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Paste and waste: Rs. 75 m to remove these

Paste and waste: Rs. 75 m to remove these

The Elections Commission has given the Police Rs. 75 million to recruit people to help in the removal of posters and cutouts. The posters are often put up in the night, but police and the recruits remove them before dawn, as seen in this picture where they are removing posters in Puttalam. Pic by Hiran [...]

Top politicos behind 2,000 liquor dealers

The Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) is probing some 2,000 alcohol dealers to identify proxies of VIPs and politicians allegedly involved in a monopoly of the trade, senior Excise officials said yesterday.The Excise Department last week handed over to the FCID a list containing the names of more than 2000 alcohol dealers operating with an [...]

Legal action against election law violators, campaign relatively peaceful

With nearly 150 election law violators arrested within the past four weeks, Police have completed investigations into five of the incidents and forwarded reports to the Attorney General’s Department to take legal action. The AG’s advice has been sought in cases involving the conduct of illegal political parades, three of them in Kandy, and one each [...]

Nearly 60,000 postal vote applications rejected

At least 60,000 postal voting applications sent by State employees and Defence personnel have been rejected on the grounds of giving false information or the illegibility of the filled forms, a senior official of the Elections Department said. Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed told the Sunday Times that of the 628,925 applications for postal voting, [...]

Coal crisis looms over multibillion tender row

A multibillion rupee tender to procure coal for the Lakvijaya power plant in Norochcholai has run into controversy for a third time, raising fears of a delay in replenishing stocks. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has coal only till mid-September, authoritative sources said. Based on a recommendation by the Ministry of Power and Energy, the [...]

French giant to search for oil in Lanka’s east

The tender for the exploration for oil and natural gas off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka will be given to Total, a leading French company, the Cabinet has decided. The company would gain exclusive rights for scanning, data collection and mapping in the seas off the eastern coast, Power and Energy Ministry Secretary B.M.S. Batagoda [...]

Bus conductor allegedly assaults commuter for demanding correct balance

Bus conductor allegedly assaults commuter for demanding correct balance

Bus conductor allegedly assaults commuter for demanding correct balanceA sports instructor attached to a school in Maradana was on Friday being treated for an injured eye and jaw after he was allegedly assaulted by an enraged conductor of a private-owned passenger bus, following an altercation over the fare and due balance, police said. The alleged [...]

Another life lost in road accident

Another life lost in road accident

One person was killed on the spot and another injured when a truck crashed into a stationary state-owned passenger bus in Kahatagasdigiliya early yesterday morning, police said. The driver of the truck which was loaded with coconuts had apparently lost control, police said.The truck helper died while the driver sustained injuries and is being treated [...]

Promises made in January Budget only partly fulfilled, say farmers, pensioners

No guaranteed price for paddy, pensioners’ travel costs not reimbursed Gas price reduction only election gimmick, say critics The Government last week brought down the price of liquid petroleum gas by Rs. 100 — a concession enjoyed by consumers twice over since the United National Party-led government came to power on January 8. Last January the [...]

NTC loses its way with costly GPS for busesoBy Aanya Wipulasena

A Rs 100 million government project to install global positioning systems (GPS) on private buses has failed, prompting an audit query into the matter. The project was mooted in 2010 after commuters complained of violence and inappropriate behaviour in buses. Most reports were related to violence against women, sexual harassment and insensitive or indifferent treatment towards [...]

Sticks and stones broke cricket’s bonesWitnesses tell of fright as clash ignited

Sticks and stones broke cricket’s bonesWitnesses tell of fright as clash ignited

Sri Lanka, a land of cricket enthusiasts, in times past bore defeat or celebrated victory in harmless ways.  So when two specatator groups clashed in Block D of the R. Premadasa stadium, which is right in front of the Masjidus Salam Jumma Masjid mosque, during the third one-day international match last Sunday between Pakistan and [...]

Deeds and misdeeds: 6,000 owners fall flat in condominiums

Deeds and misdeeds: 6,000 owners fall flat in condominiums

Owners of flats in a shocking 236 condominiums —a majority of them in Colombo — do not hold deeds to their properties, statistics show. These buildings contain nearly 6,000 housing units and have not been certified by the Condominium Management Authority for various reasons. As a result, their developers are prevented from lodging the Deeds [...]

