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Two faces of the STF

Two faces of the STF

The Police Special Task Force’s newly formed riot squad members wearing full face masks shielding them from tear gas are seen here in different modes. On Thursday, near the Presidential Secretariat, they helped disperse university students protesting against the South Asia Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM). Yesterday, at the Galle Face Green, they are [...]

Rs. 161 b expressway: It’s China again

Another massive unsolicited project; loan coming from Exim Bank By Damith Wickremasekara   In another unsolicited proposal, a Chinese company has been awarded the contract for the construction of the fourth phase of the Central Expressway project. Under the project, the Central Expressway between Kurunegala and Dambulla spanning 58.7 kilometres of four lanes is to be [...]

Economic freedom: President calls youth to the frontline

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday declared that the¬† Government would give priority to the young generation in the effort to achieve ‚Äúeconomic freedom‚ÄĚ as young people were the best placed to help build a knowledge-based innovative economy in the country.¬† The President speaking at the 69th Independence Day celebrations at the Galle Face Green said the [...]

Cabinet clash over vehicle factory

Minister and the United People’s Freedom Alliance General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera will submit a memorandum to the Cabinet calling on the Government to withhold a proposal to grant concessions to a vehicle importer trying to assemble vehicles locally. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake last week submitted a Cabinet proposal seeking a 70 percent tax concession for [...]

RTI in force now, get information for free

Citizens making requests under the Right to Information (RTI) Act must not be charged application fees, according to Gazette regulations issued on Friday. The regulations also list several instances where information must be provided free. For instance, all information sent in response to a request by email is free. If information is provided by printout [...]

Karu, first Lankan to be honoured with ‘Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun’

Karu, first Lankan to be  honoured with ‘Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun’

The Government of Japan has conferred on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ‚ÄúThe Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun‚ÄĚ, in recognition of his significant contribution towards promoting bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. This is the first time this ‘title’ has been conferred upon a Sri Lankan. The honour was bestowed on Mr. [...]

Freedom bogged down in toilets

Sixty-nine years since Independence — and Sri Lanka is now practising reverse discrimination on its free people, of all places in the allocation of some public toilets. Recently, the Bandaranaike International Airport cut by half the toilets that had bidet showers saying most Asians, particularly Indians, made a mess when using wet facilities. The incongruity [...]

No Lankan travellers held at any US airport: Foreign Ministry

Sri Lankan travellers were not stranded at any US airport, following the new immigration regulations including a controversial immigration ban issued by US President Donald Trump, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne tweeted on her official Twitter handle that, Sri Lankan missions in the US have informed there were no confirmed [...]

Lankan envoy hospitalised after cardiac arrest

Sri Lanka’s Consul General Faizer Mackeen suffered a cardiac arrest soon after he addressed the Independence Day ceremony at his office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and was hospitalised, an official said. He is being treated at the intensive care unit of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah. Mr. Mackeen was the President of the [...]

Breathing space for moonshine makers through legal loophole

‚ÄėKasippu‚Äô raids in Matara and Kalutara Districts by the police have come to a halt, following Lawyers, for suspects caught in raids on illicit liquor dens, successfully arguing in court that the police had no authority under the Excise Ordinance to file plaints and that, only Excise officers could do so. DIG (Legal) Ajith Rohana [...]

Would the Park Club be Kandy’s Waterloo?

Would the Park Club be Kandy’s Waterloo?

The Dialog League Rugby Championship 2016 season ends next weekend. However, to all intents and purposes, the winner could emerge after today’s blockbuster between Havelocks SC and Kandy SC at the Park. It is fitting that these two clubs, which are by common consent, the best among the participants, take each other on in a [...]

Photo focus: Dengue spreads

Photo focus: Dengue spreads

With the spread in the number of dengue patients, especially in the Western Province, Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) have been put on alert to identify the new breeding grounds of the dengue mosquito. The search has now been extended to new areas where possible dengue breeding grounds could exist. On Friday PHIs searched several boatyards [...]

Goodwill pigeons take wing from the north to the south

Goodwill pigeons take wing from the north to the south

E-motoring: Vehicle registration fully online

The Motor Traffic Department will soon introduce an online service known as ‚ÄėE-motoring‚Äô enabling vehicle owners to carry out work related to registration through the system from the point of importing the vehicle, instead of calling over at the Department. Motor Traffic Commissioner General Jagath Chandrasiri told the Sunday Times the system had already been [...]

Rs 360,000 fine for illicit sale of endemic wildlife

Colombo Magistrate Chanima Wijebandara on Friday imposed a fine of Rs 360,000 on a suspect for illicitly selling endemic birds and tortoises, and directed officials of the Dept of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to release the birds into the wild, after conducting medical analyses at the Atthidiya Wildlife Health Management Centre. A Wildlife Ranger involved in [...]

Breathing space for moonshine makers through legal loophole

‚ÄėKasippu‚Äô raids in Matara and Kalutara Districts by the police have come to a halt, following Lawyers, for suspects caught in raids on illicit liquor dens, successfully arguing in court that the police had no authority under the Excise Ordinance to file plaints and that, only Excise officers could do so. DIG (Legal) Ajith Rohana [...]

SLPI’s RTI awareness programme at SL Rupavahini Corp.

SLPI’s RTI awareness programme at SL Rupavahini Corp.

The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), as part of its ongoing, islandwide Right to Information (RTI) awareness programme, this week conducted its training in Sinhala for the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Producers Union at the Sri Lanka Rupahavini Corporation (SLRC) premises. The sessions held on February 1, had 80 participants from the SLRC Producers Union. The [...]

