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I have learnt of the death of Mr. Sunil de Silva PC – Former AG. 

I initially met him when I joined the AG ‘s Department in 1987. He was one of the gentlemen who interviewed me. The AG at the time was Mr. Shiva Pasupathi. I recall the grilling that I had when he questioned me on Manawadu v AG which had been just pronounced. 

He had his early education at Royal College and was very proud of his alma mater. Eventhough, I did not know him personally when I joined the Department, he took an instant liking to me. Later on in life, I got to know that he was closely connected to the Late Lalith Athulathmudali PC, who also played an important part in moulding me. 

Mr. De Silva was very sad when I was selected to the Civil Branch. However, despite my allocation he used to send me Criminal files. After an year after I joined the Department, Mr. De Silva was appointed as the AG in 1988. While keeping me in the civil side he appointed me as SC Administration as the junior to Kolitha Dharmawardene initially and later to Mohan Pieris. I was relatively very junior for that appointment. Later he had commented that I was an incorrigible person and that the only way to reform me was to put me in charge of administration. That was a golden opportunity as I was compelled to study AR s and FR s and other Govt. Circulars. He knew all circulars by heart. 

He was a very intelligent Gentleman and was an extremely mischievous human being. Those in the Department at that time would remember the pranks that he played on people. He had a marvelous sense of humour. His candour and repartee was second to none. 

He was a stern AG. He never believed in media and in fact on the contrary issued several circulars restraining the members of the Department from going public. 

He was one of those who developeda liking in me to history, traditions and ethical standards. He also developed our computer skills. I recall, that he got a few of us trained in computers as we had joined the Department. Nalin Ladduwahetty PC was his best student in the area of Computers. 

He was a very fast driver. I recall many instances where we had travelled out of Colombo for official work. He used to take the wheel and drive at a speed of around 120 KM violating most of the provisions of the MTA. Anyway who cared after all he was the AG. 

In the 1st Neethi Ranga that we held, The AG s Department staged a play. Mr. 

De Silva acted in that and directed it. I recall taking part in that skit with my friend Shavindra Fernando. Later on I had the opportunity of acting with him in a few instances in He comes from Jaffna. Elson Divithurugama played the lead role in the drama. Mohomad Adamally played the role of Aru, his son. I played the same role taking turns. Angela Seneviratne, Kumar Paul, Shavindra Fernando and Sunil Rodrigo, AAL and former GM Galle Face Hotel were the other actors along with Sunil de Silva himself. 

Mr De Silva was a pleasing personality. We all enjoyed his sense of humour. He was never at a loss for words. He enjoyed company. Even though he migrated to Australia, his heart was here. He kept in touch with all of us. Whenever he came for the Royal-Thomian, he met a few of us. Last time I had the opportunity of meeting him was when Palitha Fernando PC former AG organised a dinner at his residence for all the Department Old boys. 

A few days ago he messaged me and checked whether his pension was being regularly deposited to the BOC Account. I immediately checked and informed him that it was. He wanted to use that in Sri Lanka when he visited here the next time. 

Only yesterday he had taken a shot at Hiran Kulatilleke on a common whatsapp thread that we were all in. 

He always believed in grooming the next generation. He shared his knowledge with every one without any reservation. He was kind to all but fearless. He continued to share his experience and knowledge even after retirement. He was a very sharp and an intelligent human being. 

We have learnt a great deal from you Sir. 

Life would have been different, if we did not come across people of your calbre. 

We cherish and appreciate every second spent with you.

May you attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana.

May your journey through Sansara be short. 


Kalinga Indatissa



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Veteran singer and musician Professor Sanath Nandasiri passed away at the age of 81




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Overtime gravy train for public sector back



Govt. MPs make contradictory statements on state of economy

By Shamindra Ferdinando

UNP National List MP Wajira Abeywardena on Sunday (26) disclosed the issuance of a circular by the Finance Ministry to restore overtime and other payments in the public sector.

The declaration was made in Galle soon after Transport and Media Minister Bandula Gunawardane lamented that the government was short of billions of rupees to pay public sector salaries, pensions, Samurdhi payments and meet recurrent expenditure.

Minister Gunawardena and UNP National List MP Abeywardena addressed the local media after the handing over of several buses to the Galle SLTB depot.

Cabinet Spokesman Gunawardena said that the government needed as much as Rs 196 bn before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and its projected revenue was Rs 173 bn. In addition to that Rs 500 mn was required to settle what Minister Gunawardena called bilateral debt.

Minister Gunawardane said that a part of the first tranche of USD 333 mn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be utilised to pay public sector salaries.

Of the USD 333 mn received so far, USD 121 had been used to pay the first installment of USD 1 bn credit line secured from India early last year, according to State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera in the second week of August last year revealed as much as Rs 3 bn had been paid as overtime to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) workers for several months. This disclosure was made in response to a query raised by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella.

One of the major demands of the public sector trade unions on the warpath over the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government’s new tax formula is the restoration of overtime.

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Now, Opposition wants Finance Secy. hauled up before Privileges Committee



Prof G L Peris

Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday (27) urged Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to act speedily on the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) request to summon Finance Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena before the parliamentary Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

Addressing the media on behalf of the Freedom People’s Alliance, the former External Affairs Minister said that the Treasury Secretary had challenged the parliament by withholding funds allocated in the budget 2023 to the Election Commission thereby sabotaging the election.

Prof. Peiris said that there couldn’t be a far worse violation of parliamentary privileges than a government official undermining Parliament.

Instead of appreciating the intervention made by the Supreme Court to facilitate the delayed Local Government polls, the ruling party had sought to challenge the apex court, Prof. Peiris said, urging Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to fulfill his obligations.

Prof. Pieris said that if the government lacked funds, just one percent of USS 333 mn received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was sufficient to conduct the election.

The ex-minister said that the IMF wouldn’t oppose the utilisation of a fraction of the first tranche of USD 2.9 bn loan facility provided over a period of four years to guarantee the constitutional rights of the Sri Lankan electorate. (SF)

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