The writ petition filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) seeking an order to quash clearing of the Wilpattu National Park forest and constructing a housing project adjoining the National Park was today fixed for judgment by Court of Appeal. Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Janak de Silva and Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne fixed the petition for judgment to be delivered on April 3. All parties including petitioner and seventh respondent former Minister Rishad Badiuddeen had concluded their oral submissions regarding the petition and parties were directed to file their written objections before March 18.
February 19, 2020 08:39 UTC
The Chinese tourist, the only person who was diagnosed from Sri Lanka as positive for COVID-19, was discharged from the Infectious Disease Hospital a short while ago. This patient is clinically cured and in good health. She was discharged from the hospital soon after the final medical report was received confirming her ‘COVID-19 free status’.
February 19, 2020 05:37 UTC
Debate on second report of the Committee on Public Accounts will be held in Parliament today. The second report of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA); including investigations from February 20, 2019, to November 7, 2019; was yesterday presented to Parliament by its Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna. The report includes facts relating to 42 investigations conducted by COPA. Presenting the report, Alagiyawanna said, “On February 28, the event to assess the performances of the government institutes for the year 2018 will be held under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. We do not come up with these reports within one or two days.”The officials of SriLankan Airlines are scheduled to appear before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) today.
February 19, 2020 05:15 UTC
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has been declared the winner of last September's election following delays due to allegations of vote-rigging. Ghani was re-elected with 50.64% of the vote, officials said. But his main rival Abdullah, who came second with 39.52%, contested the result, declared victory, and vowed to form his own parallel government. Opponents of Ghani said the 28 September vote was marred by massive fraud and technical problems. Election commission chief Hawa Alam Nuristani announced the result during a press conference in Kabul.
February 19, 2020 05:15 UTC
Death toll passes 2,000: The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 2,000 people, all but six of them in mainland China. It has infected more than 75,000 people, with over 1,000 cases outside mainland China. (Source: CNN)
February 19, 2020 04:07 UTC
India's top court ruled on Monday that women could serve as army commanders, dismissing the government's stance that male soldiers were not ready to accept orders from female officers as "disturbing". The Supreme Court also ordered the government to extend permanent service - which has only been applicable to men so far - to all women officers, signalling a move towards gender parity in the traditionally male bastion. With this women will get the same opportunities and benefits as their male colleagues, including ranks, promotions and pensions and be allowed to serve longer tenures. Currently, women are inducted through a short-service commission that lets them work for up to 14 years and only allowed permanent commission in the army's legal and educational wings. "To cast aspersion on their abilities on the ground of gender is an affront not only to their dignity as women but to the dignity of the members of the Indian Army," judges said in their ruling.
February 18, 2020 10:07 UTC
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China reached at least 1,868 as of the end of Monday, with additional 93 deaths from Hubei and five more in other parts of the country, according to the country's health commission on Tuesday. The government also reported an additional 1,886 new infections across the country, but mostly from Hubei, bringing the nationwide total to at least 72,436. (Source: Al Jazeera)
February 18, 2020 07:07 UTC
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed officials to take measures to uplift local industries and encourage investors by removing obstructions. The representatives and investors expressed their concerns on tax and issues they face at the Custom as well as environmental obligations. Environmental and other issues posed by various parties even at the proper commencement of industries are major hindrance to the development of the country. It is the responsibility of every section to support investment opportunities for the betterment of the country, President said. Minister Wimal Weerawansa, State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, Secretary to the President Dr. P. B. Jayasundara and several other Ministry officials were present at the discussion.
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board stated that a 12-hour water cut has been imposed in several areas in the Athurugiriya municipality including the Millenium city housing scheme and Kaduwela. The water cut commenced at 8.00 am this morning and it will last until 8.00 pm today. The Water Board stated that the water cut is imposed due to the due to essential maintenance work being carried out by the CEB. The NWS&DB requests the public to call hotline 1939 for any information.
The Pali language promotion examination organised by the Buddhist Affairs Department for daham pasal teachers will be held on February 22 from 9.00 am to noon at 15 examination centres, Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs Sunanda Kariyapperuma said. Nearly 1,500 candidates are billed to sit the examination this year and admission cards have already been sent to them. Every year, the Buddhist Affairs Department conducts the Pali language promotion programmes at 15 centres countrywide to develop the knowledge of Pali among daham pasal teachers. The programme is co-ordinated by officials assigned to divisional secretariats by the department.
Tickets will be issued till 2:30pm only to enter the Horton Plains National Wildlife Park, said the person in charge of Horton Plains P. K. M. P. Pradeep Kumara. He said the reason for this decision, is that tourists have to travel distance of 8 kilometers and that it takes a minimum of 4-5 hours to see all the beautiful sights, including World's End, Baker's Falls. Previously, tourists were issued tickets until 6.00 pm. Tourists will not be able to leave the park after 6.00 pm if tickets are issued after 2 pm.
February 17, 2020 10:52 UTC
The contempt of court action filed against Convener of National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Prof.Sarath Wijesuriya was today fixed for April 28 by Court of Appeal. The Court was informed that the respondent, Prof. Wijesuriya is yet to file objections against the contempt of proceedings. Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Kumuduni Wickremasinghe and Justice Priyantha Fernando fixed the contempt of court application to be taken up before a separate bench on April 28.
February 17, 2020 08:48 UTC
As the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to batter China, the country's central bank has implemented a new strategy to contain the virus deep cleaning and destroying potentially infected cash. Cash that comes from high-risk infection areas, like hospitals and wet markets, will be "specially treated" and sent back to the central bank instead of being recirculated. Other measures includes suspending physical cash transfers between hard-hit provinces, to limit the possibility of virus transmission during the cash's transit. It's unclear how "infected" cash in China may actually be the virus likely dies after a few hours on surfaces, especially if it's been killed with disinfectant. And most people in urban centers don't use cash anyway mobile payment apps are near-ubiquitous.
February 17, 2020 08:26 UTC
Across the United Kingdom, people are experiencing another weekend of strong winds, heavy rain and potential flooding as Storm Dennis hits the region. The U.K. national meteorological service, known as the Met Office, issued several heavy rain warnings for areas of England and Wales. The Met Office also said that bus and train services are likely to be delayed or canceled. Storm Dennis is now one of the five strongest nontropical cyclones on record in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, according to The Washington Post. The storm intensified rapidly over the ocean after combining with another bomb cyclone that had hit Iceland.
February 17, 2020 08:03 UTC
Several rockets landed near the embassy of the United States in Iraq's capital early on Sunday, US and Iraqi military officials said, in the latest of a series of attacks against US assets in the country. The rockets struck an Iraqi base hosting US troops and other coalition forces in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, an area that is home to foreign embassies and government offices. According to Colonel Myles B Caggins III, a spokesman for the US military operation in Iraq, the attack - which took place just before 3:30am (00:30 GMT) - caused no casualties and only minor damage. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Iraq's military said three Katyusha rockets landed inside the Green Zone, while a fourth hit a different neighbourhood, striking a logistics base operated by the Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation Forces, a military network officially incorporated into the Iraqi state.
February 17, 2020 07:18 UTC