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The Art of Diplomacy

The Art of Diplomacy

With political and economic ties between Sri Lanka and China reaching the highest levels, important cultural links also began with the first joint art exhibition at the Chinese built BMICH. The exhibition titled “One belt, one road art exhibition” is one of the areas where Chinese culture is going global. Our picture shows a Sri [...]

Rajapaksa loyalists to form new party with Mahinda at the helm

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) dissidents are to form their own party with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as their leader. However, a decision is yet to be made on the name which may be similar to the SLFP. The decision to form their own party was taken on Thursday when the committee named by Mahinda [...]

Hackers attack President’s website, warning of cyber war

The tampering of President Maithripala Sirisena’s official website with hackers breaching the site’s defences on two consecutive days, is being probed by detectives, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said yesterday. The website,, continued to be offline yesterday after the second attack. The President’s Media Director, Dharmasiri Bandara Ekanayake said a decision was made to [...]

Leaked emails: Probe to begin on President’s request to AG

Investigations are due to commence next week at the request of President Maithripala Sirisena to the Attorney General on an international media investigation published last week tying him to possible corruption in the 2009 award of a dam project to an Australian company–when he was Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Services Development. The Sunday Times [...]

SLFP takes soft line on dissidents

By Damith Wickramasekara Disciplinary action will not be taken against Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members who choose not to attend the party’s 65th Convention in Kurunegala next Sunday, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said yesterday. He said attendance at the convention was purely voluntary. However, he emphasized that all those involved in the party [...]

Hambantota bunkering: Two big loss- making ventures also in the running

By Namini Wijedasa Two loss-making Government ventures are among those which have submitted bids to carry out bunkering operations at the Hambantota oil tank farm. Bids were submitted for bunkering by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd (CPSTL) as well as Adani Bunkering and the John Keells Holdings-World Fuel Services [...]

UN Chief non-committal on international judges for war crimes probe here

UN Chief non-committal on international judges for war crimes probe here

NEW YORK—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will be on an official three-day visit beginning Wednesday, singled out the “ tremendous progress” made by Sri Lanka in overcoming development challenges, including in the health and development sectors. “Successive Governments have promoted strong growth policies that have reduced poverty and increased living standards throughout the country,” he noted. In [...]

SLADA to scientifically test ayurveda medicines given to sportsmen

The Sri Lanka Anti-doping Agency (SLADA) beginning next year will check on ayurveda concoctions given to sportsmen and women in a move to eradicate doping in sports.  Chairman, Dr. Seevali Jayawickrema said SLADA will have its own laboratory where all ayurvedic treatment given to sports persons will be tested for any banned substances.  He said [...]

SriLankan pilots, management run into turbulence

Guild says decision to suspend flights to Frankfurt and Paris will reduce value of national carrier By Namini Wijedasa SriLankan Airlines pilots and management are on a collision course over the decision to suspend flights to European destinations from October. The Airline Pilots’ Guild is speaking out openly against the move, saying it will reduce [...]

SriLankan Chairman says pilots issues are “internal problems”

In an interview after repeated requests, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias said the issues highlighted by the Pilots’ Guild were internal matters. “Nowhere in the world are the internal problems of a company reflected in the newspapers,” he lamented. “This seems to happen only here and, that too, only in respect of SriLankan Airlines.” He [...]

No legal bar to proceed in case against Tiran Alles allegedly misappropriating State funds: ASG

Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda, P.C., this week told court that that there was no legal impediment to continuing with the case against former MP Tiran Alles over an allegation of misappropriating State funds amounting to Rs. 167 million meant for the construction of houses for displaced persons in the North and East. Mr. Kodagoda [...]

Army willing to adjust camp boundaries to expedite closure of IDP camps

By Chris Kamalendran The Government is expediting a programme to close down all camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the north, by offering constructed houses, land to build own houses and providing financial assistance to build houses. The moves come as UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon visits Sri Lanka next week. Resettlement and Rehabilitation Ministry [...]

Special Task Force to expedite resettlement

By Bandula Sirimanna The resettlement of IDPS is to be expedited with the establishment of a Special Task Force. The Task Force will come under the under the purview of the Ministry of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Affairs and the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils. The resettlement is to be completed in four [...]

