Lord Naseby supports vote in the absence of consensus on Core Group’s resolution
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Lord Naseby yesterday (9) said that in spite of the Core Group’s resolution being further watered down, the possibility of the government of Sri Lanka accepting it was unlikely.
The Island raised the issue at hand with Lord Naseby, who unconditionally threw his weight behind Sri Lanka’s efforts to counter unsubstantiated war crimes accusations.
Q: Having made invaluable representations to UNHRC on behalf of Sri Lanka, at the current session too, what would you think is advantageous to Sri Lanka (a) to go with the Core Group resolution or (b) seek a vote whatever the consequences?
A: It appears as far as I can see the Core Group resolution is slowly being amended and may yet be amended further before March 22 so I cannot give a definitive Yes or No now however it seems unlikely it will be acceptable to Sri Lanka. If this turns out to be the case then I personally would support a vote.
(Q) Many Sri Lankans believe successive governments conveniently failed to exploit Oct 2017 disclosure made by you in the House of Lords.
Do you believe your disclosures, statements as well as statements made by US Defence Advisor Lt. Col. Smith in June 2011 and Wikileaks revelations could have been used in a much better way by GoSL?
(A) I think the previous Government missed a trick in not exploiting all the evidence that clearly refuted the allegations in the Darusman & OISL reports. I think the present Government faces so many challenges e.g. pandemic, financial challenges plus Geneva plus a devious UK who never supplied the Gash dispatches to the UNHRC plus a constant barrage from the Diaspora all in a short time frame that I do not criticise them. In fact the actions to revitalise the Missing Person Commission & the Reparations Commission are both really positive.
(Q) Are you disappointed with the way Sri Lanka’s defence continued to be handled?
(A) Remember my role is to try to help the people of Sri Lanka.
Well informed sources said that the government was under heavy pressure to accept the Core Group’s resolution with India being asked by the government to back Sri Lanka whereas the TNA insisted on New Delhi’s support.
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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