Home » News

Still throwing the book at him

Still throwing the book at him

The Central Bank’s new Governor, Arjuna Mahendran – still at the centre of a major controversy over a Treasury Bond issue and thus seldom seen at public events – was captured by our photojournalist at a book launch on Friday at the Barefoot Gallery. Mr. Mahendran whose conduct had been probed by a three-member panel [...]

Next general elections on present PR system

The upcoming parliamentary elections will be held under the existing proportional representation system even if Parliament approves the 20th Amendment on electoral reforms. However, such approval will hinge on agreement on the reforms being reached by different political parties. In the event such agreement is not possible, President Sirisena has declared that Parliament would be dissolved [...]

Thunder, lightning delay baggage clearance at BIA

Passengers arriving in late night flights at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Friday had to wait for up to three hours for their baggage to reach them. It was all because baggage handling teams refused to unload claiming it was raining heavily and there was thunder. Baggage handling at BIA is carried out by Sri Lankan [...]

Distiller linked to former minister fined Rs. 21 million

A private distillery owner linked to a former minister was on Thursday fined more than Rs. 21 million for suddenly moving more than 68,000 bottles of liquour to Dematagoda in violation of operating licence regulations, senior Excise officials disclosed yesterday. They said the owner was widely believed to be a mere idle partner while the former [...]

Day to remember the war dead

The Victory Day parade conducted by the previous Government to mark the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas will be held on a different note this time. It is being designated as the “Armed Forces Day.” The first such event will be held in Matara later this month. A Government official said the event would be “in [...]

Crisis over Wilpattu land: President orders probe

President Maithiripala Sirisena yesterday ordered an inquiry into the alleged illegal acquisition of state land in the Wlpattu area by persons backed by Minister Rishard Bathiudeen. The inquiry was ordered after the JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake telephoned the President to complain that there were allegations about destruction of the forest by people encroaching into the [...]

Rs. 645m tsunami scandal: Top RADA official arrested

Police yesterday arrested the former operations manager of the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), which is alleged to have paid Rs. 645 million to two bogus companies to build houses for tsunami victims in the north and east. Saliya Wickremasuriya was arrested by the Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) at his residence in Kollupitiya last [...]

Mixed reaction to move for consumer scales in shops

Mixed reaction to move for consumer scales in shops

Vendors will face fines if they fail to follow a new mechanism that gives consumers an opportunity to check the weight of purchased items. The fines system will come into effect following an awareness campaign to be carried out during the next three weeks, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Chairman of CAA Rumy Marzook said. The [...]

Sweltering conditions keep people indoors, in baths – and shopping less

Sweltering conditions keep people  indoors, in baths – and shopping less

Despite the intermittent rains and thunderstorms being experienced temperatures continued to soar in the past two weeks, leaving many people huffing and puffing during the day. According to the Colombo Meteorological Department (CMD) the temperature in Colombo is around 33C with the relative humidity ranging from 75-100 per cent, prompting several complaints from the public on [...]

Let’s see how clean your hands are?

Let’s see how clean your hands are?

Public Health Inspectors of the Beruwala Medical Officer Of Health (MOH) inspected several dansal in the area. Administrative Public Health Inspector (PHI) Gamini Samaratunge said the personal hygiene of those who prepared the food was also checked. He said large stocks of food and dry rations not suitable for consumption were found and destroyed while advice [...]

Heavy rains flood residential areas in Kalutara, Galle Districts

Heavy rains flood residential areas in Kalutara, Galle Districts

Heavy rains yesterday caused flooding in many residential areas in Kalutara and Galle Districts. Over 80 houses in Galle went under water, while low lying areas in Beruwela and Alutgama, such as Kalawela, Galhena, Moragalla, Pathanegoda, Methmunirajapura, Maligahena, Kalumodera and Malegamwela were adversely affected by the heavy rainfall in the area. A person struck by lightning [...]

Vesak dansal: Over 300 found serving unhygienic food, says PHI union

With the Vesak festivities coming to a close last week the All Island Public Health Inspectors’ Union has found 333 dansal operating under unhygienic conditions, countrywide. Union Secretary Senarath Bandara said that there were many instances where contaminated food was served. He said that the food was prepared under unhygienic conditions in makeshift kitchens not suitable [...]

