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Pettah’s beauty unveiled

Pettah’s beauty unveiled

As part of the city beautification plan, the old Pettah bus stand in central Colombo and the wall behind have been pulled down to provide an aesthetic view of the Beira Lake and some of Fort’s landmarks. A boatyard and a Beira walk path are also being built.

PM’s office used by Commerce Minister

The Prime Minister’s office has been used, this time by a Cabinet Minister, ignoring accepted protocol, to make a direct request to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a housing scheme for the Muslims. Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen obtained the help of Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne to forward an appeal to Premier Sharif through the Pakistan [...]

Politicians’ antics, relatives’ threats after patient’s death close hospital

Politicians’ antics, relatives’ threats after patient’s death close hospital

It’s not often that one sees a shirtless politician using a dog chain to tie himself up to a lorry, in protest. But that is exactly what rather flamboyant United National Party Kalutara District Parliamentarian Palith Thewarapperuma did last week as he engaged in a fast-unto-death campaign demanding the Badureliya Hospital in the district be [...]

School money to renovate Elephant Pass station

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena wants to renovate and re-name the Elephant Pass railway Station as Senahasaka Thotupola when train services between Kilinochchi and Jaffna are restored. For this purpose, he wants to utilise Rs. 15.5 million collected from teachers and pupils countrywide. His proposal has been accepted and the ministry is now in consultation with the [...]

Special Project Minister has only kidney, other tasks hazy

The newly appointed Special Projects Minister S.M. Chandrasena has been tasked with identifying environmental factors that contribute to the increase in kidney patients and initiating action to minimise or eliminate the impact of such factors.  It was the only job that S.M. Chandrasena was assigned with some specificity when the President gazetted his duties and [...]

Jumbo love

Jumbo love

Brigitte Prytz, a Swedish national has a unique relationship with elephants. Her fondness for the animals brings her to Sri Lanka every year for several months to spend time with the jumbos. These days she is in Habarana where she spends time bathing and feeding them.

Indian journalist deported

Indian journalist Maha Tamil Prabhakaran who was arrested for filming an Army camp in the north was deported last night after Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) handed him over to the immigrations authorities.  According to Visa and Border Controller M. N. Ranasinghe, Mr. Prabhakaran was served with a removal notice for violating his visa conditions. The [...]

Businessman arrested for attempting to smuggle in 16,000 litres of ethanol

A businessman from Borella who was taken into custody for attempting to smuggle 16,000 litres of ethanol into the country has been remanded till tomorrow. The stock valued at over Rs 3.2 million was seized by Customs officials on Friday following the detection of barrels inside a container when it was put through the scanning machine. [...]

Big heroin bust: All network members identified, say police

Police last week claimed that all members of the network involved in smuggling 261 kilograms of heroin into Sri Lanka have been identified but refused to reveal who they were. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana also confirmed that investigators were not targeting an official in the Prime Minister’s office who attempted to get the contraband released [...]

A final Royal salute

A final Royal salute

The body of former Royal College Principal and well-known educationist Bogoda Premaratne was brought to the school last afternoon for students and old boys to pay their last respects. His coffin was carried to the main hall of the school by the old boys. Mr. Premaratne was also a former Commissioner of Examinations and head [...]

Dispute over ownership of luxury hotel continues

The case in the battle for control and management between the directors of Serene Pavillions Hotel, Wadduwa was taken up before Judge Mahinda Samayawardena at the Commercial High Court Colombo this week. The judge ruled that the husband and wife duo Anura Lokuhetty and Menaka Lokuhetty could be not be removed from the Board of Directors [...]

Public asked for suggestions to revise Establishments Code

The Government has asked for public suggestions to revise the Establishments Code that governs the conduct of public officials. “It has been a longstanding demand that the Establishment Code be revised and we have appointed a committee that is now looking into this possibility,” said Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne. “Perhaps the [...]

Freshers asked to use smart phones against raggers

Students at state-run universities and higher education institutions should use smart phones to record incidents of ragging so that action can be taken against the perpetrators, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama has advised. “They (students) can use their smart phones and take pictures or videos to prove incidents of ragging and immediate steps [...]

Severe air pollution: Experts propose switch to liquefied natural gas

An expert committee has recommended to the Government to switch to the use of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) for the country’s power generation, transport and industry. This is after findings that 60 per cent of the air pollution in Colombo City was the result of a greater dependence on fossil fuels as a source of [...]

81 small buses for rural areas

Transport Minister Kumara Welgama now wants to import 81 small buses “on a repeat order” basis to be used for transport of passengers in rural areas.  This will be done by utilising one billion rupees allocated to his Ministry to buy new buses. The Sunday Times of December 15 revealed how the Government will buy [...]

Coconut crop down, copra to be imported

Sri Lanka, one of the largest growers of coconuts in Asia, has experienced a slump in production due to poor yields and fragmentation of estates. As a result, the Government has allowed buscuit and food item manufacturers to import copra. Initially the import of 30,000 tons of quarantined copra will be allowed until February next year. [...]

