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Silver bells also made in China

Silver bells also made in China

For the festive season this year, it will not be only silver bells, balloons and bonbons. With China becoming Sri Lanka’s main trading partner, Colombo’s main shopping streets yesterday also blared with made-in-China offers. Pic by Athula Devapriya

Cyber war for presidency

The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance has accused opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena of hijacking its Facebook account – but an opposition spokesman has defended Mr. Sirisena’s right to use the account. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha has complained that the Facebook account is now being used by Mr. Sirisena for his election campaign and demanded [...]

Another final warning to Krrish to pay up

The Krrish group In India has been warned that it should pay the balance of Rs. 639.5 million for the Colombo Fort Transworks Square land lease or face the risk of losing the land, a senior Urban Development Authority (UDA) official said. He said the Krrish group needed to complete payments for 70 perches for the [...]

Rajapaksa ‘imperialist’, Sirisena ‘mentally unfit’

What’s in a name? It’s not about a rose, but about Western imperialism in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s name that was cited as the reason for the objection against his nomination for the January 8 presidential poll. If President Rajapaksa’s name reflected Western imperialism, the objection against the nomination of common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena said he [...]

Polls chief to thwart plan to rig postal voting

For the first time in Sri Lanka, an Elections Department official will be present to supervise postal voting wherever it is held, Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday. He said the move followed fears expressed by political parties that malpractice could take place at postal voting centres.  Mr. Deshapriya said there were allegations that in some instances [...]

Lanka hooked by fresh conditions for exports to EU

A Sri Lanka delegation that had talks with the European Union to avert a ban on fish exports has been slapped with fresh demands.The fresh demands include establishing a mechanism to inspect and monitor all multiday vessels, the delegation led by Minister Sarath Amunugama was told.  Other demands put forward by the EU Commissioner for [...]

Britain to maintain ban on LTTE

Britain’s ban on the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organisation will remain and is not affected by the decision of the European Union’s General Court annulling some of the sanctions imposed on the LTTE by the European Union. A Foreign and Commonwealth Office source said, “Britain’s domestic proscription of the LTTE is unaffected by this [...]

Street vendors: Victims or nuisance

Street vendors: Victims or nuisance

Street vendors are a common sight to most motorists and pedestrians. Clutching packets of incense sticks, children’s story books, plastic ornaments and other items, they flit in between traffic. These self-employed persons operate on busy roads, climbing into buses and pressing their goods to halted vehicles in an effort to sell their ware. While these vendors [...]

CID investigates boat-people almost reaching Australia evading Naval patrols

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has begun an investigation into how 37 boat-people including children, sailed to Australia, evading Naval patrols on the lookout for people smugglers.  CID Sleuths are on the lookout for the organizers of the illegal voyage, who have reportedly fled the area sources said.  The 37 asylum seekers were produced before [...]

Long thought dead, man returns home after 25 year detention

A resident from Chunnakam in Jaffna returned home on Friday after more than 25 years in a detention camp, residents said. S. Vairavanathan was arrested at Armour Street in Colombo soon after a bomb blast in 1990. He was 28 then. Since then, he had been detained at a detention camp in Hambantota for 25 years [...]

Raja Pakshikaya, yours is a family forest

Raja Pakshikaya, yours is a family forest

It would have been amusing to read the column by someone calling himself ‘Raja Pakshikaya’ in The Sunday Times last week, if it wasn’t for the fact that most of the issues he (or she!) raises are of a serious nature but Raja Pakshikaya attempts to wish them away with a poor attempt at humour. The [...]

Include Animal Welfare in Election Manifestos: Conservationists to Candidates

Six Animal Welfare and Conservation Organisations are calling upon all Presidential candidates to include Animal Welfare in their election manifestos. The organisations are the Animal Welfare Trust, Animal Protection Trust, Cattle Protection Trust (CPT), Sathva Mithra, Species Conservation Centre and Wildlife Conservation Society. Spokesperson for the these organisations, Attorney-at-Law Lalani Perera of the CPT, said [...]

SLMC decides tomorrow while TNA gives supporters a free hand

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will hold a crucial meeting tomorrow in Kandy, where a final decision will be taken as to which of the two main presidential candidates it will support at the January 8 poll. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has decided to tell its supporters to exercise their franchise, but stayed [...]

Enclose dengue victims within mosquito nets to prevent its spread: Chief MOH

Enclose dengue victims  within mosquito nets to prevent  its spread: Chief MOH

Hospitals within Colombo city, both state and private, should place suspected dengue patients under a bed net, to prevent dengue mosquitoes spreading the virus, Colombo’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ruwan Wijeyamuni said. He said several months ago, all hospitals were sent notices to follow the procedure, but many have not done so. “The [...]

