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Tourist camp amid Ambalantota’s rainbow hills

Tourist camp amid Ambalantota’s rainbow hills

Some 3,000 tourists are taking part in an Ambalantota tourist camp where there are a variety of special attractions, including traditional and pop songs. It is being promoted as a short-term tourism programme and about 70 countries are being represented at this annual event held for the seventh consecutive year. The venue also has a [...]

Rowdy MPs to be reported to AG; may face action in Supreme Court

Parliamentarians who have been identified for creating chaos within the Chamber, during two days of sittings last year, as the 52-day-long political turmoil unfolded, may face Supreme Court action. The Attorney General is to be called upon to examine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant the Supreme Court to go into their conduct and [...]

SriLankan’s operational safety audit registration not renewed by IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has not renewed SriLankan Airlines’ registration for 2018-2019 under its Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), prompting several foreign operators to suspend code-sharing with the beleaguered national carrier until it complies with IATA strictures. SriLankan Airlines was tight-lipped about what companies have suspended code-sharing with it until IOSA registration is restored. [...]

RDA seeks share of fuel revenue to maintain roads

The Road Development Authority (RDA) is to seek a share from the revenue gained by the sale of fuel for vehicles to boost its funds to maintain the road network in the country. A proposal to this effect will be submitted to the Cabinet by the Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development Ministry to [...]

Malaysian investors shedding shares in construction firm; new directors coming

MTD Walkers, a construction firm mired in losses, has two new directors, while a reconstitution of the entire board is expected within weeks, with its Malaysian investors shedding shares, industry sources said. Both incoming directors are linked with Supreme Global Holdings, which is chaired by R M Manivannan. He is also the head of SupremSAT [...]

Trailblazing study on families of missing people

The first-ever study, not just in Sri Lanka but in the world, on the psychological impact on families of missing persons has been conducted by two local psychiatrists. Family members of missing individuals unsure whether their loved ones are alive or dead are at a higher risk of psychological illness, the evidence-based landmark study carried [...]

BASL to discuss Chinese limited liability law firm here

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called a special Executive Committee meeting this week to discuss the recent incorporation of a Chinese law firm as a limited liability company in Sri Lanka. The BASL is also consulting senior lawyers on a way forward, with legal experts insisting that the development is against Supreme [...]

Govt. hopes tax relief will swell remittances by US$ 2 billion

With a new scheme to exempt from income tax foreign earnings remitted to the country through banks, the Government hopes to raise an additional US$ two billion, a Finance Ministry official said. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said foreign remittances sent through banks will be granted tax relief. The concession is applicable to remittances sent [...]

Argument leads to fatal stabbing of Lankan in Maldives

A Sri Lankan national has been stabbed to death at a tourist resort in the Maldives. The incident took place on the Ellaidhoo island when an argument erupted between two Sri Lankans at a construction site of a Sri Lankan company resort. One of them was armed with a knife and had used it against [...]

Fresh bid to draw private jet operators to Ratmalana

Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd will refloat a request for proposals from international bidders to set up a private jet operation in Ratmalana. The tender was first advertised at the end of last year but attracted multiple calls for an extension of the closing date, said Aruna Rajapaksa, Airport Manager-Ratmalana. The Sri Lanka [...]

Police investigate deaths of two foreign nationals

The deaths of two foreign tourists were reported this week. On January 11, a British national died in Mirissa and an Indian national died the following day in Hambantota. In the first incident, a 52-year-old British national identified as Michelle Wienburg had died on admission to the Matara Hospital after she collapsed at a beach [...]

Dr. Anula Wijesundere inducted as SLMA president

Dr. Anula Wijesundere inducted as SLMA president

Well-known Consultant Physician Dr. Anula Wijesundere was inducted as the 122nd President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), at a ceremony attended by a large and distinguished gathering at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo 7, last evening. The Chief Guest was Post Graduate Institute of Medicine Director Prof. Janaka de Silva. With her [...]

State enterprises appointments: UNF seeks review of committee process

The United National Front has insisted that in appointing persons to top slots in state-run institutions, professional experience and sound knowledge on the subject should be taken into consideration in addition to educational qualifications. Stressing that Cabinet ministers were also empowered to make such appointments, Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardana said if there were any [...]

Weerawansa ordered to pay Rs. 10 m to JVP Gen. Sec.

National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa was ordered by the Commercial High Court to pay Rs. 10 million as compensation to the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna General Secretary for using without permission JVP material in his book. Commercial HC judge Ruwan Fernando ruled that Mr. Weerawansa had violated the provisions of the Intellectual Property Act. In [...]

