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Sizzling, puzzling move by students

Sizzling, puzzling move by students

With Sri Lanka sizzling in the hottest days of its history, university students also seem to have changed their tactics in their regular protests. Often the protesting students have faced water cannon from police, but on Thursday students marching to the University Grants Commission voluntarily sought water treatment not from the police, but from the [...]

DPL costs slashed, envoys to work from Colombo

Sri Lankans are to be named envoys to countries where there is no diplomatic representation now, but they will be required to operate from an office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo.  This is one of the measures the Government will adopt under a re-structuring programme, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday. Those [...]

Lankan partner going ahead

The Sri Lankan partner of the Indian builder IVRCL yesterday said it was going ahead with a major housing project to build 15,000 houses in Colombo for low income groups. A spokesman said the company was building 4,000 housing units in Maligawatte and the rest would be built after completing this project. He said though [...]

Deadly Kolkata flyover builder involved in Sri Lanka housing

Indian builder, IVRCL Infrastructure Company, which is at the centre of death and destruction in Kolkata where a flyover being built by it crumbled killing 24 people and injuring scores, has been involved in low-cost housing in Sri Lanka through a subsidiary. This is believed to be a Maligawatte project for which another contractor, MTD [...]

Delimitation till August 31; watchdogs ask for staggered polls

Amid a major controversy and protest over the delay in local council elections, the mandate of the committee dealing with demarcation of boundaries of local council wards has been extended till August 31, committee sources said. Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha this week signed the extension letter as the committee’s previous mandate expired on March [...]

Port City: Govt. wants compromise on compensation claim over delay

The Sri Lankan Government will renegotiate with its Chinese counterparts a demand for compensation for the delay in granting approval for the continuation of the Colombo Port City project.  The Chinese company has demanded US$ 125 million or permission to reclaim additional land in lieu of the delay of the project by more than a [...]

Voting rights under consideration for migrant workers

The possibility of enabling more than 1.5 million migrant Sri Lankan workers to vote at elections here is to be examined by a Parliamentary Select Committee. A motion for this purpose signed by 23 MPs was submitted last month and will be approved by Parliament when it meets on Wednesday. The motion says Sri Lankans [...]

Let’s do our duty by our country

The British rule in Sri Lanka had its good and bad. The colonialists had a system of governance to suit their agenda and in the process, the people benefited and also suffered. However, we have learnt many a lesson from our past. Later, the country developed and the economy improved, because of actions of competent [...]

President takes part in the ‘Altuth Sahal Mangalya’

President takes part in the ‘Altuth Sahal Mangalya’

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday took part in the ‘Altuth Sahal Mangalya’ or a ceremony marking the paddy harvest being offered to the temple. The event took place at the Galviharaya, Polonnaruwa.  Anunayaka of the Asgiriya chapter Ven Vendaruwe Shri Upali Thera was also present.

Three petitions in SC against RTI Bill

Three petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court this week challenging the Right To Information (RTI) Bill which was submitted to Parliament last week. A Special Determination petition was filed by two software engineers representing the Sri Lanka Information Technology Professionals’ Association, a collective body of IT professionals. Challenging the constitutionality of the Bill, [...]

Shalika says “I’m innocent, vested interests used Foundation for illegal cash transfers”

 Founder of the controversial Sri Lankan NGO allegedly embroiled in an elaborate money laundering scheme involving three countries and the US Federal Reserve, is claiming innocence and that, her bank account credentials were abused by unknown persons. Shalika Foundation Director Shalika Perera yesterday told the Sunday Times that her company’s credentials were used by vested [...]

Hotel Developers chairperson resigns

Sagarika Delgoda, chairperson of Hotel Developers (Lanka) PLC, which owns the Colombo Hilton building, has stepped down along with few directors, enabling the appointment of new members. Ms. Delgoda confirmed that she resigned, but declined to give details regarding the others who stepped down. However, the Sunday Times learns that two directors have refused to [...]

