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Nimal: Awaiting the call

Nimal: Awaiting the call

Amid the strange equation of the SLFP having one leg in the Opposition and the other in the Government, the man at the centre of the crisis is Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, who will face a verdict on his position on Tuesday. Mr. de Silva at a book launch juggling a telephone in [...]

JHU threatens to block 19A

Fresh issues arose this week within the new Government as a ruling coalition partner, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), said yesterday that it would move amendments to the 19th Amendment — now before the Supreme Court — charging that the draft did not conform to what was agreed to by party leaders. The JHU directly [...]

Fishing crisis: President urges talks with Tamil Nadu

President Maithripala Sirisena has proposed that the Northern Provincial Council should work with a ministerial delegation for talks with the Tamil Nadu government to work out a solution to the poaching issue, officials said. The President’s proposal came during talks with a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation led by party leader R. Sampanthan. Fisheries representatives from [...]

China Communications Construction director hauled in over graft

A director at China Communications Construction Company, the parent of Colombo Port City developer China Harbour Engineering, has been hauled in over corruption suspicions in China. The executive, Wu Zhenfang, is also the former deputy general manager of the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China’s anti-graft body has announced. Xinhua reported that Mr. Wu is [...]

No police powers for armed forces

Police powers vested in the armed forces will cease, the Government has decided. The Government has allowed to lapse the Public Security Ordinance regulation that transferred police powers to the armed forces. Minister and Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Government under its 100-day good governance programme had found it unnecessary to extend the regulation. He [...]

Ministry team goes to Seychelles for probe

The Finance Ministry is sending investigators to Seychelles to probe allegations of illegal transfer of funds and assets during the former regime, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said the officials would have discussions with Seychelles authorities in a bid to gain more information about the funds illegally transferred from Sri Lanka. Any transfers of Sri [...]

To sink or swim with Colombo Port City?

To sink or swim with Colombo Port City?

The Colombo Port City Development has been in the limelight during the past three months. A range of articles has been published by organisations, environmentalists, politicians, social media groups, the developer/investor and others associated with the developer on engineering and environmental studies. The involvement of wider segments of society in these discussions indicates the perceived [...]

Tax only on mansions built after April 2000

The Mansion Tax of Rs one million a year introduced in the interim budget would apply only for residential constructions after April 1, 2000 and those exceeding 10,000 square feet, the government has decided. According to the gazette the value of the building should be not less than Rs 150 million as determined by the [...]

Death fall caused by lack of safety measures

A 52-year old construction worker who had been working without taking safety precautions had fallen from a height of about 60 feet and died at the National Hospital, the Coroner’s Court was told. The victim, Devage Rupasena, from Walasmulla was employed at a construction project in Kadawatha. The father of two had been rushed to [...]

Mother digs up alleged Moscow murder of ex-envoy’s Attanagalla aide

Mother digs up alleged Moscow murder of  ex-envoy’s Attanagalla aide

The elderly mother of a former employee at Sri Lanka’s embassy in Russia alleged yesterday, her son had been murdered. Josephine Nona, 71, told the Sunday Times that her son, Noel Ranaweera, first worked at the Club Lanka restaurant owned by former ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga, in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Weeratunga is now deemed missing [...]

Excuses won’t fly when unregulated drones go wild

Excuses won’t fly when  unregulated drones go wild

A remotely-piloted aircraft the size and weight of a laptop could malfunction in flight and kill or severely injure someone. Should such craft, popularly known as drones, be allowed over populated areas and who could be called to account for an accident caused by hardware or software failure? A concerned public is wondering whether a [...]

How do we solve a problem like the 19th A?

How do we solve a  problem like the 19th A?

The Supreme Court this week heard arguments for and against the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution which is set to be taken up for debate in Parliament later next week. The three Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Justice Chandra Ekanayaka and Justice Priyasad Dep, took up 16 petitions and eight intervenient petitions [...]

It’s heartening to see something has begun in Sri Lanka: US envoy

The United States is yet to determine what action it would take regarding Sri Lanka after September, when the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is due to release a report on human rights violations alleged to have been committed at the end of the war with the LTTE. “What we know [...]

