to pay their fuel bills, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. He said supplies would be discontinued if the arrears were not paid within two months. Concessionary terms would also be withdrawn. Among the main institutions which owe the [...]

Biggest heroin haul: Joint probe by Lanka and Pakistan

Narcotics sleuths from Sri Lanka and Pakistan will visit each other’s capitals to probe one of the biggest heroin hauls in history. The main aim of the detectives will be to unravel drug mafias operating between the two countries and their influential connections. Police Narcotics Bureau Director Kamal Silva said the PNB’s counterparts in Islamabad [...]

Exposed: Building full of outdated food items, rats and cockroaches

Exposed: Building full of outdated food items, rats and cockroaches

A major racket to redistribute expired food items –including baked beans, flavoured drinks, canned fish, noodles, cornflakes and fish sauce — for public consumption was busted in Colombo yesterday. The Colombo Municipality’s Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) raided an insect-and-rat-infested Pettah warehouse of a company known as New J.P.S. Enterprises located at Old Moor Street, Colombo [...]

Kilinochchi DS says presidential coordinator interfering in her work

Kilinochchi’s District Secretary Rupavathi Kethishwaran has protested to Public Administration Minister John Seneviratne, alleging interference by a presidential coordinator in land administrative matters in the district. Her protest followed the coordinator’s visit to her office. She said the official wanted her to give a decision in favour of a person who had forcibly occupied a [...]

UNPers approve vesting of powers in Leadership Council | Annual convention at Sirikotha

UNPers approve vesting of powers in Leadership Council | Annual convention at Sirikotha

UNP members yesterday endorsed vesting of powers tn the newly appointed Leadership Council of the party at the UNP annual convention. The party said it will create a new mechanism to lead it to victory by preparing promotional and recruitment programmers required for a membership drive, initiating disciplinary action or administrative action in the event of [...]

Let’s roll up sleeves and oust this regime: Ranil

Let’s roll up sleeves and oust this regime: Ranil

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday asked party members to roll up their sleeves, end their differences and unite to fight the Rajapaksa regime. “Let us roll back our sleeves and move forward till we oust this regime,” the UNP leader told cheering crowds who gathered at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha in Kotte yesterday. He said that [...]

Guest turns predator as householder sleeps

A lunch party at a home in Kandana ended on a bitter note after a student from a leading school was allegedly molested by a guest, who was a local council politician The incident occurred after most of the guests had left the lunch party that was held on December 10 in the flat upstairs. The [...]

Geoffrey Dobbs not allowed to enter country again, says Immigration Chief

The controversial British-born Australian citizen Geoffrey Dobbs, who started the Gale Literary Festival (GLF) was this week blacklisted and will not be allowed to enter the country again, Immigration and Emigration Controller Chulananda Perera said yesterday. Mr. Dobbs arrived into the country on a scheduled Thai Airways flight early Friday but was instantly deported, Mr. [...]

KMC Budget passed, UNP absent

The Kandy Muncipal Council Budget for 2014 was passed sans United National Party (UNP) participation with 14 votes – all from the ruling party.Opening the debate for the Opposition, its leader Neranjan Wijeyaratne said that according to the decision of the UNP, the Budget is being opposed as it is composed only of figures. He [...]

Join hands for the sake of the country, President appeals

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who wound up the Committee Stage debate on the Appropriation Bill for 2014 on Friday made an impassioned appeal to both Tamil political leaders as well as those in the Opposition ranks to join with the Government for the sake of the future prosperity of the country. “This country does not belong [...]

One day their houses could disappear

One day their houses could disappear

On the far side of Fingara Town and Country Club on Old Kesbewa Road Rattanapitiya, Boralesgamuwa, is a narrow footpath which leads to a number of houses. Invisible to those who come and go to the club in expensive cars, the concrete-block houses are shabby and look unstable. One house stands apart from the rest. Forty-three-year-old [...]

Biggest drug haul: Kick the habit, no more political chits

Biggest drug haul: Kick the  habit, no more political chits

What is described as Asia’s biggest heroin haul is continuing to rock the UPFA Government. Despite repeated calls by one of the ruling coalition allies, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), that Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne should resign, the 82-year-old veteran hill country politician has dug in his heels to stay. Known popularly as Dee Moo [...]

Packer’s luxury project could start next year ‘minus a casino’

Packer’s luxury project could start next  year  ‘minus a casino’

Construction of Australian casino mogul James Packer’s “integrated super luxury resort” could start in the first half of 2014 if the Government convinces opponents that the project no longer includes a casino. The same applies to two other resorts (one by business tycoon Dhammika Perera and the other by John Keells Holdings) for which gazettes were [...]

City dwellers clubbed by new rates plan

‘Colossal’ spending necessary to make scheme work Colombo’s poor will have to match wealthy in reformed taxes Ratepayers in urban areas will be worst affected over the proposed new scheme of calculating assessment rates, valuation experts warn. Under the mooted new scheme the property value would be its market price on the date of valuation, which [...]