Galewala: Shocked residents recall principal turned ISIS member

He was the principal of an international school in the bustling town of Galewala along the Dambulla – Kurunegala Road. For two years, he taught English to some 70 students on the upper floor of a two-storeyed building. When the classes were over, he turned instructor to groups of students who learnt karate. Mohamed Muhsin [...]

Muslim groups here condemn ISIS and violence in the name of Islam

A group of 12 Muslim organisations have issued a joint declaration on the ‘Issues of IS (ISIS) and Extremism’ in which they condemned all forms of violence and extremism. “We strongly and unequivocally condemn any person associated with the ISIS or any other extremist organisation operating under the guise of Islam. We do not condone any [...]

Dr. Wijemanne hits out at state apathy towards ageing women Mallika Nivasa Samithiya AGM

Dr. Wijemanne hits out at state apathy towards ageing women  Mallika Nivasa Samithiya AGM

Vice Chair of the UN Monitoring Committee on the Rights of the Child Dr Hiranthi Wijemanne this week blamed the State authorities for not producing any worthwhile policies to address the issue of ageing women which has got aggravated by migration and the decline of the extended families of the past. Speaking as the chief [...]

Lanka has one of the highest rates of death by drowning

Lanka has one of the highest rates of death by drowning

Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of drowning in the world with more than three deaths a day, due mainly to carelessness and ignorance of basic safety rules, the Life Saving Association says. The Drowning Prevention Report compiled by the Association last year, the first of its kind done in the country, detailed [...]

Kidney transplants to resume at Maligawatte hospital soon

Kidney transplants to resume at Maligawatte hospital soon

The National Institute of Nephrology at Maligawatte which had stopped doing kidney transplants for almost a year will resume operations soon, the hospital authorities said. Director Dr. Sumith Ananda said that following President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to the hospital last week a directive was made to the Health Ministry to have the hospital’s ICU refurbished, [...]

Five die in tank riddled with pits

Five die in tank riddled with pits

Five people, including four from one family, were drowned while bathing in the Kirama Warapitiya tank in Weeraketiya this week. Giving evidence at a coronial inquiry, Mr. K. Gunamaris said his sister K. Sujatha had told him her family were going to the tank to bathe and wash clothes as water was scarce in the area. [...]

We are free now; we don’t want one family to rob our freedom

We are free now; we don’t want one family to rob our freedom

It is a pleasure to be invited to comment on yet another election — a pleasure made even greater because, after five years, I am now writing as Paakshikaya instead of as Viruddha Paakshikaya which was my nom de guerre all these years! That change was possible because of what happened on January the eighth, [...]

Remove all taxes on essential food items

In recent times, we have not heard of any election where they have not spoken about the price of paddy, rice, potatoes, dhal, sugar and even common sprats. We have heard during elections slogans about the high cost of these products and the injustice to consumers. It is time we stopped just talking about the [...]

Keep to your lane please…

The newly constructed walkways and cycle paths at green spaces in the city are a boon to the people. Unfortunately not all people using these newly laid walkways and cycle paths are conscientious of the need to use these facilities for the purpose for which they were created. An example of this is the way [...]

Dengue fighting squads rejoice at sharp drop in cases

Dengue fighting squads rejoice at sharp drop in cases

Dengue cases have declined sharply this month compared to the corresponding period in the past six years, much to the relief of health officials who claim the drop is due to the success of mosquito control methods adopted by the Health Ministry. In addition, statistics released by the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry indicate a [...]

Govt. frames rules on use of radioactive materialBy Namini Wijedasa

The Government has promulgated regulations to streamline the use of radioactive material in industry, medicine and teaching. Two rules and one order, together comprising around 90 pages, have been sent to the Government Printer for publishing. They introduce a method of licensing based on the scientific levels of radioactive material that are permitted for use [...]

UNFGG’s blueprint for greener pastures; JVP leads for economic liberation, welfare

UNFGG’s blueprint for greener pastures; JVP leads for economic liberation, welfare

The United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) released their manifestos this week, outlining their plans for the development of many sectors in the country, if they are elected to power. The UNFGG, in a programme to be implemented over a period of 60 months, pledged more jobs, better [...]

TNA wants power sharing within united Lanka

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) election manifesto released last evening calls for a power sharing mechanism within the framework of a united and undivided Sri Lanka. “We as a people are concerned about our historical habitats, our collective rights that accrue to us as a people and as a nation and our entitlement to exercise our [...]

