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‘If you have tears, cry with me’

‘If you have tears, cry with me’

Periyanna Kittama (77) a landslide victim wails, unable to bear the loss of her daughter and son-in-law, who were buried alive inside their line room. Sitting alone in an overcrowded hall in Poonagala Tamil Maha Vidyalaya in Bandarawela, she is among more 2,500 people who have been evacuated to temporary shelters, in the aftermath of [...]

Minister’s two containers released despite suspicion

Two containers brought down from Japan under the name of a foundation operated by a Cabinet minister were released on Friday by the Customs despite suspicion that one of them contained motor vehicle spare parts, Customs sources said. The 40-foot and 20-foot containers were declared to be carrying 200 used bicycles for the Lakshman Yapa Foundation, [...]

Tax defaulters be warned; your property is to be seized

A staggering Rs. 170 billion in tax arrears has prompted the Department of Inland Revenue to take steps to seize movable and immovable properties of defaulters, Corporate Tax Commissioner Bandula Haputhanthrige said yesterday. He said the department would implement regulations introduced in 2006 to seize the properties of tax defaulters. “The number of defaulters is on [...]

AIIB to rival WB, ADB; loans with no questions asked

The new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), launched in Beijing last week with a near US$ 50 billion commitment from China, will provide easy access to unconditional credit for countries like Sri Lanka but at higher interest rates, senior Sri Lankan economists said yesterday. “It will provide unconditional loans, unlike credit from other agencies (the [...]

Budget passed; JHU stays away

The second reading of the 2015 Budget was passed in Parliament yesterday by a majority of 100 votes, with the absence of the two JHU members being the only problem for the ruling party. In a vote taken by name at the end of seven days of debate of the Appropriation Bill 2015, the Government received [...]

Landslide calamity: Missing toll revised down to 34

The search for bodies at the landslide site at Meeriyabedda estate in Haldummulla continued yesterday with 78 people who have been reported missing yet to be accounted for, officials said. Disaster Management Centre Spokesperson Sarath Lal Kumara said that of the 78 people, 34 had been listed as missing while 44 others are believed to have [...]

Malaka remanded for alleged assault on foreign couple

Malaka remanded for alleged assault on foreign couple

Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka, who allegedly harassed and assaulted a foreign couple at a night club on Duplication Road, Kollupitiya, in the early hours of yesterday, was remanded until next Tuesday, police said. Police said the incident had taken place during a dance at the club attended by the foreigner and his fiancée. Police [...]

President nets in fishermen, assures solution to problems

President nets in fishermen, assures solution to problems

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured fishermen that he would look into their problems including fears of a European Union (EU) ban on fish impots affecting them, and foreign vessels operating under the Sri Lanka flag, violating EU fishing regulations. The assurances were given at a meeting with fishermen’s federations and fisheries organisations islandwide and ministry [...]

Another tragedy in the making

Another tragedy in the making

The 383 bridge in Thoppowa, Waikkal, in Chilaw located on the Colombo Puttalam Road is in a derelict condition. The pavements on either side of the bridge are missing slats or they are damaged. Area residents are afraid of using the bridge claiming it is a deathtrap. The plaque explaining that the bridge dates back [...]

Govt. has directed CPC to choose long-term contracts; market prices reflected in purchase prices: Ministry Media Secretary

The Media Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Industries, in an unsigned response to the Sunday Times lead of October 26, 2014, titled “Oil prices falling but CPC signs long-term deal”, has justified entering into forward contracts for the purchase of fuel. The statement says the CPC follows Government procurement procedure in buying petroleum. Both [...]

New safety rules as whale, dolphin watching season begins in Kalpitiya

New safety rules as whale, dolphin watching  season begins in Kalpitiya

With the Kalpitiya whale watching season beginning, the Department of Wildlife Conservation is planning to bring in a new set of rules to ensure a safe and fun experience for visitors. The season officially begins in November and continues until April. The Department of Wildlife Conservation will be issuing tickets to both foreign and local [...]

3,000 Lankan illegal immigrants missing in Britain

At least 3,000 Sri Lankans are among 50,000 illegal immigrants whom the British Immigration authorities have lost track of. The shambles in the British Border Agency, which was brought directly under the Home Office after a series of scandals rocked the institution, were exposed last week in a report by the Public Accounts Committee of [...]

Brace for more landslides with climate change

Brace for more landslides with climate change

The risk of landslides is intensifying with the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change, the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) has warned. “We are already experiencing intensified rainfall in concentrated periods of time and this is believed to be linked to climate change, so we are heading for a period where there will be [...]

Budget debate: Govt., oppostion MPs in battle over labels

Budget debate: Govt., oppostion MPs in battle over labels

After seven days of debating the “gamei bhaiyyas” (village bumpkin’s) Budget, as President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself quipped after presenting it to the House on October 24, depending on which side of the political divide one was on, it was labelled either an election Budget or one intended to take the country to upper-middle income level [...]

