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Street battle at SLFP meeting

Street battle at SLFP meeting

A crucial meeting of the SLFP executive committee was held yesterday at the Janakala Kendraya in Battaramulla. While major changes were made and a top level polls committee appointed, a sideline row erupted between two factions of the SLFP with one group blocking the vehicle of Hirunika Premachandra and exchanging heated words. MP Duminda Silva [...]

Police anti-graft team revamped

Financial irregularities that affect national security, health and the environment, illegal acquisition of money, abuse of power, and money laundering are among the crimes that will be probed by the new Financial Crimes Investigation Division. It will function under the Inspector General of Police and will also probe corruption and malpractice in mega development projects, [...]

Hybrid vehicles: Relief for individual importers till March 16

The Government has provided conditional relief to individuals who had opened Letters of Credit to import hybrid vehicles before the interim budget. Financial Ministry officials said they would not be charged new taxes until March 16. The decision to provide relief to the individual importers of hybrid vehicles came after a series of discussions with [...]

MR, CBK in SLFP top team to prepare for polls

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday appointed a top level committee to advise the party and spearhead the parliamentary election campaign. The appointments were made during the party’s executive committee meeting. The committee headed by President Maithripala Sirisena will include former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, former  Prime ministers D.M. Jayaratna and [...]

Fishing dispute high on agenda at Sirisena-Modi talks tomorrow

Establishing a joint-mechanism between Sri Lanka and India to prevent poaching by fishermen will be high on the agenda when President Maithripala Sirisena meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his first official visit overseas after the Presidential elections. President Sirisena is likely to propose stepping up of patrolling in the sea to prevent fishermen [...]

Hopes for strong economic ties with India

President Maithriapala Sirisena will leave for India today on a four-day visit leading a 16-member delegation in his first overseas visit after last month’s presidential election. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka and Resettlement Minister D.M. Swaminathan will accompany the President while Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera who is in the [...]

Horse has bolted, critics claim, as Govt. moves on corruption

Horse has bolted, critics claim, as Govt. moves on corruption

Rising displeasure over slow progress by the government and the bribery commission to investigate corruption has led to a raft of new measures to tackle the problem but many believe the government has moved too late. Civil society organisations and others claim wrongdoers among politicians, public administrators, top businessmen and other elite personalities have been [...]

SLFSA welcomes restoration of dignity, professionalism within Foreign Service

The Sri Lanka Foreign Service Association (SLFSA) has welcomed the emphasis placed by the new Government on the need to ‘restore the dignity and professionalism of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service. The Association said it commends the policy direction and guidance provided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera in the conduct of Sri Lanka’s [...]

Matale mass graves report to be exhumed for President Sirisena

Members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe the Matale mass graves is awaiting an appointment with President Maithripala Sirisena to submit its report. The three-member Commission of Inquiry appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in June 2013 comprised retired Supreme Court Judge S.I. Imam (Chairman), former Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Kithulgoda and retired [...]

Blood is thicker than principle

This week, President Maithripala Sirisena’s son-in-law, Thilina Suranjith was appointed Public Relations Officer to the Ministry of Defence, while Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s son, Rakitha Rajapakshe was made Media Secretary to the same ministry. The Defence Ministry portfolio is held by President Sirisena. Mr Suranjith is married to the elder of his two daughters, Chathurika. [...]

36 Political appointees in SL Missions abroad recalled home

36 Political appointees in SL Missions abroad recalled home

Thirty six political appointees in Sri Lanka Missions abroad, below the level of Head of Mission, have been informed that their tours of duty end with effect from March 10 this year, and have been instructed to return home. These include relatives of politicians and of public officials closely connected to those in the former [...]

Uma Oya project thumbs nose at the law

Uma Oya project thumbs nose at the law

The absence of a government monitoring mechanism and disregard to rule of law have led to the Uma Oya project catastrophe. The controversial Multipurpose Development Project which was suspended this week pending an independent impact assessment has not met any of the conditions outlined when approval by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) was granted. Despite [...]

We need a national unity government for the next five years

Sri Lanka’s political history has seen many changes. During the past few months political parties and personalities have changed and some have changed their political hues with changes in our political culture. To all citizens of this country, whatever race or religion, to those who visit our country, and to those who work in Sri [...]

Judiciary’s power depends on its integrity and independence: Chief Justice Sripavan

Judiciary’s power depends on its integrity and   independence: Chief Justice Sripavan

Chief Justice K. Sripavan on Monday said that in a democratic government the power of the judiciary depends largely on its reputation for independence, integrity and wisdom. He was speaking at the ceremony to welcome him as the new Chief Justice as well as Justices Upali Abeyratne and Anil Gooneratne who have been appointed to [...]

