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Where’s the UNHRC?

Where’s the UNHRC?

Kashmiri freedom struggle supporters holding a demonstration outside the United Nations’ Colombo Office to protest against what they alleged were recent Indian security forces attacks on the Kashmiri people. One of the demonstrators carried a poster asking what the United Nations Human Rights Council was doing about this issue, though the poster mistakenly referred to [...]

Ministry passes buck on coal tender to Cabinet

Hobson’s choice: Go ahead with controversial contract or cancel order and pay compensation By Namini Wijedasa The Power and Energy Ministry will ask Cabinet to decide whether to cancel a controversial multibillion rupee coal tender and face a substantial compensation claim, or to continue with a contract which was awarded in a manner that the [...]

Emirates Airlines apologises to Speaker, hospital says it’s a bug not a heart ailment

By Chris Kamalendran Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has lodged a formal complaint with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador in Colombo, expressing his displeasure at being offloaded from an Emirates Airlines flight from Colombo to Singapore minutes before the flight took off. A close family member said that soon after the complaint, the UAE Ambassador had [...]

Singapore here in a big way for development

Singapore is set to gain access to prime property around the Beira Lake in an ambitious development and investment plan which will see the South East Asian country building high-rises and setting up tourist ventures in Sri Lankan heritage buildings. “Singapore is going to help us with our development, particularly the Western Regional Megapolis,” Development [...]

ETCA talks next month, free trade deals with China, Singapore too

Negotiations between Sri Lankan and Indian officials to arrive at a draft Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) will be held on August 9 and 10, a senior Minister said. The venue for the talks is yet to be decided. “We have made some progress and are hoping to start negotiations around August 9 and [...]

Relocating our beggars

Relocating  our beggars

Story and pix by Indika Handuwala, Amila Gamage and Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi. Begging and beggars are synonymous on Colombo’s streets.  Daily hundreds of beggars flock to Colombo, begging inside buses and trains, loitering at traffic lights, state buildings and religious places. These people are a nuisance to the public, though it must be acknowledged that [...]

Indian fishermen warned to avoid Diego Garcia waters; but not Sri Lanka

Fishermen in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu launched an indefinite strike from Friday in protest against the “arrest” of fishermen and “impounding” of their trawlers by the Sri Lankan Navy. According to P. Sesu Raja, leader of one of the fishermens’ associations, 77 Tamil Nadu fishermen and more than 100 boats are in the [...]

Fixed prices on essential items put traders and consumers in a fix

Fixed prices on essential items  put traders and consumers in a fix

By Chrishanthi Christopher Following the government announcement last week, of a fixed maximum price on 16 essential food items, many businesses have refused to slash prices saying that the government had not held discussions with them before fixing the price. Wholesalers at Pettah market continued to sell the marked products at the pre- gazette prices [...]

Constitutionality of VAT Bill challenged in Supreme Court

By Wasantha Ramanayake “There was no proper Bill before Parliament for its approval,” Counsel argued in the Supreme Court on Thursday, when it considered the Value Added Tax (VAT) Amendment Bill for its Constitutionality, seeking a determination that the Bill should be passed by two-third majority and by the people at a referendum. The Bench [...]

Community vigilance can save schoolchildren from drug predators

Arresting drug dealers alone is not enough to prevent schoolchildren from falling prey to narcotic drugs as equal emphasis needs to be placed on creating awareness on the dangers of drugs and maintaining vigilance, officials say.  They expressed this view as the Government which is spearheading an ambitious “National Drugs Prevention Programme” foucsed its attention [...]

Pipeline rupture disrupts oil flow from port to refinery

By Damith Wickramasekara The unloading of crude oil at the Colombo Port was suspended yesterday following a rupture of the pipeline carrying oil from the port to the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery.  The rupture had occurred on a buoy connected to the pipeline about 6 km away from the outer harbour. An Iranian vessel carrying 90,000 [...]

