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BIA on alert for H1N1 patients from Maldives

BIA on alert for H1N1 patients from Maldives

The Bandaranaike International Airport’s quarantine division has stepped up surveillance for passengers with H1N1 influenza amid reports of a major increase in the number of people affected by the disease in the Maldives. Quarantine Director Dr. Palitha Karunapema said that during the week, upto 300 incoming passengers were referred to the health desk, and about [...]

Hambantota port deal: Two major clauses to appease critics

By Namini Wijedasa The draft Hambantota Port privatisation agreement — which is to go before Cabinet on Tuesday — includes a new clause making it compulsory for China Merchant Port Holdings Company (CMPort) to divest a quarter of its 80 percent shareholding to a Sri Lankan entity within ten years of taking over the facility. [...]

Aloysius may get big tax concession for Kalkudah distillery

Under a budget proposal effective this year, Arjun Aloysius’ liquor manufacturing firm W M Mendis and Co. is likely to receive a 100 percent capital allowance for locating its proposed four billion-rupee alcohol distillery at Kalkudah in the Batticaloa district. The 2017 budget grants a 100 percent capital allowance on fixed investment of not less [...]

Cabinet suspends plan to re-recruit top public servants

Public Administration Minister says paying them thrice as much will be a colossal financial burden; move in conflict with existing circular By Damith Wickremasekara The Cabinet has put on hold a decision it took last month to re-recruit retiring public sector officials to senior positions paying them allowances more than thrice their salaries at retirement. [...]

90 eminent persons to receive national honours tomorrow

President Maithirpala Sirisena will tomorrow confer national honours on 88 distinguished Sri Lankans and two non-nationals who have excelled in various fields. Late music maestro W.D. Amaradeva is to be posthumously conferred with the highest civilian honour “SriLankabhimanaya.” The President will personally confer the honours on the recipients at an investiture ceremony to be held [...]

Foreign Ministry recognises ‘Puntland’

In the rescue operation of the Sri Lankan crew on board an oil tanker hijacked by Somali pirates this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs now evidently recognises self-declared autonomous States. In a media statement on Friday, the ministry said it was pleased to announce that the vessel “Aris 13” hijacked by pirates was released [...]

CEA to ban PET bottles under one litre

CEA to ban PET bottles under one litre

The Central Environment Authority (CEA) is to ban the sale of carbonated drinks and fruit juices in PET (PolyEthylene Tetraphthalate ) bottles below 1 litre, to control the plastic menace in the country. CEA Waste Management Director, J.M.U. Indraratne said that, instead, the Beverage industry will be encouraged to sell drinks in glass bottles. However, [...]

Bus hits lorry before crashing into bus stand killing 3

Three people were killed in an accident involving a private bus and a lorry at Egoda Uyana in Moratuwa last evening, police said. The bus plying towards Colombo had hit the lorry from behind and then crashed into a bus stand killing a 15-year-old girl, a 60-year-old woman and 68-year-old man on the spot. The [...]

Police continue probe on cooked up medical certificates at National Hospital

Police are probing a racket where medical certificates, using forged rubber stamps of National Hospital staff including doctors, were issued to government employees. The racket came to light after a cook attached to the National Hospital was apprehended issuing these MCs . Duplicate rubber stamps of the hospital’s chief accountant, two cardiology specialists and six [...]

Mahinda Sam refutes Geetha’s allegation of dual citizenship

Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday strongly refuted Galle District Parliamentarain Geetha Kumarasinghe’s claim that he too held Swiss dual citizenship. Addressing a media conference at his Ministry, Minister Samarasinghe insisted that throughout his life, he had only held Sri Lankan citizenship and accused Ms Kumarasinghe who is facing a court verdict [...]

National Honours after 12 years

President Maithripala Sirisena will confer National Honours on 90 distinguished citizens at a ceremony in Colombo tomorrow. It’s the first time in 12 years that National Honours are being conferred. Recipients of National Honours Sri Lankabhimanya 1. Wannakuwattawaduge Don Amaradewa, Desamanya 1. Abbasally Akbarally 2. Colvin De Fonseka Warnasuriya Goonaratna 3. Devanesan Nesiah 4. Diyunuge [...]

Increase paddy purchases as harvesting begins: Farmers to Govt.

Paddy farmers called upon the Government to increase paddy purchases with the harvest season coming into effect. The call came with the Cabinet decision to purchase only 79,500 metric tonnes of paddy for the Maha season, with Nadu being bought at Rs 38 per kg and Samba varieties at Rs 41 per kg. All Island [...]

JVP requests Govt. to protect Che’s tree

JVP requests Govt. to protect Che’s tree

  The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will request the Government to take steps to protect the historic Mahogany tree in Horana planted by Argentinean revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara, said Kalutara District Parliamentarian Dr Nalinda Herath. The request comes in the wake of an incident where the tree was nearly felled this week. Dr Herath [...]

Pacific Partnership 2017 conducts community service projects in Hambantota

Pacific Partnership 2017 conducts community service projects in Hambantota

The Pacific Partnership 2017 which made its initial mission stop in Hambantota, with the arrival of US Naval Ship Fall River last week completed a string of community service and social responsibility projects, in Hambantota on Friday. The event was graced by the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe [...]

Police Heroes Day on Tuesday

The 153rd Police Heroes Day falls on March 21 (Tuesday). A commemoration ceremony to mark the event will be held at 7 am at the Police Heroes’ Memorial at Police Field Headquarters in Bambalapitiya. The annual Police Heroes Day is held to honour the memory of police officers who sacrificed their lives in defence of [...]

