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Joy to the world, a saviour is born

Joy to the world, a saviour is born

Carols are part of the Christmas season. Here the Navy staff are seen singing carols with a Nativity play in the foreground at the Navy’s Christmas celebrations held at Nelum Pokuna on Thursday. Pic by Indika Handuwala  

Dollar crisis threatens to ground airline operations from Lanka

Sri Lanka’s dollar crisis is now threatening tourism revival. Industry sources warn that foreign carriers have not increased flights and may even cut frequencies because general sales agents (GSAs) and local airline offices have for months fallen back on their dues–payable in dollars–to principals abroad. The problem had been brewing for “four-to-five months”, these sources [...]

If you wish to marry a foreigner, get Defence Ministry security clearance

Any Sri Lankan citizen who wants to marry a foreigner will have to wait for a ‘Security Clearance Report’ from the Defence Ministry before proceeding to the registration of the marriage, according to a circular issued by the Registrar General’s Department. In addition to that, the would-be foreign spouses would also be required to submit [...]

From Jan 15, meters compulsory for WP three-wheelers

The Vehicle Regulation State Ministry is going ahead with a plan to ensure that all Western Province three-wheelers are fitted with taxi meters by January 15. Ministry Secretary Lalith de Alwis told the Sunday Times the scheme would be extended to all parts of the country on a phase-by-phase basis by June 15. He said [...]

Oil tanks: CPC ordered to form new company ahead of Cabinet nod

Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila has instructed the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman to form a subsidiary company to manage the oil tanks in Trincomalee ahead of obtaining Cabinet approval. The Minister in a communication to CPC chairman Sumith Wijesinghe has said he had been instructed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to form the company first and [...]

Power cuts from next month; CEB told to find its own dollars to import furnace oil

Sri Lanka is lurching towards serious power shortages next year–entailing scheduled power cuts–with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) alerting the Government this week to its latest crisis: The “critical fuel situation for thermal power generation” has been exacerbated by the shortage of dollars to import furnace oil. Over the past few weeks, the CEB has [...]

GMOA temporarily calls off strike, gives Govt. until Jan 3 to resolve demands

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) temporarily called off its island-wide strike on Friday, giving the Health Ministry until January 3 to provide solutions to seven key demands. The association warned it would resort to trade union action again if those demands were not met by that date. The island-wide strike, which lasted four days, [...]

Vikum Kaluarachchi sworn in as new CA Judge

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday,  swore in Vikum Kaluarachchi as a new Judge of the Court of Appeal (CA). He will fill the vacancy created by the recent retirement of CA Justice Devika Abeyratne. A past pupil of Royal College, Colombo, Justice Vikum Athula Kaluarachchi graduated from the Sri Lanka Law College. His legal career [...]

Adding fuel to fury: Oil price hikes trigger serial explosions

Adding fuel to fury: Oil price hikes trigger serial explosions

Inflation at double digit, first time in seven years Little state intervention as transport sector jacks up rates People accuse Govt. of being insensitive to their plight This week’s fuel price increase has triggered a string of chain reactions, raising the prices of goods and services, amid indications that further price rises are to follow. [...]

Lanka’s goods sold to China, Hong Kong go downhill

Sri Lanka’s trade with China, including tea shipments steadily declined in 2020. Separately, its meagre bilateral trade with wealthy Hong Kong, a world leading trade and financial services centre, has fallen sharply in the five years to 2020. Sri Lanka’s exports to China in 2020 have dropped to US$223m, from US$229.06m in 2019, and down [...]

Get jabs and follow preventive measures, urge experts

A multi-pronged approach is the only answer to any SARS-CoV-2 variant which could assail the world including Sri Lanka. Vaccination, not only with two doses but also a booster, along with strict adherence to the health measures of wearing face masks the proper way; hand hygiene, social distancing and avoiding gatherings, is the way to [...]

The terrible twins – dengue & COVID

The terrible twins – dengue & COVID

It was the twin viral diseases of COVID-19 and dengue that Consultant Physician Dr. Upul Dissanayake of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) focused on. A strong intimation that dengue is on the rise came from Dr. Dissanayake as he said that due to people’s attention being mainly on COVID-19, dengue has been pushed [...]

Be armed against Omicron –

Let us be responsible collectively to prevent the spread of COVID-19 this festive season, said Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) President Dr. Padma Gunaratne this week, pointing out that Omicron has spread to over 70 countries. “We are at risk of a huge transmission level due to gatherings and the speed of the transmission of [...]

World round-up

China – The authorities are locking down cities and also provinces amid local cases of a spread of Omicron, in pursuit of their ‘Zero COVID’ policy. This stringent policy has resulted in increasingly strict border controls, quarantining measures and frequent lockdowns across the country. Netherlands – The country has gone into a strict lockdown in [...]