20,000 affected by torrential rains

20,000 affected by torrential rains

Torrential rains continued in the Northern, Southern and South-Western parts of the country, affecting over 20,000 persons. In the Jaffna district, the lives of more than 17,000 persons have been disrupted by the floods. The deluge of rainwater Jaffna received in the past two weeks has stagnated, which is prolonging the flood situation, said the District Disaster [...]

Crowds visit zoo to learn about wonders of the sea

Crowds visit zoo to learn  about wonders of the sea

On Wednesday, Aquatic Day in Zoo Week at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela, visitors were given the chance to touch different kinds of fish and marine animals such as turtles, boxfish, starfish and sea cucumbers. The programme included a display of an albino turtle and sales of zoo-bred fish at discounted prices. The curator [...]

Candidates bare assets, but polls chief covers them

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has blocked public access to the asset declarations of all presidential candidates till after the January 2015 election. “The public can request for them after the elections,” the Elections Commissioner told the Sunday Times yesterday. “We are not letting anyone see them till then.” Legal experts said his decision was an [...]

80 international monitors will be here for election

More than 80 international monitors will be invited for the Presidential election by local polls observers and the Elections Commissioner. Additional Commissioner for Elections U.Amaradasa told the Sunday Times that they have invited international monitors including members from the Commonwealth Secretariat. He said however the European Union has not been invited. The Peoples Action for [...]

Beloved son of village dies in air crash

“When he left the village to report to his airbase Wasantha putha worshipped all the elders and departed,” said a grieving relative of Squadron Leader J.M.W.N. Abeywardena, who died in Friday’s crash of an Air Force Antonov jet at Athurugiriya. “He was loved by all the villagers; they looked on him as a hero,” said [...]

Traders defend refusal to lower prices after fuel price drop

Although goods and services providers were quick to raise prices when fuel and gas costs rose they refuse to lower prices now that those commodities have become cheaper, advancing a raft of reasons to support their stand. Private buses and metered three-wheelers, which saw an immediate increase with fuel price hikes, have decided not to [...]

Have yourself a very little Christmas

Have yourself a very little Christmas

A 50-foot blue spruce decked in red ribbons and silver baubles stands resplendent at the Independence Square arcade and fluorescent angels hang alongside gigantic snowflakes from the ceiling of Majestic City – but besides such pockets of decoration in public hangouts Colombo seems stripped of the Christmas spirit. The holiday buzz is still latent in [...]

Top Canadian Red Cross official back here to mark 10 years since 2004 tsunami

Top Canadian Red Cross official back here to mark 10 years since 2004 tsunami

A major commitment has drawn to a close. She was back in Sri Lanka for three days in mid-November to commemorate the lives lost, recognise the lives rehabilitated and take stock of the lessons learnt. In the country for the ‘T10 Summit’ hosted by the Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC), Pat Laberge is relaxed and [...]

Election monitors amplify call for abuse-free polls

Election monitors amplify call for abuse-free polls

Seven election-monitoring bodies called on all candidates and the public to work for a violence-free election amid scattered reports throughout this week of threats, assaults and attacks with explosives. As well, public resources watchdog Programme for Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) wrote to the Election Commissioner to punish public officials who openly engage in election propaganda [...]

Main presidential candidates at rallies in A’pura and Matugama

Main presidential candidates at rallies in A’pura and Matugama

This election will change the future: President Rajapaksa I could no longer be in a govt. that has ruined country: Maithripala The two main candidates contesting next month’s presidential election, -incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and New Democratic Front candidate Maithripala Sirisena- addressed several public rallies this week. Speaking at the UPFA’s inaugural rally held at the [...]

CP suspends 5 politburo members for supporting Maithri

The Communist Party has suspended the membership of at least five of its politburo members for their decision to support New Democratic Front (NDF) candidate Maithripala Sirisena. The decision to suspend them had been taken at a politburo meeting presided over by Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara this week. Among those suspended are veteran trade union activist [...]

Include RTI and other freedoms in manifestos: Media groups tell main Presidential hopefuls

Include RTI and other freedoms  in manifestos: Media groups tell main Presidential hopefuls

Eight key media organisations this week submitted their demands for a free and socially responsible media in Sri Lanka to the two main Presidential candidates, namely President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena M.P. In a petition delivered to both of them, the media organisations representing print media publishers, editors of national newspapers, media and freedom of [...]

Driving sans adequate rest, speeding mainly cause expressway accidents: DIG Traffic

Driving without adequate rest and speeding have been identified as the main causes of accidents on the expressways, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Traffic Police, Amarasiri Senaratne said. He told the Sunday Times that failure to keep to the left and side track also led to accidents. DIG Senaratne said accidents are lesser than normal road because [...]