GTF: Vote to consolidate gains made since Jan.8

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has urged the Tamil people and all citizens of Sri Lanka to do their historic duty at the forthcoming Parliamentary elections by carefully voting for the parties and candidates with the main objective of consolidating the progressive changes and gains made during the recent past. In a statement, the GTF [...]

UPFA to launch its manifesto tomorrow

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will launch its election manifesto tomorrow, Monday (27), at an event in Colombo. The manifesto is titled “Lets power the nation, let’s start afresh”. The UPFA will address problems of all sectors including estate workers, self-employed, health workers and education sector,” said UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha.

BASL freely available to defend anyone upholding the law during electioneering

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has volunteered to freely assist and defend anyone including government officials who may face any consequences or pressures on account of their having responsibly and steadfastly upheld the law in the interest of good governance, democracy, the country and its people in the lead up to the August [...]

Foreign teams fan out to monitor election process

Foreign teams fan out to monitor election process

More than one hundred international election observers would be in the country to monitor the upcoming Parliamentary elections on August 17, Elections Department officials said. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said his department invited at least 64 observers from the EU, around ten observers from the Commonwealth Secretariat and 30 from the South Asian Association for Regional [...]

Elections Dept. wants candidates’ assets declarations early

Elections Dept. wants candidates’ assets declarations early

Although the Elections Department has declared July 30, as the deadline for all assets declaration of candidates contesting the General Elections on August 17, the major parties said that although it is not a legal requirement to stick to the time frame, arrangements are being made to submit the declarations on time. The ruling United [...]

Jaffna ‘Crusaders’ explain election gambit

The former LTTE cadre contesting from the Jaffna District in next month’s elections as an independent group called the Crusaders Democratic Front served in the terrorist group’s intelligence branch as well as in low-level positions. They surrendered to the security forces after the end of the war in 2009 and were rehabilitated and allowed to [...]

Ex-Sgt Major, wife arrested; 47,000 UPFA posters in car with false number plates

Ex-Sgt Major, wife arrested; 47,000 UPFA posters in car with false number plates

A former sergeant major of the Military Police and his wife were questioned on Friday after a vehicle belonging to them was seized by police, with a load of election-propaganda material and bearing a bogus military registration number, police said yesterday. They said the vehicle was taken into custody during the early hours of Friday [...]

EU fishing ban could be lifted early next year: Fisheries Ministry

A Sri Lanka delegation that visited Brussels this week to discuss the EU’s fisheries ban on Sri Lanka, were told the prospects of lifting the ban early next year are high. The delegation held talks with the Director General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), who informed them that a technical team from the EU [...]

RDA whistle blower complains to Polls Chief over transfers

The Elections Commissioner has received complaints that the Road Development Authority (RDA) is conducting transfers in the pre-election period, in violation of his instructions. In a letter to the Commissioner, copied to the media, the complainant states that the RDA’s present management has appointed officers to new posts, called for applications to new posts, and [...]

MS Chief Guest at Maldives Golden Jubilee

President Maithripala Sirisena will leave today on a State visit to the Maldives, where he will be the Chief Guest at its 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations. The President will be accompanied by Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake and senior government officials, the President’s Office said. President Sirisena on arrival in the Maldives tomorrow afternoon will be [...]

Six-month green light for Helitours

The Civil Aviation Authority has renewed for six months the Certificates of Airworthiness (CofA) granted to two Xian MA60 aircraft used by Helitours to transport commercial passengers. Helitours is the Air Force’s commercial passenger service. The CAA’s decision follows the submission of documents that the regulator had wanted for its annual assessment of the airworthiness [...]

Don’t promote or demote candidates in news items: Polls chief tells media

The Elections Commissioner has appealed to state and private media organisations to be vigilant against “promoting or demoting” any party or candidate when airing or publishing news or programmes not related to the election. In a statement, he said that any programme organised by community-based organisations, voluntary organisations, support groups, and sports events, musical shows [...]

Narcotics smuggling via Palk Strait drives Indo-SL relations to new high

Narcotics trafficking across the Palk Strait is on the rise with Kerala-grown cannabis and other drugs entering the country on a large scale, a senior Navy official said. This has prompted the Indian authorities to launch a fresh effort to stem this trend, Navy spokesman Indika Silva said. He said the smuggling operation involved both [...]

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