Lanka wins battle against Filariasis long before the global date of 2020

Lanka wins battle against Filariasis long before the global date of 2020

Success story recognised at a ceremony in Colombo graced by WHO South-East Asia Regional Director Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh By Kumudini Hettiarachchi Footprints on the sands of time – initially left by a pair of feet, one thin and the other huge and disfigured, gradually washed away by the foamy waves to be followed by [...]

Govt. is chief offender for spread of dengue

Govt. is chief offender  for spread of dengue

State institutions in the Western Province have turned out to be the main breeding grounds for dengue mosquitoes, claiming 44 lives and making 25, 365 ill during the past seven months.  Railway yards and reservations, railway quarters, government housing complexes, old state buildings, prisons, ports and bare land belonging to state institutions have been identified [...]

Industrial accidents on the rise

Industrial accidents on the rise

By Kasun Warakapitiya More than 30 people on average are admitted daily to the Colombo National Hospital due to the rising number of workplace accidents. Last year, more than 12,000 out of a total of 121,032 people admitted to the hospital had been injured in accidents at work, the National Coordinator (Training) of the Accident [...]

National Archives’ monthly lectures of ‘historical’ value

As part of its efforts to enhance public awareness and knowledge of records of historical value in its possession, the Department of National Archives (DNA) is conducting a series of free public lectures every month. The lectures, delivered in English, are on the last Thursday of every month, and have been ongoing since January, last [...]

Revolt in Bamba Flats over new giant condo plan

Revolt in Bamba Flats over new giant condo plan

By Chamal Weerakkody Dismayed residents of Bambalapitiya Flats are up in arms against the proposed redevelopment of the precinct, panicking over the proposed demolition of their homes and their removal to new quarters. Individuals have sent letters rejecting the proposed redevelopment project and demanded that the Condominium Management Authority (CMA) abandon the proposal within the [...]

Push to get eligible voters registered

As the deadline nears for the handing over of forms to Grama Niladaris for the revision of the electoral register before next Saturday (July 30), officials have stepped up a campaign to get people to register so that they can vote in elections. A household that fails to submit forms to the local authority by July [...]

A David vs Goliath battle to build houses for war displaced in NE

Global steelmaker giant here to lobby for project amidst opposition from  homegrown civil society group with cheaper alternative By Namini Wijedasa ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, sent a team to Sri Lanka last week to continue lobbying the Government for a lucrative US$1 billion project to build 65,000 houses for war-displaced in the North and [...]

Four council members of premier education body fired

Professors receive letters, with no formal explanation for removal, signed by Education Ministry secretary By Sandun Jayawardana At least four members on the Council of the National Institute of Education (NIE) have received letters informing them of their removal from the council, the Sunday Times learns. Prof. Jayadewa Uyangoda, Prof. W.D.W. Jayathilaka, Prof. D.S. Epitawatta [...]

Disputes arise over land for displaced in Aranayake landslide

Disputes arise over land for  displaced in Aranayake landslide

As authorities battle to find suitable land to resettle those displaced in the landslides in Aranayaka, a fresh controversy has arisen with villagers living in areas demarcated as being vulnerable also demanding alternate land.  According to Kegalle District Secretary W.M. Abeywickrama Wanasooriya, of the 3,000 families displaced only 1,800 families have been identified as being [...]

SAITM: Govt. agrees to immediately halt admission of new students to Medical Faculty

High powered committee in joint statement slams process and sequence of events since March 2008 in which SAITM was approved to undertake medical education Points out among other things compliance certificate from SLMC a must before admissions begin By Kumudini Hettiarachchi The Government has agreed to immediately suspend new admissions at the medical faculty of [...]

Police ‘have no strategy’ against road carnage

Police ‘have no strategy’ against road carnage

By Anushiya Sathisraja With hundreds of deaths from three-wheeler accidents every year, a top transport expert declared police had no effective strategy for tackling the causes of accidents. Police simply reacted to individual accidents, said Professor Amal Kumarage, Senior Professor at the University of Moratuwa’s Department of Logistics and Transport and a Fellow of the [...]

