Home » News

Back to the bad days of not long ago

Back to the bad days of not long ago

After last Sunday’s terror attacks, the tough security measures being adopted by public and private institutions rekindle memories of the difficult days the people underwent during the 30-year separatist war. Sri Lanka Railway security officers are seen here checking the bags of travellers before they board trains. Pic by M.A. Pushpakumara

The Day After: ‘Nearer My God, to Thee’

With an open Bible on the Altar, priests, nuns and parishioners are seen at the Katuwapitiya St. Sebastian’s Church where about 100 people were killed in the Easter Sunday massacre by a suicide bomber. Pic by Amila Gamage

Pro-ISIS terror groups to be banned soon

The Government will introduce tough new measures to curb activities of pro ISIS terror groups in Sri Lanka after last Sunday’s Easter massacre. Last night, the President’s Office announced that the Government had taken measures to proscribe the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) and the Jamiathul Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) and declare them terrorist organisations. Accordingly, the [...]

15 killed in explosion at terrorist safehouse

Additional troops were called in yesterday to support on going search operations and provide security after 15 people were killed in Sainthamaruthu when inmates of a house triggered off three explosions as STF and Army personnel tried to search the house, a senior military officer said. Last night, the search operation continued at a tsunami [...]

Hi-tech facial recognition system at BIA

The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is to be equipped with a Facial Recognition System (FRS) as part of the heightened security measures in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday massacres by ISIS-linked terror groups. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has informed the Defence Ministry of an offer to donate an advanced [...]

Ravi proposes power supplies from Turkish ships

The Cabinet is expected to discuss next week a proposal by Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake to award a Turkish company a tender to provide electricity from two power-ships to be anchored in the Galle harbour and at Kerawalapitiya. Minister Karunanayake’s proposal is backed by Turkish Ambassador Tunca Özçuhadar. Mr. Karunanayake has informed his [...]

More than100 Govt., Opposition MPs seek additional security

More than 100 Government and Opposition MPs have sought additional security, on the grounds that they are facing a security threat, a senior Police officer said. A few of them have also requested that security be provided to their immediate family members as well. He said some of the requests have already been approved and, [...]

Countries support Lanka; issue travel warnings

Several countries have expressed solidarity with Sri Lanka and offered support in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks — but some of these countries have also issued strict travel advisories, warning their citizens against travelling to Sri Lanka. The United States’ State Department has urged the departure of all school-age family members of [...]

Strict security measures at BIA cause hardship and chaos

Strict security measures at BIA cause hardship and chaos

Security at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) has been stepped up for passengers departing the country The security plans that were visible at the entrance to the airport was the first checkpoint where vehicles were checked before entering the ‘Departure’ terminal. At the checkpoint Air Force personnel with sniffer dogs, inspected baggage and vehicles. After [...]

Unity in diversity for Nation’s security- PSC

A Parliament Select Committee (PSC) for National & Religious Harmony urged all political leaders, including the President, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, to cooperate with one another, regardless of political, religious or party differences, to ensure the security of the motherland and all of its citizens, to live without fear or [...]

Hindu Council condemns brutal Easter Sunday attacks

The Hindu Council of Sri Lanka (HCSL) condemned the brutal Easter Sunday attacks, in a statement issued on Monday (22). The statement issued by HCSL President K. Ganaesgaram and Immediate Past President Ms Shivanandani Duraisami condemned the act while expressing their shock. The HCSL was founded 35 years ago as an umbrella organization consisting of [...]

No Sunday Mass today in Churches islandwide

In view of the current security situation in the country, Churches have decided not to conduct Sunday Services today. They said they are reviewing the situation until normalcy returns. The Catholic Archdiocese of Colombo said that, after consultation with the Vatican, all Catholic Churches have been informed to refrain from conducting Holy Mass today. However, [...]

Muslim Media Forum decries terror attacks

The Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum has condemned the suicide attacks targeting three Catholic churches and star hotels on Easter Sunday “The SLMMF expresses its deepest condolences and sympathy for the families of the brotherly Catholic community who have lost their near and dear ones in these brutal and horrific attacks that had caused damage [...]

