COPE Special Report reveals subtle yahapalana move to remove Mahapola Trust Fund from ownership of SLIT
A special report submitted by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), established by the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund, reveals that the top management of the institution has taken a series of steps to vest state resources in private ownership in an informal manner.
The report states that the government approved the establishment of the SLIIT through the Cabinet Memorandum (98/995/11/052) presented on 01 April 1988 under the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund (Act No. 66 of 1981).
The government also established the Sri Lanka Information Technology Company (Limited by Guarantee) to run this institution until an Act was adopted for it.
The report points out that the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund has given Rs. 500 million and its 25-acre land situated in Malabe as initial capital of the Sri Lanka Information technology Company.
The Committee says that the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund and the Company decided to appoint three persons of the University of Moratuwa, two persons from the Ministry of International Commerce and Food, Chairman of the Board of Investment and the Chairman of the Export Development Board to the Board of Directors of the Company.
“Out of the members appointed to the original Board of Directors of the SLIT Company representing the respective institutions as aforesaid, the three persons appointed from the University of Moratuwa and the then Chairman who was appointed at that time for his being the Chairman of the Board of Investment have remained in the posts of Directors uninterruptedly for over 23 years up to the present time (up until the year 2021).”
It concludes that during the yahapalana administration four agreements were entered into by the SLIT Company and the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund and through these there was an attempt to remove Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund from the ownership of the SLIT.
SF claims thousands of police and military personnel leaving
By Saman Indrajith
Thousands of police and military personnel had left the services recently as they did not want to carry out illegal orders, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka told Parliament yesterday. According to the war-winning army commander 200 policemen have resigned during the past two months and 25,000 soldiers have left the army during the last two years.
“We urged the law enforcement and military officials not to follow illegal orders. We will reinstate them with back pay,” he said.
Fonseka also urged the President and the government MPs not to take people for fools.
“Sri Lanka owes 55 billion dollars to the world. Ranil’s plan is to borrow another seven billion during the next four years. So, in four years we will owe 62 billion to the world.
Ranil and his ministers ask us what the alternative to borrowing is. These are the people who destroyed the economy and society. They must leave. Then, we will find an alternative and develop the country,” he said, adding that the IMF loans had made crises in other nations worse.
“Ranil says that by 2025, we will have a budget surplus as in Japan, Germany and South Korea. These countries are economic power houses, and this comparison is ludicrous.”
CEB hit by exodus of technical staff
By Shiran Ranasinghe
At least five technical personnel of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) resigned daily for overseas employment, a senior CEB official said.They included electrical engineers, electricians and foremen, he added.
“Most of them are quitting due to the economic crisis while others are simply disillusioned. Trained and experienced technical staff are in high demand in many countries,” he said.
CEB United Trade Union Alliance President Ranjan Jayalal said that the CEB had lost about 2,000 employees in recent times due to the above reasons.
“We had about 24,000 such personnel a few months ago. Now the number has come down to 22,000. A number of people had to retire on 31 December, 2022.
Sajith questions sudden decision to charge Rs. 225,000 from students following NDES
By Saman Indrajith
The government had decided to charge Rs 225,000 from those enrolling at the Institute of Engineering Technology, Katunayake under the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday in Parliament.
Premadasa said that the institute awards the National Diploma in Engineering Sciences (NDES) and no fee was charged from students until 2023.The IET awards the National Diploma in Engineering Sciences under the three major fields of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, and eight sub-fields.
“This is an institute that has created over ten thousand tier two engineers. NDES is a four year programme,” he said.
The opposition leader said that the sudden decision to charge 225,000 rupees from students at a time when the average Sri Lankan family is facing significant economic challenges is unfair.
“This institute offered free tuition. We should continue this tradition. A large number of engineers are leaving the country and we need to ensure that we have a continuous supply of engineers to ensure we can maintain our essential technical services,” he said.
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