Home » News

Budget day contrasting scenes in Parliament

Budget day contrasting scenes in Parliament

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera being accompanied by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe leaving a tea party that followed the presentation of what was described as a designer budget for a Green and enterprising Sri Lanka. In the inset picture, Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga does not seem to be impressed or enterprising apparently in view of the [...]

Malaysia’s AirAsia wants to set up budget carrier here

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia has made a strong pitch to set up a budget carrier in Colombo with a 51 percent stake for the Sri Lanka Government. But Public Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim, in charge of SriLankan Airlines, claimed he was completely bypassed. A team from AirAsia made an hour-long presentation to the Cabinet [...]

e-NICs: FR petition on alleged invasion of privacy

The procedure for the issue of Sri Lanka’s new electronic national identity card (e-NIC)–introduced in the absence of privacy or data protection laws–grants wide powers to the Commissioner General of the Department of Registration of Persons, officials and other authorities to collect and record any personal details from all public and, potentially, private databases. “If [...]

Helping accident victims: Protection for Good Samaritans

The Supreme Court has been informed that the Government is to formulate regulations shortly to protect “Good Samaritans” from legal and police hassles when they help accident victims. When the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by a rights group seeking court’s directive to introduce regulations to protect Good Samaritans was taken up on Thursday, the [...]

Port City: Measures proposed to reduce air and noise pollution

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study on development activities and infrastructure facilities within the reclaimed land area of the Colombo Port City Development Project has proposed several measures to mitigate the impact on air quality and noise levels, while noting there would be an increase in road traffic due to the project. The EIA also [...]

Loved ones of those killed while trying to escape melee seek justice Welikada prison killings

Loved ones of those killed while trying to escape melee seek justice Welikada prison killings

Five years on a family member recounts images that still haunt her from the day after the shootings Lawyer representing families says uphill task to gain public sympathy for the cause of prisoners By the time Manel Wijesinghe (54) received a call on the morning of November 10, 2012 from an official of the Prisons [...]

COPA to present report on 831 state institutions in Parliament tomorrow

The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA)’s comprehensive report on 831 government institutions will be presented in Parliament tomorrow, Committee Chairman MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna said. The report will contain accounts of 831 institutions for 2015, Mr. Alagiyawanna told reporters at a media briefing yesterday. Among the institutions COPA examined were 50 ministries, 91 departments, 25 district [...]

Central Bank senior manager’s FR case re-fixed for support on Nov.21

The Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by a Senior Manager of the Central Bank, complaining about the intimidation, threats and insults he suffered at the hands of senior officials of the Attorney General’s Dept, came up on Friday (10) before a Bench comprising Justices Sisira De Abrew and Vijith Malalgoda. Previously, two judges including Justice [...]

CIABOC to probe money laundering

The Bribery Commission will soon be able to probe incidents of money laundering that come to light during investigations into complaints of bribery or corruption, a senior official said. Accordingly, the Government’s attention has been directed to amend the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Act incorporating these changes and to allow [...]

More than 2,000 women to be elected to local councils

More than 2,000 women representatives will be elected to local government bodies under the newly introduced mixed electoral system that calls for at least 25 percent women representation in local councils. Elections conducted under the previous Proportional Representative system returned only 82 women members to all the local councils which now stand dissolved. The Gazette [...]

High Court for cases of Corruption exceeding Rs 10,000

The Govt has decided to amend the Bribery Act so that corruption cases involving fraud in excess of Rs 10,000 will be heard only by a High Court. Currently, the cases are initially taken up in the Magistrate Courts. An officer of the Commission said amendments will be introduced so that the value in a [...]

Tax exemption only for ‘Brand New’ electric cars; dealers in quandary

The price of electric vehicles will not reduce by Rs 1 million as envisaged in the 2018 Budget, because the concession is applicable only to ‘Brand New’ cars, which only authorised agents can import. However, authorised agents do not typically bring in ‘Brand New’ electric vehicles, because they do not have the infrastructure or after-sales [...]

New conditions and extended deadline for 50,000 brick- and -mortar houses in North and East

The Government has extended the deadline to submit proposals for the construction of 50,000 brick-and-mortar houses for conflict-affected families in the North and East, and changed some of the specifications to make the units cheaper and easier to build. The new conditions go some distance in quelling concerns that the estimated price of a brick-and-mortar [...]

