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Port City work stops

Port City work stops

After two months of controversy over whether it was on or off, work on China’s multi-million dollar Colombo Port City Project has finally come to a standstill following a Cabinet decision on Wednesday to suspend it until a full review is made. China has said it is closely following developments.

TNA publicly condemns Indian poaching

The Tamil National Alliance has for the first time objected to Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters when its leaders met India’s visiting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday. “We raised the issue of the fishermen and the fact that intrusions had escalated,” TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said. “She said she was aware of [...]

CB Governor faces ‘family company’ charges; calls mount for probe

The Government yesterday, amidst growing opposition calls for an independent probe, launched an investigation into allegations of “insider trading” and favouritism in a Treasury bond issue involving the recently appointed Governor of the Central Bank (CB) and his son-in-law – allegations that rocked Colombo’s banking sector this week. CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, who said he [...]

Special Presidential Commission to probe corruption

President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed Supreme Court Justice Priyasath Dep to head a Commission of Inquiry to look into corruption and misuse of power under the previous regime. The other members of the commission are Supreme Court Judge Anil Gunaratne, High Court Judge Gihan Kulathunge, retired Auditor General Sarath Mayadunne and retired Additional Solicitor General Aiyathurei [...]

Poaching talks postponed amid confusion

The third round of talks between fishermen of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu (TN) has been postponed to a date after March 15 amid confusion as to who wanted the postponement, a senior fisheries ministry official said. The talks were initially due be held on March 12, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to [...]

Packed programme for Premier Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a packed programme during his two-day official visit beginning Friday, the first state visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian leader in 28 years. During his stay, Mr. Modi will hold talks with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He will also address a special sitting of [...]

Huge foreign bank accounts exposed

Billions of rupees enough to bridge 75 per cent of the Budget deficit have been illegally deposited in three countries – Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland — by leaders of the former government and top officials, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told the Sunday Times yesterday. He said the Government had worked out a [...]

Jumbos get on with the show

Jumbos get on  with the show

The Dehiwala Zoo re- started the elephant show last Friday after the cancellation of the show last year when the elephants were diagnosed with tuberculosis. The Zoo Officials said that the show will be held at 4.30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday immediately after the bird show . The Officials said that visitors can [...]

Chinese contractors confirm suspension of CPC Project

Chinese contractors of Colombo Port City (CPC) confirmed yesterday that they had received official communication of the decision by Sri Lanka’s Cabinet to suspend the project with immediate effect. The notice was sent by Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation to CHEC Port City Colombo Private Ltd, a company incorporated in Sri [...]

MS to meet Tamil diaspora, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Lanka

President Maithripala Sirisena, who left for Britain on a three-day visit yesterday morning, will meet with members of Tamil diaspora groups in London, Foreign Ministry sources said. These include the British Tamils Forum and The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils. He will also hold talks with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka, chaired [...]

Act will remove brand pressure from drug prescribing

Act will remove  brand pressure from  drug prescribing

The government will move fast on reforms following the long-awaited passing of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority Act embodying the Senaka Bibile drugs policy to ensure the public has quality affordable medicines. The Act was passed on Friday by a majority vote of MPs. “The public can be assured of quality medicines, a smaller choice [...]

Double murder could break gang’s cruel grip on area

Double murder could break gang’s cruel grip on area

The pall of fear hanging for years over the residents of Meetiyagoda and surrounding areas in the south by a vicious gang of bootleggers could at last be lifting. The climax of this reign of terror was observed last Sunday when a well-known businessman and his wife, Malliyawadu Sunil Shantha and Mahadura Priyanganie – parents [...]

President Sirisena participates at Commonwealth Day as Chair-in-Office

British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to issue a statement on Sri Lanka to coincide with President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to London to participate in the Commonwealth Day events. As Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth President Sirisena who left for London last morning will meet the British monarch who heads the Commonwealth and is also [...]

5 ex-ministers, an MP and 2 Cabinet ministers reported to Bribery Commision

Five former ministers and an MP were summoned before the Bribery Commission with regard to its ongoing investigations, while two fresh complaints have been filed against two Cabinet ministers. Former ministers Johnston Fernando, Reginold Cooray, Rohitha Abeygunawardena and Lakshman Wasantha Perera and MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena were summoned by the Commission. A spokesman for Mr [...]

Drug shortage makes mockery of ‘free health’

Drug shortage makes  mockery of ‘free health’

Another shortage of drugs in the state medical sector is forcing patients to buy prescribed medicines from privately-run pharmacies when they should have been provided free of charge in pubic hospitals. This recurrent situation over the past decade has reduced the concept of “free health care” to a label. Lack of proper planning or awareness [...]

