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Bandaranaike Day: What’s happening to the party he founded?

Bandaranaike Day: What’s happening to the party he founded?

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga – clearly agitated at what is happening in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party which her father founded – seen in an outburst at the party’s General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera who is now a minister of state in the Rajapaksa-led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Government. This was the scene at the [...]

Moves to import 100,000MT of rice

Some 100,000 metric tonnes of rice are to be imported because private millers are hoarding paddy stocks without milling them into rice and releasing it to the market, the Cabinet has decided. Trade Ministry Secretary Badrani Jayawardena said cabinet approval had been sought and obtained as a standby arrangement and would be implemented by calling [...]

Round wire gadgets to check coconut sizes and enforce control prices

Consumer Affairs Authority officials armed with improvised measuring gadgets will be deployed to check on the sizes of coconuts to implement the latest gazette notification on price control, a senior official said. Consumer Affairs Authority Chairman and retired Major General D.M.S. Dissanayake told the Sunday Times that district offices had been adviced to measure the [...]

Matara hotel owner slams officials over COVID scare

The Matara hotel owner, who lodged a COVID-suspect Russian airline crew member and 14 others, has accused the authorities of trying to make them the scapegoat for failure in health procedures at the Mattala airport (MRIA) as buck-passing continued amidst an official inquiry. Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said an antibody test done on the [...]

Ministry wants 40 students in a classroom

The Education Ministry wants to increase the maximum number of students in each class room to 40 in national schools in view of the increased demand for admissions, a senior official said. According to a Supreme Court ruling, at present, the maximum number of students in a classroom has been fixed at 35. However, Ministry [...]

Lanka avoids any13A commitment at Rajapaksa-Modi summit

Sri Lanka avoided any commitment over an Indian call for the implementation of the 13th Amendment during a virtual summit between the leaders of the two countries yesterday. Indian Premier Narendra Modi called on the Sri Lankan Government to address the “aspirations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and respect within a united [...]

Correcting flaws, traffic lane system chugs along

Traffic authorities this week changed their initial lane rules after learning through bitter experience that shoving trishaws and motorcycles also onto the bus-priority lanes gridlocked Colombo city. Active since Monday, the new lane law now stipulates that buses, school vans and staff services travel on the left lane. Trishaws and motorcycles in the other lanes. [...]

Indian fuel ship’s 17 crew members infected with COVID-19

Indian fuel ship’s 17 crew members infected with COVID-19

Seventeen crew members of a fuel tanker anchored in Trincomalee tested positive for COVID-19, a Health official said. Regional Health Services Epidemiologist Dr. T. Thilojan said PCR tests were carried out on the entire crew after one person showed symptoms similar to COVID-19. The ship carrying 4,000MT of fuel from India for Lankan IOC first [...]

Five Commonwealth organisations concerned over impact of 20A on independence of judiciary

Five Commonwealth organisations collectively expressed ‘deep concerns’ about the impact the 20th Amendment Bill would have on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, if adopted. “Of particular concern are the amendments proposed relating to the Judiciary and to the Judicial Services Commission.” Issuing a joint statement this week, the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association [...]

Lanka demands USD 20m guarantee from fire-hit supertanker’s owners

The Attorney General (AG) last evening forwarded a letter to the owners of ill-fated oil tanker MT New Diamond informing them to deposit USD 20 million in Sri Lanka as a guarantee until proceedings into a civil claim in relation to the case are initiated. AG Dappula de Livera PC forwarded the letter regarding the [...]

Dayasiri insists batik import ban should continue

Batik, Handloom and Local Apparel Products State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara has insisted on the continuation of a ban on the import of batik, handloom and powerloom textiles. He alleges the ban was lifted by certain officials without his knowledge. Minister Jayasekara stated that the ban, which had been imposed in June, had been lifted by [...]

Thajudeen murder: Case against ex-JMO concluded

While the Colombo High Court concluded the case against former Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Ananda Samarasekara for concealing evidence related to the murder of national rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, the case against another accused continues. On Friday, High Court Judge Manjula Thilakaratne asserted that Prof. Samarasekera had passed away and closed further proceedings [...]

MIF says no change in its Fitch rating over the years

With regard to the Sunday Times September 20 article titled ‘CIFL crisis exposes weaknesses in Central Bank’s regulatory systems’, Mercantile Investments and Finance PLC (MIF), which was mentioned in the article, points out that it had no connection with the subject matter of the article. Of the finance companies regulated by the Central Bank of [...]

Lankan origin man kills London police officer: Reports

The suspect who shot and killed a British Police Officer at a custody centre in South London on Friday (25) is a British citizen of Sri Lankan origin, British media reported last evening. The 23-year-old suspect, is alleged to have pulled a gun and shot the officer while being checked into the Croydon Detention Centre [...]

Customs officers at all levels involved in big time rackets, police probe reveals

A spate of recent arrests of Customs officers is tied to a broader criminal investigation targeting the Customs Department which police claim has “turned into a den of corruption” over the years, authoritative sources said. B reports have been filed in courts in relation to seven Customs officers who are suspected to have earned billions [...]

