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War heroes hailed before storm in Geneva

War heroes hailed before storm in Geneva

A float carrying wounded war heroes was one of the highlights of the Independence Day parade held at Independence Square on February 4. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is seen watching the parade and it comes weeks before the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council holds its sessions where Sri Lanka and its war heroes are being [...]

India fumes as China gets northern power projects

India has lodged a strong protest with Sri Lanka on the award of a tender to a Chinese company to set up three renewable energy projects in outlying islands off the Jaffna peninsula. The protest, the Sunday Times learnt, came even before the Cabinet of Ministers decided not to give India and Japan the East [...]

EIA report shows huge resettlement cost of new light rail project

The overall cost of resettlement from building three lines under the Western Region Light Rail Transit Project (WRLRTP) is estimated at US$ 74.6mn or Rs 14.4 billion at the current exchange rate, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report released this week shows. However, this cost is only for private land and property-related land acquisitions, rehabilitation, [...]

Pakistan Premier here on Feb 22

Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan will arrive on February 22 on a two day visit to Sri Lanka. He will hold talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. Foreign Ministry sources said Pakistan was now lobbying Muslim countries in the UNHRC to vote against the resolution that is [...]

Gas turbines tender: Chinese company aggrieved by ministry decision

Yet another Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) tender–this time for the design, manufacture and supply of three 35 megawatt gas turbines–is in limbo, with the Power and Energy Ministry wanting the award cancelled even after the process was completed and a Chinese company selected. The decision has led China National Technical Imports and Exports Corporation (CNTIC) [...]

Commission recommends criminal charges against Maithri, Ranil and top officials

Former President Maithripala Sirisena, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the former Yahapalana Governmnent’s top politicians and officials are to face criminal charges in terms of recommendations made by the Presidential Commission that probed the Easter Sunday terror attacks in April 2019. Besides the former President and the former Premier, the commission has recommended that crimial [...]

Parliament asked to handover list of MPs’ Assets Declarations

The Right to Information Commission (RTIC) has directed the Secretary General of Parliament to release the names of MPs who have submitted Declarations of Assets and Liabilities during 2010-2018. This followed a journalist, Chamara Sampath filing a request for that information under the RTI law and the refusal by the Secretary General on the basis [...]

“I had no hesitation or fear in taking the vaccine”

“I had no hesitation or fear in taking the vaccine”

Health Minister’s condition improving The condition of Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi who is under treatment for COVID-19 is improving, said Consultant Physician Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama. When asked, he told the Sunday Times that Minister Wanniarachchi is being managed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the National Institute of Infectious Disease (NIID), Angoda. Senior Consultant [...]

Sent from pillar to post after losing a loved one to COVID-19

Sent from pillar to post after  losing a loved one to COVID-19

On January 12, Premadasa from Kadawatha died at the Ragama Teaching Hospital. The 75-year-old had succumbed to complications arising from COVID-19, his death certificate said. But he never figured on the Government’s public lists of those who had perished from the virus. This case highlights just some of the difficulties families and overworked authorities face [...]

Lanka leads save-mangroves global initiative; Britain steps in to prop up local campaign

Lanka leads save-mangroves global initiative; Britain steps in to prop up local campaign

If there is one area in environmental conservation Sri Lanka is showing global leadership in, it’s wetland conservation. For three years, the country has led the ‘Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods Action Group’ (MELAG) in an effort to create a blueprint for the world on how to protect and sustainably use this vital coastal vegetation. These [...]

New headmaster for S. Thomas’ Preparatory School

A Service of Institution and the installation ceremony of Rev. Father Nihal Fernando as the 6th Headmaster of S. Thomas’ Preparatory School in Kollupitiya, was held on Friday, February 5 at the school’s Chapel of the Good Shepherd.  

New identity in life after military

New uniforms have been introduced for retirees and veterans of the tri-services to recognise their status in life after military service. The uniforms can be worn at national and service-oriented events and also non-military functions. They were introduced on Independence Day at the Colombo Defence Services College auditorium, at a ceremony where General (retd) Kamal [...]

More AstraZeneca vaccines due in SL through COVAX

The first batch of vaccines from COVAX, around 1.7 million doses is expected in Sri Lanka towards the end of February, the Sunday Times understands. “Most probably it may be the AstraZeneca vaccine, as emergency use listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected next week,” sources said, adding that this vaccine was [...]

Kandy rates payments window extended

Residents of Kandy are being given at least a month more to pay their rates. The Kandy Municipal Council at a special general meeting on Friday, under the deputy mayor, Illhai Abdeen, unanimously decided to extend the payment period to 28 February, from 31 January. Surcharges will not be levied. Taxes would be on the [...]

