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Fertilizer crisis: Cabinet Committee proposes policy reversal, but Ravi denies move

Fertilizer crisis: Cabinet Committee proposes policy reversal, but Ravi denies move

A fertilizer shortage triggered by stockpiling by traders as a result of a budget decision to swap an earlier subsidy on fertilizer to a cash payment, has led to a Cabinet committee deciding to temporarily revert to the old method until a proper formula is found, official sources said. Reviewing the present crisis, the Cabinet’s [...]

$1b IMF loan linked to more taxes

The Government is looking at a one billion US dollar standby loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to tide over a looming economic crisis. Grant of this facility, a high ranking Government source said yesterday, would make it mandatory to heed to a string of conditions. They include revisions in key areas like the Nation [...]

CAA to monitor freeze on Mars products

The freeze on the distribution and sale of a particular stock of Mars chocolates — recalled by the parent company from 55 countries including Sri Lanka – will be closely monitored by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), an official said. CAA Director Chandrika Thilakaratne said they had received a letter from Stassen Group, the local [...]

Singapore experts to restructure Foreign Ministry

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry is set to be restructured with the assistance of Singapore government experts, official sources revealed. A proposal to restructure the ministry and capacity building in anti-corruption measures has been endorsed by the Cabinet’s Economic Management Committee (EMC). The ministry has sought the approval to obtain assistance for staff training from Indian experts. [...]

New Port City deal within weeks

New Port City deal within weeksThe Government will go ahead with the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City but is negotiating with the Chinese builders to reduce the scale of the reclamation site to reduce environmental damage, a Minister said. “We are having discussions,” said Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade. “The Government has [...]

Key issues taken up at inaugural US-Lanka Annual Partnership Dialogue in Washington

The inaugural U.S.-Sri Lanka Annual Partnership Dialogue was concluded in Washington DC on Friday with discussions on key topics including economic cooperation, security cooperation, international and regional affairs and other issues of mutual interest. “The Partnership Dialogue is a regularly planned policy consultation designed to advance our common agenda and opportunities for cooperation across the [...]

Commemorative stamp for DR

Commemorative stamp for DR

A commemorative stamp was issued to mark the 130th birth anniversary of D.R.Wijewardena at a function on Friday. Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunatillake was the chief guest. The event organised by the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited was attended by several dignitaries including diplomats and media personnel. State Minister of Defence Ruwan [...]

Fishermen on both sides of the Palk Strait to hold protests tomorrow

Both Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen will hold separate protests tomorrow in front of the diplomatic missions in Chennai and Jaffna calling for their demands to be met in the longstanding fishing issue between the two countries. The Indian fishermen will demand that Sri Lanka stop arresting their fishermen and detaining their boats, while Lankan [...]

Vacate premises by end of this month: UDA to Ferguson Road temporary residents

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) has ordered the temporary residents of Ferguson Road Thotalanga to vacate the place by the end of this month. Defying threats from residents that they would stage a protest similar to one that brought Colombo traffic to a virtual halt on February 16, UDA Project Director, Brig. Ranjith Samarasinghe said the [...]

Hindu Affairs Minister to present Bill to stop animal sacrifice

Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M. Swaminathan says he will shortly present legislation in parliament to ban animal sacrifice in Hindu shrines islandwide.He said the relevant Bill tilted, “Prevention of Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Shrines” is presently being drafted by the Legal Draftsman’s Department. A Cabinet paper to introduce the legislation was approved this week. He said, [...]

President, Premier, Finance Minister to hold crisis talks tomorrow over fertilizer issue

Government leaders, including President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, will hold a crisis meeting tomorrow to find an urgent solution to the fertilizer issue, Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake said. He said his ministry arranged the meeting as farmers from several parts of the country were complaining about a fertilizer [...]

Stop wasting, share more

Stop wasting, share more

Some of us have forgotten that we had mother’s milk when we were babies. A father’s protection is gradually decreasing. Wedding expenses have skyrocketed. Divorce cases at courts are increasing in number. Siblings are fighting amongst each other. Even neighbours had difficulty in living in good fellowship. The Lord Buddha preached about equanimity. Most people [...]