TISL informs Police Chief of intimidation, death threats, event obstruction to no avail

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has written to the Inspector General of the Sri Lanka Police (IGP), citing death threats and intimidation directed towards the TISL staff and associates, and also the obstruction of events organised by TISL between May and October this year. The letter cited a series of events that had occurred, disrupting [...]

Stalled: BoI project to acquire Muthurajawela land for electric rail line from BIA to Colombo

A move by the Board of Investment (BOI) to obtain 150 acres of land from the Muthurajawela Sanctuary was rejected by the Department of Wildlife Conservation as it violated environmental laws, Parliament was informed yesterday. “The BOI submitted a project proposal to the Wildlife Department seeking approval to obtain 150 acres from Muturajawela Sanctuary for [...]

Dr. Ray Wijewardene honoured with stamp issue

A stamp and first day cover were issued in memory of scientist and inventor Ray Wijewardene at a special ceremony held on Friday following the opening of the Sahasak Nimavum 2014 exhibition. Deshamanya Vidyajothi Dr. Wijewardene was a visionary scientist whose contribution to the fields of agriculture and aviation in this country are unparalleled. The [...]

Wimal says opposition should not dream about polls victory

Minister and National Freedom Front Leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said that opposition parties should not build castles in the air and dream about defeating the Government at any of the upcoming polls. “The Opposition today has no real criticism of the Budget. It only talks of the Rajapaksa family and the President’s travel costs. They [...]

How parliamentarians saw the Rajapaksa proposals

During the weeklong debate in Parliament, on the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill 2015, both Government and Opposition members expressed various views on the Budget presented by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 24, in his capacity as Minister of Finance and Planning. Following are excerpts of views expressed by some Parliamentarians: Tissa Vitarana- Senior [...]

Champika blows hot over coal

Champika blows hot over coal

In the last five years, the Government has failed to procure even one shipment of coal according to proper procedure and in a manner beneficial to the country, said Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy in an interview with the Sunday Times. He also responded to allegations by Power and Energy Minister [...]

Blatant nepotism within Govt. draws severe JVP stricture in Parliament

The growing nepotism within Government came in for strong criticism in Parliament yesterday, when a senior JVP member alleged that colossal amounts of money was being spent on the lavish and extravagant lifestyles of a few, while the majority of people in the country were forced to put up with many hardships. “Some leader’s children [...]

SLMC seeks clarification from Private Medical College applying for recognition

SLMC seeks clarification from Private Medical College applying for recognition

The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) which governs medical education and standards on Friday decided to seek clarification from the Malabe Private Medical College (PMC) on several “serious concerns” with regard to its application for recognition. The SLMC which met on Friday decided on this course of action, following a request by the PMC which [...]

Remembering J.R.

Remembering  J.R.

The 18th anniversary of the death of President J. R. Jayewardene was marked at the J.R. Jayewardene Centre yesterday. The Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa, Opposition leader Ranil Wikremesinghe, son of JR Jayewardene Ravi Jayewardene and General Secretary of JR Jayewardene Centre K.D Nihal Hewage were present at the occasion. Pic by Indika Handuwala  

A boy longs for his mum’s cuddle but she lies buried in the mud

A boy longs for his mum’s cuddle but she lies buried in the mud

Huddled among the desks and chairs in the packed school serving as an evacuation centre, 12-year-old Theeban wishes with all his heart for his mother’s warmth. He and his 14-year-old sister, Sewwandi, are among 75 children whose parents were killed or declared missing in Wednesday’s landslide at the Meeriyabedda estate in Haldumulla. Theeban and his [...]

Human tragedies behind increasing road accidents

Sansika Himal Abeywikrama, an 18-year-old accident victim at the Colombo National hospital was in tears on Thursday as he signed a consent form to amputate his right leg. He was shouting in pain as nurses prepared him for the surgery scheduled for later in the day. He was not the only victim in this, one [...]

Stroke rights consistent with human rights

Stroke rights consistent with human rights

Stroke rights are consistent with human rights is the simple fact that was reiterated when the Global Stroke Bill of Rights was launched in Colombo on Wednesday – World Stroke Day. The National Stroke Association of Sri Lanka (NSASL) presented the Stroke Bill of Rights not only in English but also in Sinhala and Tamil [...]

Why permanency only for some, ask affected post intern docs

About 250 post intern medical officers who have completed their internship appointments in December last year and March this year are still temporarily posted to hospitals in the North and East and remote hospitals island-wide, while most of their batch members have been given permanent appointment letters by the Public Services Commission (PSC). The affected [...]

