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Expressway beam collapse causes Rs 66 million loss to govt

May 15 (DM) The construction of the phase from Kottawa to Pinnaduwa- of the project titled Expressway Network of SL- was completed in 2011. During its construction, a medical student died as a result of a minor collapse of a bridge on the expressway in 2008. This incident sparked widespread concern regarding the quality and reliability of this expressway facility. Although the concept of expressways was relatively new to Lankans more..

Lured and left to languish…

May 15 (CT) It was troubling enough that we were sending thousands of Sri Lankan farmers to Israel – a country that is currently making the world the worst it has ever been and afflicting inhumane conditions upon people who do not deserve any part of this suffering – on a govt-to-govt agreement, that we learnt of, more SL nationals are flying off to another war-torn zone. This comes against the backdrop of extreme economic challenges Sri Lanka has been dealing with for the past several months more..

Shoot the messenger!

May 15 (ST) Shoot the messenger! That’s what the authorities initially planned against Sandaru Kumarasinghe, who – as they call it in colloquial Sinhala – created a huta pattey (commotion) at the BIA the other day. This was after a glitch in the immigration systems saw long queues of foreigners waiting impatiently to process their visas. Kumarasinghe’s Russian girlfriend was also in the queue sweating it out with others which eventually led to immigration officials taking control of more..

වීසා හුටපටය මීඩියා වලට ඇවිල්ල...

University non-academic staff withdraw from essential services

May 14 (AD) The non-academic staff of state universities have decided to withdraw from the essential services of the university system including water and electricity services from today (14). The strike action launched by the Joint Committee of Uni Trade Unions continued for the 13th consecutive day today, citing wage issues. Although the proposals concerning the monthly allowance and wage disparities of university non-academic staff was tabled during the Cabinet meeting more..

Govt workers want basic salary hike over cost of living allowances

May 14 (EN) Public sector unions in SL have urged the govt to add 20,000 rupees to their basic salaries as opposed to ad hoc allowances to reflect increased living costs. Representatives from a number of public sector trade unions called for an increase in their basic pay. “There are many expenses that govt workers cannot afford such as transport costs, children’s education fees, inflation caused by various taxes, all of which they have had to bear under severe strain,” he said. more..

New twist in VFS Global visa deal, officials dodge COPF summons

May 14 (EN) In a new twist to the controversial VFS Global visa deal which has shaken the country’s tourism sector, immigration and security ministry officials have dodged summons by the Committee of Public Finance. The COPF expressed deep displeasure after officials of the Dept of Immigration and Emigration and the Ministry of Public Security failed to turn up at a meeting, the statement said. more..

'I hear that MPs’ vehicle permits approved'

May 14 (DM) MP Chandima Weerakkody said he got to know that vehicle permits for MPs had been passed according to the request of the govt. He told Parliament that most people were expecting to import vehicles but the govt claimed that vehicles could be imported next year. "Most people are expecting to import vehicles. But, the govt said vehicles can be imported only next year. However, I heard that MPs' permits have been passed following your request" he told govt MPs in Parliament. more..

Temperatures to drop as monsoon arrives

May 14 (DM) As higher rainfall spreads across the country and the southwest monsoon activates after May 20, temperatures, which have risen to a caution level for human comfort, are expected to decrease, Meteorology Dept said. They said higher rainfall would be experienced in most of the parts of the country. Accordingly, due to a low-level atmospheric disturbance, heavy rainfall of more than 100mm is likely after 1 p.m. in the Central, Sabaragamuwa, Eastern, Southern and Uva provinces more..

Parliament has failed the public: Prathibha

May 14 (Island) Professor Prathibha Mahanamahewa of the Colombo Law Faculty emphasised over the weekend the need for a robust civil movement to play a significant role in shaping national policies and fortifying the rule of law. Mahanamahewa insisted on the responsibility on the part of such a movement to pressure the powers that be to address growing concerns of the public. Mahanamahewa said so on Saturday more..

Police gather info on temporary residents

May 14 (CT) The Police have, over the weekend, gathered information on nearly 179,000 temporary residents from across the country. Investigations have revealed that many individuals involved in drug trafficking are currently residing in temporary accommodations such as rented houses, rooms and shops located outside the Police Divisions where their permanent addresses are registered. On the instructions of IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon, a nationwide operation, to gather information more..

India cites security grounds to extend the LTTE ban by five years

May 14 (PTI) India on Tuesday extended the ban imposed on the LTTE by five more years for fostering a separatist tendency amongst the masses and enhancing the support base for it in the country, particularly in Tamil Nadu, besides threatening the territorial integrity of India. The Union Home Ministry imposed the ban invoking the sub-sections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. In a notification, the home ministry noted that the LTTE is an association based in SL more..

