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Heart-to-heart in Jaffna

Heart-to-heart in Jaffna

The first open heart surgical operation in more than 30 years was performed in Jaffna last Sunday on a 16-year-old orphan girl from Trincomalee at the private Northern Central Hospital with the support of the Oxonian Heart Foundation (OHF), a multi-ethnic organisation registered in Sri Lanka and Britain and funded by private donations. The surgery [...]

Mannar wind power park: Ministers to review proposal

A five member ministerial team has now been tasked to study the setting up of a wind power park in Mannar as a free trade zone, following a Sunday Times disclosure that a proposal that could have led to distributing lucrative contracts to political henchmen was afoot. The idea is for the Board of Investment [...]

New laws to ensure safety of buildings

A Construction Development Authority will soon register all contractors and adopt a string of measures to regulate the fast growing building industry. This is one of the highlights of a new Construction Industry Development Bill the Government will introduce in Parliament “to register, formalise and standardise” the construction industry. Among the objectives of the proposed [...]

Fishing crisis: Lanka may resort to tit-for-tat

Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Ministry has proposed tit-for-tat measures against Indian fishermen arrested for poaching in Sri Lankan waters after Indian courts began fining Sri Lankan fishermen arrested by the Indian Coast Guard and produced them in courts by the local police.Thirty-three (33) Sri Lankan fishermen produced before the judicial magistrate at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh [...]

Uva polls by end of Sept. amid charges

Elections to the Uva Provincial Council are likely to be held by the end of September following the dissolution of the council on Friday midnight, an elections official said yesterday. He said nominations would be called within a week’s time and thereafter the elections would be held on a Saturday between five to eight weeks after [...]

Standards falling, extra O/L classes in WP schools

Western Province school principals have been directed to take steps to ensure that their students obtain better results at the G.C.E. (Ordinary Level) examinations this year as projections show three other provinces might come out with better results, a senior official said yesterday. Western Province Acting Education Director Wimal Gunaratne, said schools had been told [...]

Minister wants to build education super centre

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena wants to construct a Rs. 280 million “multi-functional” building complex.  It is to be sited in Kompannaveediya where the Department of Examinations is located. Minister Gunawardena says such a complex will obviate the need to close schools in Colombo for evaluation purposes by Education Department officials. He also says that during [...]

3 weeks after Aluthgama riots police are yet to record statement: Thevarapperuma

3 weeks after Aluthgama riots police  are yet to record statement: Thevarapperuma

UNP Kalutara District MP Palitha Thevarapperuma who threatened to resign from Parliament over Police inaction during the Aluthgama incidents said, Police were yet to record a statement from him, even though he was injured and his vehicle badly damaged as he attempted to defy the rioters. MP Thevarapperuma tendered his letter of resignation on Tuesday [...]

Circular restricting NGO activities an advisory note, not a directive: Govt.

The Government says the circular issued by the Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) which functions under the Defence and Urban Development Ministry, restricting NGOs from conducting press conferences, workshops, training for journalists etc., is not a directive, but only an advisory note to adhere to the mandate under which they were [...]

Rambukwella elected vice-chair of UN budget committee

Rambukwella elected vice-chair of  UN budget committee

The United Nations General Assembly has elected Chamithri Rambukwella, Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York, as Vice-Chair of the Fifth Committee. Ms. Rambukwella was unanimously endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Group to represent them at the Bureau of the Fifth Committee for the 69th Session (September [...]

Ministry probes electrocution of student in school

The Education Ministry has commissioned an inquiry into the incident which resulted in an eight-year-old child being electrocuted within his school premises. The ministry has commissioned the Additional Secretary in-charge of National Schools, to conduct an inquiry into the incident to determine whether the cause of the accident was negligence, Education Ministry Secretary Anura Dissanayake [...]

US, Britain, Australia update travel warnings after Aluthgama riots

The US, Britain and Australia have updated their travel advisories following the Aluthgama riots. “There were violent disturbances in Aluthgama (near Bentota) and Beruwala (about 60 km south of Colombo) in mid June, which resulted in four reported deaths and many injuries, as well as damage to buildings and local businesses. Both areas are near [...]

SL to resume poultry export to UAE with Halal certification

Sri Lanka is set to resume export of chicken and eggs to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after it lifted a ban this week on imports imposed due to Avian Influenza. The UAE lifted the ban, insisting that all products imported must have Halal certification and accordingly, a leading exporter was preparing to obtain the [...]

Pension details via SMS

Newly retired public servants will be able obtain details of their pensions via SMS text messages, a Pensions Department senior official said. He said the pension number, the cheque number and related details would be sent to the new retirees via sms and for this purpose retiring public servants would be required to give their [...]

GMOA elections: Parties to file written submissions on contempt proceedings

Mount Lavinia District court Judge Gihan Ranawaka this week ordered that written submissions in the Contempt of Court charges against the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) office bearers be filed by both parties on August 6. The petitioner doctors of the GMOA are objecting to Dr. Harsha Atapattu contesting the post of Vice President saying [...]

SLBFE getting ready to splurge again on overseas talent star

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has once again decided to pour money into another round of their reality-TV show “Rata Viruwo Talent Star” (or “Overseas Heroes Talent Star.”) The Bureau is now publishing advertisements requesting sales quotations for “judges,” “compères,” “stage set ups,” “music bands,” and “recording of episodes.” The show was [...]