CP Conservationists protest imminent destruction of 8 1/2 acres of Pine

CP Conservationists protest imminent  destruction of 8 1/2 acres of Pine

  “Hantanne Nature Conservation Society”, an umbrella organisation of Environmental groups in the Central Province, yesterday launched a protest campaign against the imminent destruction of an eight-and-a-half acre Pinus plot in Sarasavigama. They claimed that a Ministerial Secretary had approached the Land Reform Commission for the release of this plot for a housing project. Section [...]

Former LTTEer brought to Colombo for questioning over explosive find

Former LTTEer brought to Colombo for questioning over explosive find

  The suspect arrested over the detection of a suicide jacket, explosives and ammunition in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna was brought to Colombo yesterday for further investigation by Terrorism Investigation Department(TID) officials. The TID came to the scene after Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP ) S. M. Wickramasinghe handed over the investigation to the anti terrorism [...]

Lankan groups protest against UN meddling in internal affairs

Five Sri Lankan diaspora groups led by the Sri Lankan Solidarity Movement held a three-hour protest last Thursday against what they called UN interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and the imposition of unacceptable conditions that vitiate the country’s independence and integrity. Some 60 protestors gathered outside the United Nations Association in London [...]

Woman dies of fall off platform while boarding stationary train

A woman attached to a cleaning service was killed Monday, while boarding a crowded stationary train at the Kompannya Veediya railway station, the coroner’s court was told. The woman, S. Indrani, 54, a mother of two and a resident of Maligawatta Housing scheme, had fallen between the wheels and the platform while boarding the Aluthgama-Puttalam [...]

Power mafia ‘draining reservoirs’ to coerce sales

Power mafia ‘draining  reservoirs’ to coerce sales

Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka has levelled allegations that the power crisis plaguing the country was precipitated by an “electricity mafia” comprising elements within the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and independent power producers (IPPs). Minister Ranawaka, formerly minister of power and energy and now a member of the special committee appointed [...]

Reservoir water levels drop due to overuse, say engineers

Reservoir water levels drop due to overuse, say engineers

CEB Engineers’ Union President Athula Wanniarachchi yesterday refuted charges by the Minister and said the CEB engineers would give their fullest cooperation for a probe into allegations that water levels in the reservoirs had been deliberately reduced. According to CEB engineers, there were two causes that led to the reduction of water levels. One was [...]

Sun and wind carry long-term hopes but CEB pessimistic

Authorities are starting to put in place measures to lessen the impact of the power crisis with a long-term goal of providing uninterrupted power to the entire country, and renewable energy will play a key part in this strategy. Cabinet this week approved a proposal to implement a National Program on Energy Demand Management, Efficient [...]

CEB drags old power plants into action

CEB drags old power plants into action

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has cautioned that despite heavy rains in catchment areas this week the situation was still bleak for the power sector. CEB Chairman Anura Wijepala told The Sunday Times the board was banking on the coming monsoon season to yield a long spell of heavy rain in the catchment areas. “The [...]

Soaring greenback makes importers weep

Soaring greenback makes importers weep

The greenback jumped to Rs. 150 last week, reaching its highest level in months since the government decided to float the rupee last September. The market recorded a spike of Rs. 3-4 to the dollar, causing concern amongst businesses and food importers. Economists predict consumers will be hard hit in coming months if the dollar [...]

Hardcore criminals nabbed by Mirihana Police Sp.Op.Unit

Three persons involved in two robberies amounting to over Rs 130 million and a string of other criminal activities were arrested by the Special Operations Unit of the Mirihana police, a senior police officer said yesterday. The suspects were initially taken in over a murder investigation where a person was shot dead in the Welikada [...]

Alleged thief of donation box found dead inside church

An individual who had allegedly tried to steal from the donation box of St. Peter’s Church, Paalakudawa, Kalpitiya, was found dead inside the church last morning, police said. Kalpitiya police said the body of the alleged thief was found in front of the statue of Jesus, with a lighted flashlight nearby, and the money stolen [...]