BASL says 20A’s presidential immunity clause an affront to Rule of Law

No person should be above the law and to grant absolute immunity to the President as proposed under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution runs contrary to all known principles of the Rule of Law, the Committee appointed by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) to study the 20th Amendment has observed in its [...]

RTI Commission marks World RTI Day on optimistic note

This shows that the Right to Information is vital to the democratic system and that enforcing the transparency of state and non-state actors directly impact in reducing corruption, the statement noted. Citizens have become part of the governance process and themselves proactively monitor the management of affairs of state, the Commission has said. It has [...]

Young family lost because authorities didn’t care enough

Young family lost because authorities didn’t care enough

Lack of finance for geosurface analysis, political interference at local authority level, failure by the State to obtain professional assistance and the absence of continuous reviews of buildings is putting lives in the central hills in danger, experts warn. The tragedy this week at Sangamitta Mawatha in Buwelikada, Kandy that took the lives of a [...]

FinCEN files: Lanka lumped with high risk nations

FinCEN files: Lanka lumped with  high risk nations

Several international banks have flagged Sri Lanka as a high risk jurisdiction in relation to money laundering, according to leaked documents analysed by hundreds of journalists worldwide. By virtue of being lumped alongside other high risk countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Cyprus, scores of legitimate financial transactions by Sri Lankan [...]

Call for more Geriatric Units for the holistic care of the elderly

Call for more Geriatric Units for the holistic care of the elderly

Let’s set up more Geriatric Units in state hospitals to give holistic treatment and care, tailor-made for each and every elderly person in a multidisciplinary setting, in keeping with the Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE) concept of the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the strong plea from a powerful and far-sighted group who [...]

Deadly little upward curl in dengue cases detected

Deadly little upward curl  in dengue  cases detected

The Health Ministry has raised concerns over a spike in the number of suspected dengue patients with the onset of monsoon rains. The National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) said the curve in dengue case numbers, which had flattened during past months during the COVID-19 threat, is beginning to edge up again. To date this year, [...]

Big step for SL’s health sector and children in dire need of Bone Marrow Transplant

Big step for SL’s health sector and children in dire need of Bone Marrow Transplant

A first in Sri Lanka’s state health service – providing hope for the country’s children. Nestling within the premier Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) for Children in Colombo, a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Unit, a dire need of the country, is to be opened on Thursday (October 1) by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The finishing touches [...]

A “mistake” that could have set off a COVID-19 time-bomb in country

A “mistake” that could have set off a COVID-19 time-bomb in country

Was there a system failure in Sri Lanka’s meticulous plans to contain the COVID-19 virus from leaking into the community through those arriving from abroad? In a near-miss which could have set off a COVID-19 time-bomb, the vital questions being raised are:    How did 15 Russian crew members of a cargo plane walk out [...]

People letting down their guard in public areas

Sri Lankans have got lax and are letting down their guard – a clear indication being the number of people in public areas without face-masks. An observational tour of Town Hall, Havelock Town, Kirulapone, Nugegoda and Kotahena found that many people including those going about their work, trishaw drivers, road-sweepers, parents gathered outside schools, groups [...]

Policing evolving to involve more in neighbourhoods

Policing evolving to involve more in neighbourhoods

Community policing evolved into another form in Sri Lanka when the police introduced vigilance groups at the end of last year as a trial. Under this mechanism, police are tasked with liaising with the people and they are given bicycles for their work. In the Divisional Secretary areas of Negombo, Katana, and Divulapitiya covering 31 [...]

Part of Jaffna’s heritage in stone disappearing

Part of Jaffna’s  heritage in stone  disappearing

In the north, monumental stones built centuries ago, for the common good are in danger of disappearing. No effort is made to protect them, and the young are not being taught their cultural value. In the past when there was no modern transport, men carried loads on their back and shoulder-high chumai-thaangi (load carrier) stones [...]

Pavements have become parking spots

Pavements have become parking spots

Despite no parking signboards put up by SP Traffic Police in busy Colombo streets, vehicles such as motor bicycles, three wheelers and cars are seen parked even on pavements. Our photographs show vehicles parked recklessly along First Cross Street and Maliban Street in Colombo 11, Kynsey Road in Colombo 8 and in Colombo Fort, in [...]

Initial interest positive in local pharma ventures

Some domestic business people are showing interest in the government’s plan to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in pharmaceutical drugs in the next three years. State minister for pharmaceutical drugs, Dr. Channa Jayasumana, said 20 local manufacturers have shown interest and some have already started production. Products include gloves, masks, and saline widely used in the [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix

Corruption a blind spot for graft watchdog, tackling minions

Until August this year, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) was able to file bribery charges against 48 people, but not a single corruption case, a progress report by the commission revealed. The report covers January 1 to August 31. Only five cases have been filed in Magistrates’ Courts in which [...]

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