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Poson-eve tragedy for young mother

Poson-eve tragedy for young mother

Maheshika Madhubashini, mother of a one-year infant weeping over the police killing of her husband Subash Indika on Poson night at Pasyala while he was coming home on a motorcyle. The pillion rider Samudra Chaturanga says they were stopped at a police checkpoint and a drunken policeman shot Indika, but the police spokesman has a [...]

Sampur EIA report out soon

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the Sampur Coal Power Project will be published ‘very soon’ after which tenders will be called to purchase generating equipment for the plant, said M.M.C. Ferdinando, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy. The project has been crippled by delays from the time it was signed in [...]

SL embassy staffer killed in accident in Russia; body to be brought home

The body of the Sri Lankan national who died after being run over by a vehicle in the Rostov-on-Don region of Southern Russia on June 11, will be brought home this week. The deceased, Noel Ranaweera (37), was a longtime employee of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Russia, and a resident of Attanagalla. His death [...]

Thousands affected in hill country floods, landslides

Thousands affected in hill country floods, landslides

Several areas in the upcountry have been hit by floods, a rare occurrence according to the Meteorological Department. More than 2,000 people have been affected, Disaster management Centre officials said yesterday. In total 382 people were relocated in Nuwara Eliya and Kandy districts. Persons in Nuwara Eliya were temporary relocated at Tonbil Tamil Vidyalaya and [...]

Cleaner, eco-friendly diesel for Sri Lankan vehicles

High quality Diesel on par with ‘Euro Standard 5’ will be available in Sri Lanka at current market prices, with effect from next month, Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the Sunday Times. He said that the objective was to import fuel with the least environmental impact. The diesel will be introduced to the [...]

BASL urges Rule of Law applied to alleged unlawful BBS conduct

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called upon the relevant authorities to carry out full and unbiased investigations into a spate of incidents involving members of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and take all relevant steps according to the law, including commencing prosecutions as may be required by law. The Executive Committee of [...]

Trainer aircraft lands safely at Ratmalana airport minus a wheel

A Cessna 152 private training aircraft which lost one wheel in midair landed safely at the Ratmalana Airport last morning. The pilot was flying over the southern expressway when the aircraft encountered the snag. The pilot informed flight control at Ratmalana that he was coming in to land minus a wheel. Emergency teams were on hand on [...]

Wind power projects in Mannar run into storm

A proposal to distribute lucrative wind power contracts to local investors without calling for open tenders has run into a storm with energy experts strongly criticising the move. They fear the contracts will be dished out to political henchmen — a growing practice — and that, under existing terms and conditions, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) [...]

Vehicle sales: Importers on collision course

Private vehicle importers are up in arms against a state bank importing vehicles and selling them at cost price. A spokesman for the Vehicle Importers’ Association of Lanka said that the company – Peoples Leasing and Finance PLC, a subsidiary of the People’s Bank, was waiving bank handling charges and thereby was able to market its [...]

President halts changes to pension gratuity system

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, now on a visit to Bolivia, last night instructed Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera not to change the existing system of pension gratuity payments to retiring public sector employees. A Presidential spokesperson said the President gave the instruction via a telephone call he made from Bolivia where he is attending the G-77 summit. [...]

Fishing crisis: Lanka names team for talks, India silent

The Government has named a three-member delegation for talks on fisheries issues with the Indian government, but New Delhi has not yet responded to the invitation for talks, Fisheries Ministry Secretary D.M.R.B. Dissanayaka said yesterday. He said the ministry was awaiting a reply from India to finalise the dates for the talks. “After talks between the [...]

Govt. stops military takeover of lands in north

The Government has suspended plans by the military to acquire 25 different plots of land in the Northern Province.The Land Commissioner General’s Department has issued a directive to the Northern Provincial Land Commissioner not to go ahead with the proposed acquisition of lands in the Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullativu districts. The request to acquire the [...]

