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Heartbreak instead of harvest for Puttalam farmers

Heartbreak instead of harvest for Puttalam farmers

Blow after blow: The Puttalam District’s Weherabandiweva devastated by a drought for two years had got some relief in May this year with some torrential rain. This encouraged farmers to cultivate their fields but the drought has hit again. This picture of a farmer carrying a piece of earth instead of any crop shows the [...]

Treasury to take over key role of Central Bank

In a significant move, the Central Bank is to be relieved of its traditional role of raising money to finance government debt – an issue that came to the fore with the tainted 2015 Treasury bond saga. Henceforth the Treasury will be assigned this role of raising funds for the Government, without asking the Central [...]

Sweeping changes in new Counter-Terrorism Act

The Cabinet has approved a draft Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) that requires suspects to be produced before a magistrate within 48 hours and limits detention orders to a maximum of eight weeks. It also grants a magistrate the discretion to refuse an extension after two weeks and entitles suspects to bail six months after arrest [...]

Gazette issued to set up second Special High Court

The second of the three proposed Permanent High Courts Trial-at-Bar will be set up in Colombo shortly to fast track cases related to serious frauds, corruption and other high profile crimes, the Government has announced. The gazette notification in this regard was issued by the Justice Ministry this week. The first permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar [...]

AG to indict Vijayakala in Court of Appeal

Jaffna District Parliamentarian Vijayakala Maheswaran will be indicted in the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General, the first time Article 157(a) of the Constitution will be tested 35 years after this article became law, a senior official of the Attorney General’s Department said. Since this is the first case brought before the CA under [...]

Ambassador in Austria, staff recalled over President’s phone call

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Austria and all embassy staff were recalled to Colombo on Friday. The move, the Sunday Times learns, comes after presidential aides failed to reach the embassy office in Vienna for well over four hours. President Maithripala Sirisena had wanted to speak to Ambassador Priyani Wijesekera, a former Secretary General of Parliament. [...]

China to gift a PLAN missile frigate

China will gift Sri Lanka a missile frigate used by the People Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The frigate ‘Tongling’, launched in 1993, is now undergoing a refit at a port in China. Chinese embassy officials said the formal handover would take place early next year. The ‘Jangwei I’ class frigate was deployed in the People’s [...]

Airport scuffle: Suspended jail terms for Kuwaiti couple

The Kuwaiti couple who were involved in a scuffle with customs officials following a dispute over quarantine procedures with regard to their pet dog have been sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment suspended for five years. On Friday, Negombo’s Chief Magistrate Rajindra Jayasuriya delivered the verdict after the couple, Sarah Alduaij and Ibrahim Alffaih, were [...]

Ragging comes to the fore as CID takes over student suicide case

The Criminal Investigation Department this week recorded a statement from the mother of a Sabaragamuwa University student who is said to have committed suicide in 2015 after being ragged, an activist who accompanied her to the police said. Wasantha Padmini Elvitigala alleges that her daughter, Amali Chathurika, took her life after becoming depressed due to [...]

Too close yet too far

Too close yet too far

Two commercial aircraft flying too close to each other with the smoke trails drawing parallel lines attracted the attention of Ekala residents yesterday afternoon. Though they looked too close to each other for comfort, air traffic controllers say they were maintaining a safe distance of 2,000 feet altitude-wise, as specified in international aviation safety standards [...]

Key witness petitions HRCSL, claims Navy is victimising him

The key state witness in an abduction case has written to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, complaining that his employer, the Sri Lanka Navy, is victimising him and blocking his promotion. Lt. Cmdr. Krishan Welagedara is a leading witness in a Habeas Corpus application filed in respect of five young Sinhala, Tamil and [...]

China company out, Indians coming to rebuild northern roads

The Government is proposing to drop a Chinese bidder selected on a competitive tender to rehabilitate Road Development Authority (RDA) roads in the North and to obtain fresh proposals from two Indian companies for the same project because of “geopolitical concerns”. Proposals were invited through international competitive bidding with 100 percent confirmed financing for six [...]

Ravi K faces perjury charges

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) this week took Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake to court for the offence of intentionally giving false evidence–committing perjury–before the commission that inquired into irregularities in the issuance of Treasury Bonds. Action was filed in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court under Sections 188 and 190 of the Penal Code. Section 188 states: “Whoever, [...]

