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Tue01242017

Last updateTue, 24 Jan 2017 9pm

Local News

A special debate on the COPE report.

A special debate was taken up in the parliament today regarding the report which was fielded by the COPE pertaining to alleged bond scam of the Central Bank. Joining the debate State Minister Dilan Perera said that this is the first time where the executive president appointed a commission relating to a COPE report. He highlighted that but some elements are trying to give wrong picture about the commission.

Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna told the parliament that having a debate on the committee report is commendable. He said that such a measure would strengthen the parliament itself. Parliamentarian Chandrasigi Gajadheera said that a socio economic revolution should be brought in the country. Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi thanked the representatives of all the parties who supported the activities of the COPE.

Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara pointed out that the transactions of the Central Bank in the past should also be investigated. Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka said that the government based on good governance has allowed room for the people to express their selves without fear. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that no fraud has taken place with regard to the treasury bond transaction. The government has nothing to hide. He also promised to give more concessions to the general public reducing the taxes.

The President thanks the international community.

Ambassadors of Mongolia, Lithuania and Panama and the new Indian High Commissioner presented their credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s House today. Those who presented credentials were Ambassador of Mongolia, Gonchig Gangbold, Ambassador of Lithuania, Laimonas Talat-Kelpso, Ambassador of Panama, Sorvio Saul Sanudio Bethancourt and High Commissioner for India, Taranjith Singh Sandhu.

The President briefed the envoys about the three main objectives of the government – economic development and poverty alleviation, reconciliation in order to prevent recurrence of a conflict and establishment of friendly relations with all the countries.

President Sirisena, referring to close bilateral relations with Sri Lanka and the countries represented by the new envoys expressed confidence that they would strive to further strengthen bilateral economic cooperation and friendship. The President also recalled the close cooperation between Sri Lanka and those countries at the international forums and thanked them for the support extended to Sri Lanka.

He said Sri Lanka too would extend every possible assistance to those countries. The President said he was aware that the new Indian High Commissioner Taranjith Singh Sandhu knows Sri Lanka very well as he served in this country earlier and expressed confidence that he would serve to further strengthen long-established Indo Sri Lanka relations during his tenure as High Commissioner.

Psycho-counselors to be recruited for schools.

Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam instructed the officers to take necessary measures to obtain the services of the teachers qualified in psycho-counseling who are capable of solving the problems of students sensitively within the schools because the school children have to face various mental issues in the present complex system of society and it affects negatively on their educational and social existence.

The children are becoming victims of various anti-social elements because the parents and teachers are not properly sensitive to the problems that the children face when they reach the adolescent age and they have been deviated from their balanced personality.

Because of this situation a number of issues have been emerged in the society. Considering all these circumstances The Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam emphasized that it is a timely requirement to provide necessary counseling for the mental issues of the children while being sensitive to them.

The minister drew the attention of the officers towards these matters at a meeting of executive offers of the ministry of education and instructed them to recruit suitable people for this purpose as soon as possible. Accordingly the recruitments of teachers for psycho-

counseling activities for the schools having more than 300 students are being scheduled. There are 3,768 such schools in the system. Already 1,039 teachers are temporarily engaged in psycho-counseling service in these schools and they will also be provided with opportunities for obtaining necessary qualifications and be appointed for psycho-counseling activities.

Minister Kabir Hasheem says the government will not disturb the ongoing central bank scam investigation process.

Minister Kabir Hasheem says the government will not disturb the ongoing central bank scam investigation process. Minister further said it is important to conduct an investigation if malpractices are found in the process. Minister Kabir Hasheem made these remarks in Parliament joining the debate on COPE report. He further requested the peoples’ representatives not to mislead the common masses on this issue. The government will not leave room for anyone to mislead the common public.
The previous government has misused the treasury funds in various ways. But the present government has introduced strict regulations to manage the public funds. The government also created an atmosphere to protect the public funds without wasting for any unnecessary activity.
The present government implements a better mechanism to eliminate fraud and corruption in government organizations. Minister Kabir Hasheem also stated it is important to investigate many illegal transactions took place during the previous regime on Central Bank bond issues. Minister made these remarks replying to a question raised by JVP. Joining this debate Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said many effective suggestions were put forward by the members of the special committee appointed by SLFP on this issue.
Minister Mahinda Amaraweera pointed out that although many wrong doings of previous government were exposed by the COPE committee, no action was taken during that time. But the present good governance government has taken effective measures to conduct comprehensive investigations for any wrong doing or a malpractice. UNP parliamentarian Nalin Bandara alleged about 40 COPE committee reports during the Rajapaksa regime have been concealed. 