May 20 hearing again in case against Basil and 3 others

May 20 hearing again in case against Basil and 3 others

The case against former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and three others will be taken up on May 20 after the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) consults the Attorney General on submissions made so far. Accordingly Mr. Rajapaksa and three others were remanded till May 20 by Kaduwela Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala when the case for the [...]

Vesak accidents: Doctors and police give different reasons

Vesak accidents: Doctors and police give different reasons

Doctors blamed poor traffic control as the cause for several accidents during the Vesak season, but police denied the charge. The accusations by doctors came after they heard statements from victims they treated Deputy Director, Accidents and Orthopaedic Service at the National Hospital, Dr. H.M.K. Wikramanyake said there was a high rate of casualties. “We received [...]

Court cannot direct CB Governor as no law has been broken: Counsel

The Supreme Court cannot guide or direct the Central Bank Governor since he has not breached any legal provision, Romesh de Silva, PC., appearing on behalf of the Governor Arjun Mahendran in a fundamental rights case said on Friday. He said that there was no complaint by a primary dealer who has the right to [...]

Skeletal remains have no connection to 1989-1990 disappearances: PCI

Skeletal remains have no connection to 1989-1990 disappearances: PCI

The skeletal remains recovered from the Matale mass grave have no connection whatsoever to the disappearances during the period 1989-1990, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry has concluded, based on the scientific analysis done at a reputed laboratory in the USA, that found the “skeletons belong to an era prior to year 1950″. However, the Commission [...]

Excise Dept. cracks down hard on moonshine industry

Over 1,000 persons including several women were arrested in a major countrywide Vesak crackdown on the illicit sale of liquor and related offences conducted by the Excise Dept, senior officials said yesterday. A total of 1,022 cases were subsequently filed in the relevant courts and the offenders later enlarged on bail, pending fines, Excise Commissioner General [...]

Tamil Nadu fisheries delegation on ‘goodwill’ visit to test the waters

A four-member delegation representing fisheries organisations in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, arrived in the country yesterday for discussions with their local counterparts, and a possible meeting with government leaders, a senior official said yesterday. “The group is here purely on a goodwill mission with no official tag, but a request to meet [...]

Dharshani Gunathilake new DG of Information Dept.

Dr Ms S.K.M.D. Dharshani Gunathilake on Friday assumed duties as Director General (DG) of the Government Information Department. Deputy Minister of Media, Shantha Bandara, Media Ministry Secretary, Karunaratne Paranavithane, Additional Secretary K.W.T.N. Amaratunga and Director- Information Department, Wasanthapriya Ramanayake were present on the occasion.

Mangala, Fowzie, Navy Chief visit USS Carl Vinson

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Disaster Management Minister, A.H.M. Fowzie were on board a US transport plane that ferried visitors from Colombo to the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on April 19, for a conducted tour of the vessel. As earlier reported, the SLNavy Commander and other officials, along with Defence officials from [...]

No hike in fuel prices: Minister Ranawaka

“There will be no increase in fuel prices,” declared Minister of Power and Energy, Champika Ranawaka, yesterday. “Nor is there a shortage of petroleum products,” he told the Sunday Times, commenting on reports on some websites that due to a shortage, a price hike was imminent. He said that prices could still be lowered but for [...]

Lankan workers evacuated from Doha camp after major fire

Hundreds of Sri Lankan migrant workers were yesterday being evacuated from an industrial area close to Qatar’s capital, Doha, after a major fire broke out shortly before dusk on Friday, a senior official said yesterday. The Lankans numbering between 300 and 350 are part of a larger multinational workforce of a chemical company, and the fire [...]

Minimum wage of Rs. 10,000 for all private sector employees: Labour Ministry

Legislation to set a minimum wage for all private sector employees will soon be presented in Parliament, the Labour Ministry said. The draft of the Bill will set the minimum monthly wage of any private sector employee at Rs.10,000, regardless of whether the employee falls under categories named under the Shop and Office Act or [...]

Work on Rs. 37 billion water supply project held up

The second and third phase of the Kandy North and Patha Dumbara Water Supply Project costing approximately thirty seven billion rupees has come to a standstill. Work on the project was brought to a halt after the tender, which had earlier been awarded to a Chinese company was put to the Project Revision Committee after [...]

