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Explosive disclosure on power plant deal

Explosive disclosure on power plant deal

Amid the growing controversy over the sale of Yugadanavi Power Plant’s shares to a US company, National People Power leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake set off a bombshell in parliament on Friday when he presented a ‘true copy’ of the agreement which he said was signed not with the New Fortress Energy but with a company [...]

UDA seals deals worth US$ 1b.

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) has sealed two deals with foreign investors to lease out state lands in Colombo and netted nearly US$ one billion with more talks underway to lease more lands, a top official said. Urban Development State Ministry Secretary Sirinimal Perera told the Sunday Times that a leading Indian private hospital had [...]

SLFP moves to revive UPFA, PA amid growing rift with ruling alliance

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is working towards reactivating the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the People’s Alliance (PA) with the aim of forming a broad front as it increasingly tries to distance itself from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), a senior party member said. SLFP Vice Chairman Rohana Luxman Piyadasa [...]

Dollar crisis sends imported food prices soaring for festive season

Imported essential food prices have soared due to delays in supplies reaching the markets, with more than 1000 containers held up at the Colombo Port for lack of dollars for clearance. This is despite claims by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal this week that sufficient US dollars had been released for clearance of imported [...]

Move to lift liqour ban on Xmas day

The Tourism Ministry has requested the Finance Ministry to grant approval for Tourist Board-approved restaurants with liquor licences to serve liquor on Christmas day. A Tourism Ministry official said that under the plans to promote tourism they had sought permission to serve liquor on Christmas day instead of banning liquor sales on that day. Excise [...]

Hingurana sugar consortium takes billions worth of loans at soaring interest rates from its own affiliates

A national audit has unveiled serious irregularities at the Hingurana sugar factory, which is run jointly by the Government and private entities Brown & Company PLC and Lanka ORIX Leasing Company PLC (LOLC), with billions worth of loans being taken at soaring interest rates from associated companies of LOLC. The factory was set up in [...]

Retd. SC judge Abeyratne and others appointed to new RTI Commission

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a new five-member Right to Information Commission (RTIC), with two previous commissioners reappointed and three new commissioners. Letters of appointment from the Presidential Secretariat were hand delivered on Friday evening and yesterday, over two months after the RTIC ceased to function due to term lapses and resignations of the sitting [...]

Norochcholai breaks down again, sparking power failures

Power disruptions were reported in several parts of the country last night after a breakdown at the Norochcholai power plant, officials said. Thirty minute power cuts after 6 pm could be experienced in some parts of the country in the next few days, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) officials said yesterday. The disruption came despite an [...]

CID probes elaborate hoax to blacklist competing company

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has launched a probe on a complaint that a company had mounted an elaborate scam to ensure a competitor was blacklisted following a Police Department tender for breathalyser test kits. The complaint was lodged by Lanka Industrial Services (Pvt) Ltd. The CID informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that the [...]

Priyantha Kumara killing: Pakistan widens probe to arrest more suspects

Priyantha Kumara killing: Pakistan widens probe to arrest more suspects

As the funeral of Priyantha Kumara, the 49-year-old factory manager, who was brutally murdered by a mob in Sialkot, Pakistan, was held in Ganemulla on Wednesday with hundreds of mourners calling for justice, in Pakistan, police widened the probe to arrest hundreds of suspects who are still on large. The remains of Mr. Kumara were [...]

Analytical labs to test imported and local fertiliser

In a major step towards regulating imported fertiliser and locally manufactured organic fertiliser products, the Agriculture Ministry has called for proposals to select locally accredited analytical laboratories to be declared as fertiliser reference laboratories, a senior official from the Ministry said. The move came in the wake of the recent reversal of the ban on [...]

Ratwatte’s alleged threat to kill prisoners: Probe going here and there three months after incident

Three months after the Anuradhapura prison incident involving State Minister Lohan Ratwatte and two Tamil political prisoners detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the outcome of the multiple investigations has not been disclosed. At present, Police investigations regarding the incident are underway. The State Minister is alleged to have pointed a gun at [...]

Pick of the Pix

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Trashy people

Trashy people

The issue of disposing and  collection of garbage has been a crisis for many local authorities in the country, including those in the Colombo District. Some of the local councils have introduced effective programmes to recycle garbage while others have effective collection programmes. However, public cooperation in handling the garbage issue has sometimes been lacking [...]

Come what may, Christmas is priceless

Come what may, Christmas is priceless

Christmas is supposed to be, as the famous song goes, “the most wonderful time of the year.” It is a time of hope and anticipation for many who celebrate with good food, family, friends, decorated Christmas trees, and Santa Claus. The upcoming festive season will be unique in many ways for Sri Lankans. Celebrations would [...]