Hotels limited to local tourists close to collapse

Hotels limited to local tourists close to collapse

Low local tourist numbers have put tourist hotels that opted to serve only local tourists in a dire state, with incomes barely sufficient to cover even maintenance costs, hoteliers said. These hotels, which did not opt to move into the category of Safe and Secure Certified Level 1 Hotels to welcome foreign tourists, can only [...]

Ravi K, Aloysius released on bail; Rohitha A’s case postponed

Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) Director  Arjun Aloysius were released on conditional bail on Friday by the Colombo High Court after being served indictments. After considering a request by lawyers for the two accused that their clients be granted bail, Colombo High Court Judge Aditya Patabendige released the accused on [...]

SLTB to deploy full fleet to avoid hindrance to public if strike goes ahead

The Private Bus Association has said their decision on whether to launch an indefinite bus strike, scheduled for tomorrow midnight, would depend on the outcome of today’s discussions with the Finance Ministry. Inter Provincial Private Bus Association’s Chairman Sarath Vijitha Kumara told the Sunday Times they have a meeting at 11 a.m. today with State [...]

Tamarind, goraka rapidly become pricey luxuries

Tamarind, goraka rapidly become pricey luxuries

The price of a kilo of tamarind has more than quadrupled in the past four weeks, due to an import ban. Last week, a kilogram of the leguminous pulp, cost up to Rs 1,700 compared with Rs 423 in the first week of January. Tamarind imports were banned in early March last year. The Agriculture [...]

They held their son’s hands as he breathed his last

They held their son’s hands as he breathed his last

Emptiness stares them in the face wherever they cast their eyes, engulfing their very being. They are back home in Ragama having bid goodbye to their beloved son, their only consolation that they were able to hold his hands as he breathed his last difficult breaths on Monday (February 1). Very popular among his seniors, [...]

Construction down the toilet as Govt. reverses imports move

Construction down the toilet as Govt. reverses imports move

Construction of condominium apartments and houses has come to virtual standstill with the government deciding to continue restrictions on imports of tiles and sanitary ware. An attempt by the Finance Ministry to provide relief this week was overturned on Wednesday when the Import and Export Control Department issued a directive suspending the ministry decision to [...]

High cut off marks deny scholarship students places at top Colombo schools

“Hundreds of students who passed last year’s grade five scholarship exam with high marks will not be able to enrol in several popular schools in Colombo as the cut off marks were unrealistically raised above 190 this time, several parents said. “The marks have been identified as the highest cut off marks released in recent [...]

MP allegedly backing squatters who could destroy national treasure

The gains of a long struggle against illegal cultivations and other activities inside Flood Plains National Park are decreasing, after squatters backed by a parliamentarian stormed the Lankapura and Onegama areas of the park, Flood Plain Valley Conservation People’s Movement Chairman the Ven. Nikapitiye Chandima Thera said. The monk said squatters backed by the parliamentarian [...]

70% of Lanka’s students have no access to online study

70% of Lanka’s students have no access to online study

For Denuka Weerakkody, a mother of three, online tuition classes and online school sessions due to pandemic closures have become a costly affair, despite sending her three children to government schools. From Rawatawatte, Moratuwa, her children, in grade 6, grade 9 and the eldest, an Ordinary Level exam candidate this year, all are at home [...]

Vegetable prices on the rise again

Vegetable prices on the rise again

Up country and low country vegetable prices have sky rocketed. Farmers’ purchasing prices for vegetables from Nuwara Eliya plots such as leeks have reached Rs80-100 a kilo, while carrots are at Rs150, beetroots are selling at Rs200, and salad leaves are Rs400-500 per kg. Potatoes are selling at Rs140 per kg. Even low country vegetables [...]

Pick of the Pix

Pix by Champa Wickremasinghe Taken on a Nikon D-90 Camera, Pix by Shelton Hettiarachchi, Pix by M A Pushpakumara, Pix by Hiran Priyankara, Pic by Jayarathna Wikramaarachchi and Pix by Priyanka Samaraweera FROM OUR READERS Shutterbugs out there, we would once again appreciate your contributions to this picture corner. Please send your captioned photograph along [...]

Parading in force

Parading in force

A toned-down, yet glorified independence celebration was held at Independence Square amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, with safety precautions in place. The event started off with the arrival of the dignitaries, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The opposition leader, former president, state officials and military personnel were present. The event commenced as the [...]

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