New governor, new fact-finding committee on Kilinochchi floods

A new fact-finding committee has been appointed to probe the recent destructive floods in the Kilinochchi district. The three-member committee was appointed by the new Northern Province Governor Dr Suren Raghavan soon after he took office. The committee will be headed by engineer S. Ragunathan. The committee has been instructed to conclude its probe and [...]

SLAF revives maritime squadron

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) this week revived its maritime squadron which was disbanded 25 years ago due to fleet depletion. The No3 Squadron was stood up originally in 1971 at SLAF China Bay and equipped with De Havilland Doves. It was tasked with dawn-to-dusk patrols of the eastern coast, from Point Pedro to [...]

Kandy fire turns focus on Colombo

The dramatic rescue of a woman and three children from a burning building in Kandy highlighted several glaring shortcomings regarding fire safety. Main among them was the difficulty the Kandy Fire Brigade’s vehicles had in reaching the site. The situation is just as bad, if not worse, in Colombo. Senior officials at the Colombo Fire [...]

There were successes and failures in his four years in office, says President

President Maithripala Sirisena marked four years in office on Tuesday (8) with a public admission that while many successes were achieved during the past four years, it was also marked by some failures. Speaking at the ceremony to vest the new Laggala ‘Green Town’ with the public, President Sirisena however, stated he was committed to [...]

Customs to expand radiological surveillance capabilities at BIA

Customs to expand radiological surveillance capabilities at BIA

Sri Lanka Customs is planing to expand its radiological surveillance capabilities to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). Currently, Customs operates a networked radiological alarms system and specialised investigative team at the Colombo port. Late last year seven consignments of cargo inbound to Sri Lanka were ordered to be shipped back to their place of origin [...]

Oh deer, python in big trouble

Oh deer, python in big trouble

Wildlife officers from the Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Galkiriyagama office rescued a 15-foot python which was in distress after having swallowed a deer. The python had swallowed the deer near a watering hole in the Parawagama area, but had been unable to move and in distress afterwards. One of the deer’s hoofs too had burst [...]

Allianz picked over local to offer ‘cheaper’ school insurance

Cabinet last week approved Rs.1.8 billion for the Ministry of Education to engage private insurer Allianz to provide health insurance for 4.3 million schoolchildren. The ministry said it would sign an agreement with Allianz Insurance at a cost of Rs.1.6 million plus VAT to renew the Suraksha health insurance scheme that lapsed last October. The [...]

Court of Appeal dismisses petition to check President’s mental status

The Court of Appeal has rejected a petition calling for an investigation into the mental status of President Maithripala Sirisena and dismissed the application as“baseless” while pointing out that the case was filed with an intention to insult the President. Upholding the objection raised by Senior Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunathilaka, the court on Monday [...]

Pararajasingham murder case: HC rules main suspects’ confessions voluntary and admissible

Batticaloa High Court Judge M.Y.M. Irshadeen has ruled that the two main accused charged with the murder of former TULF Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasinham had made their confessions voluntarily. The judge granted permission to the prosecution to produce the confessions Rengasamy Kanaganayagam alias Kajanmama and Edward Silva Krishnakandarajah alias Pradeep Master made before Batticaloa Magistrate N.M.M. [...]

Dengue risk high on building sites

Construction sites are a high-risk breeding ground for mosquitoes, with dangers coming from rapid postwar development in the east and north and intense building in the capital, Colombo, health officials said. The National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) repeated warnings that schools and religious worship places are also major mosquito breeding sites. NDCU Consultant Community Physician [...]

Building industry booming, but not so workers’ safety

Building industry booming, but not so workers’ safety

Outdated legislation, shortage of qualified inspection officers and a lethargic attitude towards occupational health and safety are among the major obstacles in averting accidents at construction sites. Safety issues in the construction sector have come in for particular focus as it is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and also employs a [...]

CRD introduces locally manufactured ballistic panels

CRD introduces locally manufactured ballistic panels

Sri Lankan researchers last week introduced locally developed ballistic panels to address a vital training requirement of the armed forces. The ballistic panels, designed to reduce the penetration and ricochet effects of bullets fired at close range are to be used to line the military’s indoor shooting ranges. “The Sri Lankan armed forces require significant [...]

With prolonged grief, the families of the missing cry out for help

With prolonged grief,  the families of the  missing cry out for help

Limbo – this is the tragic state in which many family members of the missing are living, with no hopes and aspirations for the future, only despair and heart-rending sadness. For the first time in Sri Lanka and the world, two Psychiatrists have taken the time off their busy schedules to sit down and talk [...]