Politicos, big and small, believe they are above the law in Lanka

Politicos, big and small, believe they are above the law in Lanka

Karuwalagaswewa Pradeshiya Sabha Deputy Chairman Chaminda Ruwansiri Perera last week made an attempt to prevent the arrest of some of his supporters who were illegally transporting sand. When he failed to prevent the police action, as a mark of protest, he got on to the back of the Landmaster tractor illegally loaded with sand. He [...]

Expressways shoved through wetlands and now we face floods, group says

Expressways shoved through wetlands and now we face floods, group says

An environment group has raised concerns of flooding in areas surrounding expressways, stating that wetlands, river basins and sensitive flood plains have been ignored, blocked and filled during construction. Environment Conservation Trust Director Sajeewa Chamikara, told the Sunday Times that inland natural fresh water wetlands, such as rivers, streams, marshes, swamps, marine and salt water [...]

Tech savvy SLFEB IT officers, CID bust Korean job racket

Kumara (not his real name), a government worker, had been long aspiring to migrate for work to make some extra money. He returned from a ‘guard job’ in Cyprus three years ago. Not wanting to go to the Middle East, he decided on Japan. A friend of his told him of a ‘trustworthy agency’ in [...]

Prima flour monopoly leaves caterers helpless against price rise

A near monopoly on flour by Prima is seeing prices of stringhoppers, pittu, paratha and a range of other food products go up following a decision by the company to raise the price of flour by Rs. 1 per kilo. Restaurant owners, bakery owners and food caters said they would be compelled to increase prices [...]

4 years of Somali pirate hell and then, dash to freedom

4 years of Somali pirate hell and then, dash to freedom

Four long years in the hands of a group of Somali pirates, the only solace Niroshan and Bisthami found was by praying to God to bring about their rescue. They were among 11 who remained from what was originally a crew of 23, which comprised of two Indians and seven Bangladeshis. “It was God’s will [...]

Price increase in milk powder hits working women most

Price increase in milk powder hits working women most

Last Monday, Chamila Thushari, a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) women’s issues worker with the local NGO Da Bidu Collective, received a panic-stricken phone call from a blue-collar working woman at the FTZ. The woman, a mother of two, informed Chamila that she can no longer afford even the milk powder for her children’s daily glass [...]

Long arm of the lawless strikes down another innocent life

Long arm of the lawless strikes down another innocent life

Twenty-four-year-old, Subash Indika on Wednesday night was returning home to Mirigama, after collecting the interest on money lent by a businessman. He was accompanied by 17-year-old Samudra Chathuranga. They had travelled up to Warakapola and were riding along the Kandy-Colombo road approaching Pasyala junction. Home was about 15 minutes away in Kithulwala, a village five [...]

Committee probes alleged RRI frauds

A three-member committee has been appointed to look into allegations of financial irregularities in the Rubber Research Institute (RRI). A senior official of the Institute said one of the allegations that is being looked into is the failure to deposit EPF contributions of the employees to the fund. The official said another allegation is that [...]

UNP distances itself from Govt. efforts to ‘politicise’ UNHRC investigation

The UNP has distanced itself from Government efforts to obtain a bipartisan approach to the UN International investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. The Government which is placing the matter before Parliament next week, expected Opposition parties to extend their support. However, the UNP said the Government was trying to ‘politicise the issue’ [...]

Thantirimale lights up for Poson Poya courtesy WNL

This week, the ancient temple at Thantirimale was illuminated for the 11th successive year The Poson Aloka Pooja, which commenced on Poson Poya day, beautifully illuminated the temple, that had the devotees aglow with joy. The event was sponsored by Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. Under the supervision of the Thantirimale Raja Maha Vihara Chief Incumbent Ven. [...]

“The rich are going berserk on junk food”

“The rich are going berserk on junk food”

In many Asian countries, unhealthy lifestyles have led to both the rich and the poor eating loads of junk food resulting in an explosion of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), a top regional health official said. “People are eating mindlessly, without thinking. It’s not only the poor who tend to eat whatever they get due to poverty [...]