‘Accelerate the jabs for priority groups and ensure public health and social measures’

The critical need is for Sri Lanka to accelerate vaccination, especially among the priority groups, reiterated the Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Alaka Singh this week. Commending Sri Lanka’s vaccination against COVID-19 as “outstanding”, she pointed out that this must be kept up with the third dose, as otherwise the entire [...]

It’s Christmas time in the city

It’s Christmas time in the city

People are facing many hardships these days, but what would Christmas be without a little colour and cheer to celebrate the joyous event of the birth of baby Jesus? Here our photographers captured scenes of last minute shoppers and a lit up Colombo city. Pix By M.A.Pushpa Kumara M.D.Nissanka Akila Jayawardana Eshan Fernando

Prices merrily on high this Christmas, many complain of bleak festivities

Prices merrily on high this Christmas, many complain of bleak festivities

Many Sri Lankans find Christmas a time for celebration despite their religious beliefs. It is a time to meet and greet friends and loved ones. Christmas is a time that reminds everyone that Sri Lanka is a melting pot of cultures and religions. Most hotels and restaurants around Sri Lanka organise many events, from Christmas [...]

Season for giving helps orphanages spread Christmas cheer among children

Season for giving helps orphanages spread Christmas cheer  among children

The generosity of the Sri Lankan people shone bright through their giving as the Christmas season came into fruition yesterday. The Sunday Times spoke to orphanages and other charitable organiszations on how they celebrated Christmas this year. “People have been extremely generous despite how trying the times are,” said Dr. Sr. Selinta Fernando, Sister Superior [...]

Christmas messages to inspire hope during the dark days of COVID-19

In their Christmas messages, the President, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and the Speaker of Parliament all noted how Christmas brings joy and hope for all humankind. They urged  people to be mindful of celebrating Christmas adhering to health guidelines in view of the continued threat from the COVID-19 pandemic. “The spiritual essence of Christmas is [...]

Politically motivated land grab at Rakwana

Politically motivated land grab at Rakwana

A group of villages from the Rakwana area in the Ratnapura District continue to forcibly occupy a State land extending over 20 acres despite a plantation company trying to evict them from the land which was ready for the replantation of rubber. The squatters, backed by politicians, have demarcated the lands on their own by [...]

Kilinochchi farmers protest, throw away organic fertilisers

Kilinochchi farmers protest, throw away organic fertilisers

With only weeks left for harvest, marked by the Thaipongal festival early next year, frustrated farmers in Kilinochchi took their protests into paddy fields this week alleging that the so-called organic fertilisers given to them turned out to be a disaster. Holding ‘approved’ organic fertiliser cans distributed to them under a subsidy basis as an [...]

Good riddance to gloom and doom of 2021

Good riddance to gloom and doom of 2021

As COVID-19 continued its ravages into 2021, the country experienced several lockdowns, while the year also saw the cost of living soaring to unprecedented levels with consumers hit by high vegetable prices, a double fuel hike, milk food shortages and more. More recently the issues relating to shortage of gas and explosions have dominated headlines.   [...]

Girl loses mother due to Covid-19; PHI locks her in home

The Colombo Coroners’ Court reported an incident of a 17-year-old girl being locked in a house by a PHI following the deaths of her 70-year-old mother and her 90-year-old uncle. The incident took place following the deaths of her uncle and mother at their house at Jampettah Street, Colombo 13, as they were infected with [...]

SLPP councillor alleges attack, challenges legality of KMC budget

A Kandy Municipal Council opposition member has been hospitalised after an alleged attack which he links to a dispute over the manner in which the council’s budget was passed last week. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna member Dhammika Perera said the budget had no legality because it was passed without a vote after the council’s Opposition [...]

Seventeen years after tsunami catastrophe Naduni still hopes she would find her little sister

Seventeen years after tsunami catastrophe  Naduni still hopes she would find her little sister

A tragedy, technology and togetherness, are what tsunami survivors and families have seen 17 years after the 2004 tsunami catatrosphe. Naduni Hansana is still in search of her sister Hiruni and said she found comfort and hope through technology. “Our family was heading to Hikkaduwa by train on that fateful day, we were swept away [...]

Peraliya villagers wait for tsunami museum but get only a scarecrow

Peraliya villagers wait for tsunami museum but get only a scarecrow

In Peraliya, villagers complained that they have been waiting for 17 years for a promise made by authorities to come true. “We were told a tsunami museum will be made here. But there have been many foundation laying ceremonies only,” a villager said. They said a foundation stone was laid in 2005. The project was [...]

National commemoration ceremony at Telwatte train disaster site

National commemoration  ceremony at Telwatte  train disaster site

The national tsunami commemoration ceremony will be held near the tsunami memorial at Telwatte in Peraliya at 8.45 am today, while religious ceremonies will be organised by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) in all districts, DMC Spokesman Pradeep Kodippilli said. “The people in coastal districts have been trained on disaster preparedness and how to act [...]

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