Convicted drug peddlers to appeal tomorrow

Convicted drug peddlers to appeal tomorrow

Lawyers for the eight persons including five Indian drug traffickers sentenced to death by the Colombo High Courts are due to file appeals tomorrow in the Court of Appeal. Colombo High Court Judge Preethi Padman Surasena in a landmark judgment – where GPS technology was used to prove the charges for the first time – [...]

With a noise like a bomb blast, the mountain smothered the villagers

With a noise like a bomb blast, the mountain smothered the villagers

On the shoulder of a hill on the Meeriyabadda tea estate stood the humble linerooms that were home to 330 men, women and children. Every day, when the children were at school, the parents were out working on the tea plantation. But that fateful Wednesday morning when the children returned from school their homes had [...]

2015 Budget’s Education sector benefits are baseless promises for Presidential poll: Unions

The 2015 Budget which contained several benefits for the Education sector, came under fire as several unions alleged that the Government had dashed the hopes of Principals, teachers and the education sector as a whole. The 2015 Budget presented to Parliament on October 24, allocated a series of benefits to the Education sector, including promotions [...]

Grade 5 Scholarship Exam new Cutoff mark 157 from 163

The cutoff mark for the Grade 5 Scholarship Exam will be lowered to 157 from the previous 163, said Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena. This mark will be further reduced up to 151 in rural areas. “The decision came about after the 2015 Budget granted 25,000 scholarships for next year, an increase from the 10,000 scholarships [...]

Fillip for more than 5 Ds at GCE O/L

Fillip for more than 5 Ds at GCE O/L

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest at a ceremony held at the Defence Ministry Auditorium last Tuesday (28), to award a monthly stipend of Rs 3,000 each to 100 students who had obtained more than 5 Distinctions at the GCE Ordinary Level exams. This monthly allowance will continue till these students finish their [...]

Report on GCE O/L Maths syllabus submitted for Cabinet approval

A Committee Report on proposed improvements to the GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) Maths syllabus, was submitted to Education Minister, Bandula Gunawardena, last Thursday (30), the minister’s office said. The Report was prepared by a 10-member Committee headed by Moratuwa University Vice Chancellor, Ananda Jayawardena. “I have submitted this Report for Cabinet approval,” Minister Gunawardena said. [...]

Cabinet approves Wayamba University expansion

Cabinet approved the expansion of Wayamba University to cater to the increase in student intake till 2016, consequent to the introduction of various courses. The proposal initiated by Higher Education Minister, S.B. Dissanayake, will purchase the block of land adjoining the university at Kuliyapitiya, for the envisaged expansion. At present, Wayamba University consists of 4 [...]

GCE O/L from Dec.9-18

The GCE Ordinary Level exam will be held from December 9 to December 18, said Commissioner General of the Exams Dept W.M.N.J Pushpakumara. “A total of 577,084 candidates will sit the exam,” he said. “Discussions on the allocation of exam centres are still ongoing, with 4,000 possible exam centres under consideration, and are yet to [...]

10 Schools near landslide zone closed as precautionary measure

At least 10 schools in the Haldumulla Education Division were ordered closed until tomorrow as a precautionary measure following Thursday’s landslide at the Meeriyabedda Estate, where some 200 people are feared buried alive, regional Education officials said. Authorities have warned that the slopes in and around the disaster zone are vulnerable to more landslides as [...]

100-Year Zahira College OBA honours “Legends of Zahira”

Zahira College OBA celebrated its centenary at the Hilton by honouring five “LEGENDS OF ZAHIRA” at the ‘OBA Centenary Dinner’ attended by a large and distinguished gathering of old boys. The centenary celebrations highlighting “A Century of Excellence” was addressed by the College Principal, Trizviiy Marikkar and Board of Governors Chairman and OBA President Fouzul [...]

Cabinet approves acceptance of German aid for project completion

Cabinet nods acceptance of German grants Cabinet approved the acceptance of grant provided by the Federal Republic of Germany, under its development assistance scheme, for the completion of various development projects in the country. Under the proposal made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also Finance & Planning Minister, Establishment of a Vocational Training Centre [...]

“Daya Mina” showcases its talents

“Daya Mina” showcases its talents

A concert was organised by the students of “Daya Mina” on October 25 at the St Peter’s College Auditorium. “Daya Mina” is an institute that offers educational, social and vocational training and skills to young people.

Caterpillars cause impromptu school holiday

A Primary school in Dambulla was closed last Thursday (30) and Friday (31) when it was severely infested with caterpillars, said its Principal Lakshman Kulathunga. Pix by Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa  

Grocery store supplying heroin to schoolchildren raided

A clandestine heroin operation from within a grocery store located close to a leading school in Horana, to supply students and other users, was busted earlier this week, according to police. Police sources said four suspects were arrested with 1,410 mg of heroin, by undercover sleuths from the Walana Police Anti Corruption Strike Force. Investigators [...]

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