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Battle against dengue, garbage on military footing

Battle against  dengue, garbage on military footing

Two ministers want to place the Government’s battle against raging dengue and piling garbage on a military footing in the City of Colombo. They want the Commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Police Chief to assign ten officers each to man an “Operations Room” for this purpose. They also want to invoke [...]

Emergency import of 500,000 tons of rice

The Government is to make an emergency import of 500,000 tons of rice to face a feared shortfall in local production due to adverse weather conditions. The state will import 300,000 tons whilst the private sector will be allowed to import the remaining 200,000 tons. Stocks will come mainly from Vietnam, Myanmar, Pakistan and Thailand. [...]

Lanka doctor among 14 indicted in largest ever US medicare fraud

A United States-based Sri Lankan-origin doctor is among 14 people charged in the Central District of California for allegedly participating in health care fraud schemes. Dr. Kanagasabai Kanakeswaran was indicted late last month on one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks for health care referrals and four counts of receiving kickbacks for health [...]

Vidya rape and murder: Senior DIG arrested

A serving Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police was arrested yesterday for assisting a rape-and-murder suspect to evade arrest. Lalith Jayasinghe, now in charge of the Central Province, was summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters yesterday for a statement to be recorded and was then arrested. Police said he was the first highest ranking [...]

Govt. to go ahead with terrorism bill: Rajapakshe

The Government will not take instructions from the United Nations on how the new Counter-Terrorism Bill is drafted and will go ahead with the bill approved by the Cabinet, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said yesterday. “The laws have to be made here and they have to be approved by our Parliament. We cannot have others [...]

CCEM holds US$ 250m project for two 75-storey towers at Horton Place

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has hit the brakes on a proposed US$ 250m Horton Square mixed-development project in Horton Place, saying the buildings — two towers of 75 storeys each — were too high for the exclusive residential area. But the Urban Development Authority (UDA) maintains that it falls within limits allowed [...]

Bribery Com. complaint against fired NCPA official

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABC) against its former deputy chairman, alleging that he provided to a foreign court an adverse report on child protection in Sri Lanka. Deputy Chairman Sajeeva Samaranayake was removed on an order from President Maithripala [...]

Germans eligible to vote please register: Embassy in SL

The German embassy in Colombo has called its nationals eligible to vote in the 19th German Bundestag elections scheduled for September 24, to register. German nationals resident outside their country, including those in Sri Lanka, and no longer have a domicile within the federal territory, are eligible to vote in the election, said the German [...]

Prominent Educationist passes away

Dr. Tilokasundari Kariyawasam, who played a prominent role in Sri Lanka’s Education sector, passed away after a brief illness. Dr Kariyawasam, a past pupil of Vishaka Vidyalaya, Colombo, Dharmapala College Pannipitiya and finally Ananda College, entered Peradeniya University in 1952, and started her educational career by joining the Tutorial Staff of Vishaka College, as a [...]

World Bank project to preserve Kandy Post Office building

Kandy’s colonial era Post Office building is to be conserved under a World Bank project, according to the Kandy City Heritage Committee. A report containing the World Bank’s proposal for the conservation was tabled by Kandy’s Municipal Commissioner at a recent heritage committee meeting. The World Bank has noted that the building needed conservation as [...]

Travel advisories on dengue: Foreign Ministry help sought to advise tourists

The Tourism Ministry will seek the Foreign Ministry’s help to be briefed on the current status of the dengue outbreak in view of the adverse publicity in the past few weeks, a senior official said. Tourism Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa told the Sunday Times they would request the Foreign Ministry to inform the missions that [...]

PC Election Act to be amended: 30 percent of candidates must be female

The Government has drafted an amendment to the Provincial Councils Elections Act of 1988 to make it mandatory for 30 percent of the total number of candidates included in a nomination paper to be female. The amendment also empowers the Commissioner of Elections to reject any nomination paper which does not contain the number of [...]

Parliament’s right to impose taxes subjected to Public Trust doctrine: President’s Counsel

The right of Parliament to impose taxes under Article 148 of the Constitution is not unrestricted and must be exercised in conformity with the principle that, powers conferred must be used with the doctrine of Public Trust, the Supreme Court (SC) was told during submissions made, when a Petition challenging the new Inland Revenue Bill [...]

Petroleum Ministry, LIOC to discuss use of oil tanks

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development is to commence discussions next week with Lanka Indian Oil Co. (LIOC) for an agreement on the use of oil tanks at the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) wants to use some of the oil tanks at the farm, which is currently under the IOC, [...]

Pre-fab houses: Sumanthiran moves SC to block ArcelorMittal contract

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran this week petitioned the Supreme Court seeking orders to prevent Resettlement Minister D. M. Swaminathan from signing a contract with international steel giant ArcelorMittal or its agents for construction of prefabricated houses for war-displaced in the north and east. Mr Sumanthiran also seeks an order restraining the [...]

Annual trek of faith on foot

Annual trek of faith on foot

The Yala National Park gates were opened for Pada Yatra devotees last morning who are on their annual trek on foot from the north to Kataragama. Pic by Sumanasiri Gunatillake

Press Complaints Commission received 133 complaints in 2016

Press Complaints Commission received  133 complaints in 2016

The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 133 complaints last year and national newspapers published 317 ‘Right of Readers’ complaints direct from readers to editors under the media’s self-regulatory mechanism, the annual report of the Commission for 2016 states. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sukumar Rockwood presenting the report at PCCSL’s Annual General Meeting [...]

No deadly blow in sight against ravages of killer dengue

No deadly blow in sight against ravages of killer dengue

Killer dengue, with more infectious and more fatal strains, is creeping along snuffing out unsuspecting lives while the Government is hopelessly staring in the face of 100,000-plus infections, although the Health Ministry reported 90,865 cases. The next peak season, from October onwards, is also fast approaching. News about the dengue crisis is also spreading in [...]