UPFA proposes 60-day programme to contest elections under its banner

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will put forward a 60-day programme aimed at contesting the next Parliamentary elections, party General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said. Mr. Premajayantha told the Sunday Times that the organisers at village level have been told to be prepared for the elections as the intention is to field a strong list [...]

Jayamanna to take oaths as President’s Counsel

Jayamanna to take oaths as President’s Counsel

Additional Solicitor General Sarath Jayamanna will take oaths as President’s Counsel (P.C.) on Wednesday in the Supreme Court. During his 26-year tenure as a prosecutor, he handled some of the high profile criminal cases. Among the cases which Mr Jayamanna handled are the Kobeigane beauty queen murder case, Ruggerite Tony Martin murder case, High Court [...]

VAT culprits begin long-term prison sentences

VAT culprits begin long-term prison sentences

Two persons convicted of defrauding the state in the VAT scam were being taken to prison to serve their long sentences. They were arrested in Malaysia and extradited to Sri Lanka. The two convicts were businessman Rashid Mohommed Marshid who was sentenced to 280 years RI and  businessman Nagur Aduvei Mohammed Hasdini alias Ibrahim who [...]

Commonwealth Law Conference award for BASL Chief

Commonwealth Law Conference award for BASL Chief

President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Upul Jayasuriya is to receive the 2015 Commonwealth Law Conference Rule of Law award. “The calibre of the candidates was extremely high and the final decision was difficult to make,” the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) said, announcing Mr Jayasuriya the winner of the prestigious award. The [...]

Charity begins at home: Pope returns huge cheque to Cardinal Malcolm

The gift of a cash donation of more than Rs. 8.7 million given by the Catholic Bishops to Pope Francis was given back to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith by the Pontiff, the Archdiocesan Monthly Bulletin ‘Koinonia’ reported. It said the donation which was given to the Pope’s Charity Fund amounted to Rs. 8,760,690.25. The contribution from [...]

Stroke Association spreads the message of looking after the brain

Slowly but surely, the National Stroke Association of Sri Lanka (NSASL) has been spreading the important message – from the nerve-centre of Colombo to the periphery – of how to look after the brain, For the first time in the history of the NSASL, its ‘Stroke Walk’ this year will be held in Kandy on [...]

Korathota quarries manipulated by VIP interests

Korathota quarries manipulated by VIP interests

The people of the Korathota mountain range, 3km from Homagama, live in constant fear of falling rocks from the intense quarrying being carried out in the area and are terrorised by goons hired by corrupt politicians of the current and former governments and fellow businessmen. Rising through the wetlands of the Kaduwela zone, the once-peaceful [...]

“Pictorial warning to cover 80% of cigarette pack”, law from Friday

Tough new anti-tobacco legislation, making it mandatory to carry pictorial warnings covering 80 per cent of cigarette packets, is to be approved by Parliament on Friday. The new laws will come by way of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (Amendment) Bill which was introduced to the House as an Urgent Bill on Tuesday. [...]

GMOA seeks wider gap in salary ratio

The Government Medical Officers’ Association has warned of trade union action if the Government fails to increase their salaries in proportion to the proposed salary increase of other employees in the state health sector. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said that at present the salary compression ratio between a minor employee and a professional [...]

‘No Confidence’ motion on John A. confined to Order Paper

The ‘No Confidence’ motion against Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga is likely to be confined to the Order Paper of Parliament. It has been listed in the category of “Motions for which no dates have been fixed”. The ‘No Confidence’ motion signed by nearly 140 UPFA members, was handed [...]

Mahanayake Theras give ear to genuine owners’ jumbo troubles

A delegation from the Domesticated Elephant Owners’ Association has sought the help of the Mahanayake Theras to clear their names from what they say are false allegations against them, as raids continued on illegally held elephants. The association’s secretary Dhamsiri Bandara Karunaratne handed over a memorandum to the Mahanayake Theras. The association has charged that [...]

Chilly weather at night for two weeks more: Former Met. Chief

Chilly weather at night for two weeks more: Former Met. Chief

Strong chilly winds blowing from Russia and moisture-laden winds from Northern India has resulted in a cold snap, a weather expert said. Explaining the present phenomenon, in which warm days, rainy evenings and chilly nights are prevailing, former Meteorology Chief K.R.Abeysinghe said that the present weather will prevail for the next two weeks. “Usually the [...]

Gen. Fonseka’s son-in-law Danuna ‘finds his voice’

Gen. Fonseka’s son-in-law Danuna ‘finds his voice’

The defeat of General Sarath Fonseka at the 2010 presidential election, and his subsequent arrest, was the beginning of a long ordeal, not only for him, but also for many of his relatives, chief among them his son-in-law Danuna Tillakaratne. Danuna (34), who went into hiding before his impending arrest for his alleged involvement in [...]