A cry from the city for the wilds

A cry from the city for the wilds

Environmentalists and nature lovers yesterday held a protest in Colombo demanding an immediate stop to the destruction of Wilpattu National Park cause by land grab and development.  They claimed that the government appeared to be reluctant to take any action because of political influence. Pic by M.A.Pushpakumara

The 60kg of dried seahorses that two Chinese were attempting to smuggle out of Sri Lanka last week were intended to satisfy the myth of aphrodisiacal benefits that seals the fate of 150 million wild seahorses a year globally. The species cannot sustain such a casualty toll, conservationists say. The hundreds of slaughtered seahorses were concealed in [...]

Vesak and “Vesak-revellers”

Vesak is a “festival of lights” metaphorically, when hearts should light up in devotion. But each night of the Vesak week, electric bulbs provide a worldly dazzle and the roads are taken over by thrill-seekers. Amidst the haze of lights, laughter, and milling crowds, senses swim and the significance of the religious festival is soon [...]

Rs 93 million driving test complex to be ready by year’s end

Rs 93 million driving test complex to be ready by year’s end

The new location for driving licence tests at an estimated cost of Rs 93 million, will be ready in Werahera before the end of the year, said Motor Traffic Dept (MTD)- Commissioner General, A.H.K. Jagath Chandrasiri. The testing track proposed under the 100-Day programme is being built on a three-and-a-half acre plot in three separate stages. [...]

New Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake is the Ven. Galagama Dhammasiddi Sri Dhammananda Attadassi Thera

New Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake is the Ven. Galagama Dhammasiddi  Sri Dhammananda Attadassi Thera

Venerable Galagama Dhammasiddi Sri Dhammananda Attadassi Thera, who is 95 was elected as the 21st Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter which has a 703-year history. The Mahanayake went uncontested and a unanimous decision was made by the 18-member Karaka Sangha Sabha of the Asgiri Maha Vihare to elect the most senior member of its congregation. The [...]

International assessment mission for a closer look at local media scene

The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), together with International Media Support (IMS) in Denmark and the Open Society Foundation, has organised an International Assessment Mission to Sri Lanka by leading media development and advocacy organisations. The mission which began on May 8 and will conti ue until May 14. The Mission comprises senior level representatives [...]

Thousands of fish die in Beruwala canal

Thousands of fish die in Beruwala canal

Recently thousands of dead fish were observed floating in the Siliye main canal at Maradana in Beruwela. A team of Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) who went to determine the reason for the mass deaths of the fish were appalled to see crowds of children and young people fishing in the muddy riverbed. ThePHIs warned them against [...]

Ed.Min. to gazette guidelines for 2017 admissions to Govt. schools

The Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­try will gaz­ette new guide­lines for the ad­mis­sion of stu­dents to Gov­ern­ment schools start­ing 2017, said Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Aki­la Vir­aj Kar­ia­wa­sam. “The new sys­tem will em­pow­er Prin­ci­pals to play a de­cid­ing role when ad­mit­ting stu­dents, while a su­per­vi­so­ry body too will be ap­poin­ted to en­sure no ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties hap­pen dur­ing ad­mis­sion,” he said.Un­der the [...]

100-Day anti-drug programme in WP Schools by NDDB

The Na­tion­al Dan­ger­ous Drug Board (NDDB) has or­gan­ised a 100-day pro­gramme to elim­i­nate drugs in 100 schools in the West­ern Prov­ince (WP), to fight the drug men­ace with­in schools. The pro­gramme is on the lines of the 100-day ya­ha­pa­la­naya pro­gramme of the new gov­ern­ment. The pro­gramme tar­gets stu­dents of schools in the vul­ner­a­ble areas of [...]

500 more Teacher Assistants recruited to Estate schools

Gov­ern­ment will con­duct fur­ther re­cruit­ment of Teach­er As­sis­tants (TA) to fill 500 more va­can­cies in Es­tate sec­tor State schools, said Depu­ty Min­is­ter K. Ve­layu­tham. This is in ad­di­tion to the 1,688 TAs ap­poin­ted on Fri­day by Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Aki­la Vir­aj Kar­iya­wa­sam at the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­try. Mr Ve­layu­tham said that 25 more Es­tate schools will al­so [...]

