Connect with us

News

Dinesh urges Opp. to stand together to face int’l threats to atone for past betrayals 

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Leader of the House Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament on Wednesday (25) that no agreement had been signed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on probing alleged war crimes. 

Participating in the third reading stage debate on budget 2021, Minister Gunawardena said Moon had visited Sri Lanka after the end of the war. They had issued a joint statement which was now being dubbed as an agreement, the Minister said.

“The Opposition is doing that purposefully to cover its own wrongs. The yahapalana Foreign Minister sponsored a UN resolution against this country betraying our valiant forces. Those wrongs can never be rectified and people will never forgive them. So, the Opposition is distorting the truth.  We may have political differences, but we must be united in facing international threats. This is something you should learn from other countries.”

Minister Gunawardena said that there were some Opposition politicians who advocated a federal solution and demanded that the government should take India for an example. India became a federal country because at the time of independence, there were principalities in India, the minister said. 

“They had to adopt a federal solution to become a union. It’s the same with the US. When a group of independent states have to come together, the best option for them is a federal structure. That does not suit a country that has been unitary since ancient times. India’s principalities existed for many years, sometimes two decades, after Independence. It was during the times of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1970s the powers of some Maha Rajas were taken over by the Central Government.” 

Minister Gunawardena said that the vision of the government was to achieve a fourfold outcome – a productive citizenry, a contented family, a disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation.  “We are committed to safeguarding sovereignty, independence, national security, territorial integrity, human rights and democracy while ushering in prosperity. It was on this basis that as the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka I spoke before the UN at Geneva February this year and withdrew from a UNHRC resolution against this country.”



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Chinese contractor obtaining Port City sand for Colombo harbour projects unlawfully: FSP

Published

on

Front-line Socialist Party (FSP) spokesperson Pubudu Jagoda yesterday (25) alleged that the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government had allowed China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to obtain sand unlawfully from the Port City project for the construction of the East and Jaya Container in the Colombo Port.

Addressing the media at the FSP office in Colombo, Jagoda claimed that though in terms of the agreement the sand was to be brought from the Muthurajawela area, the contractors for both projects, CHEC, obtained sand from the Port City project.

Jagoda said that on a monthly basis approximately 4,000 cubes of sand, worth Rs 80 mn, were transported illegally with the government looking the other way.

The breakaway JVP faction said that the government owed an explanation regarding the suitability of sea sand for such large-scale construction and whether the Chinese met the required standards as regards concrete work.

Jagoda also asked whether taxes were paid for the massive loads of sea sand procured by the Chinese. The former JVPer alleged the way CHEC conducted its operations here indicated that it didn’t respect Sri Lanka’s law. (SF)

Continue Reading

News

CBSL denies 70% pay hike

Published

on

… seeks opportunity to tell Parliament its side of story

 No salary increases for Central Bank workers until 2027

Trade unions, etc., agreed to pay hikes

by Shamindra Ferdinando

The Governing Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), embroiled in an ongoing controversy over recent salary hikes granted to its employees, has sought an opportunity to explain to Parliament what a senior official called the rationale behind the pay hike.

Authoritative CBSL sources told The Island that the request had been made through the Finance Ministry to Parliament seeking an early meeting with the relevant committees.

The Governing Board consists of Dr. P Nandalal Weerasinghe (Chairman), A N Fonseka, Dr. Ravi Ratnayake, Anushka S Wijesinha, Vish Govindasamy, Rajeev Amarasuriya and Manil Jayesinghe.

Responding to queries, sources denied accusations that the CBSL employees had been granted over 70 percent salary increase with effect from January this year. When The Island pointed out that several lawmakers had openly accused the CBSL of doing so and State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya declaring that the government couldn’t intervene due to the enactment of new CBSL Act, sources said that the Parliament could address the issues at hand by giving the CBSL an opportunity to give its side of the story.

Sources said that following the latest salary revision, the monthly salary bill increased by 50 percent. However, those who had been attacking the CBSL, over the salary increase, had conveniently forgotten 24 percent of that amount had been deducted and sent directly to the Inland Revenue Department as PAYE (Pay As you Earn) tax.

Sources pointed out that CBSL staff would not be entitled to salary increase until 2027 whereas the government usually granted pay hikes to workers in the state sector.

Sources denied claims that the latest salary increase has been granted under the new CBSL law. Referring to the relevant legal provision in the law, sources said: “The CBSL followed the same procedure it has been following during the last few decades. This has nothing to do with the new CBSL law. These provisions were there even in the previous law.”

Sources said that those who had received higher salaries paid taxes amounting to 36% to the government, and the latest salary increase had been determined, following consultations between the top management and recognized trade unions of the CBSL. According to sources, the management and trade unions commenced signing of three-year collective agreements, beginning in 2000. The latest agreement covers the 2024-2026 period.

Sources said that instead of asking the CBSL for an explanation, a section of the media had gone on the offensive on the basis of unsubstantiated claims and accusations. “They politicized the issue and sought to direct public anger at the bank at a time it was working overtime to bring about economic recovery,” a senior CBSL official said.

Continue Reading

News

Wijeyadasa: Presidential election will be held in 2024

Published

on

Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse

Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, over the weekend assured that presidential election scheduled for later this year would be held.This assurance was given at a meeting held at the Batticaloa Divisional Secretariat on Saturday (24).

Referring to his role and that of several unnamed others during the unprecedented 2022 crisis, Minister Rajapakse said that contrary to speculation, claims and reports, presidential poll would be followed by parliamentary polls and other elections.In terms of the Constitution and the presidential election law, election should be held in October 2024.

Continue Reading

Trending