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Worship of the Cross

Worship of the Cross

Traditional Good Friday services were held in churches countrywide as a lead up to Easter today. At St. Lucia’s Cathedral in Colombo, a nun is seen worshipping the Cross placed near the main altar. Pic by Indika Handuwala

President cracks down on officials for ignoring his instructions

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has cracked down on officials for ignoring his instructions. In a circular issued this week, the Presidential Secretariat has called for explanations from officials found responsible for disregarding instructions set out in two circulars issued last year. The circulars require Government institutions to implement all ICT and digital solutions under the overall [...]

As rupee plunges, Govt. takes urgent measures to protect foreign reserves and stabilise rupee

As the Sri Lanka rupee hit the 200-mark in relation to the US Dollar this week for the first time, urgent measures to protect foreign reserves and stabilise the rupee will include delays in payments due on Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs) – a debt denominated in US dollars by the government, until next year [...]

Health Minister sacks NMRA expert who opposed vaccine approval without data

A national drug regulatory authority member who stood strongly against approving COVID-19 vaccines, especially the Chinese Sinopharm vial, without data, was sacked by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi on Friday. Consultant Paediatrician Dr. LakKumar Fernando, a Board Member of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), was the nominee of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians. Not [...]

Colombo being transformed; will emerge as heritage city

Sri Lanka’s business district of Colombo will come under a major transformation which includes moving the Foreign Ministry and Police Headquarters in Fort to other areas, creating pleasant walkways and restoring heritage buildings aimed at attracting tourists, a senior government official said. Urban Development and Housing Ministry Secretary Nimal Perera said that while the Colombo [...]

CHEC Port City on our last week’s story

The CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Limited has drawn reference to the Sunday Times news article titled “Colombo Port City under high-powered body” published last week. The Company said only the Project company (CHEC Port City Colombo Pvt Ltd) has to pay the initial contribution of Rs 400 million for the Fund of the Commission [...]

SLPMA wants President to intervene to protect the local drug manufacturing industry

Local drug manufacturers are up in arms against a move by the State Ministry of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals to renege on an agreement with them and has sought the intervention of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resolve this issue. They caution that such an arbitrary decision may create a severe shortage of locally [...]

New Bill to amend Inland Revenue Act will deny citizens equal protection of the law: Chartered Accountant/BASL

Two Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions challenging the constitutionality of a new Bill to amend the Inland Revenue Act will be taken up in the Supreme Court tomorrow. The new Bill, titled “Inland Revenue Amendment” to amend the Inland Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017 is being challenged by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) [...]

PUCSL oversteps mandate to negotiate prices

The electricity regulator, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), this week overstepped its mandate to negotiate prices with and approve a four-year extension of contracts for three independent power producers (IPPs)–even as a Cabinet sub-committee discusses whether to keep or take the furnace-oil fueled power plants off the national grid. “We have negotiated and [...]

Food Commissioner’s Dept failed to maintain required stocks of rice, audit reveals

The Food Commissioner’s Department (FCD), which is directly responsible for maintaining 100,000MT of rice per year to ensure food security, stored under 700MT of its own stocks in 24 warehouses during the eight years between 2012 and December 2019 because the Treasury did not pass money to make necessary purchases, a national audit reveals. Among [...]

Hot weather warning issued as La Nina withdraws

As the Meteorology Department predicts extreme heat conditions in five dry zone districts due to the easing of the La Nina effect, health officials warn people not to stay in the hot sun for too long. Met officials said Sri Lanka was going through mixed weather conditions with some parts of the country coming under [...]

Digana tremors no cause for panic, but don’t take nature for granted: Experts

Digana tremors no cause for panic, but don’t take nature for granted: Experts

Committee concludes natural processes the likely cause; calls for long-term seismic monitoring to produce conclusive evidence Victoria dam chief engineer assures tremors not connected to dam that was built to withstand tremors up to nine and beyond on the Richter scale The area of Digana in Kandy, particularly near the periphery of the Victoria reservoir, [...]

Woman knocked down while using pedestrian crossing succumbs to injuries

Woman  knocked down while using pedestrian crossing succumbs to injuries

A 47- year- old mother of two succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday after being hit by a bus while she was on the pedestrian crossing. The bus was transporting army personnel in Kalutara. Sunitha Malkanthi met with the accident on March 15 while she was was using the zebra crossing near the Kalutara Divisional [...]

When contaminated coconut oil seeps through system loopholes

When contaminated coconut oil seeps through system loopholes

As the controversy over harmful coconut oil stocks continued, yesterday the authorities said they were unable to confirm whether the contaminated oil had reached the consumers. The Customs, Public Health Inspectors and Food Control Administration Unit (FCAU) of the Health Ministry said a string of investigations were underway into the import and could take time [...]

Driver says fatigue caused accident

Driver says fatigue caused accident

The lorry driver who was beaten up brutally in public by a police constable for knocking down his superior on a main road said that it was fatigue that caused the accident. Praveen Kalaimagan ( 24 ) who works for a vegetable market in Dehiwala confessed that he had dozed off while waiting at the [...]

BASL raises concern over recent spate of police brutality

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has expressed serious concern about the recent reports of incidents involving the use of force by certain Police Officers and the violent and brutal nature of the force used. Issuing a statement, the Association states that it is “firmly of the view that the use of force should [...]

