Kiriella complains tabled report on political victimisation incomplete
By Saman Indrajith
Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday that the Report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), which investigated the alleged incidents of political victimisation tabled by the government in Parliament, was incomplete.
When the report was tabled in Parliament by Leader of the House, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, the Chief Opposition Whip said that the testimonies of the report had not been included in what had been tabled.
The first three volumes of the Sinhala version of the report were tabled by the Leader of the House Minister Gunawardena.
Chief Opposition Whip Kiriella requested the government for recordings of evidence of the PCoI reports. “Not even the volumes containing the records of testimonies of the report on the Easter Sunday terror attacks have been given. The Attorney General says he too has not been given them. How could he institute legal action without reading them? We have been repeatedly asking for the complete report.”
Leader of the House Minister Gunawardena said: We agreed at the Party leaders’ meeting to debate the Presidential Commission of inquiry report on Easter Sunday attacks for three days. The first day of debate is scheduled for Wednesday. The next two days will be allocated on the third next sitting week. That was the agreement and we would work according to that.
Chief Opposition Whip Kiriella:
Where are the sections containing the testimonies? They too should be given to us.
Leader of the House Minister Gunawardena:
That is a future issue.
A three-member Presidential Commission of Inquiry was appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in January 2020, to inquire into alleged political victimisations that took place from 2015 to 2019.
The Commission consisted of retired Supreme Court Judge Upali Abeyratne, retired Court of Appeal Judge Daya Chandrasiri Jayatilake, and retired IGP Chandra Fernando.
The Commission was mandated to inquire into political victimisation as regards investigations conducted by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, FCID, CID, and the Special Investigation Unit of the Police from January 8, 2015, to November 16, 2019.
The Commission also investigated the cases of politically victimised public officers during the relevant period.
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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