Forthcoming examination violates Homeopathy Act, charges GHPA

The Government Homeopathic Practitioners’ Association (GHPA) alleges that the forthcoming examination to be held for homeopathic practitioners by the Health Ministry is in violation of the Homeopathy Act. The examination is designed to grant homeopathic practitioners who have provisional (temporary) registration, general registration to practice homeopathy in the country. GHPA Vice President Dr. S. Ramesh [...]

Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar rejects Gotabaya’s plea that he be warned and released

Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar rejects Gotabaya’s plea that he  be warned and released

The Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar, Colombo rejected the application made on behalf of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he be warned and released on the grounds he appear in Court when necessary following his indictment for misusing funds from the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC) to build a mausoleum in memory [...]

Sri Lanka-Indian Navies in joint exercise

Sri Lanka-Indian  Navies in joint  exercise

SLINEX 2018, a joint exercise between the Sri Lankan and Indian Navies concluded on a successful note in Trincomalee this week. The seven day exercise which comprised two phases, — the harbour and sea phases saw the participation of around 1,000 naval personnel from both countries. The wide range of activities performed at SLINEX included; [...]

Flying squads to detect malpractices in State Hospitals

Patients are unable to get the full benefit of the decrease in prices of stents used in heart surgery, lenses used in cataract operations and of essentials drugs, due to unscrupulous elements within the State Health service, manipulating the system. To overcome this situation, Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna has set up a flying squad [...]

Ven Rewatha Thera passes away

Chief incumbent of the Nugegoda, Gangodawila Subhadrarama Athula Raja Maha Viharaya, Rajakeeya Panditha Ven Ananda Rewatha Nayaka Thera has passed away. His funeral will take place at 3pm tomorrow (17) at the temple premises in Nugegoda. Ven Rewatha Thera was an eminent monk who held the chief incumbent post of several temples island-wide and was [...]

INZ to get tough with Sri Lankan student visa applications

False and misleading documents submitted to support student visa applicants from Sri Lanka, will be investigated by Immigration New Zealand (INZ), following the detection of 85 applications containing false documentation by a Lankan finance company. In an email interview with the Sunday Times, INZ said they had identified the irregularities in January this year, and [...]

I’ve got your nude picture

I’ve got your nude picture

Online criminal traps female student of a higher education institute, gets her to secretly video nude pics of other students  Think before posting personal photographs on publicly accessible social media sites; experts warn of online ‘sextortion’ rackets    A young female student’s online texting and sharing of images with her boyfriend turned out to be [...]

Plantations to get glyphosate soon

The Plantations Ministry has said a gazette notice confining the use of glyphosate only to rubber and tea plantations will be issued next week. Plantation Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith said the notice is with the government printer and will be released on September 15, 2018. ‘The weedicide will be distributed soon,’ he said. Imports will [...]

Lanka’s first-ever TAVI at NHSL

Lanka’s first-ever TAVI at NHSL

It was a cherished dream for a Senior Consultant Cardiologist and for the humble people of Sri Lanka suffering and dying from heart trouble, it is a great blessing. For the country, it is a major groundbreaker – Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) is now very much a reality, not after payment of a large [...]

A world burdened with petty leadership

A world burdened  with petty leadership

In an age when the world needs intellectual giants and leaders of deep integrity, we are burdened with small-minded, self-interested and petty leadership, Acting General Secretary of Liberal International and former South African MP Gordon Mackay said on Friday. “Epitomised by Donald Trump in the US, but reflected in leaders around the globe including Duterte [...]

SAITM students stuck with Rs1.3m question

The government and the Kotelawala Defence University authorities are looking into the various grievances of SAITM students, most notably the payment of fees to KDU, and will follow the university’s policies on the matter, a senior government official said. “Issues relating to fees to SAITM is something that is not under the purview of the [...]

Earth tremor felt around Trincomalee lagoon

A minor earth tremor measuring 3.5 on the Richter Scale was felt in and around the Trincomalee lagoon, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) Director General Dr C H E R Siriwardana said yesterday. He said the tremor occurred at a depth of 6.4km. He explained that the thick sediment profile at the lower regions [...]