Races over but the mess stays

Races over but the mess stays

Almost a week after the Colombo Night Races were conducted, some of the hundreds of filled sacks used in safety barricades lay for many days on the streets, with some having toppled over, causing risks to motorists. The race brought no revenue to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) – a Rs 3 million loss – given [...]

Au revoir brother, I want your euros

The plot was hatched at a location in France and the abduction staged in the village of Kurukkalputhkulam-Vavuniya, and those involved in the drama were the members of a single family. It all began in 2008 when 27-year-old Darshan Sriskandarajah was caught up in a motor accident in France, forcing him to seek medical treatment at [...]

Rs. 300,000 monthly to light up Vihara Maha Devi park at night

Rs. 300,000 monthly to light up Vihara Maha Devi park at night

An additional Rs. 100,000 is incurred to illuminate the newly renovated Vihara Maha Devi park, the Sunday Times was told. The 500 lamps which were set up all around the park at a cost of Rs. 80 million ( According to the Final Report for Model Zone Development of Town Hall Square), costs the Colombo Municipal [...]

Kingswood gets a head at last

After almost a year a Principal has been appointed to Kingswood College Kandy, a prestigious college in Sri Lanka founded by journalist and author L.E.Blaze.  The Principal of Poramadulla National School A Bandara assumed duties on Friday at the college. Though interviews were held no Principal was appointed for nearly a year. Discipline broke down [...]

Three from Western Province top A/L list

The Advanced Level exam results released on Friday showed that three of the top achievers were from the Western Province. According to the results which were released Aditha Weerasiri Dias of Richmond College, Galle came first in Mathematics and Amaya Mahatanthila of Eheliyagoda Madya Maha Vidyalaya was first in the Bio science stream. Methsarani Lokuge [...]

Cleft lip and palate repair surgery unit in Vavuniya, a relief to poor parents

Cleft lip and palate repair surgery unit in Vavuniya, a relief to poor parents

Children born with cleft lip and palate defects in the North now have the opportunity to undergo repair surgery at a unit recently opened at the Vavuniya General Hospital. Dr. Ranjan Mallawaarachchi who heads the unit said children with this defect needed to be operated at a young age to avoid complications later on in life. [...]

The great train robbery

The great train robbery

Amidst charges of racketeering, corruption and lack of transparency, discarded engines and bogies have been left to corrode and disintegrate in various railway yards across the country, instead of being recycled or sold as money-spinning scrap iron, the Sunday Times learns. A Railway trade unionist has charged that hundreds and thousands of tons of railway [...]

UPFA councillors continue to defy party

UPFA members of local councils who voted to defeat their budget have come out strongly to defend their action as the crisis in the councils deepened and the members ignored warnings from the party hierarchy not to defeat the budgets. The latest council budget to be defeated was the Imbulpe Pradeshiya Sabhawa on Thursday (19 December), [...]

New measures to ease traffic blocks near popular clothes store

New measures to ease traffic blocks near popular clothes store

After a week of complaints by those affected by the huge traffic jams caused by patrons of the popular clothing store ‘House of Fashion’, the Borella police have deployed extra policemen to the area especially during peak hours. They have also taken measures to help the store manage its parking facility better. Since then, though [...]

Cold weather, rain to greet New Year

Cold weather, rain  to greet New Year

Cold spells, thunderstorms and heavy showers are set to greet the New Year, Met Dept. officials warned yesterday.  Most parts of the country recorded temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius, with Nuwara Eliya recording 11 degrees and Badulla 18 degrees this week. According to the Meteorology Department, temperatures in Colombo and Galle will be between 30 [...]

Mullivaikkal west revisited

Mullivaikkal west revisited

Two mischievous boys tackle each other to the ground while another dashes madly around the freshly-painted classroom. The girls wait quietly for the teacher to come for lessons.  Children will be children, wherever they are. The setting is a school in Mullivaikkal West, a village where intense fighting had driven everyone from their homes not [...]

Three day chanting of Tripitaka at Audience Hall Kandy ends today

A three day chanting of the Third Stanza of the ‘Tripitaka’ by 108 members of the Sri Lankan Maha Sangha and five members each of the Maha Sangha of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Bangaladesh and Laos commenced on Friday morning at the Audience Hall in Kandy. The welcome address was delivered by Ven. Dehideniye [...]

Water Board workers unearth 3 skulls and other remains in Mannar

A suspected mass grave has been discovered in Mannar following the detection of human remains in the Mannar Thiruketheeswaram region. The gruesome find was made by Water Board personnel while they were digging trenches along the Manthai- Thiruketheeswaram Road to lay pipelines on Friday evening Three skulls and several other skeletal remains were discovered by Friday [...]

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