Two year-old is latest fatality in preventable road deaths

Two year-old is latest fatality in preventable road deaths

Two-year-old Oshada Savindu Shasmika from Weligama was the latest victim of a series of road tragedies, victim of a hit-and-run accident with Tangalle police still seeking the killer driver of the speeding jeep. The fatality rate from accidents has been rising steadily, and police say a combination of overloaded vehicles and bikes, new ways of [...]

Two Lankan businessmen killed in Mozambique

Two Sri Lankan gem merchants have been killed while on business in the Republic of Mozambique. The men M.Hissab (52) and M. Shashni (27) from Dinagoda, Beruwala, had gone to Mozambique last Sunday to purchase gems for their business in Beruwala. The death of the business partners who were known for their generosity has unsettled [...]

Colombo district sees a spike in dengue cases

Seven thousand dengue cases have been reported in the past one and half months in the Colombo district, with 2089 of them being reported in the past two weeks, according to Health Ministry sources. The Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit said there was an increase in the spread of the disease in January with 1790 cases [...]

Zoo with no heart leaves visitors cold

Zoo with no heart leaves visitors cold

The Dehiwela zoo, which has drawn millions of local and foreign visitors since opening 70 years ago, is losing its attraction due to the poor care of animals, renovations hampering visitor activities and the removal of some animals to Hambantota. Visitors said their visit to the zoo was a waste of money and that the [...]

Wildlife hunt for missing Book No. 3: It holds key to jumbo puzzle

Wildlife hunt for missing Book No. 3:  It holds key to jumbo puzzle

The jumbo puzzle besetting the Wildlife Department is getting more and more complicated as attempts are made by environmentalists to get to the truth regarding a missing book. Here are some basic pointers to this puzzle: – There is a big book called the Elephant book. It went missing and was found. With the change [...]

Road closed…

Road closed…

The reopening of the old Puttalam-Mannar road in the aftermath of the war came as a relief to travellers. However after the recent floods the road has been damaged to such an extent, that the 10 km stretch of road running through the Wilpattu National Park is in a much worse condition. All public transport [...]

Wild boar trap kills leopard

Wild boar trap kills leopard

A magnificent specimen of a leopard -7 ft in length and 3 ft in height- was found killed by a trap laid by villagers in Dolosbage in Nawalapitiya to trap wild boar, Wildlife conservation officers from the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve, police officers and villagers transported the carcass to the wildlife museum in Giritale. The [...]

Education Ministry trouble-shooting big time as complaints flood in

Hundreds of students, parents and teachers are gathering at the Education Ministry to lodge complaints over school admissions, transfers, promotions and instances of harassment to teachers by principals. The Education Ministry acknowledges these complaints, conducts immediate investigations on them and resolves them as soon as possible, said Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. He said [...]

An honoured son returns to his Alma Mater

An honoured son returns to his Alma Mater

President Maithripala Sirisena visited his former school, Rajakeeya Vidyalaya, Polonnaruwa, as chief guest of the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The President is seen speaking to some of the students.

Education Ministry’s Investigation Unit cadre increased from 8 to 50

Education Ministry’s Investigation Unit has received about 15 complaints within a week of announcing an increase to its cadre. The decision to strengthen the investigation unit by increasing it from 8 to 50 officers was made following discussions between Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and senior Ministry officials, the Education Times learns. A senior official [...]

Withdraw circular on tapping parents for funds: CTSU to Education Ministry

The Ceylon Teacher Services Union (CTSU) has demanded the Education Ministry to withdraw the latest circular regarding collection of funds from parents, stating the circular indirectly encourages collection of money through the Central and Provincial Education ministries. CTSU Secretary, Mahinda Jayasinghe said that the circular should be withdrawn or amended in a way that parents [...]

India beckons as Asia’s Hub of Higher Education for Lankan students

Securing a job in India, fast becoming a land of opportunities, could be a hard row to hoe, but the country is by far a better place to pursue higher education, as it offers a wide range of courses that Sri Lanka fails to match. From better equipped laboratories, updated lecturers and low cost of [...]

640 Volunteer-Teachers plead for permanency while 1,500 vacancies remain unfulfilled

Volunteer-teachers serving in 196 schools in the Puttalam Education Zone (PEZ) are entreating that they be made permanent teachers. These volunteer-teachers receive only a nominal sum given by the parents of students. They complain that, while the previous government had blueprints to enroll them as permanent as teachers, the new government has cancelled those plans. [...]

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