Anti-corruption drive in Govt. schools by Education ministry

The Education Ministry, along with officials of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABC), will launch an anti-bribery and anti-corruption drive in Government schools starting next year, in a bid to stamp out corrupt practices that have become rampant in school admissions and other related activities in the Education sector, said Ministry [...]

University Academics lecture to the Powers-that-Be

University Academics lecture  to the Powers-that-Be

Lecturers of all State universities, on Tuesday staged a protest in front of the University Grants Commission (UGC), demanding that all gazette notifications granting provisions to establish private universities, be cancelled Over 500 academics belonging to almost all 15 State universities participated in the protest organised by the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA). They [...]

Rs 4,000 monthly allowance for NCoE students: BG

Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena stated that the monthly allowance for students of National Colleges of Education (NCoE) will be raised to Rs 4,000. “It will be a revolutionary step forward in the history of the Colleges of Education,” he said at the sixth stage of the “Divineguma” held at Siyane College of Education in [...]

WPC Scholarship fund for needy A/L students to prevent post O/L dropout

The Western Provincial Council (WPC) is to establish a student scholarship fund to minimise the number of dropouts after the GCE Ordinary Level (OL) exam. WP Chief Minister (CM) Prasanna Ranatunga told Education Times, this decision was taken because a considerable number of students dropped out of school after OL exams, mainly due to financial [...]

1,800 Graduates recruited as teachers in WP schools

Nearly 1,800 graduates are to be short-listed for recruitment as teachers in Western Province (WP) schools, WP Education Secretary M.A.B. Daya Senarath told Education Times. The Examinations Dept will conduct a test for the applicants to be selected as teachers above the primary section, he said. “On an average, 600 teachers retire annually, and those [...]

Universities sign petition against Leadership Training for varsity entrants: IUSF

University student unions are up in arms against the Leadership Training given to university entrants and petitions are being signed in universities against it, the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) said. The IUSF said that, Rajarata and Sri Jayawardenapura Universities have already signed the petition, while this week, Ruhuna University students signed the petition, demanding [...]

Teachers summoned for political meetings on various pretexts allege TUs

Teachers unions in the Southern Province (SP) allege that elections laws are being violated, as teachers in certain education zones are called for political meetings, under the pretext of organising ‘Deyata Kirula 2015’ exhibition. Galle District Teacher’s Union Secretary, Kelum de Silva said that a meeting has been called for 800 teachers in the Ambalangoda [...]

SP Education Dir. arranges mobile meetings with teachers before polls

The Southern Province (SP) Director of Education Jayatissa Bloc has arranged a series of mobile meetings with teachers in the SP to discuss their salary anomalies, officials said. The meetings have been described as urgent, to discuss important issues with teachers, states the Director in the circular. The move has drawn protests from teacher unions, [...]

SLCS, CPAFFC sign MoU to enhance Sino-Lanka cultural ties

SLCS, CPAFFC sign MoU to enhance Sino-Lanka cultural ties

A Memorandum of Understanding was (MoU) signed between the Sri Lanka-China Society (SLCS) and the Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) to promote and expand cooperation in Education, Culture, Socio-Economics, Tourism and other fields of interest. The cultural partnership between Sri Lanka and China, was marked by a series of events held [...]

School closed for 11 years conducts Arts festival after reopening in 2012

The maiden Arts festival of Wijaya Vidyalaya, Yaya, Kuliyapitiya, titled “Wijaya Sisu Rangana Prathiba”, was held recently. Wayamba Provincial Councillor (WPC), Presidential coordinating officer and founder of the school, Athula Wijesinghe was a Chief Guest. Mr Wijesinghe founded the present school (previously known as Gamini Vidyalaya and kept closed for 11 years), in 2012, when [...]

4 students enlarged on Rs 100,000 surety bail for alleged break-in

Kandy Chief Magistrate M.T. Vasantha Kumar ordered surety bail in Rs 100,000 on four students from prestigious schools in Kandy, with their respective parents as the sureties, for allegedly breaking into a cooperative store at Bhuwelikada, and thereafter, breaking into the teachers’ quarters of one of the schools. Sgt Ananda of Kandy Crimes Division prosecuted.- [...]

O/L Candidates stranded, as buses transport crowds for MR’s election rally

GCE Ordinary Level exam candidates were inconvenienced as hundreds of buses were used to transport crowds for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election rally in Anuradhapura on Thursday, an election monitoring group said. At least 115 buses of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa depots were used for the rally, the CaFFE group said.

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