Phone calls, many food items to cost more from Jan. 1

The price of voice calls will increase by five per cent, while a range of imports from rice and spices to certain plant and machinery will become costlier when tax revisions in the 2014 Budget come into effect on Wednesday. But the Government has dropped a proposal to impose additional Nation Building Tax (NBT) or [...]

New law to curb hoarding of milk powder

In a bid to curtail hoarding, the Government will register warehouses where milk powder should be stored, the Consumer Affairs Authority announced yesterday. CAA Chairman Rumy Marzook said this measure was taken following recent raids of warehouses where milk powder companies had hoarded thousands of kilograms of milk powder, thereby creating a shortage in the market. [...]

Exhuming of skeletal remains in Mannar begins

Exhuming of skeletal remains in Mannar begins

Further digging of what is believed to be a mass grave at the Thirukethiswaran, Manthai junction in Mannar began yesterday in the presence of senior government officials. Construction workers attached to the Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) stumbled on 11 skeletal remains in a shallow grave on December 11 when they were digging the side [...]

Be merry but avoid the verry this season

Be merry but avoid the verry  this season

Three-year-old Ashmika Shenal of Puttalam will see in the New Year nursing a face full of injuries—the result of a road accident involving a drunk driver.  After attending church on Christmas Day, Ashmika and his family were visiting relatives when a speeding motorbike, ridden ironically by a policeman under the influence of liquor, knocked down [...]

‘Tis the season to be jolly – but belts are tightened

‘Tis the season to be jolly – but belts are tightened

While the high cost of essential goods dampened the spirits of some during the festive season elaborate arrangements are underway in star-class hotels to usher in the New Year. Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, went up in price by 15-20 per cent while the shortage of milk powder also hit many consumers. Food items such as [...]

Fleeing persecution, Pakistan’s Christians find a manger in Lanka

Tears welled up in Irfan Barkat’s eyes as he accepted a Christmas hamper from a well-meaning Catholic nun. Back home, in Pakistan, the prominent human rights activist had been the one handing out baskets to the poor. Irfan is a 47-year-old Pakistani Christian who fled his country in September. He and his family live in a [...]

Importers’ tricks stink as bad as the food they sell

Importers’ tricks stink as bad as  the food they sell

Whether it’s the rich man’s can of baked beans or box of corn flakes or the poor man’s dried fish and onions, expired and rotten food is entering the market in large quantities, especially during festive seasons when importers find it easier to dump such items on an unsuspecting public. Recent raids by the Consumer Affairs [...]

Sand miners beached by permit ban

Sand miners beached by permit ban

About 6000 people engaged in the sand mining industry in Deraniyagala are struggling to make ends meet following both a police crackdown and a decision by local authorities to stop issuing licences for sand transport boats. The sand miners have been asked to use cane baskets to mine and transport the goods manually to the shore, [...]

More women and youth in the lap of liquor

More women and youth in  the lap of liquor

Chaminda,* a 20-year-old law undergraduate likes to down a couple of drinks when he hangs out with friends. It’s a habit he got into in his late teens, he says. “After exams, we go out to de-stress and sometimes drink till we are down. But anything is an excuse when you want to go out and [...]

Born free and soon they’ll live free under care

Born free and soon they’ll live free under care

After centuries of cruel neglect the feral donkeys of Puttalam and Mannar and the famous wild ponies of Delft are to receive care, with a 100-acre sanctuary to be set up on Delft Island and a conservation area for the donkeys also under consideration. The Ministry of Wildlife Conservation, the District Secretariat of Jaffna and the [...]

In the soft dawn of a New Year, a sweet sound will steal your heart

In the soft dawn of a New Year, a sweet sound will steal your heart

For the many preparing to see in 2014 to the booming sound of rock bands and firecrackers the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka has a counter-proposal: welcome the dawn of the New Year to the sweet sound of the dawn chorus. Birds are nature’s wonderful songsters and they sing every morning to welcome the day [...]

Women’s Affairs Minister’s comments on females called into question

The suitability of Tissa Karalliyadda to hold the portfolio of Women’s Affairs continued to be called into question last week by women Parliamentarians and activists.  The minister has recently made several remarks about women, some of them in Parliament, that were deemed to be derogatory. For instance, he had said women who worked in non-governmental [...]

Buwallah the ideal ‘bite’

Buwallah the ideal ‘bite’

The ‘buwallah’ (octopus) season is upon us and as one drives along the main road beyond Galle, you cannot fail seeing vendors selling this particular delicacy. ”Cooked or fried buwallah is an ideal bite especially when imbibing strong drinks” says D. Siripala a fish monger by occupation. Siripala who switches to selling buwallah during this season [...]

Woman who drew dead woman’s pension for five years re-remanded

Kandy Additional Magistrate Sesiri Herath re-remanded a woman who is alleged to have drawn a dead woman’s pension from the Mulgampola Post Office for nearly five years.  In this case the Divisional Secretary of Kandy Gravets had lodged a complaint that monies amounting to five hundred and eight thousand three hundred and seventy six rupees [...]

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