Budget highs and lows: People have their say

Budget highs and lows: People have their say

The Budget proposal for 2018 has drawn mixed reactions from the common man/woman as they start to digest the contents. Some say it has opened up many opportunities while others say their expectations of the cost of living being eased has not been fulfilled. Excerpts: Wathsala Madhurangi (21), Colombo University Arts Faculty student It is [...]

Rs 3b for Aruwakkalu Waste Management- Budget 2018

Rs 3b for Aruwakkalu Waste Management- Budget 2018

The Govt’s 2018 Budget has allocated Rs 3 billion to accelerate the Aruwakkalu Waste Management programme which includes the construction of a sanitary landfill. Denying inefficiencies had held up the project, Megapolis & Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka this week said the initiative will be completed on schedule, after meeting environmental prerequisites and tender procedures. [...]

Finance Minister urged to go soft on local hard liquor

A senior Govt minister yesterday urged Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to reduce the tax imposed on local varieties of arrack (gal), which he described as the poor man’s drink. “The decision to reduce the tax on beer is good. But the poorer section of the population, like those engaged in manual labour, plantation workers and [...]

Petrol crisis: Urgent need for independent regulator

Petrol crisis: Urgent need for independent regulator

The week-long fuel crisis which triggered a war of words between Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) and the Minister of Petroleum Industries has highlighted the urgent need for an independent regulator. LIOC, which claimed it was unfairly criticised for the petrol shortage, is among those calling for market regulation. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri [...]

Laggala tragedy: Alert villager’s phone call saved lives upstream

Laggala tragedy: Alert villager’s phone call saved lives upstream

In what could be a prelude to last week’s tragedy of eight people from two families drowning while bathing in the Thelgamu Oya in Laggala, comes a report of how just before the incident a group of about 40 to 50 bathers were saved from succumbing to a similar fate about 6-7 kilometres further upstream [...]

Three-wheeler regulations from Jan. 1, demerit system early next year

Three-wheeler regulations from Jan. 1, demerit  system early next year

As concerns rise over an increasing number of fatal accidents on Sri Lankan roads, the authorities are gearing up to implement new safety regulations governing three-wheelers from January 1 and the new fine system together with a point-based demerit feature from early next year. Motor Traffic Department legal officer K.I. Yogachandra said arrangements were being [...]

Busting the myth: Executive Presidency does not protect minority interests

Busting the myth: Executive Presidency does not protect minority interests

The debate on the Interim Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is over and the focus of the parliamentarians shifts, at least during the next month, to the Budget debate. The Constitutional Assembly discussions which were originally scheduled for only three days were extended to five days to enable more parliamentarians to [...]

Admin reforms planned in Nuwara Eliya

Admin reforms planned in Nuwara Eliya

The dilapidated and disfigured central hill town Nuwara Eliya is heading for a small-scale administrative makeover at the local level. Urban Development Authority deputy director for Nuwara Eliya, H M W Herath, said: “The city which is around 15 square kilometres is expected to be expanded to 50 sq km. More grama sevaka divisions would [...]

Telcos told to call time out on nuisance calls, texts

Nuisance messages and calls to mobile phone users have attracted the attention of the telecom regulator following numerous public complaints. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka has issued guidelines to telecom services providers on promotional messages and automated calls generated by external parties, a senior official said. The official told the Sunday Times that [...]

Rare sighting: Five live dugongs

Rare sighting: Five live dugongs

The dugong is the most threatened marine mammal and is likely to disappear from our waters soon. Occasionally carcasses of dead animals emerge reminding us of their plight and the sighting of a live dugon is very rare. However this week a local tour operator Samith Ishan Fernando got lucky and was able to photograph [...]

Ancient artefacts in need of conservation

Ancient artefacts in need  of conservation

Many ancient archaeological sites in the country are at risk of further damage due to the lack of proper conservation. One such site is the Dutch Fort at Galle. One of its attractions has been the clock tower which is considered one of the most beautiful old clock towers in the world. Recently it was struck by [...]

A formula for health equity

KIGALI – Imagine a country where some 90% of the population is covered by health insurance, more than 90% of those with HIV are on a consistent drug regime, and 93% of children are vaccinated against common communicable diseases including HPV. Where would you guess this enchanted land of medical equity is? Scandinavia? Costa Rica? [...]

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.