Deal with India, fear not, take a leap: Minister tells professionals

The Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) is only one of several free trade deals the Government is looking at, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said in an interview with the Sunday Times. He said such agreements were an essential component of development, particularly employment creation and revenue generation. Excerpts from the [...]

Veteran journalist, lyricist Ajantha passes away

Veteran journalist, lyricist Ajantha passes away

Veteran journalist and lyricist Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe passed away yesterday. He was 75-years-old. Born in Thalammahara, in the Kurunegala district, Dr. Ranasinghe first attended a government school in Pannala, after which he entered St. John’s College, Nugegoda. His life was enriched by regular visits by a string of artistes to the home of his uncle, [...]

CB erred in good faith, admits Governor Mahendran

Central Bank (CB) Governor Arjun Mahendran admitted Thursday that the Bank had “genuinely with good faith … erred” over a gazette notification, exclusively highlighted in the Sunday Times of February 14, which was angrily denied the same day by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake as well as another CB official as being false. “…In the Central [...]

UPFA General Secretary passes away

The General Secretary of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and former cabinet minister Professor Vishwa Warnapala passed away yesterday. He was 79. Prof. Warnapala, a longstanding member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) entered Parliament in 1994 as a National List MP. He also served as the Minister of Higher Education in the Cabinet [...]

President Sirisena visits Rajitha in Singapore hospital

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday visited Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne who is presently recovering at a hospital in Singapore, after undergoing a bypass surgery, a family member said.Chathura Senaratne, son of Dr Senaratne said the operation carried out on Friday had been successful and that he was recovering. “Within the next 48 hours he will be [...]

As Manning Market is moved out, Pettah gets facelift

As Manning Market is moved out, Pettah gets facelift

A multimodal transport hub will be set up at the Manning Market location once it is shifted to Peliyagoda, a senior official of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) said. Janak Ranaweera, UDA Deputy Director in charge of Planning told the Sunday Times that the modern transport hub would be the pivot to a project that would [...]

Used Japanese cars flood Sri Lanka – some cars 70% more pricey than new ones

Sri Lanka has become Japan’s biggest dumping ground for used cars, including hybrids and electrics, which are being sold by the thousands to unsuspecting buyers by Japanese and Sri Lankan dealers in Japan and local importers.Some used cars are being sold for higher prices than they are worth in Japan, according to a report by [...]

Lingering sore in a fast-healing Jaffna

Lingering sore in a fast-healing Jaffna

It’s a showpiece of human misery and suffering in this northern capital where the ravages of a near three decades of separatist war have almost disappeared. Nestled amidst lush green tobacco and onion fields in Chunnakam, eight kilometres away from this town, are rows of small houses. Rusty zinc sheets form the roof as well [...]

Jaffna Railway Station: On a fast track to success

Jaffna Railway Station: On a fast track to success

The Jaffna Railway Station has turned to be one of the main out hubs for transportation between the north and the south. Over 1,200 passengers pass through the station daily with four trains from Kankesanthurai (KKS) to the south and back to KKS. The intercity train has turned out to be the most popular train [...]

Road accidents on the rise in Jaffna

Road accidents on the rise in Jaffna

Even if Jaffna has changed remarkably since the end of the separatist war, the road habits of motorists remain. Road accidents are on the increase. This week, a 15 year-old schoolgirl was seriously injured when she was cycling back home after classes. A motorcyclist riding at high speed crashed into her bicycle turning it into twisted [...]

The forgotten people of Jaffna want to be included in state grant scheme

Over 4,500 disabled in the Jaffna district have requested the government to include them in the state beneficiary grant scheme, a senior official at the Jaffna District Secretariat said. According to the data from the Secretariat, there were 8956 disabled in the district and of them only 2010 received the monthly grant of Rs 3000 to [...]

NGO helps future generations’ wellbeing with potable water

NGO helps future generations’ wellbeing with potable water

A nongovernmental organisation (NGO) focused on helping children and families islandwide for the past 18 years, is now helping people in the Northern Province (NP) to resolve issues of drinking water. An advisor of Child Aid Lanka (CAL), Jekhan Aruliah told the Sunday Times that their main aim was to help children. One of their [...]