SriLankan paid US$1.1 m to Lufthansa company through inaccurate invoices: Witnesses

SriLankan paid US$1.1 m to Lufthansa company through inaccurate invoices: Witnesses

For services obtained from 2014 to 2016, the national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines (SLA) paid US$ 1.1 million to a German-based aeronautical maintenance company through some 15 invoices found to be inaccurate and rejected by the company later, it was revealed this week. The questionable invoices from the German company Lufthansa Technik (LHT) were not [...]

Forest fires double but dept. forced to leave areas unguarded

Forest fires double but dept. forced  to leave areas unguarded

Forest fires more than doubled last year, stretching the Forest Department’s resources as it can only place “fire lines” around selected forests, lacking the ability to protect them all. At least 156 forest fires were reported islandwide last year, with 80 of them in the Badulla district, the department said. In 2017, there were 70 [...]

Burning question for Kandy: Can city officials learn from fire?

Burning question for Kandy:  Can city officials learn from fire?

Kandy firefighters cannot easily rush to the scene of a blaze in the overcrowded city because their trucks are blocked by heavy traffic, illegally-erected shops and parked vehicles, authorities revealed in the wake of a horrifying fire in which a man was forced to throw his children out of a third-floor window to the ground [...]

Firebreaks created at Pidurutalagala forest reserve

Firebreaks created at Pidurutalagala forest reserve

Employees of government institutions and the security forces working in collaboration with 200 villagers residing near the Pidurutalagala Reserve removed strips of forest cover to create fire breaks. The initiative carried out on Friday was a preventive measure as temperatures are expected to soar during the months of January to April which often cause forest [...]

Nuwara Eliya on alert for ‘sena caterpillar’

Nuwara Eliya on alert for ‘sena caterpillar’

The agriculture division of the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat, along with support from other state agencies, has launched a programme to prevent the spread of the invasive ‘Sena’ caterpillar in the Nuwara Eliya district. As part of the programme, Public Health Inspectors from the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council yesterday visited the Nuwara Eliya weekly market [...]

Tracing NYSC’s fifty-year ambitious journey in empowering Lanka’s youth

Tracing NYSC’s fifty-year ambitious journey in empowering Lanka’s youth

The National Youth Services Council (NYSC), the premier government body established for youth development in Sri Lanka, celebrated 50 years in 2018. However, it appears that, purely from the lack of any anniversary activity, the NYSC itself has forgotten that it has completed 50 years. We at times feel that, the activists do not know [...]

Law’s delays affect the poor and the marginalised the most

Law’s delays affect the poor and the marginalised the most

Last week, civil society commemorated ten years since the brutal murder of Lasantha Wickremetunge. There is little doubt his death was due to his work in the media field and his forays into investigative journalism, which exposed the misdeeds of those in positions of authority. Lasantha’s death was originally attributed to gunshot injuries. A subsequent [...]

Vets on alert over sleeping sickness parasite

Professor Ashoka Dangolla of the University of Peradeniya has put all veterinarians on the alert following discovery of an often-fatal African disease found in two local dogs that can be transmitted to humans. Professor Dangolla said he detected trypanosoma in two purebred German shepherd (Alsation) dogs brought to the Veterinary Hospital at Peradeniya from Balangoda [...]

Sea turtles facing extinction

Sea turtles facing extinction

Sea turtles live for over a 100 years. Yet, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) seven species of marine turtle are included on its list as vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species. With many people continuing to consume turtle flesh and eggs, the species is being driven into extinction. The turtle [...]

On the trail of the elusive ‘hunters’ of the sambar plains

On the trail of the elusive ‘hunters’ of the sambar plains

They came, they peered at it with large beautiful eyes and fortunately for them curiosity did not kill the cats – the nosy parkers were an adult and two cubs. What they were inquisitive about was a camera trap, nothing to do with them but set up as a training exercise which later evolved into [...]

Over 650 cadets, airmen and airwomen pass out from SLAF Academy China Bay

Over 650 cadets, airmen and airwomen pass out from SLAF Academy China Bay

Over 650 Air Force cadets, airmen and airwomen passed out from the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Academy China Bay while six pilot officers received their flying brevets on Friday. Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando was the Chief Guest at the event. The passing out parade was commanded by Roshan Gunawardena, Commanding Officer at the SLAF [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Pix by Sameera Weerasekera,Ishanka Sunimal, Amila Gamage, Priyanka Samaraweera, Shelton Hettiarachchi, Sirangika Lokukarawita

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