Britain’s Govt, Opposition politicians convey their condolences

Leading British politicians from the Government and Opposition conveyed their condolences, when they visited the Sri Lanka High Commission in London, to express their sympathies over the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks that killed several Britons, hundreds of Sri Lankans and other foreigners. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Mark Field MP, Minister of State for Asia [...]

Zahran’s driver arrested; police hope to unravel terror network

Pro-ISIS ring leader and suicide bomber Zahran Cassim’s driver was among those arrested in countrywide security operations launched after Easter Sunday’s terror attacks, police said. Fifty-three-year-old Muhammad Sharif Adam Lebbe alias Gaffur, said to be the driver of Zahran, was arrested by Kattankudy Police and later handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department. Police say [...]

CB announces interest rate cut after blasts

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) on Saturday announced a 2 per cent cut in interest rates to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a move widely seen to propel business activities in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings. Listing out a series of measures, the CB said that while these would reduce [...]

Health Services chief clarifies discrepancy regarding death toll figures

Health Services Director General Dr Anil Jaasinghe has said the identification of those killed in the Easter Sunday explosions were made difficult due to the fact that some of the bodies were badly damaged. He explained that damage to bodies of those killed in the explosions at the churches was less than those who died [...]

Security measures to come in to operation at public places

In view of the current security situation in the country churches, schools, service providers and hospitals have taken steps to strengthen security. Archdiocese spokesman Rev. Fr. Edmund said that they have advised churches against holding big masses even for weddings. In the meantime, he said, the Western Provincial Council has offered to provide security to [...]

Massive US grant to develop Colombo’s road network

The United States government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has approved a US$ 480 million grant to Sri Lanka at its board meeting on Thursday in Washington D.C., subject to Congressional notification, the Finance Ministry has announced. On Friday, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the grant would be used for the development of the metropolitan road [...]

Three men in custody over last year’s killing of 2 policemen in Vavunathivu, says CID

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has established the identities of the culprits who murdered two policemen on duty at an isolated police post in Vavunathivu in November last year. The killing of two police constables in the village of Vavunativu, near Batticaloa, had been a mystery and created a bogey of the resurgence of the [...]

Massive response for blood: National Blood Centre cancels scheduled mobile campaigns

Massive response for blood: National Blood Centre cancels scheduled mobile campaigns

The National Blood Centre has said that in view of the overwhelming response to donate blood following the Easter Sunday carnage, scheduled mobile campaigns to collect blood in the country have been cancelled. Medical Officer in charge of the blood bank at the National Hospital, Dr. Senal Rupasinghe said around 4500 people had thronged the [...]

Easter Sunday horror: How NHSL and Negombo Hospital worked with clinical precision

Easter Sunday horror: How NHSL and Negombo Hospital worked with clinical precision

Two major hospitals worked with clinical precision, at very short notice, in the wake of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that shook the country. The call to the National Hospital Sri Lanka (NHSL) came just after 8.45 a.m. on April 21, about the Kochchikade Church and three five-star hotel blasts and into action they went, [...]

Government allowed the murder of innocents, says distraught man who lost wife and daughter

A Sri Lankan-born Buddhist man’s hopes and dreams were blown away in an instant last Sunday when he lost his loved ones in Katuwapitiya. Sudesh Kolonne’s family, with dual citizenship in Australia, had returned to Sri Lanka in 2014 with the hope of making a small contribution to the homeland with the knowledge and skills [...]

Shantha Mayadunne: Remembering a beloved TV chef and magnanimous person

It was an Easter breakfast rent tragically asunder for the Mayadunne family, claiming the lives of celebrity TV chef Shantha Mayadunne and her eldest daughter Nisanga. The family had gathered at Shangri-La Colombo- Shantha, husband Kumar, Nisanga and her husband- as well as younger daughter Tharanga and her husband who were here on holiday from [...]

Lankans visiting after a decade leave children behind

Lankans visiting after a decade leave children behind

Karthikesu, 61, and Gowri Vigneshwaranathan, 55, are two Sri Lankan Swiss nationals who lost their lives to a suicide killer at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo last Sunday.  The couple were staying in the hotel with their two sons from April 10 and were visiting after 15 years to see relatives and for some sightseeing. That [...]