936 families with 3,260 people in 31 camps in

Thirty one welfare camps are situated in the seven Divisional Secretariats (DS) of the Jaffna District, said Rehabilitation and Resettlement Minister D.M.Swaminathan. These camps house 936 families, comprising 3,260 people. The DS divisions in which the camps are located are Nallur, Uduvil, Tellippalai, Kopay, Karaveddy, Sandilpai and Point Pedro, the minister told Parliament in response [...]

Cancer Hospital will get a CT scanner with excess funds for PET scan

The Maharagama Cancer hospital will not only get a PET-scanner soon but will also receive a CT-scanner, the Kadijah Foundation said last week.  Foundation President M.S.H. Mohamed said that the monies collected for a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner, a nuclear medicine imaging diagnostic tool to assess the functioning tissues and organs of the body, [...]

Resident tutor at late Justice de Abrew’s house recounts his last moments

By Dayaratne Pathirane A tuition teacher residing in the late Supreme Court Justice Sarath De Abrew’s house, recounted the late Justice’s last moments alive, before he fell to his death from the balcony of his residence in Attidiya Road, Ratmalana. She told the Magisterial inquiry into his death that, she heard the former Judge shouting [...]

Ministerial team puts off Delhi talks to October

Illegal fishing by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters A high-level Sri Lankan ministerial delegation comprising Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera put off for a likely October date a previously scheduled visit to New Delhi next week to work out a lasting solution to the continuing problem of illegal fishing by [...]

‘Colombo Defence Seminar’ on Sept. 1-2 at BMICH

The annual ‘Colombo Defence Seminar,’ organised by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence, will be held on September 1 and 2 at the BMICH. The theme of this year’s international conference, held since 2011, will be ‘Soft Power and Its Influence on Global Issues’. This year’s two-day international conclave [...]

SriLankan to lease 2 more A330 aircraft to PIA

SriLankan Airlines hopes to finalise talks to lease two more A330 aircraft to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) within the course of the week, said Chief Executive Officer Capt Suren Ratwatte. One aircraft has already been leased to PIA, although the finer details such as the period of the lease, etc are to be worked out [...]

Former Rivira Editor identifies alleged assailant from Army MI Unit

The Army intelligence officer alleged to have taken part in the assault on former Rivira editor Upali Tennakoon, was identified at an identification parade held on Friday (26) at the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court. The suspect, Premananda Udalagama, formerly of the Army’s Military Intelligence Unit was identified by Mr Tennakoon and his wife, as one of [...]

London Mission in contact with families of the dead

By Neville de Silva in London Sri Lanka’s High Commission (SLHC) has been in contact with the families of the five youth of Sri Lankan origin, who drowned in Camber Sands last Wednesday, when three of them tried to save the other two who were sucked into the quick flowing water of a rip tide. [...]

Taranjit Sandhu next Indian High Commissioner to Sri lanka

India’s next High Commissioner (HC) to Sri Lanka will be Taranjit Sandhu, currently Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington DC, while incumbent HC Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha is to be India’s next HC to the UK. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to have approved the appointments of these senior career diplomats to man India’s important [...]

UAV, drone operators urged to register with Civil Aviation Authority

UAV, drone operators urged to register with Civil Aviation Authority

By Chandani Kirinde The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urging operators of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) including drones, to register with the CAA, as the use of these instruments are fast gaining popularity in the country. CAA Director General (DG), H.M.C. Nimalsiri said, only around 50 UAV s are registered with them to date, while [...]

Lunch special: Disease is the main course at Colombo’s eateries

By Anushiya Sathisraja More than half the the samples tested during recent inspections of Colombo’s restaurants were contaminated, inspectors say. Most eateries used adulterated oil and milk as well, checks have shown. CMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruwan Wijeyamuni said: “We inspected the food quality, standard of raw materials used, storage of food and the medical [...]

