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Purse and prosperity

Purse and prosperity

As Sri Lanka celebrates the first National New Year after the emergence of the Yahapalanaya Government, our photojournalist Anuruddha Bandara yesterday captured this picture of people flocking to buy new purses on the Pettah pavements.

Electoral reforms before dissolution

United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) leaders decided yesterday to fast track an electoral reforms package for inclusion in the 19th Amendment so that President Maithripala Sirisena could dissolve Parliament after its passage and go for early polls. Consensus on the matter emerged at a meeting of alliance leaders at the residence of President Sirisena. A [...]

Moves to heal rift between MS and MR

Peace initiatives are under way to bring together President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa. Two emissaries, former Ministers P.B. Ekanayake and Kumara Welgama, met Mr. Sirisena yesterday to discuss moves at rapprochement. When Mr. Welgama asked President Sirisena to allow Mr. Rajapaksa to contest the upcoming Parliamentary elections, he asked “who told you [...]

Prelate’s funeral today: National mourning

The funeral of the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, the Ven. Udugama Sri Buddarakkhita Thera, takes place today in Kandy with state honours. Today has been declared a day of national mourning, in view of the funeral. All liquor shops and meat stalls will be closed islandwide. The liquor shops would be closed tomorrow and [...]

Three members of presidential commission quit

Three members of a five-member Presidential Commission appointed to probe corruption, fraud, and misuse or abuse of power in the past five years, have decided to withdraw. Justice Priyasath Dep who was appointed as chairman and Justice Anil Goonaratne had conveyed their decision to withdraw from the commission as they are Judges of the Supreme [...]

TNA, SLMC want delimitation put off for ten years

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) want the Government to refrain from carrying out the delimitation of electoral boundaries in the Northern Province for the next 10 years, until displaced people are resettled. The proposal was put forward by a TNA delegation led by R. Sampanthan and SLMC leader [...]

Bid to revive Mattala: Free for all airlines

The Government has implemented an open skies policy over the ailing Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), granting international operators all nine “freedoms of the air”—including the liberty to use it as a base for commercial airline operations. The new development is expected to be published as a gazette and in the worldwide aeronautical information circular [...]

Health ministry, CEA nab factory dumping hazardous waste

Health ministry, CEA nab factory dumping  hazardous waste

The Ministry of Health and the Central Environmental Authority uncovered a factory in Bingiriya involved in the extraction of lead from old batteries and unscrupulously dumping the hazardous waste which is a by-product of the extraction process. The plant has been operating out of the premises of a now defunct company which had earlier produced [...]

Lanka has potential to be a global example: UN envoy

If handled well, Sri Lanka’s case has the potential to be a regional and global example of how sustainable peace ought to be achieved, says Pablo de Greiff, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, at the end of his recent visit to Sri Lanka. Mr. de Greiff [...]

Chapter closes on writer, journalist Gamini Punchihewa (83)

Chapter closes on writer, journalist Gamini Punchihewa (83)

Veteran author and journalist Gamini G. Punchihewa passed away yesterday. He was 83 A past pupil of Mahinda College, Galle and Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa, Mr. Punchihewa served on the Gal Oya Development Board and the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka, and then embarked on his journalistic career in 1962. Over the past 50 [...]

Bhutan Premier in Sacred City

Bhutan Premier in Sacred City

Bhutan Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka yesterday paid homage to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. Chief Incumbent of the Atamastana Ven Dr.Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thera presented a sapling of the sacred Bo tree at the Sri Maha Bodhi. It was a gift from Sri Lanka on [...]

At least 30 Lankans opt to stay on in Yemen

A group of some 30 or more Sri Lankans has opted to risk staying back in war-torn Yemen, even as thousands of locals and foreigners continue to flee that country, a senior official said yesterday. This group had ignored the earlier rescue mission that brought home some 52 Sri Lankans, for reasons best known to [...]

Treasury Bond probe report out, but contents a secret

The committee probing the controversial February 27 Treasury bond issue on Thursday handed over its report to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe but its contents are yet to be made public. Members of the committee have been tight-lipped, as in the past, in disclosing contents of the report or discussing its work in the past few [...]

Avurudu Nekath

Bathing for the old year will be on Monday, April 13. Naanu (herbal mixture) made of woodapple-leaf juice must be applied on the head before the bath. The Sinhala New Year dawns at 1.47 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14. Nonagatha (inauspicious time)- Inauspicious time is from 7.23 am till 8.11 pm on Tuesday, April 14 [...]

Roadblock on projects and related payments- Rs 250 billion, pending re-evaluation

Roadblock on projects and related payments- Rs 250 billion, pending re-evaluation

Government has put on hold road construction projects valued at Rs 250 billion, thereby withholding payments due to the contractors. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told the Sunday Times that, as a result, payments for these projects including some of which have been partially completed, have also been withheld. “The Ministry of Highways said the Finance [...]

Asgiriya Mahanayake’s cremation today with full State honours

Asgiriya Mahanayake’s cremation today with full State honours

The Ven. Aggramaha Panditha Udugama Buddharakitha Ratanapala Thera, Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, will be cremated today with full State honours and a 17- gun salute at the Police Grounds in Asgiriya today at 2 p.m. The Government has declared today as a day of mourning in honour of the prelate with all liquor shops [...]

