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Seasonal flu hitting Lanka, take precautions

Seasonal flu hitting Lanka, take precautions

With warnings of a seasonal viral flu spreading in Sri Lanka, this woman wearing a face mask was seen near the National Hospital while at areas around the Infectious Diseases Hospital many people were wearing such masks. Pic by Indika Handuwala

Lanka’s Moscow envoy accused of selling arms to Ukraine rebels

Udayanga Weeratunga, Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia, has been accused by Ukraine of involvement in arms sales to separatist rebels fighting troops in that country. The Government of President Petro Poroshenko has made a complaint to the Foreign Ministry in Colombo in this regard providing details of Mr. Weeratunga’s involvement, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told [...]

Bond issue: Probe committee to question dealers on inside info

A Government-committee probing the controversial Treasury bond issue is to summon bond dealers for questioning this week to ascertain if any party benefitted from ‘inside information’. There were also concerns on whether any party had engaged in any ‘short selling’ of bonds prior to the controversial bond auction. ‘Short selling’ of bonds, which is illegal, is [...]

Sequence of events: Suspicions all round

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank (CB) met Monday, February 23 and on the following day issued its monthly monetary policy stating that the interest rates were unchanged. Thereafter between February 24 and 26, an interested party sold treasury bonds (that it held) with the date of payment settlement being a week from then, compared [...]

If you are going to India, wear a mask

Health authorities have instructed tour operators organising pilgrimages to India to advise their elderly clients to take necessary precautions against the A(H1N1) epidemic — also called Indian swine flu – which has killed about 2,000 people while about 31,000 have fallen victim. The Health Ministry has warned especially the elderly, mothers-to-be and those with chronic illnesses [...]

WB detectives here to probe multibillion-rupee frauds

WB detectives here to probe multibillion-rupee fraudsA high level team from the World Bank’s Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative (StAR) is due in the country early next month to assist local investigators probing frauds running into billions of rupees and involving leaders of the former regime, a senior police official said yesterday. He said the assistance [...]

India ignores Sri Lanka’s vulnerability concerns to nuclear ‘accidents’

India ignores Sri Lanka’s vulnerability concerns to nuclear ‘accidents’

Whenever Sri Lanka took up safety issues related to the proximity of India’s nuclear power plants, New Delhi maintained it was not necessary to tackle those concerns bilaterally, authoritative sources say. “The Indian side said there were international conventions covering all countries,” a senior official said, requesting anonymity. “They asked why we wanted bilateral agreements [...]

Potters and shoppers get ready for Avurudu

Potters and shoppers get ready for Avurudu

With three weeks for the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, people are thronging popular shopping areas such as Pettah, while traders too are gearing to meet the New Year rush. While clothes and household items are what the early shoppers look for, clay pot makers are getting ready with their wares that [...]

Unpractical Excise law runs into storm

The move by President Maithripala Sirisena to close down 349 liquor outlets that have violated the stipulated operational regulations has run into a storm with Excise Department officials saying that it was not practical and towards this end they have sought the advice of the Attorney General. Senior officials who could not be named said [...]

Farmers wilt under paddy prices

Observing at midday on Monday an overcast sky that threatened to wash away his hard work this Maha season, farmer H. Karunadasa decided to sell his paddy to a private mill owner, S. M. M. Seeras. Sifting though Mr. Karunadasa’s paddy sample, the private mill owner claims that the moisture level is too high. When [...]

President takes charge as Uma Oya threatens environmental genocide

President takes charge as Uma Oya threatens environmental genocide

President Maithripala Sirisena has sought a comprehensive report on the Uma Oya Project to be presented to Cabinet next week, amidst growing concern for the welfare of over 1,150 families in the area adversely affected by the harm caused to the environment, believed to be due to the project. President Sirisena also ordered immediate action [...]

Docs in showdown with Govt. on Tuesday

Over 15,000 Government doctors island-wide are set for trade union action on Tuesday demanding authorities resolve issues related to their salaries and allowances, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said. Association Spokesman Dr. Naveen de Zoysa said the health sector will be severely affected when doctors of all hospitals, except for those on duty at [...]

Port City’s Chinese chief and lawyers throw a few punches at Sri Lanka

An executive of Colombo Port City developer China Harbour Engineering and a lawyer for its parent company have rounded on the Sri Lankan Government in comments made to a Hong Kong newspaper, denouncing the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration for its ineptitude in handling the review of the project. Jiang Houliang, managing director of CHEC Port City Colombo, [...]

Railway travails: Begging, vending to be banned

Railway travails: Begging, vending to be banned

Beggars and vendors are to be prohibited from begging or selling anything on trains or in railway stations, mainly due to health reasons and the nuisance caused to commuters. A spokesman for Railway security said lightning raids would be carried out from this week to arrest such persons on charges of violating the Railway Ordinance.Nihal [...]

Avurudu flu: Avoid crowds, don’t infect others

With the holiday season approaching, health officials have warned that large gatherings — whether they are family get-togethers, crowded buses, musical shows or avurudu celebrations –could be feeding or breeding grounds for flu viruses. Sri Lanka has not been affected by the A(H1N1) influenza outbreak that claimed a number of lives here in 2009 and [...]