 

SLFP says mass rallies cannot topple the government.

The Western Province Minister and the SLFP organizer of Homagama electorate Gamini Thilakasiri requests all party members to join hands to take the party forward shredding the petty differences. He further said organizing various rallies in different junctions have become a joke. Sri Lanka Freedom Party being a strong national party will not resort to these cheap techniques to attract people.

Mr. Thilakasiri also reiterated that the government cannot be toppled by mass rallies. He made these comments at a media conference held in Colombo today. He also stated it is good for SLFP if former President Mahinda Rajapaksha joins hands with the present leader of SLFP President Maithripala Sirisena to take the party forward.

The present government will stay in power till 2020. The government cannot be challenged by a mere 52 parliamentarians in the joint opposition. Mr. Thilakasiri also noted if SLFP does not contest the forthcoming election as a united force, then it will be pave way for UNP to grab more seats in the local government election.

Gemunu requests 5,000 rupees for begging and selling in buses.

The President of Lanka Private Bus Owners Association Gemunu Wijerathne requests the government to impose 5,000 rupees as fine for begging and selling goods inside buses. Mr. Wijeratne yesterday further said that he had requested the Finance Minister to include a clause to ban begging and selling goods inside buses and to add 5,000 rupees as fines when the Motor Traffic Act of 1951 is being amended to add seven traffic offences.

He said he had requested Minister Ravi Karunanayake to implement the rules to ban begging and doing businesses inside the buses, which causes inconveniences to the commuters. Many complaints had been received about harassment caused by beggars and sellers. He said drug addicts collect their daily collection and some book sellers sell their books while pick pocketing the passengers.

Since the Act had been implemented for 66 years, there had been no specific fine defined. He said therefore, a request had been made to the Minister to charge a fine of minimum 5,000 rupees for begging and selling goods inside buses. 

Prime Minister emphasizes the need of participation of all stakeholders in dealing with matters important to migrant workers.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says that it is necessary to all stakeholders get together dealing with matters important to the migrant workers. Addressing the senior officials meeting and fourth ministerial consultations of  Abu Dhabi dialogue in Colombo today he also said specially for Sri Lanka foreign employment has become a major source of revenue.

It is important to look into the matters relevant to the families of migrant workers . Majority of the migrant workers are women and the problem related to their employment as well as the family and welfare should be looked into. A middle class has emerged in Sri Lanka partly due to  foreign employment. The Prime Minister said that the Asia is becoming a fast growing region. Sri Lanka has made arrangement to develop Sri Lanka as a hub of the Indian ocean.

Minister Thalatha Athukorala who was elected as the chairperson of the Abu Dhabi dialogue for two years said that, she hopes to work with the support of countries in the region for the benefit of migrant workers.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella says that the government has nothing to hide in central bank bonds transaction.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the supreme court that heard a petition on the central bank bond transaction filed by three persons from the civil society has rejected without giving notice to the respondents. The respondents were unable to prove that illegal activity has taken place.

The minister made these remarks in parliament today taking part in the special debate on the report on the  central bank bonds presented by the COPE.  The minister said that the government has nothing to hide about  this transaction. The government appointed an opposition parliamentarian as the chairman  of the COPE.  But, during the last regime, the then government appointed a government MP as the chairman of  COPE.

Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake moving the proposal for debate said that this transaction has taken place against the standard tradition. Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardena presenting the proposal said that the persons who have been involved in this transactions should be punished.

  Leader of the opposition R. Sambandan said all the governments are against corruption but  corruption is increasing daily.  This trend is not conducive for democracy.  He urged the necessity taking prompt action to eliminate corruption. 

The first phase of the multipurpose building complex constructed within Sri Dalada Maligawa premises,will be offered to Maligawa.

The first phase of the multipurpose building complex constructed within Sri Dalada Maligawa premises, Kandy will be offered to the Maligawa tomorrow at 10.30 am.  Foundation stone will be laid for the second stage on this occasion.

Minister Partalee Champika Ranawana and the deputy minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna will present as chief guests.  Governor of the central province Niluka Ekanayake and chief minister Sarath Ekanayake will also attend the function. 

Fiber optic technology will be introduced to the general public this year for a nominal fee.

Minister Harin Fernando says effective measures will be taken this year to introduce new technologies to the general public including high speed internet facilities. These technologies will be introduced under fiber optic procedures.

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