Entire families torn asunder, others left severely wounded

Entire families torn asunder, others left severely wounded

Suicide attackers who blew themselves up in Catholic churches and hotels destroyed whole families, left some helpless without their loved ones, and severely wounded others. Among those families who suffered was Sampath Wishwakeerthi Wickremerathne, 45, and his two teenage daughters Nethmi Kanchana Manjari Wickremarathne 16, Vishmi Kaveesha Wickremerathne, 14, who were killed by suicide killers. [...]

The dregs of society pounce on the grieving

Amid the overwhelming grief and the carnage on Easter Sunday, some disgraceful thieves relieved the dead of their personal possessions. While health ministry authorities and hospital administrators ignored the safe keeping of personal belongings, degenerates of society went to work, ripping off money and possessions of entire families. In Katana in Negambo the belongings of [...]

Zion Church bomber’s initial target was St. Mary’s Cathedral

Zion Church bomber’s initial target was St. Mary’s Cathedral

The suicide bomber who attacked the Zion Church in Batticaloa had originally targeted St. Mary’s Cathedral located nearby, Batticaloa Diocese Bishop Ret.Rev. Dr Ponnaiah Joseph told the Sunday Times. Ret.Rev. Dr Joseph said the bomber had first been dropped off by someone in a car at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Batticaloa on that fateful Sunday. [...]

Easter Sunday

Newly-married pair leaves unfinished nest

  A newly-wedded young couple, who had been erecting a house for themselves to build up a new life, never lived to turn it into a home. Their brief journey in life as man and wife ended at St Sebastian Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo . The couple, Lahiru Prasanga, 34, and Diliini Sajeewanai, 34, [...]

The week that was in pictures

    Pix by Amila Gamage, M.A. Pushpa Kumara, Priyantha Wickramaarachchi, Ishanka Sunimal and Priyanka Samaraweera  

Easter Sunday Mayhem- Sanity must prevail in the midst of insanity

Easter Sunday Mayhem- Sanity must prevail in the midst of insanity

The dastardly attacks on worshippers at Catholic Churches and Hotels where civilians gathered, has been universally condemned by all sections of Sri Lankan Society, as well as the international community. That human beings could inflict such carnage on fellow human beings defies belief. Sri Lanka and its people have been jolted out of the peaceful [...]

Lightning, thunder and a blast: On the trail of terror leader

Lightning, thunder and a blast: On the trail of terror leader

April 17: A man walks into the Kattankudy police station to complain that something unusual had happened on his land at Palamunai.  Police visit the scene and discover a Scooty motorcycle has been blasted using explosives. It had been blasted the previous day, April 16. April 18: A young Kattankudy woman visits her old parents [...]

Katuwapitiya mourners hit out at politicians of all hues

Katuwapitiya mourners hit out at politicians of all hues

There was simmering anger clearly directed at politicians by many of the mourners of Katuwapitiya who lost loved ones in the bomb-blast of Easter Sunday, April 21. All of them (politicians) knew but they did nothing, most of them said, blaming the authorities for the village descending into an abyss of tragedy, sorrow and despair, [...]

Did Jameel’s triggering mechanism fail or did he get cold feet?

Did Jameel’s triggering mechanism fail or did he get cold feet?

Footage of Abdul Jameel Mohamed, the suspected bomber who detonated a bomb in a small guest house close to the Dehiwala Zoo on Easter Sunday morning points to his primary target being the Taj Hotel. Police sources said that, detectives suspect Jameel’s triggering mechanism failed to function at his primary target – Taj Hotel. Like [...]

Pick of the Pix

From our readers Shutterbugs out there, here’s your chance to send in your contributions to this picture corner. Please send your captioned photograph along with your name to We would also appreciate if you mentioned the camera or cellphone that was used.   Pix by Priyanka Samaraweera Augustin Fonseka Sarath Siriwardane Karu Gamage Sirangika [...]

Advertising Rates

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