EBUS: Device to diagnose diseases without opening up patient’s chest

Not only into the difficult recesses of this organ essential for breathing can this slim wonder-tool delve, but it can also check out adjacent areas to help doctors diagnose diseases without opening up the chest of the patient. Now available for the first time in Sri Lanka at the National Hospital in Colombo, is the [...]

World Bank pushes for open tender system

World Bank pushes for open tender system

A World Bank governance expert warns that the absence of open tendering for contracts is a cause for concern in any country. “Open tendering is extremely important,” stressed Felipe Goya, the Bank’s Governance Practice Manager for South Asia. “When you don’t see open tendering in a given country or society, it always raises a red [...]

From road shows to road safety

From road shows to road safety

Road shows to raise awareness on road safety were discontinued a number of years ago. But with the escalating number of road accidents, the police have decided to ‘hit the roads’ again. Policemen in fancy dress enacting various road scenes drew curious crowds at the Fort Railway Station on Friday. A cap with pigtails and [...]

Petition against Mohan Peiris in Supreme Court

The recent crisis over the independence of the judiciary has taken a new turn with two petitioners seeking an order to investigate allegations against Mohan Peiris and a change in the Supreme Court bench he appointed to hear a case filed by them. The petition filed in the Supreme Court sought an order — a [...]

Humble native rice shoots to fame

While the hybrids are much sought-after, it is a humble but hardy ‘native’ which has been skyrocketed to fame in Sri Lanka. ‘Goda Wee’, an indigenous variety of rice, will go down in the annals of science as the very first plant in Sri Lanka to get its genome (see graphic) determined by a local [...]

Schoolchildren, construction sector personnel to join battle against dengue

Schoolchildren, construction sector personnel to join battle against dengue

Health authorities this week decided to deploy schoolchildren and also educate those in the construction sector to bring under control the escalating number of dengue fever cases being reported in the country. In the first two and a half months of this year, more than 10,000 cases of dengue have been reported with 15 deaths [...]

Former Polls Chief Chandrananda de Silva passes away

Former Commissioner of Elections, Chandrananda de Silva passed away yesterday (21) at the age of 78. An old boy of Rahula College, Matara, and alumnus of the University of Peradeniya, Mr de Silva joined the Civil Service and assumed duties as the Commissioner of Elections on May 4, 1982. The new system of elections as [...]

Fishermen talks resume in Chennai; Lanka won’t make compromise

Sri Lanka’s northern fishermen will meet their Indian counterparts for talks on Tuesday in Chennai and reiterate that they should not poach in Sri Lanka’s waters, a senior official said. Fisheries Ministry Secretary S.D.A.B. Boralassa said President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had made it clear that there would be no compromise on [...]

Gangaramaya to provide meals at affordable prices

The Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo 2, is organising a programme, with the assistance of food suppliers, to provide nutritious and wholesome meals at affordable prices to workers, a press release from the Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo said. The programme will be inaugurated on March 25, at 11.30 a.m. at the Seemamalakaya adjoining the Gangaramaya Temple, with [...]

Years don’t diminish the memories

Years don’t diminish the memories

Family members of fallen police personnel paid tribute to their loved ones at an event  held at the Police Field Force Headquarters in Colombo yesterday with the participation of the IGP N.K.Ilangakoon.. It marked the 151st remembrance event. Pic by Gayan Amarasekera.

Two deaths in custody this month: Three cops on the mat

At least three policemen including two sergeants have been interdicted in connection with two separate cell deaths that took place at the start of this month, pending further investigations but a rights group while condemning the incidents has called for tougher action and transparency in the probe. During the initial investigations the police claimed that [...]

A long and healthy journey

A long and healthy journey

The main celebratory event of the 150th anniversary of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) was held amidst an august gathering, with President Maithripala Sirisena as Chief Guest on Friday. Here President Maithripala Sirisena felicitates a former Director of NHSL, Dr. Oliver Fernando, while Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and NHSL’s current Director, Dr. [...]

Display price list or face jail, CAA chief warns food sellers

Shop owners and eating house operators including those who run canteens have been ordered to display a price list of items on sale or risk heavy fines and jail terms upto six months, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Chairman Rumy Marzook said yesterday. He said that in terms of a new regulation, prices of food items [...]

Gen.Fonseka Field Marshal from today

General Sarath Fonseka will be elevated to the post of Field Marshal today, the first Sri Lankan to be honoured with the highest rank in the Army. The promotion ceremony will be held at the Ministry of Defence under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.When the Sunday Times photographer Indika Handuwala caught up with the [...]

Enforce rear-seat-belt law on highways to save lives: AA

The Automobile Association of Ceylon has strongly recommended the immediate implementation of the rear seat belt rule on vehicles plying on the Southern Highway and the Airport Expressway. The AA said the move would help save lives in serious accidents. “It should be mandatory for the passengers to wear rear seat belts for their own [...]

