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Where, oh where have the families gone?

Where, oh where have the families gone?

These two dogs which had sensed the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse and fled last Friday have now returned to the site. But the houses are now buried in garbage and the dogs are seen seated where the houses were, perhaps wondering how they could find or rescue the families with whom they lived. Pic by [...]

RTI: President gives people access to Cabinet decisions

In a note presented by President Maithripala Sirisena and approved by the Cabinet recently, the President has informed all Ministers that all Cabinet decisions and Memoranda not falling within excepted categories under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, No 12 of 2016, have to be made available to a citizen upon request. In terms of [...]

2008 Haiti sex charge: Lankan contingent commander sacked, Major and four soldiers discharged

The Contingent Commander of Sri Lanka Army’s peace keeping force in Haiti was sacked for bringing disrepute to the organisation whilst a Major and four soldiers were discharged for having “consensual sexual relationships” with females. The incident, a senior Army official who spoke on grounds of anonymity said, took place in 2008 and involved the [...]

Garbage disposal declared essential, but protests continue

More protests were held yesterday over the disposal of garbage despite government declaring garbage disposal as an essential service and warning that a two year jail term could be imposed on those acting against the regulations. At Bopitiya off Wattala, residents put up a strong protest yesterday to prevent dumping of garbage in a 35 [...]

Lanka tells India to abide by Law of the Sea

By Sandran Rubatheesan Sri Lanka is to ask India to adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which ensures ‘innocent passage’ for fishermen to cross over to international waters through another state’s territorial sea. The request comes in the wake of a fresh dispute over the arrest of Sri [...]

Bond issues: Probe Commission seeks three-month extension

By Ranjith Padmasiri A three-month extension has been sought by the Commission of Inquiry appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to look into irregularities in respect of issuance of treasury bonds including the controversial Central Bank bond issue of February 2015. The Commission was given three months from its date of appointment on January 27, 2017 [...]

Young girl working in restaurant dies of injuries sustained in service lift

A 16-year-old girl working at a restaurant in the Aluthgama area succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident that occurred while she was using the service elevator, a coroner’s court inquiry was told. On April 9, Jesudasan Chandani from Karawela, Welipanna was taking shorteats to the fourth floor of the restaurant when a bar in [...]

Anti-garbage protests continue at Karadiyana

Anti-garbage protests continue at Karadiyana

Villagers yesterday held a silent protest in Karadiyana, Piliyandala over the government’s decision to dump garbage there. Police had obtained a court order on Friday preventing protests in the area for two weeks.  

Political parties spell out big plans for May Day

Trade unions and political parties are gearing up to celebrate May Day on a large scale. The United National Party (UNP) will host its May Day rally at Campbell Park, Borella, UNP Chairman, Minister Kabir Hashim said. The UNP has organised two processions heading towards Borella; one will start opposite Tower Hall in Panchikawatta, the [...]

Farmers urge COPE to probe Fund

The All-Island Federation of Farmers (AIFF) National Organiser Namal Karunaratne has called upon the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to investigate the misappropriation of the Crop & Loan Protection Fund meant to pay farmers for crop damage. He said the Plantation Tax Fund created in 2013, under the National Insurance Trust Fund, had been misappropriated. [...]

Delay in appointing Jaffna University vice chancellor

Political interference has allegedly delayed the appointment of a new vice chancellor to the Jaffna University and the current vice chancellor has been given an extension to continue until one of three nominees is appointed. Professor Vasanthy Arasaratnam, the current vice chancellor of the Jaffna University who was due to retire last month, has been [...]

Indo-Lanka refinery agreement fuels CPC strike threat

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) workers will next week launch a strike over a proposed agreement to be signed with India regarding investment in an oil refinery. The move comes after President Maithripala Sirisena turned down a request by the Petroleum Joint Union Alliance for a meeting to discuss the issue. The meeting was sought through [...]

Salvation Army Chief visits Meethotamulla survivors

The Salvation Army’s global head, General André Cox, on Friday  met with survivors of the Meethotamulla rubbish dump collapse and gave encouragement to them and relief workers – including police, military and medical personnel. General Cox and a team of Salvation Army officers visited both the disaster site and a local school that has been [...]

300MW generator ‘rejoins’ national grid today

The 300 MegaWatt (MW) generator of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai, which malfunctioned earlier this week, is to be reconnected to the national grid today (23). Director (Development) of the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy and Media Spokesman, Sulakshana Jayawardena, said repairs to the generator, known as ‘Unit 1′, were to have [...]

CBSL says received 37.7 Kg gold from Army

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on Friday said the total weight of gold from the north, handed over by the Army was 37.7 kg. The CBSL, further clarifying information provided under a Right to Information request filed by the Sunday Times, said the Army handed over parcels said to contain gold jewellery, on [...]

Customs raided Rs. 120 mn worth of items from Dubai

Customs raided Rs. 120 mn worth of items from Dubai

Two containers filled with more than Rs. 120 million worth of items from Dubai were raided by the Customs this week. The two 40- foot containers which came through Qatar were filled with energy drinks, coriander, shoes, bulbs, bottles of mayonnaise, milk and almonds. The raid took place after attempts were made to clear the [...]

GMOA awaits official communique from President over SAITM issue

The Govt. Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) is expecting an official announcement from the President’s office with regard to the solution given to the SAITM issue. “Currently, we do not agree with the decision made because, we are not certain the decision was made by the President, until they officially convey it, as Minister Rajitha Senaratne [...]