CMC lab comes under Govt. Audit microscope

Irregularities said to be taking place in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)-run City Microbiological Lab are being probed by the Government Audit, CMC sources said. They said the audit investigation was launched after CML chief Anna Kariywasam wrote to Colombo Mayor A.J. M. Muzamil alleging that CMC authorities were responsible for huge losses suffered by [...]

Ex-National Hospital director passes away

Dr Oliver Fernando, a former director of the National Hospital in Colombo, passed away yesterday. He was 88. He served in several hospitals including the Negombo and Kurunegala Hospitals before retiring as the National Hospital Director. His remains are at 24/3 Second Lane Egodagoda Rd, Borelegamuwa (near Sri Jayawardenapura University). The funeral will take place [...]

Arrested NHC employee had 500 gm ‘Kerala gangja’ inside locker

Police on Friday night searched the Cardiology Unit of the Colombo National Hospital for narcotics, following the arrest of a minor employee of the unit who had 500 gm of ‘Kerala ganja’ concealed in his locker in the hospital, Police said. The arrest was made on a tip-off from the employees.  The suspect was produced [...]

Hambantota Ridiyagama Safari Park opens to the public

Hambantota Ridiyagama Safari Park opens to the public

The Hambantota Ridiyagama Safari Park was declared open this week attracting hundreds of visitors to Hambantota. The Safari Park is 500 acres in extent and divided into several sections holding different animals found worlwide. The Zoo Dept said the first section of the park opened to the public, has a 16-acre service station, a 35-acre [...]

New Wildlife Chief vows to withstand political pressure

New Wildlife Chief  vows to withstand political pressure

Sri Lanka’s newly-appointed Wildlife Chief is standing firm and asserted this week that he will not bow to any political pressure. “I will never-ever violate the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, neither will I bow down to political pressure in carrying out my work,” Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) Director-General Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya declared categorically [...]

Walk the talk: Act against those who destroyed the Wattala track

Walk the talk: Act against those who destroyed  the Wattala track

A major controversy has erupted over the mysterious midnight destruction of a popular exercise track or walkway with angry residents alleging a cover up by the police due to high-level political pressure. At the centre of the controversy is frontline minister John Amaratunga, who represents the area. Residents are charging that this act of vandalism [...]

India’s Rs 100m gift welcome but not its fishing boats

India’s Rs 100m gift welcome but not its fishing boats

Despite the Indian government’s grant of Rs. 100 million worth of boats and equipment to Mullaitivu this week, local fishermen called for a total ban on Indian poaching in Lankan seas. The President of the Mullaitivu Fisheries Federation, Anthonypillai Mariyathas, told The Sunday Times that while fishermen were grateful for the grant, which will help [...]

A holiday that cost an arm and a leg

A holiday that cost an arm and a leg

A speeding car changed the life of a well-known former German television presenter on holiday in southern Sri Lanka. Michael Mross, 57, arriving in Tangalle from Bentota on March 6, spent a few hours on the beach, and shortly after 5 p.m. had crossed the road and stopped at a wayside thambili seller. “The tourist [...]

Funds for road construction misused

Funds for road construction misused

Loans obtained by the Road Development Authority (RDA) for rural road projects during the previous government had been misused for non – road construction projects including payment of foreign loans and Highways Ministry payments, an audit report has revealed. The report specifically covered the renovations relating to the stretch between Kadawatha and Nittambuwa on the [...]

PNB hunts more suspects following largest offshore heroin haul

PNB hunts more  suspects following largest  offshore heroin haul

Officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) were yesterday hunting for several more suspects, after a joint Police-Naval operation smashed an international drug trafficking network. As of last evening, 14 foreigners, 10 Iranians, 2 Pakistanis, 1 Indian and a Singaporean, were under arrest for alleged ties to the network. Most of the suspects were arrested [...]

Photo focus: Courting accidents

Photo focus: Courting accidents

Accidents on our streets are common and the numbers keep increasing. Some of these accidents are the result of  sheer negligence. Others are caused by  reckless drivers or motor cyclists. But yet some others are caused by pedestrians themselves. Today accidents at pedestrian crossings too are also on the increase. A recent example of this  [...]

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