Ex-EU envoy’s teenage daughter dies in train tragedy

The 18-year-old British teernager who fell off a moving express train last Sunday has been identified as the daughter of a former European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bernard Savage. Police said the girl was travelling on the footboard of the Matara-Kandy express train on March 29 when the tragedy occurred. “Our staff observed she [...]

It’s the season for errant traders, warns CAA

It’s the season for errant traders, warns CAA

Beware of errant traders who could trick you this Avurudu season, is the warning from the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to the public. CAA’s Information Director Chandrika Thilakaratne said as the shopping spree increased some of the commonest tricks used by traders to dupe customers included altering weighing scales and repacking items that had already [...]

EU official mum on Indo-Lanka fishing issue

A senior European Union official who was in the country this week was non-committal on the fish and marine products traded by India which is harvested illegally in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters At a meeting with the media in Colombo on Thursday Mr. Ugo Astuto Actg. Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific of the [...]

Pay US$ 100 to enter a casino

Anyone who wants to go to a casino or a registered gambling centre can do so only upon an entry payment of US$ 100 (Rs. 13,000), according to an amendment to the Betting and Gaming Levy Act. The Betting and Gaming Levy (Amendment) Bill, gazetted on March 30 in keeping with the Government’s interim Budget [...]

Death of Indian couple: Alleged suicide due to loss at casino, say police

Death of Indian couple: Alleged suicide due to loss at casino, say police

Investigators probing the death of an Indian couple at a hotel in Wellawatte last week confirmed that the pair had committed suicide by consuming poison after losing heavily at a city casino that same night, a senior policeman said yesterday. The husband Puthu-Veevam Ramba aged 31 was from Andra Pradesh and his 28-year-old wife Thaga [...]

Railway raids

Railway raids

Amidst the daily rush at the Fort Railway Station, commuters are often troubled by beggars and illegal vendors both within the station premises as well as on the trains. The Head of Security of SL Railways, J.M.N.S Jayasena said that with the increasing number of complaints from travellers both local and foreign, authorities have decided [...]

Police use teargas to disperse Sihala Ravaya protesters at Kuragala

Police used teargas to disperse Sihala Ravaya members who tried to enter the Kuragala mosque premises at Balangoda yesterday. The protesters demanded the demolition of the mosque and two tombs within the premises, claiming that they stood on an archaeological site that once housed Buddhist centres. The protesters, led by the Ven. Magalkande Sudantha Thera, [...]

SriLankan Airlines: The big lie in the sky

SriLankan Airlines: The big lie in the sky

A government-appointed committee into the crisis-hit SriLankan Airlines has called for criminal prosecutions against its former chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe, CEO Kapila Chandrasena and some other heads of departments for blatant abuse of power along with a flawed US$ 2.3 billion re-fleeting exercise, frauds in the award of tenders for duty free deals and the appointment [...]

Easter a triumph of truth and justice: PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an Easter message has said the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a triumph for truth and justice. In a message, the Prime Minister said: Jesus Christ, who transformed death to a supreme sacrifice of his life, is one of the greatest teachers born in this world. He, who committed to [...]

The international community is looking to Sri Lanka for a success story

The international community is looking to Sri Lanka for a success story

Though this is my first time to Sri Lanka, I have followed events here for years. I believe that Sri Lanka is not unlike other multiethnic societies that experienced conflict. Most ordinary people in such societies want nothing more than to live, work and raise their children together. When they look at each other, they [...]

Specialists threaten en masse resignation from GMOA over unfair treatment

A powerful Sri Lankan health trade union is being shaken to its very foundations with a strong move by senior members to pull out en masse before the end of April. A large number of specialist doctors (consultants) attached to state hospitals across the country have decided to tender their resignations from the membership of [...]

PS chairman murder case: Main suspect surrenders, but residents live in fear

The surrender of the main suspect in the murder of the Ratgama Pradeshiya Sabha chairman may have helped the Police to complete investigations, but residents say this is no indication that they are safe from criminal gangs terrorising the Meetiyagoda area. Arumadura Janith Madusanka de Silva alias ‘Podi Lassie’ the man who allegedly gunned down PS [...]

Helmets suffer collateral damage in deadly game of cops and robbers

Helmets suffer collateral damage in deadly game of cops and robbers

While nearly three million motorbike riders await a court ruling on the challenge to the full face helmet ban, former law enforcement figures and security firms say illicit small arms must be taken off the streets and out of the hands of criminal gangs to prevent gun-related crimes. A survey by a national commission between [...]

