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Where have all the animals gone?

Where have all the animals gone?

With the World Wildlife Fund saying human action had led to a drastic 52 per cent reduction in the number of animals in the past 40 years, Sri Lanka joined other countries in marking World Animal Day yesterday. Amid criticism the Government did little to save animals dying in drought-stricken districts, this tell-tale sign of [...]

With polls coming, Rajapaksa seeks communal harmony

With an early presidential election on the cards, the UPFA Government wants to launch a campaign to win the hearts and minds of different communities. At the political level, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will head a Cabinet Sub Committee “on social reconciliation and co-existence” among communities. A similar Committee at official level will be headed by [...]

Pay your taxes and get special benefits

The Government is to offer more concessions for those paying more than Rs. 250,000 as tax annually in a fresh bid to raise revenue, a senior Inland Revenue Department (IRD) officer said yesterday. Accordingly, an extra tax rebate on duty free vehicles, extra discounts for early payments, special facilities at the airport and concessions on import [...]

Chris Nonis’ resignation accepted; probe ordered

The External Affairs Ministry on Friday accepted the resignation of Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Chris Nonis, ten days after he had tendered it to President Mahinda Rajapaksa following a physical assault he alleges was inflicted on him in New York last week by Sajin Vass Gunawardena, the Government MP Monitoring the [...]

Sangaree tells Modi: TNA responsible for LTTE crimes

The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Secretary General V. Anadansangaree in a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week said the TNA and the ITAK by supporting the activities of the LTTE should take responsibility for innumerable crimes that had resulted in the deaths of thousands. “Innumerable crimes had been committed resulting in [...]

Luxury VIP Airbus cabin for President

SriLankan Airlines has commissioned a “VIP conversion kit” for one of its new A330 aircraft so that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his inner circle can travel abroad in comfort, authoritative sources said. The conversion kit is produced and installed by the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC). The company is an Airbus subsidiary that offers “top-quality cabin [...]

Striking back at the Mossies

Striking back at the Mossies

An anti-Dengue campaign in progress in the Katuwana Educational Division in the south Pix by W.A. Nelka

University entrants’ Leadership Training continues as scheduled

Second stage of the fourth phase of the Leadership Training programme is to commence on October 4 and continue till October 24, the Higher Education Ministry said. Ministry’s Media Secretary Gayaan Peiris said the first stage of the programme was completed on September 26, with 7,030 university entrants trained in 19 camps. The second stage [...]

“Gothami Glory 2014” on Oct.25 to renovate College main hall

“Gothami Glory 2014” organised by the past pupils association and the principal of Gothami Balika Vidyalaya will be held on October 25 at the College premises from 11 am to 5 pm. Music by the group “DEPOSIT” will accompany versatile singers Damitha Abeyratne, Theekshana Anuradha, Sanka Dineth, M.G. Danushka, Supun Centrigete, Lahiru and several others [...]

Of 533 new graduate teachers for WP 289 as Maths tutors

The Western Provincial Council (WPC) will grant Teacher appointments next month to 533 graduates, of whom a majority will teach Maths. The October appointments will include 289 graduates for Maths, 176 for Information Technology, 53 for the Arts and 15 for Western Music. The Provincial Education Ministry said that the selected graduates are undergoing a [...]

Sri Lanka included in Chevening CRISP Programme

The British High Commission, Colombo, has announced that the Chevening CRISP Programme has expanded to include Sri Lankan applications. CRISP is a Chevening Fellowship programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Rolls-Royce, which provides funding for a three-month tailor-made course in the Said Business School at Oxford University.  It is a unique programme aimed [...]

Rev Sr. Mary Elizabeth A.C., alma mater to St. Cecilia’s Girl’s College, Batticaloa

(Valediction to a Dynamic Principal – Rev Sr. Mary Elizabeth A.C. After serving for 25 Silver years at the School, Rev Sr. Mary Elizabeth retired as Principal of St. Cecilia’s Girls’ College (National School), Batticaloa. A grand Felicitation and Farewell Celebration in her honour has been organised for October 2. Rev Sr. Elizabeth’s noteworthy work [...]

Write with a pen that uplifts rural schools

Write with a pen that uplifts rural schools

Students attached to the Department of Finance at Sri Jayawardenapura University are out on the streets and in buses selling pens to raise funds to redevelop schools in rural areas. Under this project themed ‘Sneha Dara’, they have aided the Godakumbura Kanishta Vidyalaya in Matara, to paint, buy water tanks and books. The students intend [...]