8, 900 Students (3.11%) fail in all subjects at 2016 O/L

Nearly 9,000 (8,900) students, or 3.11%, who sat the 2016 GCE Ordinary Level exam in six or more subjects, failed in all subjects, an Exams Dept analysis has revealed. In the previous year too, almost the same number of students failed in all subjects, the analysis showed. The highest failure rates are from the Districts [...]

Even more garbage piles up on streets

Even more garbage  piles up on streets

Uncollected garbage has been piling up on the pavements of Colombo over the past six days, while municipal officials struggle now even more with disposal issues following the human-made tragedy at the 10-storey high Meethotamulla waste mountain. The odour emanating from rotting garbage is overwhelming people, and is worsening the health risks. The frequency of [...]

Garbage mountain: Danger signs before the tragedy

Garbage mountain: Danger signs before the tragedy

Meethotamulla residents who lost their loved ones and homes in last week’s tragedy claim that for almost two months, there had been clear indications that the garbage mountain was about to collapse. Resident K. Sarathchandra said that two months ago, cracks started to appear beneath the garbage mountain. In some houses, walls also started to [...]

Forgotten people of past tragedies still await help

Forgotten people of past tragedies still await help

Salawa explosion: Angry residents blast compensation schemes By Sandun Jayawardana Although the explosion of the ammunition store at the Salawa army base on June 5 last year only claimed one life, the incident damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 houses. The Government set aside more than Rs 1.2 billion for compensation. While rebuilding continues, compensation [...]

Environmentalists fire warning shots over “senseless” jumbo killing

Environmentalists fire warning shots over “senseless” jumbo killing

A wild elephant is dead – at the hands of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), the very institution which is supposedly the guardian of these majestic animals. “When will we ever learn,” is the lament of numerous environmentalists as there were howls of protest not only from them but also the public over this [...]

Dog-bite cases soar to record levels

Dog-bite cases soar to record levels

Amid efforts to control rabies, reports of dog bites have risen to a record 1,000 every day across Sri Lanka, a senior official of the Health Ministry said. According to ministry data, every year 300,000 people are treated for rabies in the country, while 30,000 people were treated at the National Hospital Colombo last year [...]

Railway jaywalkers call for ‘protected pathways’

Railway jaywalkers call for ‘protected pathways’

The railway tracks in Colombo have become a convenient ‘footpath’ for many workers whose places of employment lie in close proximity to railway stations. The majority of these persons are middle grade working class persons and teenagers who for the sake of convenience, risk their lives by using the rail tracks. It has been noticed [...]

Fungi breakthrough

Fungi breakthrough

It was Consultant Microbiologist Dr. Muditha Abeykoon of the Polonnaruwa Hospital who found the unexpected among the cultures of sputum and respiratory secretions – they were in the shape of blooms. The clear conclusion that the secondary infections, after the primary influenza, in these patients were not caused by bacteria but fungi came then, making [...]

Good news! Country recovering from bad bout of flu

Good news! Country recovering from bad bout of flu

Influenza A including H1N1 or the flu seems to be on the wane. But be careful about the next peak that is usually experienced around May. This is the good news and precautionary advice being issued this week by Consultant Virologist Dr. Jude Jayamaha who is in charge of the National Influenza Centre, Department of [...]

A cry for help from 19 desperate families in Trincomalee

A cry for help from 19 desperate families in Trincomalee

Please help us is their cry. About 19 families living in the village of Kumburupitiya in Kuchchaveli, Trincomalee are appealing for assistance as they are facing abject poverty, they say. These families who had returned to their lands after living in camps for the displaced during the war, say they are getting little government support [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Replica of Sakya Kingdom to mark Lanka’s first UN Vesak Day

Replica of Sakya Kingdom to mark Lanka’s first UN Vesak Day

A replica of the Sakya kingdom of ancient India will be constructed to coincide with the 14th United Nations Vesak Day to be celebrated for the first time in Sri Lanka. Speaking at a news conference Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the kingdom would be built on 78 acres of land in Kahapola, Piliyandala [...]

SLTB collections soar with special Avurudu service

SLTB collections soar with special Avurudu service

The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will continue the special New Year bus service until Tuesday (25), and additional buses introduced according to demand, as nearly 25% of those who had gone to their villages have yet to return. Officials said the transport sector thrived this Avurudu with a hike in commuter traffic, unlike in [...]

Astrologers grapple with ticking time bomb

Astrologers grapple with  ticking time bomb

The astrologer who raised concerns about auspicious times released by the Cultural Ministry before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year insisted that his calculations were correct. Controversy erupted when astrologers blamed faulty auspicious times for the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump, which buried dozens of innocents. However the astrologers in the panel that prepared [...]

A bridge to universal education

A bridge to universal education

By Gordon Brown LONDON – In a confrontational world where protectionism is on the rise, multilateralism has become an easy target for criticism. But those who doubt its value must have short memories. They seem to have forgotten that the Marshall Plan rebuilt Europe after World War II, NATO kept nuclear war at bay during [...]

The pristine beauty of Sangamankanda

The pristine beauty  of  Sangamankanda

The beautiful village of Sangamankanda on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka is not very well known as a tourist spot either locally or to the International tourist industry.  Measured from Colombo the site is said to be at the widest point. Despite possessing an ideal location for surfing and a picturesque beach, the beauty [...]

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