Helmet ban causes outcry over rider safety

The police decision to impose a ban on full-face helmets to prevent bank robberies has drawn protests from motorcyclists who fear their safety will be in jeopardy. Motorcycles are the transport mode of choice among working class people in rural and urban areas. As many as 30,011 motorcycles were registered in January, according to statistics [...]

Kachchativu draws large crowds for annual feast

Kachchativu draws large crowds for annual feast

The annual feast of St. Anthony’s church in Kachchativu drew a number of pilgrims to this small island close to the Northern Province, with nearly 8,000 devotees attending Feast High Mass on March 1. Mass was offered in the morning by Jaffna Diocese Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundranayagam. Nearly half of the devotees present [...]

Beijing reminds Colombo of its obligations while it reviews Port City project

China has reminded Sri Lanka to keep its promise to stay in touch and consult them while the US$ 1.5 billion Colombo Port City project is being reviewed, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in Beijing on Friday, The official news agency Xinhua reported that China will closely follow developments. Colombo Port City is [...]

Buyers of illegally caught fish have duty to ensure ocean resources are not depleted

Buyers of illegally caught fish have duty to ensure ocean  resources are not depleted

Countries which buy fish poached by Indian fishermen using destructive bottom trawlers in Sri Lankan seas have obligations under international conventions to ensure that oceanic resources are maintained, a maritime law expert said this week. “Even if you divide them up, the oceans are one,” said Nirmala Chandrahasan, author of the book ‘Maritime Boundaries in [...]

Govt. to renegotiate Expressway projects to lower costs: Kabir

The Government is to sign fresh agreements on Expressway construction projects to reduce their cost, Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Kabir Hashim told the Sunday Times. Accordingly, agreements on the extension of the Southern Expressway project from Matara to Hambantota, and the Northern Expressway project which will now be known as the Colombo-Kandy Highway [...]

CEPA to remain on the backburner

CEPA to remain on the backburner

Contrary to belief that the new Sri Lanka regime would take a more pragmatic approach and revive discussions on the long-delayed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India, a firm commitment last week from President Maithripala Sirisea has relegated this proposed deal, back to dusty, old cupboards. Over the years, the proposed CEPA drew criticism [...]

AISEF Chairman further remanded on charges of subletting, selling CMC property

Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Treasurer K.D. Chithrapala reported to the Colombo Chief Magistrate that 392 shops in Bodhiraja Mawatha and 5th Cross Street have been sublet and 12 shops already sold to third parties by tenant-vendors without the CMC’s permission.  He also reported that he has issued final notices to the vendors to pay Rs [...]

Glass guard could destroy Sigiriya wall, experts warn

Glass guard could destroy Sigiriya wall, experts warn

A proposal to have a glass cover as protection for the famed Mirror Wall in the Sigiriya rock fortress has sparked debate, with some claiming it could destroy the wall. A string of incidents in recent years has prompted authorities to reconsider the proposal of putting up a glass guard over the wall that carries [...]

Alleged acid throwing hubby remanded

A suspect was remanded till March 19 by Kandy Additional Magistrate Sesiri Herath for allegedly throwing acid on his wife’s face and then absconding. The victim is warded at the Kandy General Hospital. After absconding the suspect, W.D.Sumeda, is alleged to have entered the Kandy Hospital, threatened his wife and also threatened the hospital staff. [...]

People’s power prevails over encroachment on public land

Following the furore by locals in Mundel, against a businessman’s encroachment on public land, the police and the Mundel Divisional Secretary ordered the businessman off the premises till related legal issues were sorted out. Villagers claim that the businessman from Colombo, had seized more than 20 acres of public land in the Mundel Lagoon, Puttalam, [...]

Father of 2 , falls 40 feet to his death after liquor

A 52-old-year man under the influence of liquor, fell off a 40-foot building in Welipenna and died, the Coroner’s court was told. The victim, H.M Dharmasena was the owner of a grocery shop and a father of two. His wife W.D Priyanthi, 44, giving evidence, said,“Around 8 p.m, two of his friends came home and [...]

180,000 Chunnakam residents left without potable water

180,000 Chunnakam residents left without potable water

Over 18,000 people from Chunnkam in Jaffna are hapless as ground water contamination has left them no choice but to continue using the contaminated wells -their only natural source of drinking water. Residents complain the problem has been worsened as the Jaffna peninsula is not linked to any irrigation scheme and the farming community too [...]

Street demonstrators harming own cause

Street demonstrators harming own cause

The past few weeks have seen a plethora of street demonstrations and protests organised by trade unions and other groups in Colombo. During these protests, demonstrators have taken over main roads causing major traffic blocks and considerable inconvenience to pedestrians. As demonstrators occupy the main roads in the city, pedestrians and vehicles are forced to [...]