President calls for Economic independence and a role for youth

President calls for Economic independence and a role for youth

Sri Lanka celebrated the 69th Anniversary of its Independence with much pomp and pageantry at the Galle Face Green yesterday, in a ceremony highlighted by a grand military parade and a breathtaking display by parachutists from the armed forces and the police. Among the dignitaries present at yesterday’s ceremony were President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister [...]

Passengers hold their noses at racist, incompetent railway

Passengers hold their noses at racist, incompetent railway

Sri Lanka Railways, which boasts that it aspires ‚Äėto be the most efficient transport provider of South Asia‚Äô, insists it will continue the racially discriminatory initiative of providing separate, clean toilets for foreign commuters at rail stations, while bemoaning that it has no money to provide hygienic sanitary facilities for Sri Lankans. Transport Minister Nimal [...]

First-ever President’s Truncheon and Regimental Truncheon awarded to Sinha Regiment

First-ever President’s Truncheon and Regimental Truncheon awarded to Sinha Regiment

The Government gratefully remembers the sacrifices rendered by the security forces during the war and would accord them the highest honour possible, President Maithripala Sirisena said. President Sirisena made these remarks at a ceremony last Monday (30) at the Sinha Regimental Headquarters in Ambepussa to award the first-ever President’s Truncheon and the Regimental Truncheon to [...]

Scorched earth: Farmer misery worsens

Scorched earth: Farmer misery worsens

Hundered of farmer families have abandoned their lands seeking refuge in dirt camps, their financial debts have increased, and there is not much hope for heavy rains. Tales of crop failures abound as the drought continues to cause misery. The low rainfall across the island has severly disrupted hydropower generation, domestic water supplies, and agriculture. [...]

Alarm bells ring for popular reef fish

Alarm bells ring for popular reef fish

Sri Lanka will need to protect its overexploited coral reef fish which are rapidly becoming rarer, conservationists believe. Gal malu, or rock fish, are generally popular in the country and these include varieties of grouper and parrot fish (girawa). The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) initiated a study in January to asses [...]

Medical Deans consider urgent talks with President on fallout

Medical Deans consider urgent talks with President on fallout

As the crisis over private medical colleges intensified this week, Deans of the eight state medical faculties are considering seeking an urgent meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena next week to discuss the ‚Äúconsequences‚ÄĚ of a court ruling on medical education in Sri Lanka. This was while the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) was moving in [...]

Recipe for accidents: Too many vehicles, too little public awareness

Recipe for accidents: Too many vehicles, too little public awareness

Too many vehicles on our roads–1, 400 cars, vans, three-wheelers and motorcycles being registered on average every day and too many people on the roads; more than 1.8 million people entering Colombo city daily on working days. A deadly concoction say experts adding that this is one of the reasons for the number of traffic [...]

SLMC practised double standards, violated Medical Ordinance: Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has ruled that Sri Lanka Medical Council, a statutory body set up to maintain the highest professional standards and register medical practitioners, had gone out of its mandate and exercised excessive powers in rejecting the application of a private medical university graduate for registration. The Court of Appeal bench consisting of [...]

Help halt forest destruction

Help halt forest destruction

The plea is directly to the most powerful person in Sri Lanka ‚Äď none other than President Maithripala Sirisena himself. Put a stop to the rapid deforestation of the country, otherwise the consequences would be disastrous, is the urgent request going out from top environmentalists, as already the impact of such deforestation is being tragically [...]

Rice prices reach boiling point despite lower import levy

Homemakers are paying Rs 100 for a kilo of rice although import taxes have been reduced and they accuse traders of fleecing them. A kilo of rice should sell at Rs 70 based on the Rs 15 import levy reduction. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, said the Special Commodity Levy on imported rice had been further [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

 

State sector manpower workers in limbo

State sector manpower workers in limbo

Despite political promises during elections and continuing protests and strikes, issues related to Manpower Workers (MW) stand still in the backdrop of Government efforts to create new job opportunities. “The concept of MW that was started a few years back, is now well established in the country, especially in the Free Trade Zones. The lack [...]

Health Ministry to recruit 1,500 ‘field assistants’ to tackle increasing cases of dengue

Health Ministry to recruit  1,500  ‘field assistants’ to tackle increasing cases of dengue

The Health Ministry has identified the lack of an efficient garbage management system as one of the key reasons for the recent hike in dengue cases in the country. Dr. Hasitha Tissera, the National Coordinator for Dengue at Health Ministry, said there were multiple causes for the increase in the number of dengue patients, but [...]

Sons of Divulapitiya soil rise against environment sins

Sons of Divulapitiya soil rise against environment sins

Soil mining at the controversial Akaragama site in Divulapitiya has come to a halt following a presidential directive. Mining activities were suspended after Presidential Secretariat officials visited the site for inspection on Wednesday. Prior to the order being issued, officials of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, the Central Environmental Authority and the Divulapitiya Divisional [...]

Save Kirala Kele, a cry from environmentalists

Save Kirala Kele, a cry from environmentalists

With World Wetland Day being celebrated on Thursday (February 2) bird lovers here have called to protect the Kirala Kele wetland that recently made headlines due to the sighting of a record number of migratory birds. Kirala Kele in Sinhala means ‚Äėforest of kirala trees- or a ‚Äėmangrove forest‚Äô. It covers an area of 1,800 [...]

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