FFMTA, Medical Faculty deans, GMOA take common stand on SAITM, present proposals to President

Concrete proposals to ease the controversy surrounding the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) and stymie the slide down the slippery slope to major youth unrest have been presented to President Maithripala Sirisena this week. Stop admissions to SAITM with immediate effect; stop SAITM from granting an MBBS degree forthwith; legalise the minimum [...]

Beruwala readies for battle against dengue

Beruwala readies for battle against dengue

With high incidents of dengue being reported islandwide a PHI is seen conducting an awareness programme at a mosque in Beruwala.  

Pregnant tourist falls in the rush to board train at Fort station

A pregnant British tourist had a close call on Friday morning when she fell onto the platform trying to board a train bound to Badulla at the Fort Railway station. Station superintendent Sarath Pathirana said the woman and her male companion, also British, had bought two third class compartment tickets not knowing that they could [...]

Scrapping of sugar price control heralds bitter Avurudu for sweetmeat makers

Scrapping of sugar price  control heralds bitter Avurudu for sweetmeat makers

The Government’s move to remove the price control on sugar has triggered an increase in the price of sugar based products, with the biggest impact being felt by those in the sweetmeats industry ahead of the upcoming Sinhala – Tamil New Year. The retail price started to show an increase by as much as Rs [...]

Lankan, 5 others indicted in US for alleged $50m fraud

Lankan, 5 others indicted in US  for alleged $50m fraud

An indictment filed by the US Attorney’s Office, accusing a Sri Lankan businessman and five others of defrauding victims of over US$ 50 million, gives insight into an elaborate scheme involving shell companies as well as domestic and international bank accounts. The Sunday Times obtained a copy of the 22-page indictment filed in December 2016, [...]

Biggest garbage generator tries to put house in order

Biggest garbage generator  tries to put house in order

In the Western Province, where more than 60 per cent of Sri Lanka’s waste is generated, police and military will be keeping an eye on the streets for reckless garbage disposal. A team has been tasked with reporting mismanagement of garbage to the relevant authorities. Lawsuit filed by Environment Police have increased three-fold. Senior DIG [...]

Families relieved after Somali criminals free oil tanker hired by native traders

Families relieved after Somali criminals free oil tanker hired by native traders

Tuesday was a day of mixed emotions for the family of Anthony Nicholas, the captain of the oil tanker Aris 13 seized and released by Somali pirates because it had been hired by Somali traders. It was also the 10th death anniversary of Nicholas’s wife. “He spoke to us on March 6 and 7 and [...]

Bond issue: 26 MPs want to give evidence

The Commission of Inquiry (COI) looking into the issue of treasury bonds from February 1 2015 to March 31, 2016 has received eight written representations, the Commission announced. The written submissions have been sent in response to a public notice by the COI. It has also received a letter signed by 26 MPs requesting an [...]

Bus lane a work in progress amid dangers and shrinking space

Bus lane a work in progress amid dangers and shrinking space

Designated bus lanes will be the way to go, officials believe, after a week-long trial run. But private drivers and motorbike riders say they are competing for shrinking road space and that turning into side streets has become a challenge. A driver also warned of possible fatal accidents when children rush across bus lanes to [...]

‘Dengue expert’ and team bring hope amidst the doom and gloom

‘Dengue expert’ and team bring hope amidst  the doom and gloom

Sri Lanka is fighting a losing battle with dengue as intermittent rains are sending the number of men, women and children affected by this mosquito-borne disease soaring. Into 2½ months of the year, the number of dengue cases is reported to be 21,000, the highest ever the country has experienced for similar periods in other [...]

Why India should scrap parliamentary democracy

By Shashi Tharoor NEW DELHI – India’s parliamentary system, inherited from the British, is rife with ineffiencies. By the logic of Westminster, you elect a legislature to form the executive, and when the executive does not command a secure majority in the legislative assembly, the government falls, triggering fresh elections. The result is a vote [...]

Deadly dengue epidemic brings Kinniya to its knees

Deadly dengue  epidemic brings Kinniya to its knees

Badly-equipped hospitals are overwhelmed by hundreds of suspected cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever in the wake of an epidemic in Kinniya in the Eastern Province. Outpatient departments are stretched, hospital authorities complain. Following appeals from the Muslim community and 13 deaths in two weeks, a dozen doctors have been sent to Kinniya. The Epidemiology Unit [...]

Relatives of dead Kalutara prisoners shed light on mobile phone racket

Relatives of  dead Kalutara prisoners shed light on mobile phone racket

The Prison Reforms Ministry has ordered the Commissioner General of Prisons to submit an immediate report over allegations that Kalutara Prison inmates were given extensive access to mobile phones, the Sunday Times learns. The Ministry has also instructed to probe allegations that some prison officers had provided this service in exchange for cash. Prison Reforms [...]

Toxic waste water disposal goes on unchecked

Toxic waste water disposal goes on unchecked

Industrial waste water and municipal sewage released untreated poses a danger to Sri Lanka’s environment, experts warn on the eve of World Water Day, which falls on Wednesday  (March 22). The theme this year is “waste water” with the campaign focusing on reducing and reusing waste water. Globally, over 80 per cent of the waste [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix


News from the courts

News from the courts

CA reserves order on Geetha K.’s eligibility as an MP By Ranjith Pathmasiri   The Court of Appeal has reserved till May 3, its order on the Writ Application filed by four Galle residents, challenging Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe’s right to serve as a Parliamentarian, as she holds dual citizenship. The Attorney General (AG) [...]

Photo focus: The battle for the beach

Photo focus: The battle for the beach

The pristine beaches of Negombo have long been a primary attraction for tourists who visit the area. For years, tourist hotels along the Negombo beach existed side-by-side with the dry fish industry operated by local fishing  communities. In recent times however, hotel operators claim that those engaged in the dry fish business have begun occupying [...]

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