Pakistani drowns at sea after falling off ship’s ladder

A Pakistani national died on Thursday following a fall from a ship anchored in Colombo, the coroner’s court was told. The deceased, Sakier Ahmad aged 52, a father of two from Karachi, was the Second Engineer of the ship. He had been trying to get into a ship with the help of a rope ladder [...]

SEA, CEB in heated exchange over wind park project

SEA, CEB in heated exchange over  wind park project

Officials from the Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) this week traded words over a Cabinet memorandum submitted in March regarding the setting up of a wind park in Mannar. Energy experts, including CEB engineers, want tenders to be called to select the best investors for the park with optimum pricing. [...]

Sri Lanka aglow in Poson Poya celebrations

Sri Lanka aglow in Poson Poya celebrations

Poson celebrations were widespread this week with major events taking place in Anuradhapura, Thantirimale and Mihintale. Marking the day that Arahat Mahinda converted Sri Lanka’s king Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism, Poson is celebrated with almsgiving, Buddha pooja, aloka pooja and observation of sil. Colombo also celebrated the event on a grand scale with Bhakthi Gee recitals [...]

Thousands participate at the Vattapalai Kannaki Amman festival

The young and the old, they came in numbers to Mullaitivu last week to celebrate the festival at the Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Temple -one of the most revered and respected sacred sites of Hindus in Sri Lanka. This temple dedicated to the Goddess Kannaki Amman – God Paththini to the Sinhalese- is the revered protector [...]

2014 Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Ethiopian journalist

Jailed Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega has been awarded the 2014 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). The award was presented on Monday in Turin, Italy, during the opening ceremonies of the 66th World Newspaper Congress, 21st World Editors Forum and 24th World [...]

They come in as drug addicts and go out as new men

They come in as drug addicts and go out as new men

Twenty-one-year old Thilina was studying for his Advanced Level examination at a leading school in Matara when a friend introduced him to heroin. By then he was already smoking and drinking occasionally, a habit he picked up when he was around 15. Hence trying a new substance that would give him a bigger kick did [...]

Modern garbage that is slowly poisoning us

Modern garbage that is slowly poisoning us

They were the mod cons of a new era – computers, laptops, CDs, mobile phones. Today, after years of use, they have become garbage or in modern day jargon, e-waste. Decade-old computers, monitors and CPUs, thousands of CDs and DVDs, broken-down refrigerators, televisions, mobile phones and batteries were in 200 metric tons of electronic waste [...]

Animal sacrifice goes ahead despite objections

Four hundred goats and one hundred and fifty fowls were sacrificed at the Kavunavaththai Viravar temple at Tellippalai in the Jaffna peninsula yesterday. This year some Hindu well wishers filed a case at the Mallakam Magistrate’s Court to stop the animal sacrifice. The court ruled that if the local authority grants permission to conduct the [...]

Rejected by society, shunned by schools, these kids need help

Rejected by society, shunned by schools, these kids need help

As a tug-of-war continues between four ministries, officials are failing to find a way to support children with special needs, especially those with intellectual disabilities. Lacking proper treatment, rejected from schools, and little public awareness of the challenges the children and social stigma the children face, parents are left with very little access to help. Single [...]

A kindly light shines from Osilmo

The Osilmo Autism Centre in Boralesgamuwa where children with autism are treated, is not funded by the government or any other organisation but run solely through the efforts of Dr. Sinniah Thevananthan and therapist Anuradha Ahangama and well-wishers. Dr. Thevananthan has won awards for his work in the area. Today, a large number of children [...]

Generic name only for drugs sparks debate

A vibrant debate has surfaced in Sri Lanka’s medical profession over whether a prescription should only contain the generic name of a drug or also include a brand name. “Look at the full picture without focusing on minor details,” a top doctor has urged explaining some of the controversial points in the draft National Medicinal Drug, [...]

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