Sri Lanka must insist on nuclear safeguards from India: Experts, diplomats

India’s nuclear reactor population is rising. So is its use of nuclear technology in other spheres. This poses a threat to countries like Sri Lanka, particularly in the event of an accident across the Palk Strait. Why, then, is New Delhi blocking bilateral negotiations on liabilities and compensation? The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has [...]

Probe committee report on disputed bond issue before Avurudu

The report of the three-member committee probing the controversial February 27 Treasury bond issue would be submitted to parliament, according to Deputy Economic Planning Minister Harsha de Silva “The fact remains that parliament is the final authority on public finance and once the report is submitted, parliament can decide on the next steps. Having said [...]

Uma Oya: A stream of negligence

Uma Oya: A stream of negligence

Serious lapses by the contractor and negligence by the then Government to prevent the heavy seepage of water in the excavation of the Uma Oya tunnel have plunged thousands of people into a hell hole of disastrous misery and destitution, an experts’ committee has reported. The experts’ report, a copy of which was obtained by [...]

KKS cement factory machinery ripped up for scrap

KKS cement factory machinery ripped up for scrap

For several years there have been proposals to resurrect what remained of the wrecked Kankesanthurai cement factory, but now it has been revealed that some of its machinery have been stripped and sold for scrap. Chunks of the massive kiln have been removed and some parts remain ready to be hauled off the site, according [...]

Rs 450m to Develop, Maintain 351 National Schools: AVK

The Education Ministry is to disperse Rs 450 million among 351 National schools, next week, said Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. The funds are for both Development and Maintenance of individual schools, and allocated to each school according to its student numbers and requirements. “We want to stop schools from collecting money from pupils, and [...]

IUSF agitates against issues outside its syllabus

IUSF agitates against issues outside its syllabus

The Inter University Student Federation (IUSF) on Wednesday protested against a string of issues including privatising Higher Education, reduction in Mahapola Scholarship allowance and collecting monies in schools. IUSF Convener, Najith Indika said, “This Government is no different. President Maithiripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s joint government is carrying out what the previous government [...]

Graduates to be trained as Administrative Assistants to Principals

In order to strengthen administration within schools, the National Institute of Education (NIE) intends to train graduates to assist principals in administration. NIE- Director General, Prof Gunapala Nanayakkara said the related proposal will be submitted to the Minister of Education. “There is not a single PhD holder among the principals. This is mainly because principals [...]

The will to succeed from behind bars spurs authorities

With one student from Watareka prison school’s maiden batch of GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) candidates having passed the examination, the school authorities are currently preparing to introduce the Advanced Level stream to the school. According to its Principal, W.L.D.R.M. Wijetunga, of the 16 candidates who sat for last years O/L exam, one got through with [...]

NIE DG for dialogue to fast track National Education Policy

NIE DG for dialogue to fast track National Education Policy

The newly appointed National Institute of Education (NIE) Director General, Prof Gunapala Nanayakkara said he intends initiating a dialogue among Education System stakeholders to accelerate implementation of a National Education Policy, to curb wastage of resources and inefficiency within the Education sector, as top priority. “It has been discussed for years, but nothing has been [...]

ITEC underscores, highlights India’s contribution to Lankans’ Higher Education

ITEC underscores, highlights India’s  contribution to Lankans’ Higher Education

High Commissioner (HC) of India Y.K Sinha this week said that Sri Lanka was one of the topmost partner countries of Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC), with 208 Lankans, including senior Government officials, going to India annually, for training in over 100 courses. The HC was speaking at a function to commemorate the Golden [...]

Calling Applications for Post of Principal

The Ministry of Education intends to recruit principals for schools where vacancies currently exist, as well as for schools where vacancies will occur by December 31, 2015. Applications have already been called this week, and will be accepted till the end of this month. Education Administrative Service Officers of Grades 1, 2 and 3, and [...]

Fresh criteria for 2016 Grade 1 admissions: Education Ministry

The Government will set out fresh criteria for Grade 1 admissions from next year, said Education Ministry Secretary, Upali Marasinghe. He said, once the new circular is introduced, the Education Ministry will not entertain any complaints regarding admission, unless there is a valid reason to do so. He said the Ministry is usually inundated with [...]

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