Champika gets down to ‘dirt’ business

Champika gets down to ‘dirt’ business

About 600 Metric Tonnes (MT) out of 700MT of garbage collected in Colombo on a daily basis can be recycled or reused provided the public supported such efforts, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. Minister Ranawaka, who has been tasked by President Maithripala Sirisena to resolve Colombo’s garbage woes, told the Sunday [...]

People mixed up over garbage segregation, say officials

Residents in Colombo and its suburbs are still confused over the segregation of garbage despite an improvement in the clearing of garbage heaps that accumulated over the past few weeks, officials say. S.Abeyratne the senior operations manager of a private company which handles solid waste in the Colombo area told the Sunday Times that they [...]

Uma Oya tragedy is all because of a bad EIA, activists charge

Uma Oya tragedy is all because of a bad EIA, activists charge

The controversial Uma Oya project was started on an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report that was carried out in a questionable manner with little geological input, an environmental justice group has charged. Hemantha Withanage, Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Justice, claimed that the project was started in haste with the Iranian [...]

After successful first in heart transplant, Sri Lanka sets sights on lung transplants

After successful first in heart transplant, Sri Lanka sets sights on lung transplants

With Sri Lanka’s first heart transplant being successfully performed to international standards at the Kandy Teaching Hospital on July 7, sights are now being set to initiate lung transplants. The heart-recipient, Pushpa Kumari, 37, from Dolahela in Anuradhapura is doing fine, having been weaned off the ventilator this week, while four more critically-ill patients with [...]

Runaway illegal constructions’ sheer enormity defies demolition

Runaway illegal constructions’ sheer enormity defies demolition

Authorities tasked with demolishing thousands of illegal buildings in an around Colombo, are crippled by legal shortcomings, practicalities and the sheer size of the problem. The city’s main canal system is over 44 km long, while the minor network is 52 km. Within just 11.5 km of the major network, the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation [...]

Widespread brutality against women uncontained

In Sri Lanka, women not only just suffer catcalls on the streets and widespread violence from their husbands and partners, but they are also subject to attack by state officials, politicians, and state agencies such as the police and military. Gender-based violence in the island has increased along with the level of brutality. Children are [...]

Awarding of tender for power plant delayed due to differing opinions

The awarding of a tender for a 300MW dual fuel power plant at Kerawalapitiya has been put on hold after differences surfaced between the Tender Board and the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) over who should be awarded the tender. Secretary, Ministry of Power and Energy, Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda said the matter will be referred to [...]

Bond issue: CBSL Assistant Director makes bombshell disclosures

Investigators assisting the Commission of Inquiry (COI) probing the issue of Central Bank treasury bonds are due to present their findings tomorrow (17) on the dealings of the CBSL’s Assistant director B.H.I. Saman Kumara, who once handled the dealings of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). Mr Kumara’s wealth, questionable financial transactions and his close relationship [...]

Stop-Start Port City, OBOR flagship project, on again

Stop-Start Port City, OBOR flagship  project, on again

The Colombo Port City (CPC) will be targeting the whole South Asian market to turn Colombo into a top metropolitan city in the world, said a senior project official. Chief Sales & Marketing Officer- China Harbour Engineering Co. (CHEC) Ltd., Liang Thow Ming told a visiting Sri Lankan media delegation in Beijing last week that [...]

Search on for 5 others in the sand lorry, including driver

Search on for 5 others in the sand lorry, including driver

A search has been launched for five persons including the driver of the vehicle in which one person was killed after police opened fire, when they failed to stop, a senior officer said. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) M.A.A.R. Masinghe, in charge of the Kankesanthurai division, told the Sunday Times, five persons had escaped soon [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Pix by Indika Handuwala, Amila Gamage, M. A.Pushpa Kumara, Shelton Hettiarachchi, and Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa

Red Beetle threatens coconut cultivation

Red Beetle threatens coconut cultivation

Coconut plantation owners have raised the alarm over the rapid spread of a disease via the Red Beetle which targets the young coconut plants. The Karuwelagaswewa area in the Putalam District, is badly affected. Coconut nurseries in particular are adversely affected as the young plants possessing less resistance, are easily susceptible to the disease. The [...]

Death threats as “scare tactics”, says lawyer

Death threats  as “scare tactics”, says lawyer

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is expected to question more witnesses in the coming days, as it probes the alleged massacre of prisoners at the Welikada Prison in November 2012. Several Prison officers serving at the Welikada Prison at the time of the incident, which left 27 inmates dead, are among those likely to be [...]

Uninsulated live cable on unlit expressway causes mayhem

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) will in future, inspect all high tension cables crossing expressways, in view of the recent incident when a high voltage cable fell on the Southern expressway last Sunday night, causing severe damage to vehicles in the path of the falling cable. The non-insulated, Biyagama-Pannipitiya high tension line transmitting 220,000 V, [...]

People’s plight in Puttalam

People’s plight in Puttalam

While parts of the country have been experiencing floods, areas like the Puttalam District are experiencing drought conditions. According to the Disaster Management Centre, the ongoing drought has adversely affected 36,394 families comprising 129,276 persons who have been left without access to drinking water. Villagers say the district has not received proper rainfall for around [...]

Asia’s hierarchies of humiliation

Asia’s hierarchies of humiliation

PHILADELPHIA – Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a standoff in Doka La – where the borders of Bhutan, China and India meet – for almost a month now, the longest such impasse between the two armies since 1962. In a not-so-subtle reference to that last conflict, in which India suffered a disastrous [...]

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