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AKD slams President’s spending (Video)

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In a scathing critique of the government’s financial priorities, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Leader of the Jathika Jana Balavegaya, today lambasted President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s spending habits and called for stricter financial discipline.

Dissanayake zeroed in on two specific allocations: Rs. 1.3 billion for Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) restructuring and Rs. 200 million for the President’s overseas travel, fuel, vehicle maintenance, and arrears.

He questioned the logic of allocating hefty sums for SLT privatization while the nation grapples with economic hardship. Regarding the President’s expenses, he asserted that “the President should be the first person to comply with financial discipline” and condemned the additional funds allocated after an already inflated budget for travel and vehicles.

Dissanayake further scrutinized the President’s frequent overseas travels, highlighting 14 trips in 14 months, including four UK visits, two Japan trips, and an upcoming “longest tour” of nearly two weeks. He contrasted this with previous presidents and questioned the necessity of attending summits where other world leaders were absent. 

Dissanayake also drew attention to the irony of the President’s travel expenses while basic necessities like rice, milk powder, diesel, and medical supplies are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT). 

He then turned his focus to the Rajapaksa family, questioning the continued use of state residences by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his son, Namal Rajapaksa, and other Rajapaksa family members. 

The Leader of the Jathika Jana Balavegaya also cast doubt on the purpose of a recent nighttime vessel tour undertaken by the Former President, questioning his ability to participate meaningfully given his health limitations.

(news1st.lk / Video : Voicetube)

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University applications open tomorrow 

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that online applications for university admissions for the academic year 2023/2024 will open tomorrow (14 June).

Applications will be available from 6 am tomorrow at www.ugc.ac.lk
The application deadline is 5 July 2024. 

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Govt. to privatise SriLankan as part of IMF programme – CEO

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The government, as part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, is looking to privatise several state-owned enterprises and one of those is the flag carrier of the island nation, said SriLankan Airline CEO Richard Nuttall.

Nuttal added that the airline is also looking for an investor. Three candidates have been finalised in April and the government is in talks with them.

Nutall said that no Indian company had shown interest in investing in the airline.

The airline hopes to grow its current fleet of 21 to 22 next month, with plans to obtain another three aircraft within the next three months.

Source: ANI

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University Impact Rankings 2024

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The Times Higher Education (THE) announced the University Impact Rankings for 2024 yesterday (12 June), identifying and celebrating universities that excel across multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These institutions stand out by demonstrating comprehensive excellence in contributing to global sustainable development. They also showcase their commitment to addressing the world’s most pressing challenges, including environmental sustainability, social inclusion, economic growth and partnerships.

THE evaluated 2,152 universities from 125 countries/regions to produce the overall Impact Ranking for 2024.

Australia’s Western Sydney University tops the list for the third consecutive year. The UK’s University of Manchester and Australia’s University of Tasmania follow in joint second place. Denmark’s Aalborg University is in fourth. Overall, the top 10 includes five countries across three continents.

The top newcomer in 2024 is France’s Institut Agro at joint 21st.

India is the most-represented country in the overall table, with 96 institutions.

Meanwhile, the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka has been ranked in 4th place among the Sri Lankan Universities and ranked between 801-1000 among the world Universities in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024.

The University scored high marks for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 4: Quality Education. The University joined the ranking in 2023.

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