Sri Lanka thambili water launched at prestigious Harrods

Sri Lanka thambili water launched at prestigious Harrods

By Neville de Silva in London For the first time bottled King Coconut (thambili) water from Sri Lanka is now available at London’s fashionable department store Harrods.  It was launched at Harrods last week by Founder/Director of Jeeva Natural UK Ltd, Bhavi Kanadia and Sri Lanka’s acting High Commissioner Sugeeshwara Gunaratna. Though packeted and bottled [...]

EFL seeks LNG assurance to withdraw case against coal plant

By Wasantha Ramanayake The Environment Foundation Limited (EFL) has told the Supreme Court it will not pursue its rights plea against the Sampur Coal fired power plant if the Government could give an assurance that it will not establish any coal fired power plants. EFL’s counsel K. Kanag-Isvaran told court that they had learnt that [...]

Jaffna Uni returning to normal ahead of upcoming exams

By S. Rubathesan After last week’s student clashes, normality has returned to the Jaffna University, with most of the faculties being opened for academic studies.  University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Mohan de Silva, who this week visited the university to assess the situation, told the Sunday Times steps had been taken to ensure peace in [...]

BIA flight rescheduling talks next week

By Sunimalee Dias Sri Lanka’s aviation authorities are scheduled to meet with airlines and other stakeholders next week to discuss how one-third of the flights of a daily schedule, could be accommodated during the 3-month disruption next year at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). Airport & Aviation Services Ltd. Executive Director Johanne Jayaratna told the [...]

Funeral of veteran politician, diplomat, lawyer Mangala Moonesinghe today

Mangala Moonesinghe, veteran politician, diplomat and lawyer, passed away on Friday. He was 84. Educated at Royal College, Colombo, Mr. Moonesinghe qualified as a Barrister in the UK and practised law in Sri Lanka on his return. He won an Eisenhower Fellowship to USA and studied Space Law at Western State University, California. Taking to [...]

Mackwoods accuses SEC of interference in its internal affairs

Mackwoods Plantations (Pvt) Ltd has accused the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of “… interference in the internal affairs of the Company, its Board and its Shareholders,” over this week’s decision to suspend the sale of a Plantation stake in the Company. The SEC suspended the July 14 sale of Agalawatte Plantations to Browns, and [...]

Bail application of 8 Kelaniya undergrads postponed to Aug.1

The Bail application in the ‘ragging case’ of eight Kelaniya University undergraduates was postponed to August 1. When the case was taken up on July 20, Gampaha High Court Judge Kema Swarnadipathi postponed it because of State Counsel’s absence. Students’ Counsel, Prasanna Lal de Alwis P.C. informed court that the students had been in Police [...]

Points system for motorists to improve road discipline

Points system for motorists to improve road discipline

By Damith Wickremasekara A driver improvement points system where motorists would have their driving licences cancelled on points accumulated for traffic offences, will be in place before year end, officials said. The proposal initially made more than two years back, has obtained the approval of a committee of the Justice Ministry and the Attorney General’s [...]

President to honour 46 alumni of Sri Jayewardenepura University

President Maithripala Sirisena, as Chief Guest, will honour 46 distinguished alumni of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, holding high office in the State sector, at “Sri Jayewardenepura Pradeepa”, a ceremony at Waters Edge, on August 8 at 6.30 pm.

SL’s HR situation improves though short of commitments in UNHRC Resolution: FCO

By Neville de Silva in London The Human Rights (HR) situation in Sri Lanka continued to improve between January and June 2016. However, much remains to be done for Sri Lanka to fulfill the commitments it made in Resolution 30/1 at the UNHR Council (UNHRC) in October 2015, states the latest Report of the Foreign [...]

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