NMRA to get teeth to slash prices of drugs

Under a gazette notification that will be published soon the National Medicinal Regulatory Authority (NMRA) will be granted powers to bring down prices of pharmaceutical drugs, Health Ministry secretary Anura Jayawickrema said. He said a formula to bring down the prices was presented by the NMRA in December last year –and it was signed by [...]

Mother, infant knocked down while crossing road

A woman and her 11 month-old daughter died after being hit by a bus on the Kandy – Colombo Road, at Nittambuwa, the coroner’s court was told yesterday. The mother had just stepped out from a wayside boutique and was trying to cross the road when the tragedy occurred. Her husband, Wagaarachchige Daminda, said they [...]

Wildlife Dept. vets demand Rs 20,000 ‘Wildlife’ allowance

Veterinary surgeons of the Wildlife Veterinary Surgeons Association (WVSA), attached to the Dept of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), have suspended elephant capture-and-relocation for the past two weeks, demanding a monthly allowance of Rs 20,000. They claim they are overworked and underpaid, though working under trying conditions, while faced with constant threats of physical harm from wild [...]

Sri Lanka set to spotlight advances in the health sector

69th session of WHO’s South East Asian Regional Committee opens in Colombo Elimination of malaria and tackling NCDs by setting up lifestyle and well-woman clinics By Kumudini Hettiarachchi Sri Lanka is set to showcase its ‘low-cost’ but successful model as the curtain rises on the most powerful health session of the region on September 5 [...]

Five businessmen barred from travel over ransom-linked killing

Five businessmen barred from travel over ransom-linked killing

By Damith Wickremasekara Businessman Mohamed Sulaiman, 29, made his final call to his wife last Sunday at 11.15 pm asking her to open the gate after he had arrived home at Kothalawala Lane, Bambalapitiya, carrying a takeaway for dinner. But when she reached the gate, her husband was missing. She only found his car parked [...]

Request by Sri Lanka to focus on migrant workers’ health

It is at Sri Lanka’s request that the Regional Committee Meeting will turn an urgent spotlight on migration and health. Pointing out that this week Sri Lanka hosted a conference among labour-sending countries (the Colombo Process) to discuss key issues, Dr. Palitha Mahipala, Director-General of Health Services said the authorities were able to get the [...]

Flawed approvals of mini hydro projects spell river, land destruction

Flawed approvals of mini hydro projects spell river, land destruction

By Malaka Rodrigo Mini hydro power plants set up in sensitive areas can cause environmental damage and harm the biodiversity and ecosystem of forests, groups campaigning to protect Sri Lanka’s biodiversity and the environment have warned. The Environmental Foundation Limited and Sri Lanka Jalani said this week that there are deficiencies in the approval process [...]

18 water bottle makers risk local standards non-compliance

18 water bottle makers risk local standards non-compliance

By Sandun Jayawardana Only four companies manufacturing plastic water bottles have obtained the required SLS certification issued by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI), despite it now being more than a year since the authorities notified companies to do so, the Sunday Times learns. The revelations come as the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) prepares to [...]

US lobby firm hired by Malik: More questions than answers

US lobby firm hired by Malik: More questions than answers

By Our Diplomatic Correspondent We thank Minister Malik Samarawickrama for confirming our story. He should have announced it long before the Sunday Times broke the story. We stand-by every word in our story. While we are happy that the Minister has been forced to come out publicly about his ministry hiring a US firm to [...]

Toiling under the sun in their sunset years

Toiling under the sun in their sunset years

Many Sri Lankans aged 60 years and over are forced to work daily for meagre earnings to survive. As usual, those who belong to lower income groups are the hardest hit. Many labourers that one sees working as street cleaners are part of this ageing population – forced to work long hours in the sun and [...]

Over 150 laid-off SL workers in Saudi demand compensation, refuse other jobs

By Chrishanhi Christopher The Ministry of Foreign Employment is in a quandary regarding action to be taken over the 150 Sri Lankan (SL) workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Minister Thalatha Athukorala said the laid-off workers are declining the Saudi government’s offer to find alternative jobs. The Ministry of Labour and Social Development [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

    Photos by Nilan Maligaspe, Anurada Bandara, Amila Gamage, Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa and Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk

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