Dual citizenship back after 4 years

Those who wish to apply for dual citizenship would be able to do so once again from tomorrow on a new criterion, Public Order Minister John Amaratunga said yesterday. The facility was suspended four years ago “More than 300 people had applied under the previous regulations and paid the required fees. Their applications too would [...]

Concerned but confident investments are secure; China awaits President

Concerned but confident investments  are secure; China awaits President

Chinese investors this week expressed concern over the suspension of a string of projects by the Sri Lanka Government, but State officials are optimistic that policies on Chinese investments in Sri Lanka will not alter due to political change. The concerns were expressed ahead of President Maithiripala Sirisena’s scheduled visit to China next week, where [...]

Modi’s Jaffna sojourn marred by over enthusiastic Indian security

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jaffna, during his two-day official visit to Sri Lanka, was not good news for the local media as well as for one well-wisher. A posse of local and Indian journalists had turned up at the Jaffna Public Library for a meeting with Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and other [...]

GSP Plus: EU team here on fact-finding mission

A European Union delegation will arrive tomorrow on a fact-finding mission prior to any restoration of the GSP Plus trade concessions that were withdrawn in 2010 over the country’s poor human rights record. The delegation led by Mark Vanheukelen will hold talks with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Commerce and Trade Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and trade [...]

A/L qualified residents of estates as Teacher Assistants for Estate schools

The Government is in the process of recruiting 3,000 Advanced Level qualified- 3 Passes, persons from the estate to be posted as Teacher Assistants, exclusively to estate sector schools, said Education Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe. He said the appointments will be given by the end of this month. “Interviews are now being conducted for the [...]

Graduates demand Govt. keep its Polls’ promises

Graduates demand Govt. keep its Polls’ promises

Students who graduated from States universities in 2011 and 2012, marched to the District Secretariat in Matara this week, demanding they be given government jobs as promised during the election campaign.

SL with 70% women undergrads tops in Asia: Minister Ranawaka

Minster of Power & Energy, Champika Ranawaka said that Sri Lanka has the highest number of female undergraduates for higher education compared with other Asian countries. “Our student population in higher education institutes in this country is 70% women. Sri Lanka is one country providing free education irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender or ethnic [...]

Close taverns, bars within 500 metres of schools, places of worship: President

Liquor taverns and bars will not be permitted to operate in close proximity to schools and places of worship, President Maitripala Sirisena has ordered the Excise Commissioner. Accordingly, 349 liquor stores and bars situated within 500 metres of schools and religious place will be closed. President Sirisena ordered this at a Joint Prevention Committee meeting [...]

GCE O/L Results on April 7

Results of the GCE O/L exam held last December 9 to 18 will be released on April 7, said Examinations Commissioner W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara. “Despite heavy rains and floods in Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Mannar, Jaffna, Vavuniya and a number of other areas in the North and North Central Provinces, the exams were conducted in a manner that [...]

“Brava” by Sinhala Literary Society of St. Peter’s College

The Sinhala Literary Society of St. Peter’s College this week showcased its students’ talents at a show titled “Brava” where Pandith Amaradeva was the Guest of Honour. The Rector, Rev Tony Martin said that St. Peters has always has been a hub for Sports, while this novel experience will encourage the Peterite Community to enhance [...]

Eminent Indian Scholars to address Colombo Uni. Sociology Department’s 2nd Seminar in March

The 2nd Seminar for March will be held on Monday, March 23, at 12 noon in the Seminar Room of the Dept of Sociology, and is open to all The Colombo University’s, Dept of Sociology has re-launched its Seminar series for 2015, where eminent scholars of various disciplines will make presentations throughout 2015. The 2nd [...]

Rajarata undergrads agitate for solutions to their academic and welfare problems

Rajarata undergrads agitate for solutions to their academic and welfare problems

Hundreds of undergraduates from four Faculties of Rajarata University marched from their hostels and staged a protest this week on the main road in front of the University in Mihintale, demanding solutions for the academic and welfare issues that beset them. The protest was organised by the Students’ union (Maha Shishya Sangamaya). Students’ union President, [...]

‘Gift of Life International’ comes to Sri Lanka

‘Gift of Life International’ comes to Sri Lanka

The ‘Gift of Life International’ programme, which has grown to be a global mission that has healed the failing hearts of thousands of children, officially launched, ‘Gift of Life Sri Lanka’, recently. The launch was held under the patronage of Minister of Health & Indigenous Medicine, Dr Rajitha Senarathne, at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo. Announcing [...]

Ministries to train, absorb Graduate Dev. Offs. in PS, local govt. offices: PM

“Though there is no Economic Development Ministry, we will not abandon the graduates. But as they were recruited erratically and received no training, there is a need to train them,” Graduates recruited as Development Officers to Pradeshiya Sabha’s and other local government offices, will be trained and recruited into several line ministries, said Prime Minister [...]

India offers Undergraduate Scholarships to SL students

Sri Lanka students can apply for undergraduate courses in Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), Medicine (MBBS) and Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) under the Self-Financing Scheme for the academic year 2015-16 against the reserved seats of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, the Indian High Commission announced. Application forms are available at the [...]

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