Equity, justice, dignity and peace for Sri Lankan fishermen?

Equity, justice, dignity and peace for Sri Lankan fishermen?

An Indian Government statement read out ahead of the recent vote on the resolution on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva said: “India’s approach to the question of human rights in Sri Lanka is guided by two fundamental considerations. One is our support to the Tamils of Sri Lanka for [...]

New book reveals sorcery in Premadasa-era parliament

New book reveals sorcery in Premadasa-era parliament

President Ranasinghe Premadasa used Malayali sorcery to consolidate his power four years before his 1993 assassination, according to a new book published by a key official who was at the top-secret ritual in parliament. Less than a handful of officials, including the officer-in-charge of the parliament police, shielded the elaborate black magic carried out in [...]

“Reluctance to adapt to change in our legal system”: CA Judge

“Reluctance to adapt to change in our legal system”: CA Judge

The need to maintain judicial integrity and minimise the Law’s delays were emphasised during the Ceremonial Sittings held at the Superior Court Complex on March 24 to welcome seven new Court of Appeal (CA) Judges. This was the second Ceremonial Sitting for new CA Judges. “I am answerable to the people of this country and [...]

Govt. guards churches as Cardinal demands an answer

Govt. guards churches as Cardinal demands an answer

The police have been on high alert at Catholic and Christian churches leading up to Easter Sunday celebrations today. Under a special security programme instructed by the Inspector-General of Police, churches around the country are being guarded by the police and army. “The government has a duty to look after its citizens. We have nothing [...]

Duwa Passion Play on low key but the Old, Rugged Cross was there

Duwa Passion Play on low key but the Old, Rugged Cross was there

This year due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Duwa Passion Play, a tradition that has been preserved for generations, was not staged as usual.   Instead this time, the services on Good Friday were limited to the way of the cross and the three hour service that ended with devotees worshiping [...]

Pick of the pix

From our? readers Shutterbugs out there, we would once again appreciate your contributions to this picture corner. Please send your captioned photograph along with your name, and the location of the photograph, to: pictures@sundaytimes.wnl.lk

Not a sweet fate

Not a sweet fate

Sweet shop owners express fear over losing their new-year business due to the rising cost of ingredients, as well as due to a strong public opinion that oil used to produce sweets contain toxins. Consumers remain uncertain whether to buy sweets or make them at home. They also express concern about consuming toxins while enjoying [...]

Youth of today little realise the enormity of sacrifices made by youth in 71

Youth of today little realise the enormity of sacrifices made by youth in 71

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will mark the 50th anniversary of its 1971 insurrection tomorrow (April 5). The party has never been shy of celebrating its first armed uprising, unlike the more troubled second insurrection of 1987-89. The 50th anniversary of the 1971 insurrection will be commemorated at different events in Hambantota, Gampaha, Polonnaruwa and [...]

Drug regulator in turmoil

Sri Lanka’s drug regulator, crucial in these troubled times of the COVID-19 pandemic, continued to be buffeted by gale-force winds. ‘Not sacking’ but appointing fresh ‘experts’ to make vital decisions with regard to approving Sinopharm, the Chinese vaccine, and COVAXIN, the Indian vaccine, was the order of the week by the National Medicines Regulatory Authority [...]

SL will get 100,000 Sputnik V doses this month but unable to say when 1m COVISHIELD doses will come – SPC GM

SL will get 100,000 Sputnik V doses this month but unable to say when 1m COVISHIELD doses will come – SPC GM

A stock of 100,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V is due in April and another 200,000 doses in May, said State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) General Manager Dinusha Dassanayake when contacted by the Sunday Times on Friday. He did not know the date of arrival of these Russian vaccines in April, while with regard to AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD [...]

Avurudu: Don’t get or give COVID-19

Avurudu: Don’t get or give COVID-19

With the Sinhala and Tamil New Year around the corner, a strong plea went out from top health officials to celebrate avurudu but with care and caution with regard to COVID-19. Don’t give COVID-19 and don’t get COVID-19 – five officials stressed at a media briefing on Thursday, pointing out that it lies in the [...]

Traders hope next eight days will make their tills ring

With the Sinhala-Tamil New Year just eight days away, shopping and business is slowly picking up with some of last year’s intense caution about keeping to COVID-19 health guidelines now evaporating. “People can be seen wearing masks and washing their hands but they have forgotten to maintain social distance,” one shopkeeper said. But, he added, [...]

Action stations for officials expecting pent-up Avurudu excitement

Action stations for officials expecting pent-up Avurudu excitement

While managers of hotels, tourist attractions and public transport are set for an influx of April holiday travellers, health officials and police are gearing up equally to ensure the crowds cause no risk of COVID infection. “As most people in the Western Province were kept indoors last year by lockdowns and travel restrictions there will [...]

Three cases to be tried against PGIS senior official suspected of fraud

Three separate cases are pending against the former Senior Assistant Bursar?Mahes Iddawella, of the Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS) affiliated to the University of Peradeniya. The senior official was accused of fraudulently withdrawing Rs. 50 million from fixed deposits maintained by the institute. Peradeniya University Vice Chancellor Upul B. Dissanayake said the fraud was first [...]

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