Interest-free loan schemes for undergraduate studies in Budget in 2014

University students will benefit from this year’s Budget which will introduce a loan scheme for undergraduates for their studies, to be paid once employed, said a Higher Education Ministry senior official. Higher Education Ministry Secretary, Dr Sunil Nawaratne told Education Times that the final proposal for the scheme has been sent by Higher Education Minister [...]

Indian aided Language Lab opened in Kandy

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana and Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha, jointly inaugurated a Language Lab recently at the Mahaweli National College of Education in Kandy. This Language Lab is one of nine Language Labs that the Indian Government has set up in each of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, with the inaugural Language Lab [...]

70,000 more GCE O/L candidates yet to apply for NICs: Registration Dept.

Department of Registration of Persons is yet to receive a considerable number of NIC applications from this year’s GCE O/L candidates, says its Commissioner General (CG), R.M.S Sarath Kumara, urging school authorities to forward them without further delay. Requesting that the applications be forwarded to the Department within the next two weeks, the CG says, [...]

Vocational training for low income groups uplifts rural life

Around 10,000 persons are receiving Vocational training in the Western Province (WP), while the Education Ministry intends to increase the number next year, said WP Assistant Director of Non-Formal Education Mahinda Kodithuwakku. He said that Vocational training is provided in over 40 different courses and there are many who benefit from them. “Family members of school [...]

One day will not save our animals

One day will not save our animals

While different groups were busy celebrating World Animal Day with much fanfare, the fate of most animals in the country is forgotten the rest of the year. Abductions of wild elephants have been rampant this year, but the authorities responsible have not been able to bring to book the culprits. The living conditions of the [...]

Ministry rings the bell for absent schoolchildren

Ministry rings the bell for absent schoolchildren

Poverty, drugs and parental negligence keep thousands of children from school but a new project aims to break this cycle of failure. Aanya Wipulasena reports With her hair plaited neatly into pigtails and dressed in a well-pressed uniform washed with laundry blue, six-year-old Vidya* is about to return home from school. She says a loud [...]

2 three-wheeler drivers, both 46, die in October 1st tragedies

A three-wheeler driver succumbed to his injuries at the ICU of the Colombo National Hospital on Wednesday (1), a day after the branch of a large tree crashed on to his vehicle in Kollupitiya, a coroner’s court was told. The deceased, Sachitra Wickramage, 46, a father of three from Wilegoda, Bandaragama, had been on his [...]

Champika’s development investment plan to support mid-income families

A development investment plan to support middle income families is to be inaugurated by Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka at the BMICH on Tuesday (7). This plan will be formulated with the assistance of 500 experts and scientists of various fields. “Though Sri Lanka has had an open economy for 40 years, [...]

Yarlpaanam awaits homecoming of Yal Devi

After a lapse of 24 years the Yal Devi will once again be back on track all the way to Jaffna further linking the north and south.Currently the train operates only up to Pallai. On October 13, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the renovated railway line from Pallai to Jaffna. The reconstruction by the India [...]

Reduced charges benefit only big users, say consumer rights groups

Reduced charges benefit only big users, say  consumer rights groups

The Government’s decision to reduce electricity charges by 25 per cent is set to benefit only high end users, consumer rights groups charged yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced recently that the electricity bill of consumers will be reduced by 25 per cent. On September 26 the Treasury made a proposal that the benefit of the [...]

Blatant threats and attacks prompt media protests

Blatant threats and attacks prompt media protests

Media organisations backed by rights groups and political parties this week staged a string of protests in Colombo and in outstations against attacks on journalists and the incidents of suppression of the media. In separate protests, the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Provincial Journalists, backed by about 10 organisations, held demonstrations opposite the Fort [...]

UPC post-poll violence a dress rehearsal for the Presidential election

UPC post-poll violence a dress rehearsal for the Presidential election

Two weeks after the conclusion of the Uva polls the situation is yet to return to normal, with fresh incidents of violence and threats amidst fresh incidents of political violence ahead of the expected Presidential and Parliamentary polls, election monitoring groups said. In an incident reported this week in the Nawalapitiya area, a UNP supporter’s [...]

JVP alleges huge frauds in CT scanners, dialysis machines

In one of the worst ever cases of the current pandemic of corruption, the JVP has alleged that as much as Rs. 970 million has been defrauded from the money given to buy CT scanners and dialysis machines for the treatment of kidney patients. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s Voice Against Corruption Unit in petitions to [...]

