Oct 26, 2021

Return of SlIIt under Mahapola Fund confirmed!

The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SlIIT) in Malabe will be taken back under the control of the Mahapola Fund, said Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said at the ruling party meeting.

He was speaking at a meeting of government party members chaired by President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the President's House in Fort.

COPE Chairman Prof. Charitha Herath said in Parliament recently that the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology in Malabe had secretly taken control of several individuals.

Colombo District Parliamentarian Premanath Dolawatta questioned at the government party meeting what action will be taken in this regard, to which Minister Bandula Gunawardena responded saying that he had earlier lodged a complaint with the CID seeking an inquiry into the alleged fraud in the transfer of the SlIIT Institute, which was set up to raise money for the Mahapola Scholarship Fund under the Ministry of Higher Education.

A Presidential Commission had been appointed to look into the transfer, and the COPE Committee of Parliament had recently inquired into the matter, he said.

SLIIT, which was established in the late 1990s on an investment loan from the Mahapola Fund, was legally recognized as a non-profit private institution in 2017 after an audit by the Auditor General's Department after repaying all those loans. 

Recently, however, two COPE reports were tabled in Parliament calling for SLIIT to be taken over again, and they are due to be debated soon.

Meanwhile, an operation called #savesliit has been launched on social media to save the institution.Meanwhile, the Bandula faction has accused the current administration of organizing the social media operation.

Its current directors are Prof. Lakshman L. Ratnayake (Chairman), Prof. Lalith Gamage (CEO), Prof. Nimal Rajapaksa (Board Member), Thilan Wijesinghe (Board Member), Rehan Devapura (Board Member), Jehan Amaratunga (Board Member) and Dr. Harsha Cabraal (Member of the Board of Directors).