Amendment to Prescription Ordinance in the House next week

An amendment to the Prescription Ordinance will be taken up for debate in Parliament on July 24. The amendment seeks to enable those who were displaced during the 30-year-war to reclaim their properties they were forced to abandon. The Bill seeks to provide relief to people who were displaced during the war and are unable [...]

Parents blame vaccine for son’s death

Parents in Haputale are blaming a vaccine administered by Badulla District Medical Officer of Health (MoH) for their three-year-old son’s death. The last time John David saw his son, three-year-old David Rosario alive, he was sleeping soundly snuggled against him. The following morning, on Sunday July 6, Rosario was dead. Rosario lived with his father, [...]

One man killed, houses damaged in strong winds

One person was killed and over 300 houses damaged yesterday due to strong winds in Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura and Badulla districts, an official at the Disaster Management Centre said, “We have received information that 198 houses in Nuwara Eliya, 100 houses in Badulla and 18 in Ratnapura were damaged,” Disaster Management Centre (DMC) Deputy Director [...]

Traffic cop doubtful of fair inquiry into his complaint

A traffic policeman who was allegedly beaten by an unidentified gang and had his private car burnt after he had taken action against the driver of a deputy minister for speeding on the Southern Expressway, expressed doubts this week that there would be a fair inquiry into the complaint he lodged. Suminda Saman Gunasena who [...]

Unions in arms over teacher ordered to deliver meek apology to mayor

A deputy principal of a leading school in Kurunegala who was directed by her principal to make a personal apology to the Mayor for disciplining his son this week said it was her worst experience in 27 years of service. Ramya Ratnayake, currently serving as a deputy principal of Maliyadeva College told the Sunday Times [...]

After the fury, only fear and tears left

After the fury, only fear and tears left

It’s the time of the year when night turns into day for Muslims in this tiny village of Dharga Town, nestled on the banks of the Bentota River and surrounded by Sinhala villages. However, this time, it was not to be. During the holy month of Ramadan, after they break-fast at sunset, the town comes [...]

Battle of the sting goes to Colombo 7

Battle of the sting goes to Colombo 7

The campaign to eradicate dengue continued in the Western Province, with health officials backed by security personnel moving into Colombo 7 this week to check on mosquito breeding grounds. We accompanied one of the teams involved in the campaign and we observed that the officials were quick to identify possible breeding grounds. Pointing at a [...]

Local lichen quite different from that in Europe, says researcher/expert

Local lichen quite different from that  in Europe, says researcher/expert

Misidentified and not just recently — but for more than 150 years! It is nothing to do with wanting both the ravula (beard) and the kenda (cunjee) as frequently mentioned in Sinhala parlance but differentiating between the ravula in Sri Lanka and that in Europe. It’s all to do with the ‘Old Man’s Beard’, a [...]

Victims of construction flaws

Victims of construction flaws

A large number of farmer families in Deegithawa, Wariyapola are facing destitution as a result of a lack of water in their reservoir. The treasurer of the Deegithawa Mahawewa Farmers Association Vajira Kumari claimed that though the reservoir was renovated under the Deyata Kirula programme it was of no use. “This time, tank water to [...]

Washed up

Washed up

Two Sri Lankan families from the south planned a voyage for 41 asylum-seekers and a pet stray dog for what they thought was a new and prosperous life in New Zealand. Instead, they sailed right into the hands of Australian troops engaged in “Operation Sovereign Borders”. They complained of being ill-treated with food past its shelf [...]

A dog’s tale

A dog’s tale

I am having a little problem with this. The first few bits were easy. Where it said, “name”, I put “Mustang”. Then “nationality” – I put “Proudly Sri Lankan”. “Sex” – whaddaya think, bro, with a name like Mustang? “Male, male, all male”, rrrowff! But “age”, hmm, human years or dog years? Now, “identifying characteristics” [...]

Customs allege Finance Ministry pressure to release detained luxury vehicles

Customs allege Finance Ministry pressure to release detained luxury vehicles

Even before the Customs conclude their investigations, pressure from the Finance Ministry has compelled them to release some of the 400 luxury vehicles seized for undervaluation. A number of vehicles have been cleared by importers, though a five-member committee comprising Customs and Finance Ministry officials appointed two weeks back, was yet to complete their probe. Customs [...]

Education Minister thanks Wijeya Graphics for service

Education Minister thanks Wijeya Graphics for service

An exam-oriented education system that only encouraged students to memorise their lessons was the main drawback that prevailed in the education system during the past decades, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said at the BMICH yesterday. Addressing the graduation ceremony of the Diploma in Multimedia conducted by Wijeya Graphics (Pvt) Ltd Mr. Gunawarde said 51 per [...]

‘Curriculum useless for tomorrow’s jobs’

‘Curriculum useless for tomorrow’s jobs’

Sri Lanka’s education curriculums were incapable of equipping students to pursue employment in expanding fields of technology and commerce, noted Tilak Marapana, President’s Counsel and former attorney-general. “We seem to be hanging on to archaic subjects and irrelevant syllabuses,” he said in a speech at the annual prize-giving at the St. Thomas’ Preparatory School in Kollupitiya [...]

Did Muslim MPs dissent in Parliament after Aluthgama?

Did Muslim MPs dissent in Parliament after Aluthgama?

There are three ways of dissenting with a government sponsored vote in parliament, when a division is called (that is each MP’s vote is individually recorded). These three ways can be ranked in terms of the strength of dissent. The strongest is to vote against; next is to stay in the house and abstain. The [...]

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