Children ill after drinking Anchor; Health Ministry suspends its distribution, sale

The Health Ministry has suspended the distribution and sale of three batches of Anchor milk powder until further notice, following a complaint of food poisoning of three children in Girandurukotte. The batch numbers are 994076, 1007853 and 060510494. The Public Health Inspector (PHI) in the area was informed by the parents about their children who [...]

Worth millions on safari, wild animals are left for dead in Yala

Worth millions on safari, wild animals are left  for dead in Yala

The Yala National Park, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, is an almost unrelieved stretch of dried vegetation. Only the trunk and branches of large trees remain in many places. The bark of most trees is long gone, with animals feeding on it with food now scarce. The water tanks inside [...]

SC upholds Appeal Court ruling allowing deportation of asylum seekers

The Supreme Court this week rejected a petition to halt the deportation of Pakistani and Afghan asylum seekers, on the grounds that there were insufficient regulations to hear a petition of a non-citizen. The three-member SC Bench upheld the ruling made by the Court of Appeal permitting the deportation of asylum seekers to their home [...]

Woman beaten at bus stand claims Rs. 50m. compensation

Woman beaten at bus stand claims Rs. 50m. compensation

The 35-year-old woman who was brutally assaulted by a policeman near the Ratnapura bus stand, the video of which went viral on social media last week, says she was attacked as she turned down a request from the policeman for a sexual favour. In a fundamental rights case filed before the Supreme Court on Friday, [...]

Can he or can’t he?

Can he or can’t he?

Different views whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa could contest for a third term have been expressed. A seminar organised by the collective of Professionals Associations took the view that President Rajapaksa could run for a third term. Parallel to that a JVP launched a poster campaign strongly opposing a third term on the grounds that it [...]

Hajj symbolises unity of purpose in diversity- President Rajapaksa

The Hajj festival symbolises the unity of millions of pilgrims speaking different languages, from different nationalities and cultures in the mission that proclaims the greatness of Allah and the spirituality that Islam has brought to the world, President Rajapaksa said in a Hajj message. “Several thousand Muslims from Sri Lanka participate in the annual Hajj [...]

Voting facilities for overseas Lankans not practical: Polls chief

A request to consider provision for Sri Lankans living overseas to vote at future elections has been turned down by the Elections Commissioner on the grounds that the move was ‘not practical’ and would need amendments to existing laws. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya told the Sunday Times that the issue was raised at a meeting [...]

Unusual weather pattern prompts alert as lightning deaths rise

The Meteorology Department this week issued a bad weather warning of a disturbed weather pattern that will include heavy showers and lightning in the next few days in Colombo, Kalutara, Galle and Matara – while extreme drought continues in other parts of the country. Localised strong winds could even blow away roofs and branches and [...]

Legislation for heads of local bodies to continue despite budget defeat

Parliament will take up for debate five Bills related to local authorities that will allow for heads of these bodies to remain in the office, even after their annual budgets are defeated. The five related pieces of legislation that will be amended are the Municipal Councils Ordinance, Urban Councils Ordinance, Pradeshiya Sabha Act, Local Authorities [...]

Lankans promised palace employment end up as forced labour on construction site

Lankans promised palace employment end up as forced labour on construction site

Over a thousand Sri Lankans are caught up in a modern day slavery racket in Qatar, where they were lured to work in a construction site for 12 hours at a stretch. Promised with employment in a palace in Doha, Qatar, for Rs 150,000 per month, the prospective employees were sent through a local private [...]

Virgin coconut oil exports come to a boil

The growing popularity for virgin coconut oil overseas has brought a remarkable rise in exports – but Sri Lankans are yet to recognise its benefits. Exports in the first seven months of this year brought in close to Rs. 2,500 million, up from Rs. 1,500m in the whole of last year, the Coconut Development Authority [...]

Snatching baby jumbos is organised crime: Animal lovers

Snatching baby jumbos is organised crime: Animal lovers

World Animal Day which fell on October 4 was marked by the signing of a pledge to protect wild animals, by a collective of different animal protection organisations yesterday at the Viharamahadevi Park. A walk was organised by the Centre for Eco-Cultural Studies for (CES) Sentinels Against Wild Life Crime (SAWC), with the participation of a [...]

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