Less rain, fewer dengue patients, say doctors

Less rain, fewer dengue patients, say doctors

With little or no rains being received and the number of dengue patients conequently declining, doctors are requesting people to be vigilant. Kalubowila Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Asela Gunawardena said compared to the figures for the end of 2013, patient numbers are low even this time. He said in January 2015, 521 suspected dengue cases [...]

Councillor claims loss to KMC by irregular transfer of market stall

Kandy Municipal Councillor K.A.Ananda Santha Kumar has complained to the Auditor General in Colombo that he should investigate the loss of revenue to the Council by a decision taken by the Municipal Commissioner who has reported that a stall in the Kandy Central Market should be taken over by the Council and given out on [...]

Sushma visits Foreign Ministry

Sushma visits Foreign Ministry

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited the Foreign Ministry yesterday for talks with Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Pic by Indika Handuwela

Japan pledges US$ 600m for BIA upgrade, electricity project

Japan pledges US$ 600m for BIA upgrade, electricity project

Japan has promised loans worth US$ 600 million to fund the second stage of Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) upgrade and a new project to establish Electricity transmission and distribution network. The Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minoru Kiuchi, discussed details of the loans during his visit yesterday, said Director of South West Asia Division, [...]

Medicines and its proper usage- NMRA campaign in schools, campuses

Schoolchildren and undergraduates will receive awareness in medicines and its safe usage, under the new National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) Act passed in Parliament on Friday. Chairman of the Committee that drafted the Act, Dr Palitha Abeykoon told Education Times, this Act is the first in the Health sector to focus on public awareness on [...]

House assured of inquiry into uniform material, shoes distribution in isolated rural schools

Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam assured Parliament that he will initiate a full inquiry into the granting of extra uniform material and school shoes to schoolchildren in isolated and remote schools. Responding to a question by MP Buddhika Pathirana in Parliament this week, he said, isolated schools will be made child-friendly schools to prevent [...]

Parents rewarded with chosen school for helping nab bribe-taking principals

Parents who helped the Bribery Commission arrest a school principal who demanded a bribe to admit their child to school in the Galle District, were rewarded by the Education Ministry, a senior official said. Theie reward was that the parents could admit their child to any school of their choice, said Education Ministry Secretary Upali [...]

On the threshold of a Noble Profession

On the threshold of a Noble Profession

A group of Graduates wait to receive their Letters of Appointment as Teachers, at the Western Provincial Council office in Colombo 7. Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga as Chief Guest, presented the Letters of Appointment to 375 Graduates. Pix by Athula Devapriya.

Free morning meal for Grades 1-5 shortly: Ed.Min.

The Education Ministry will seek Cabinet approval shortly to re-introduce a free morning meal for students from Grade 1 to 5, Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told the Education Times. He said this was in keeping with a pledge under the 100-Day programme announced during the presidential election campaign. He said that a Cabinet [...]

SC orders submission of School entrants’ lists for last 3 years

The Supreme Court on Feb.26 ordered principals of 13 leading schools to submit lists of students admitted to their schools in the past three years. Two lists were demanded. One of students admitted from Grade 1 to 5, and the other of students admitted after passing the Grade 5 Scholarship exam. The order was given [...]

Remote Daham Pasala appeals for assistance to provide basic facilities

Remote Daham Pasala appeals for assistance to provide basic facilities

‘Sri Sanghamitta Sunday School’ at Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya belonging to Mahawillachchiya Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandala conducts classes from Grades 1 to 10, and is situated in the remote Thanthrimale area. The Chief Incumbent of the temple Ven. Thantirimale Chandrarathana Thera said that more than 375 students attend this school, and 12 voluntary teachers provide their invaluable [...]

Eastern University gets Rs 12 m state-of-the-art Hostel & Sports Complex

Eastern University gets Rs 12 m state-of-the-art  Hostel & Sports Complex

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday (3) handed over the new Hostel and Sports Complex with state-of-the-art facilities, built at a cost of Rs 12 million, to the Trincomalee Campus of Eastern University.

Colombo, Peradeniya, Moratuwa Varsities figure in world ranked University websites

Universities of Colombo, Peradeniya and Moratuwa are among the top Lankan universities and Degree-awarding universities/colleges in a world ranking for top university websites. The ‘Webometrics Ranking of World Universities is an initiative of the cybermetric lab of the Spanish National Research Council, the largest public research body in Spain. The ranking is conducted taking into [...]

Ed. Ministry to assist Provincial schools to fight money collection

The Education Ministry will assist provincial authorities to prohibit collecting money from students of provincial schools and their parents. Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told Parliament that the recent circular was mainly to the national schools that come under the line ministry. “Our findings on money collection from students in national schools, included a [...]

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