Homes on danger watch after gas duopoly, govt band-aid

Homes on danger watch after gas duopoly, govt band-aid

Uncertainty over the risks of cooking gas cylinders remain despite measures taken by companies on the instructions of the Consumer Affairs State Ministry this week. More cooking gas-related explosions were reported on Friday, while confusion remained over instructions by state-owned Litro Gas, which claimed to be re-gathering gas cylinders of which the plastic seal above [...]

As prices skyrocket, TUs justify trade union action; Govt. in dilemma

Several state sector trade unions continued their protest action this week, calling in sick to demand a salary increase of Rs 10,000. About 49 trade unions have been taking part in coordinated protest action since November 29 while the Federation of Health Professionals (FHP) and the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) have also launched [...]

‘Seek protective measures if attending functions’

‘Seek protective measures  if attending functions’

Wide-ranging decisions with regard to vaccination as well as travellers arriving at the airport were announced this week, as high-level health officials kept reiterating the need for the public to take protective measures against the virus, especially in the light of the Omicron ‘Variant of Concern’ which is still an unknown entity. The Head of [...]

Incentives such as pensions offered if migrant workers remit their money through CB

Incentives such as pensions offered if migrant  workers remit their money through CB

Despite wide speculation that the Central Bank’s new repatriation of export proceeds would also apply to migrant remittance deposits, banking sources said this would not be so. The move came amid Central Bank attempts to revert migrant worker remittances to formal money transfer channels. The Central Bank will be paying an additional Rs. 8 for [...]

Like ‘safe sex’, protect yourself against this virus too, says expert

There is a certain amount of COVID-19 fatigue and people are raring to go about their normal work and also catch up on many things that have been on hold like parties in the last two years. This is understandable, said an expert, advising that as much as possible they should practise the measures that [...]

Trenches against wild elephants – tried, tested and failed, say experts

Trenches against wild elephants – tried, tested and failed, say experts

Controversy is swirling around moves to cut trenches to reportedly mitigate the human elephant conflict (HEC). Conservationists are levelling very serious charges that this “trench warfare” will do more harm than good to wild elephants and other animals and is a ruse to exploit resources including soil in Protected Areas (PAs). This is while a [...]

Scenic Gregory Lake in a sad state; dredging operations begin

Scenic Gregory Lake  in a sad state; dredging operations begin

Around 147 years ago the Gregory Lake project in Nuwara Eliya was initiated at a cost of 1200 sterling pounds. Since then it has remained a tourist hub, and there are four parks surrounding the picturesque Lake. There is a boat service operating for tourists, and there are different avenues of employment at the site. [...]

Dig the trench and take the soil: Cash-strapped Wildlife Ministry in trunk call to businessmen

Dig the trench and take the soil: Cash-strapped Wildlife Ministry in trunk call to businessmen

A cash-strapped Wildlife Protection State Ministry is calling on volunteers and businessmen to join its project to dig trenches that will prevent elephants from entering villages, Wildlife Protection State Minister Wimalaweera Dissanayake revealed this week. Addressing the committee stage debate on the 2022 budget under the Wildlife Ministry head, he said that due to the [...]

Blood donation organised by Muslim youth

Blood donation organised by Muslim youth

The All island Muslim Youth organisation yesterday organised a blood donation campaign in Nuwara Eliya. This was the fifth time the campaign was organised  Additional District Secretary Sujeewa Bodhimana also attended the event.

Wedding bells for couple at elders’ home

Wedding bells for couple at elders’ home

Neither age nor other barriers can come in the way of true love it is said and Liyoni Fernando(62) and Cyril Gunawardane (79) inmates of a state run elders’ home, Welcome Village in Sadalanka, Narammala proved this point when they tied the knot on December 8. Cyril Gunawardane is a former Sri Lanka Transport Board [...]

Crafty, nocturnal ninja running wild in city homes

Crafty, nocturnal ninja running wild in city homes

Some residents of the city and suburbs are increasingly troubled by the nocturnal activities of palm civets, which take shelter in their homes. The palm civet is a small mammal with a long, furry tail and a pointed snout. There are times when residents seek the help of local authorities, pest control companies, the zoological [...]

Tribute to our special Podi Hamuduruwo on his birthday

Tribute to our special Podi Hamuduruwo on his birthday

Sri Lanka abounds with many Podi Hamuduruwos. Yet, the most renowned is the Venerable Galaboda Gnanissara Thera. The Chief Prelate will be 78 on December 14. Affectionately known as Podi Hamuduruwo from his tender years at the Gangaramaya, he is our very special Podi Hamuduruwo. Podi Hamuduruwo was born to lead. Although Colombo, Sri Lanka’s [...]

Poisonous cargo from worst maritime disaster being recovered

Sunken containers from the chemical-laden Singapore-flagged X-Press Pearl cargo vessel that caught fire and caused the worst maritime disaster in Sri Lankan waters in May are now being salvaged by a Chinese company. The Shanghai Salvage Company has been contracted by Express Feeders, the owners of the ship that caught fire and exploded spilling its [...]

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