The country and world have lost an exemplary monk

Condolence messages have flowed in on the passing away of the Most Ven. Udugama Buddharakkhita Mahanayake Thera. President Maithripala Sirisena’s message focused on the pious and selfless life of devotion of the Mahanayake and the “glory and honour” he brought to Buddha Dhamma and Sri Lanka. “The selfless services rendered by the Ven. Buddharakkhita Mahanayake [...]

Positive change in prospects for North, says top UNDP official

Positive change in prospects for North, says top UNDP official

The narrative on development prospects for Sri Lanka’s North has changed for the positive “quite significantly”, said a top official who visited the country this week to evaluate the direction of UNDP activities following the January Presidential election. UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director Haoliang Xu offered to help the Northern Provincial Council [...]

News in pictures

News in pictures

100-day programme a mixed bag

100-day programme a mixed bag

As the Government’s 100-Day programme draws to an end, before an impending dissolution of Parliament, political parties, trade unions, student leaders and public have voiced mixed reactions over its implementation. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this week defended the programme, saying the Government has looked beyond the 100-Day programme promises, while some of them were being [...]

A suspect is seized in Kotakethana – but are there more in the woods?

Terror of a serial killer lurking in the woods of Kotakethana, Kahawatte grips local villagers despite Friday’s arrest of a man charged with the latest homicide in the death-filled area. Chandrani Somalatha, 39, a mother of three, went missing in the early hours of last Sunday morning (April 5). Police found her decomposing body near [...]

Death knell for the wild donkeys

Death knell for the wild donkeys

The wild donkeys of Kalpitiya may soon become extinct with the area getting urbanized fast. With the sand dunes and the lagoon areas being taken over for industrial purposes, the favourite haunts of the wild donkeys are disappearing. Suddenly the animals which used to haul salt in the past are being seen as a hindrance [...]

Killers knew family moves in precision slaying of SI

Police believe at least two criminals crept in through an unlocked upstair door and, working swiftly and precisely in the dark, slashed the throat of a veteran crime-fighting cop who survived two previous attacks. The suspected murder weapon, an 18-inch manna knife found in a garden only 100m away by a sniffer dog, is being [...]

Turning gas into cash

Turning gas into cash

Sri Lanka’s last confidentiality agreement with Cairn Lanka will end this month, leaving the Government free to share advanced 3D seismic data gathered in the Mannar basin—including information on two gas wells identified there. But to attract global players in oil and gas, Sri Lanka must amend its Petroleum Resources Act, give autonomy to the [...]

Woman pillion rider (42) falls 20 feet to her death

A 42-year-old female pillion rider fell 20 feet down a cliff from the edge of the road and died in Marawilla Hospital, the Coroner’s Court was told this week. The deceased, Arabalge Jayamini Fernando, from Negombo, and her husband, Marabage Jagath Fernando were visiting relatives last Wednesday when the accident occurred in Gal Udana. She [...]

Motorist wins 4-year case over ‘alternative’ charge

Motorist wins  4-year case  over ‘alternative’  charge

A company director charged with reckless driving after being stopped by traffic police for speeding has been exonerated following a four-year battle in the courts over whether a person can be arrested for one offence but charged over another. Kanchana Dissanayake, 34, was cleared of all charges by Puttalam Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake. Magistrate Dissanayake cleared [...]

Strict enforcement of road traffic regulations soon

Strict enforcement of road traffic regulations soon

The Police have strictly implemented road traffic regulations for a week in a few areas in Colombo as a pilot project before they are implemented islandwide. Around 2,500 drivers have been fined and legal action taken just five days into the implementation of the pilot project. The pilot project was implemented from April 6 to [...]

Raising his voice against “a stolen generation”

Raising his voice against “a stolen generation”

One is found here, two more found there – these baby elephants are not emerging from the wilds but from home gardens, from behind walls and other places where they have been kept surreptitiously after being abducted from the jungles, in clear violation of the law. Comparing this heinous crime to those committed against the [...]

Elephant polo baby jumbo forced to play with wounds

An injured baby elephant forced to entertain tourists at elephant polo matches was sent to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage this week even as news emerged that a second elephant used for polo had been “gifted” out of the Pinnawala haven to a former MP by ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga. The little elephant taken into custody last [...]

Education experts in restructured NIE: DG

The National Institute of Education (NIE) will be re-structured with the NIE Council to include Education sector experts representing the North and East, the Estate sector and the Business Community, said the new NIE Director General (DG), Prof Gunapala Nanayakkara. “The NIE needs to be revamped. There is a lack of administrative control and is [...]

Quality text books with paper from Japan

Government intends to print school text books on high quality Japanese paper, to prevent costly reprints, said Education Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe. He said an Indian company is to print the Grade 6 Science text book on a trial basis using this paper. This paper is said to last about 8 years, unlike the present [...]

30 New upgraded National Schools to meet demand: AVK

Government is to upgrade 30 schools as National Schools, in a bid to avoid the rush to popular schools in the country, Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told the Education Times. He said, for this purpose, schools with inadequate facilities will be identified and infrastructure improvement made to match the standards of other National [...]

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