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Women and girls can travel safely now

Women and girls can travel safely now

To prevent sexual harassment of women and girls in public transport, six special trains were launched on Friday with compartments reserved for women and girls. This was one of the main events to mark International Women’s Day on Friday and the man who put the country on the right track was Transport Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. [...]

Chinese company gets multibillion contract to expand coal yard

China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), builder of the Lakvijaya coal power plant, has won a contract worth more than Rs 4.6 billion to expand its coal yard. The award further increases the footprint of Chinese companies handling multibillion rupee projects in Sri Lanka. CMEC already has a repertoire of businesses here, including the 400 megawatt [...]

Suspected extremists shoot at Hashim’s coordinating secretary

Suspected members of an extremist group shot and seriously wounded an official working for a cabinet minister in Mawanella yesterday, Police said. Mohamed Razak Taslim (37) was asleep when two persons arrived at his home at Dhanagama Mawatha before dawn yesterday. One of them pulled out a pistol and fired at him at point blank [...]

Alleged plot to kill President: CID says it has reliable information

There was “justifiable and reliable information” that Deputy Inspector General Nalaka Silva, now in custody, proposed to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has told the Attorney General and  a Magistrate’s Court. The claim is made in a report after the CID had recorded statements from 87 persons in an investigation that [...]

Traffic OIC, hit-and-run victim, dies

The Borella Police traffic division Officer-in-Charge, Sagara Sarathchandra, who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident at the Bambalapitiya junction two weeks ago, died last night at the National Hospital, police said. He was 51. The inspector had suffered severe head injuries and had been on a life support system. The passengers in the Defender [...]

Presidential poll: Sirisena still hopeful

Four years in office now, President Maithripala Sirisena still hopes he will be the joint candidate of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at the presidential election expected within the next seven months. This is notwithstanding growing uncertainty. Yet, signs that he would not back out and retain [...]

Joint venture with India for MRIA to fly high

The Cabinet this week gave the go-ahead to start formal negotiations with the Government of India (GoI) to reach final agreement for operation of Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), including rights to supply catering and ground handling services. A joint Cabinet memorandum  titled ‘Implementation of the Proposal Submitted by Airports Authority of India for the [...]

Aruwakkalu site: Biggest ever garbage landfill begins operations on Friday

Garbage collected from Colombo and other locations islandwide will be sent to the Aruwakkalu landfill in the Puttalam district, only in the second phase of the project, scheduled to start next month, the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry has decided. In the first phase, which begins on Friday, only garbage from the Puttalam district would [...]

Rathgama killings: Two transferred PCs absconding

Police are looking for two of the five constables, who were transferred to Colombo by the IGP, two weeks ago, following the deaths of two Rathgama businessmen The five policemen were formerly of the Southern Province Special Criminal Investigation Unit (SPSCIU). Two of them are yet to report for duty after their transfers. “The CID [...]

Motorist writes to IGP, alleging harassment

A motorist has requested the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to inquire into an incident where he was allegedly ill-treated by a police driver in front of the Police Hospital. The complainant, Thilan Senaratne, had stated that the incident occurred on Friday (8) morning while he was driving along the Nawala-Narahenpita Road from Nawala towards [...]

UN Rights Chief backs universal jurisdiction to prosecute Lankan war crimes suspects

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HR) encouraged Member States to prosecute Sri Lankans suspected of crimes against humanity, war crimes or other gross violations of HR, in accordance with universal jurisdiction principles. In her Report to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Michelle Bachelet Jeria, a former President of Chile, says this approach [...]

Worm-hit farmers to get compensation today

Farmers affected by the Fall Army (Sena) worm will be given compensation today under a programme being launched in the Ampara district. “Rs 250 million has been allocated to provide compensation” Agriculture Insurance Board Director General Panduka Weerasinghe said. Farmers were instructed by the Agriculture Department to burn down the affected plants at the first [...]

Mangala’s proposals seen through wary eyes

Mangala’s proposals seen through wary eyes

Budget 2019 was touted as people-friendly, with various relief packages and loans proposed, but the reaction from trade unionists and people have been far less enthusiastic. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, in his budget titled, “Enterprise Sri Lanka – Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor,” proposed lending a helping hand to people to help themselves. [...]

Pitfalls of a sanitary nature see uproar in House in largely uninterrupted Budget speech

Pitfalls of a sanitary nature see uproar in House in largely uninterrupted Budget speech

No tea please, say JVP after what they termed a budget that burdened the people In rare move, Chief Opposition Whip commends some proposals during debate   Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s second Budget, delayed by four months due to last year’s constitutional crisis, largely avoided being a full-on populist one, as expected in an election [...]

Wannabe movie ‘heroes’ bring terror to Jaffna with swordfights

Wannabe movie ‘heroes’ bring  terror to Jaffna with swordfights

Police intel and resources failing to curb new menace in north Lawless, jobless, dollar-fuelled mentality to blame Sword-wielding youth emulating the macho violence in their favourite South Indian films have brought fear to the streets of Kokuvil, 3km from Jaffna town, with internal gang wars and increasing criminal activity. This week alone, more than five [...]