Korean visa over-stayers not given fresh visas

A group of workers who were granted amnesty and deported from the Republic of South Korea (RSK) for over-staying in that country complain that although they were promised re-entry into that country, their applications had been rejected. It is learned that the group comprising around 200 workers with masonry and fishing skills from rural Sri [...]

Fuel costs bring more pain to the poorest

Fuel costs bring more pain to the poorest

The increase in fuel prices for the second time in two months, in keeping with a Cabinet-approved pricing formula, has sent up prices of goods and services, increasing the burden on households. The latest fuel price hike on Monday saw a litre of petrol, both 92 and 95 octane, go up by Rs4 while a [...]

Health and safety, priority concerns for FTZ workers, says researcher

Health and safety, priority concerns for FTZ workers, says researcher

Working conditions and industrial relations in Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs) need to be improved, a multi stakeholders workshop held to discuss occupational health hazards within global factories in and around the FTZ was told this week. The panel included ministry officials, Board of Investment (BOI) officials and factory managers. The chief speaker at [...]

Upgrade of oil pipelines shelved for 12 years- CPC Unions

A project to lay 2 new pipelines, as part of upgrades to the oil pipeline system between Colombo Port and the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd (CPSTL) facility in Kolonnawa, has been in limbo for 12 years. Petroleum sector unions allege that the delay in awarding the tender to complete the project resulted in the [...]

Thurunu Diriya loan tailored for success

Thurunu Diriya loan tailored for success

Every entrepreneur dreams of seeing a business grow into a reputed enterprise, and young Kosala Shakyamali Dissanayake, who designs bridal sarees, sews garments and produces bags and slippers from her home in Eppawala, Anuradhapura, is seeing that dream take shape as the 100th recipient of a Bank of Ceylon Thurunu Diriya loan. The Thurunu Diriya [...]

Spare a thought for the masters at turning old parts to new

Spare a thought for the masters at turning old parts to new

Panchikawatte in downtown Colombo brings to mind the rows of motor spare parts shops that have existed since cars appeared in Sri Lanka – but that will change when a shopping complex opens here in place of the old firms that are seeing their second-hand trade slowly die. The project will commence before 2020, and [...]

Policy-based approach to governance is best from Cabinet system

Policy-based approach to governance is best from Cabinet system

Political discussions today, center around the issue of who would be the likely candidates at the Presidential Elections scheduled for the end of next year. There is, however, little or no discussion, as to what policies are desirable for the country, after the election of a new President in 2019. Seventy years after independence and [...]

Impact from oil leak on coastal ecosystem to take months- NARA

Impact from oil leak on coastal ecosystem to take months- NARA

It may take months to ascertain the impact from the Muthurajawela oil leak on the coastal ecosystem, said a senior official of the National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA). NARA Senior Scientist- Environmental Studies Division, Dr. Deepthi Amaratunga, said, “Initial investigations by NARA has observed small floating patches of oil from Dikowita to Pitipana, along the [...]

A sanctuary or killing field

A sanctuary or killing field

The wildlife reserve at Hambantota is not offering much sanctuary to animals, with a number of species including deer falling prey to hunters in recent times. During the past four months Officers of the Hambantota District Wildlife Office arrested seven hunters within the reserve. According to wildlife officers poachers were using around 300 types of [...]

76 valid complaints received by PCCSL last year; 29 resolved through right of reply

76 valid complaints received by PCCSL last year; 29 resolved through right of reply

The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 116 complaints in 2017, of which 76 complaints were valid, falling within the purview of the PCCSL mechanism under the Editors’ Code of Professional Practice. Of the 76 valid complaints, 29 were resolved with the assistance of the PCCSL where the complainant was granted a ‘Right [...]

2017, a successful year for SLPI, says CEO

The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) held its 15th Annual General Meeting on September 12, at its office on Kirula Road, attended by representatives of its constituent partners – the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors Guild of Sri Lanka, the Free Media Movement, the Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association. Presenting the annual report [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Pix by M.A. Pushpa Kumara ,Amila Gamage, Shelton Hettiarachchi.

Heaven’s death traps

Heaven’s death traps

The sight of kites flying high in the skies being joy to the beholder but runaway kites are an increasing threat to local birds that become entangled in the strings. Art master Shantha K. Herath was conducting a class last week when he heard a loud, stressful cry from the top of a tall jak [...]

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