Don’t panic, but fight leprosy

Don’t panic, but  fight leprosy

Four weeks after the world marked International Leprosy Day, a Sri Lankan doctor says that although the oldest recorded disease in the world does not create panic now, it is far from being eradicated with at least 2,000 new cases being reported every year in the past decade in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s Anti-Leprosy Campaign [...]

Interim ETCA with India in March; final deal in five months

Interim ETCA with India in March; final deal in five months

Sri Lanka aims to sign the framework deal for an Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India by the end of March but talks for a closing deal are expected to take at least five months. The draft, once completed, will be presented to Parliament as an open document. A high-powered Indian team is [...]

Coal trader Noble Group reports US$ 1.6b loss; S&P downgrades credit rating

Hong Kong based commodity trader Noble Group’s long-term corporate credit rating has been downgraded by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to ‘BB-’ from ‘BB+’ with a negative outlook. Noble Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Noble Resources International Pte., is involved in a controversial lucrative coal tender in Sri Lanka. Noble Group, founded by current Chairman Richard Elman, [...]

Beware: Wonder drugs developing resistance a deadly problem

Beware: Wonder drugs  developing resistance a deadly problem

‘Let’s not make a powerful and helpful friend, a terrible foe.’ This was the strong and clear message that came to the fore at a robust discussion on a grave concern not only in Sri Lanka but all over the world. In the eye of the storm are the wonder drugs that changed the course of medicine [...]

Millions trek to Sri Pada; crowd control uphill task

Millions trek to Sri Pada; crowd control uphill task

With another long weekend falling in the first week of March and Medin Full Moon Poya Day also falling on a Tuesday later on, authorities expect a similar influx of pilgrims to Sri Pada next month as the one experienced early this week. Severe congestion was reported at Sri Pada this week, with tens of [...]

Songwriters, composers’ works brazenly abused

Songwriters, composers’ works brazenly abused

Celebrated lyricist Premakeerthi one of the worst affected  Lack of payment culture says ex-Intellectual Property Director General  During his lifetime, acclaimed lyricist Premakeerthi de Alwis wrote a vast repertoire of songs. Hundreds of them are still performed on local and international stages, aired over electronic media and used in films and on reality shows. But [...]

They serached in vain

On a court order obtained by the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) a land in Weeraketiya Palle Mulana was searched. However, nothing was found during the search operation. Pic by Samantha Rahul Hettiarachchi.

6 year-old boy denied school admission because parents ‘rumoured’ to be HIV positive

Refusal to admit a six-year-old boy to a school in the Kurunegala district, because his parents are suspected to be HIV positive, has brought home the need to change people’s attitudes towards the disease. The Health Ministry now intends to take the message to the villages, educating people of AIDS and the need to include AIDS [...]

9 Lankan fishermen remanded in India for poaching in Indian waters

Nine Sri Lanka fishermen, arrested by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) for violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and poaching in Indian waters, were remanded till March 10 by an Indian court. Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, V. Krishnamoorthy told the Sunday Times that three High Commission officials on Friday met with [...]

Rajapaksa-era shenanigans of the Central Bank come under the (micros)COPE

The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) is to summon former Governor of the Central Bank (CB), Ajith Nivard Cabraal and its former Monetary Board, to answer how the CB engaged in several questionable transactions that do not come under its purview. The decision to summon Mr Cabraal and its former Monetary Board was consequent [...]

Trailblazing kidney transplant performed at LRH

An 11-year-old girl was the little trailblazer in the first-ever paediatric kidney transplant performed at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) for Children in Colombo on Thursday morning. The girl from the south had gone into renal failure following a severe infection and needed a transplant, the Sunday Times learns, and it was her mother’s kidney [...]

Archaeological site going to wrack and ruin

Archaeological site going to wrack and ruin

The wall paintings at the purana viharaya at Ambalangoda presently under renovation, are in danger of being gradually destroyed as a result of neglect and scant attention being paid as the temple undergoes renovation. The temple is a protected site of the Archaeology Department. Its interior is decorated with art work based on jataka stories, [...]

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