More women- only train compartments in the future

The Railways Department hopes to introduce women- only compartments in all office trains in the future, following the positive response to the introduction of such compartments in some trains, on International Women’s Day, a senior Railways official said. Railways Department Superintendent (transport), Gamini Seneviratne said, currently seven such carriages have been introduced to Colombo bound [...]

Student hit by train in Galle dies of injuries

A 16 year- old student from a school in Galle was hit by a train on the Mahamodara bridge, while he was returning home last Sunday after tuition classes, a coroner’s court was told. The boy was Hewage Buddhi Sepala from Bataduwa in Galle. A friend of his who was with him at the time [...]

SriLankan and allied bodies go to Finance Ministry in subject shuffle

SriLankan Airlines and its subsidiaries which were under the purview of President Maithripala Sirisena have been temporarily transferred to the Finance Ministry with effect from March 7, according to a gazette notification. After the change of government on October 26 last year, the airline and its affiliated bodies were brought under the President’s purview. Until [...]

Commercial HC case floor raised to Rs. 20m

From Friday, the Commercial High Court will entertain cases only if the dispute is over Rs 20 million, the Government has decided. The previous floor was Rs. 5 million. The change comes following a directive from the Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Athukorale.

New judge for Court of Appeal

New judge for Court of Appeal

High Court Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne was sworn in as a Court of Appeal Judge by President Maithripala  Sirisena this week. A ceremonial sitting to welcome Justice Karunaratne will be held on Friday.  

Biodegradable polythene manufacturers say attempts to curb polythene use failing

Polythene manufacturers, last week, complained that the government’s drive to control the availability of banned lunch sheets and polythene bags has been a failure. The Manufacturers and Recyclers Association claimed that, despite its members abiding by the government rule and transitioning into the manufacturing of biodegradable lunch sheets, the availability of the banned lunch sheets [...]

Disabled women’s rights to the fore

Disabled women’s rights to the fore

It was the irony of ironies!   Friday, International Women’s Day, saw people from all over the country gathering for a crucial half-day session on the theme ‘Mainstreaming Women with Disabilities for a Dignified Life’ organised by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), under the dynamic leadership of Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama at the [...]

Norway fund drops oil and gas production investments, holds onto Lanka assets

Investments in oil and gas exploration and production companies will be sold off over time by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which ensures the well-being of Norwegians for generations to come. The fund has earned the world’s trust for its prudence and transparency and has a significant role in economic policy-making. Norway Finance Minister, Siv Jensen, [...]

Abolition of the Executive Presidency: Seize the moment

Abolition of the Executive Presidency: Seize the moment

Several news reports in the past few days have revealed that the three main political leaders in the country, President Maitripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa agree that the Executive Presidency (EP) should be abolished. The news reports are rather sketchy and do not reveal how the three leaders arrived [...]

Sea, air and ground assault to intercept narco traffickers

The Sri Lanka Navy is seeking to send a liaison officer to the Combined Maritime Forces initiative based in Bahrain to improve intelligence sharing on maritime crime in the Indian Ocean. Efforts had been made over several years and the navy received favourable feedback from the CMF after a visit last week by Navy Commander, [...]

Govt. corruption: Commission receives 610 complaints

The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) appointed by the President to investigate and inquire into serious acts of fraud, corruption and the abuse of power, State resources and privileges by the present government, had received 610 complaints as of Friday (8), against various State sector enterprises, ministries, and departments. A number of these complaints had been [...]

Run international schools on loose rein, experts advise

The government’s move to regulate international schools by bringing them under the wing of the Ministry of Education is being lauded by educationists but they caution against any temptation to control the private education system. Last week, the Ministry of Education said that it would seek cabinet approval to make registration of all international schools [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

    Pix by Amila Gamage, Sameera Weerasekera, Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk and Eshan Fernando

Hot weather to stay for a few more days

Hot weather to stay for a few more days

The arid and warm weather will remain for a few more days, the Meteorological Department said yesterday. This week, the Department issued warnings of scorching weather conditions due to the lack of wind movements across Sri Lanka. Duty Forecaster Janaka Kumara said the arid weather marked the end of the Northeastern monsoon. “There are no [...]

From hoodlums to workmen

From hoodlums to workmen

Under a recently introduced novel scheme by prisons authorities, inmates trained in vocational skills participate in a variety of development schemes. Prisoners are paid a stipend for the work they perform. Recently prisoners turned out furniture required for a transport hub project in Kottawa, making a saving of Rs. 12 million, said Acting Director of [...]

SriLankan doesn’t possess manual for foreign loans, other financial services

SriLankan Airlines (SriLankan) doesn’t possess a manual to obtain foreign loans and other financial services, in spite of the many loans and financial services it obtained from various sources, the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) probing allegations of large scale fraud and malpractices at SriLankan, SriLankan Catering (SL Catering) and Mihin Lanka (Mihin), was told this [...]

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