CTSU urges boycott of Temple Trees Scholarship-awarding ceremony

The Cey­lon Teach­ers’ Serv­ice Un­ion (CTSU) has called on all mem­bers of the Ed­u­ca­tion Em­ploy­ees’ Co-Op Thrift & Cred­it So­ci­ety Ltd. (ECCS) to boy­cott a schol­ar­ship-award­ing cer­e­mo­ny to be held to­mor­row at Tem­ple Trees. The schol­ar­ships are for EDCS mem­bers’ chil­dren who have gained ad­mis­sion to Uni­ver­si­ty. CTSU Gen­er­al Sec­re­ta­ry, Ma­hin­da Jaya­singhe in a state­ment, [...]

President Sirisena declares open KDU Southern campus in Sooriyawewa

Pres­i­dent Mai­thri­pa­la Sir­i­se­na cer­e­mo­ni­al­ly de­clared open the South­ern cam­pus of the Gen­er­al Sir John Ko­te­la­wa­la De­fence Uni­ver­si­ty (KDU) at Soor­iya­we­wa, on Tues­day. The cam­pus will be dedi­ca­ted to pro­mote En­vi­ron­men­tal, Spa­tial Sci­en­ces and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy re­la­ted stud­ies. The cam­pus lo­ca­ted in a 140-acre plot is based on the green con­cept, pre­serv­ing the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment of [...]

Pakistan government gifts fully equipped IT Lab to 100-year-old, 85-student Sri Sad­dar­mo­daya MV

The Paki­stan Gov­ern­ment, through its High Com­mis­sion in Sri Lan­ka, on Fri­day do­na­ted a fully equip­ped IT Lab com­pris­ing of 8 com­put­ers, re­la­ted equip­ment and fur­ni­ture to Sri Sad­dar­mo­daya Ma­ha Vi­dya­laya, Co­lom­bo 5. Act­ing Paki­stan High Com­mis­sion­er in Sri Lan­ka, Dr Sar­fraz Ahmed Khan Si­pra, along with Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Min­is­ter A.H.M. Fow­zie and for­mer Tech­nol­o­gy [...]

President urges Education experts to uplift National Education System

Pres­i­dent Mai­thri­pa­la Sir­i­se­na this week urged Ed­u­ca­tion ex­perts to con­fer and bring about a mod­ern-day ap­proach with ef­fec­tive meas­ures to up­lift the stand­ards of the Na­tion­al Ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. The Pres­i­dent speak­ing at the cen­te­na­ry cel­e­bra­tions of St. John’s Col­lege, Nu­ge­go­da, on Tues­day, ques­tioned the suc­cess of the Na­tion­al Schools con­cept and its prac­ti­cal im­ple­men­ta­tion in [...]

2015 NCE intake hiked by 500: Education Ministry Secretary

Gov­ern­ment is to ad­mit an ad­di­tion­al 500 stu­dents to Na­tion­al Col­leg­es of Ed­u­ca­tion (NCE) this year, said Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­try Sec­re­ta­ry Up­a­li Mar­a­singhe. A to­tal of 3,500 will be ad­mit­ted to fol­low the 3-year Di­plo­ma course at these Col­leg­es. He said the Fi­nance Min­is­try has per­mit­ted the in­creased in­take. Stu­dents will be ad­mit­ted from the As­sis­tant [...]

Para-diplomacy to harness diaspora potential for country’s benefit: FM

Sri Lan­ka should re-con­cep­tu­al­ise its po­si­tion as an In­di­an Ocean coun­try, while ex­plor­ing the use of para-di­plo­ma­cy to reap max­i­mum ben­e­fit out of cur­rent world af­fairs which has at­trac­ted great­er fo­cus to the Asian re­gion, said For­eign Min­is­ter Man­ga­la Sa­mar­a­weera. He was speak­ing as the Chief Guest at the 20th Con­vo­ca­tion cer­e­mo­ny of Ban­dar­a­naike In­ter­na­tion­al [...]

Wild north gets Govt’s helping hand at last

Wild north gets Govt’s helping hand at last

The government has stretched out a hand of protection of the threatened wildlife across the north, from the ragged ponies of Delft to birds that breed only on a single islet in the Adam’s Bridge chain leading to India. Four new national parks will be set up across the north, the government announced this week. They [...]

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.