වාහන Permit ලණුව

Court fines 15 motorcyclists for dangerous riding on money bets in Bambalapitiya

May 14 (DM) Fifteen motorcyclists involved in dangerous riding for money bets on the Galle Road in Bambalapitiya, Colombo were fined Rs. 427,500 and had their driving licenses suspended for six months by the Colombo Traffic Court today. The Bambalapitiya Police arrested these motorcyclists early morning on May 5 and released them on police bail after processing at the police station. The suspects, aged between 20 and 28, are residents of Colombo and its surrounding areas. more..

US Assistant Secretary Donald Lu meets NPP representatives

May 14 (DM) Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu met representatives of the NPP last evening at the Galle Face Hotel. US Ambossodor to SL Julie Chung and NPP MP Vijitha Herath, NPP Executive Committee Members Nalinda Jayatissa and Wasantha Samarasinghe attended the meeting. The matters concerning the current economic situation in SL, involvement of the IMF, ensuring the integrity of electoral processes, and security dynamics more..

'Office of International Trade Operations hindered by staff shortage'

May 14 (CT) The operations of the newly established Office of International Trade (OIT), located at the Presidential Secretariat, have been hampered due to the lack of required staff, COPF Chairman Dr. Harsha de Silva informed Parliament. The OIT was established, on the instructions of Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, with the intention of handling all international trade negotiations. Dr. de Silva said according to A.G. Weerasinghe, more..

Ex-forces personnel being hired as estate managers a problem: Minister

May 14 (EN) Hiring retired armed forces personnel by some private estate owners has led to violent actions against workers, Minister Jeevan Thondaman has said after an incident in Ratnapura involving violent action against workers. “What they do is for private estates, they will get a retired person from the army or the Police,” he said. “Back in the day it was only planters running the show, so planters knew you have to look after the workers to get good productivity. more..

Consider withdrawing diplomatic ties with Israel: Hakeem

May 14 (DM) Opposition MP Rauff Hakeem today urged the SL govt to consider withdrawing diplomatic ties with Israel if it fails to stop iys military offensives in Gaza. "Threaten Israel and inform it that Sri Lanka will withdraw diplomatic ties if the offensive is not stopped in Gaza. Do this as a last resort," Hakeem told Parliament. State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya who responded said Sri Lanka's foreign policy is to establish and maintain ties will all countries. more..

Iran granted Uma Oya project due to huge recognition for MR: Hakeem

~May 14 (DM) Claiming that the Uma Oya multipurpose development project was granted to Sri Lanka by the Iranian govt because of the huge recognition for former prez Mahinda Rajapaksa those days, MP Rauf Hakeem said today the current govt is looking to take the credit for it. He told Parliament that the Iranian Prez came to SL on the invitation of the Foreign Minister. “The Uma Oya project was initiated during former Prez more..

Renewed crisis grips Suwa Seriya ambulance service, claims Sajith

May 14 (AD) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa alleged that 56 out of the 322 ambulances belonging to the 1990 Suwa Seriya free ambulance service are now out of service. Premadasa urged the govt to take immediate action to safeguard the Suwa Seriya Ambulance Service from collapse. He further highlighted that a significant number of Suwa Seriya ambulance drivers and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) have departed the country, leading to prolonged periods required more..

Only 6,000 out of 34,000 pre-school teachers are diploma holders: Susil

May 14 (DM) Minister Susil Premajayantha revealed today that only 6,000 out of 34,000 pre-school teachers and assistant teachers in SL are diploma holders. He told Parliament that there are 18,800 pre-schools in Sri Lanka and it is a serious matter that most of the teachers and assistant teachers are not diploma holders. Responding to a question, he said it is wrong to use even the terms Montessori and pre-school and that the correct term should be Early Childhood Development Centres. more..

NADIYA || නාඩිය

Keheliya’s writ fixed for consideration by Appeals Court

May 14 (AD) The Court of Appeal ordered that the writ application filed by former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, seeking an order to invalidate the decision taken by the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court to remand him in custody until the conclusion of the trial related to the import of substandard immunoglobulin vials, will be taken up for consideration on May 31.The petition was taken up for consideration before a two-member Appeals Court judge bench comprising more..

Govt mulls nullifying 2023 LG poll nominations; election set for next year

May 14 (AD) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed PM Dinesh Gunawardena to look into the possibility of invalidating the nominations accepted for the postponed 2023 LG election. Minister Bandula Gunawardena stated that accordingly, Prez has called on the PM to seek legal advice from the AG in this regard. Furthermore, the Head of the State has directed the Premier to discuss with other political parties regarding the nullifying of the accepted nominations, Minister added. more..

JVP defends Lal Kantha’s call for devolution of judicial power, promises new Constitution

May 14 (Island) JJB yesterday declared that their coalition intended to introduce a new Constitution following the presidential poll scheduled to be conducted later this year. Attorney-at-law Sunil Watagala said that as it wouldn’t be possible to enact a new Constitution, soon after the election, the JJB would continue with the existing law of the land for some time. Watagala said that constitutional provisions that were beneficial to the people more..

Electricity Users’ Association launch petition against privatisation of CEB

May 14 (Island) Electricity Users’ Association yesterday launched a campaign to collect 100,000 signatures against the proposed restructuring of the CEB. The campaign got underway near the Fort Railway station. Sanjeeva Dhammika, Secretary of the Association, said that they intended to collect signatures from the public at Nugegoda today. Dhammika said that the proposed new law would enable the private sector to fleece the hapless public. The civil society activist alleged that more..

Athapaththu climbs T20I rankings after stellar performance

May 14 (ICC) SL opener Chamari Athapaththu and England bowlers Sarah Glenn and Lauren Bell have made notable progress in the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings after some fine performances over the past week. Athapaththu’s match-winning knock of 102 against Scotland in the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier has helped the captain move up two places to seventh position among batters, just one off her career-best sixth position attained in April this year. more..

Dinesh Schaffter’s family appeals to return mobile phones obtained as evidence

May 14 (AD) Colombo Magistrate’s Court today ordered the CID to submit a report pertaining to the progress of investigations into the death of the renowned businessman Dinesh Schaffter on July 23, 2024. This case was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Harshana Kekunawela this morning. However, CID informed the court that further investigations are underway regarding the relevant incident. more..

A/L classes to begin immediately after O/L exams

May 14 (AD) The Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval for the proposal to commence G.C.E. A/L classes immediately after the conclusion of the ongoing G.C.E. O/L examination. As it takes at least 3 months for the Dept of Examinations to release the results after the completion of the G.C.E. O/L exam, students drop out of schools during this period, they are less inclined to continue studies and this leads to the creation of various social problems. Accordingly, it has been recognized that more..

Duminda challenges Wijedasa’s appointment

May 14 (DM) SLFP MP Duminda Dissanayake today instituted legal action before the Colombo District Court challenging the appointment of Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Keerthi Udawatta as SLFP Chairman and Acting General Secretary respectively. The plaintiff Dissanayake is seeking an enjoining order preventing Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe PC and Attorney-at-Law Keerthi Udawatta from functioning as SLFP Chairman and party Acting General Secretary respectively. more..

ඇමති කංචන පොහොට්ටුවෙද? නැද්ද?

Govt proposes law to co-opt and control non-governmental activity

May 14 (FT) On 30 Jan 2024, Director General of the National Secretariat for Non-Govt Organisations shared with a collective of civil society organisations a draft law to repeal and replace the Voluntary Social Services Act of 1980 (VSSO), titled Non-Governmental Organizations (Registration and Supervision) Act. It was highly unsatisfactory that the draft was only made available in English and three weeks given to respond. In fact, the informality with which the draft was shared fails to more..

Electricity sector: What Rohan Samarajiva didn’t say

May 14 (FT) In his article, Electricity sector: Without investment we will be in the dark again (Daily FT, 7 April, 2024), Professor Rohan Samarajiva, evidently the latest apologist for India’s Adani Group, writes, “An eminent public intellectual, Rohan Pethiyagoda, bemoans the fact that a unit of electricity produced by the wind power facility proposed by Adani will cost more than wind-produced electricity in the US and in India.” He goes on, in the manner of a gifted prestidigitator, more..

Harsha warns against signing flawed external debt restructuring plan

May 14 (FT) SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva in Parliament delivered a stern warning regarding the proposed external debt restructuring plan, emphasising the potential pitfalls and urging against signing the agreement in its current form. Speaking out against the restructuring proposal put forth in April, he highlighted critical flaws in the plan. De Silva pointed out that the proposed haircut for bondholders, set to be implemented in more..

University non-academics to take final decision on strike today

May 14 (CT) Police used water cannons to disperse a protest held by university non-academic staff, at Polduwa Junction in Battaramulla. The protest was organised to highlight several issues, including salary cuts and reductions in monthly allowances over the past eight years. The university non-academic employees have been conducting a token strike for the past 12 days. Saman Kariyawasam, Media Secretary of the Joint Committee of Uni Trade Unions, condemned the conduct of Police more..

Diana’s privileges: Parliament can probe if request made

May 14 (TM) Parliament has affirmed that it can, if there is a request to do so, conduct an investigation into former State Minister Diana Gamage's utilisation of Parliamentary and State Ministerial privileges despite not being a SL citizen. The Supreme Court (SC) ruled on 8 May that Gamage is ineligible to retain her Parliamentary seat because of her status as a United Kingdom citizen. Subsequently, various parties including the Parliamentary Opposition have called for the recovery of all expenditures more..