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COPA unhappy over corrupt Samurdhi officials going unpunished

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The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) expressed strong displeasure for not giving a proper punishment to Samurdhi Development officials involved in misconduct and various corruption irregularities.

This was discussed when the said Committee met in Parliament on Jan. 10th under the Chairmanship of State Minister – Lasantha Alagiyawanna.

Officials from the Samurdhi Development Department affiliated with the Ministry of Women, Children Affairs and Social Empowerment had been called to before the Committee on this day.

The Committee inquired about the disciplinary action taken against the officials responsible for a financial irregularity in providing fishing nets to the prosperous people for livelihood in the Ampara Damana Divisional Secretariat. Accordingly, the Ministry of Women, Children Affairs and Social Empowerment was advised to re-investigate the incident and obtain a report, expressing their displeasure with the disciplinary measures followed. Accordingly, the Committee instructed the officials to take appropriate disciplinary action against the officials who engage in such misconduct from there on.

The Committee instructed the Samurdhi Development Department to prepare an immediate program to protect the Samurdhi beneficiaries. The Committee Chair instructed to pay more attention to the beneficiaries of Samurdhi who are not satisfied and work towards empowering them. Instructions were also given to send a report to the Committee including details of the amount of money in the seven funds currently under the care of the Samurdhi Development Department and the services provided by those funds.

The progress of computerization of the Samurdhi Bank system was also examined during the Committee. Accordingly, the officials informed that currently 1089 Samurdhi Banks have been networked. However, as all the banks are still not fully computerized, the officials were instructed to take the necessary measures to bring all the banks to operate through one system by giving a date for each bank to go through the system.

The Chair stated that the approval for the new staff of Samurdhi Development Department has been received and accordingly instructed to provide a report on the tasks expected to be carried out by the Department to solve the existing issues related to the staff and also advised to hire the new employees as soon as possible.

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Dr. Shelton Premarathne passes away

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Legendary Sri Lankan music composer Dr. Shelton Premarathne has passed away today (May 30) at the age of 94.

He had been living with his son in Sydney, Australia, at the time of his demise.

Dr Premaratne has contributed to Sinhala cinema, theatre and classical Sri Lankan music. 

He was the music composer and director in over 30 stage productions, including Henry Jayasena’s popular theatre production Hunuwataye Kathawa (The Caucasian Chalk Circle), and 21 Sinhala films including films such as Daskon, Romeo Juliet Kathawak and Hithaka Pipunu Mal.

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Indian-owned ship held in Colombo after oil spill; travel ban imposed on captain

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The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has taken custody of a ship which had caused an oil spill while anchored at the Colombo Port.

A spokesperson of the MEPA stated that legal action has been initiated against the company that owns the ship and the relevant insurance company regarding the oil spill. Under the Marine Environment Protection Authority Act, the MEPA is seeking compensation for the incident, the authority revealed.

The ship, owned by an Indian company, had recently arrived at the Port of Colombo for maintenance activities. A special investigation conducted by MEPA had revealed a leak of hydraulic oil from the ship. The company’s owner has admitted to the incident and agreed to provide compensation, according to the MEPA.

Furthermore, the Colombo Magistrate Court has imposed a travel ban on the captain of the ship preventing him from leaving the country, as per a request made by the Colombo Port Police.

(This story, originally published by adaderana.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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5 companies fined Rs. 1,243 Mn. for illegal gold imports

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State Finance Minister Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that five companies have been identified for illegally importing gold into Sri Lanka during the past few years, and fines of Rs.1,243 million have been imposed on those companies.

The Minister said that one of the related companies was ordered to pay Rs.179 million as fines.

Emphasising that from now on, all licensed institutions carrying out import of gold goods should avoid these illegal acts, the Minister said that the relevant institutions will also be charged fines for the gold purchased by even third parties considering the production reports.

He said the efforts to stabilise the state revenue of the country are currently being carried out by closing all the loopholes related to the loss of state revenue gradually.

Certain parties who import gold goods have turned this into a big racket and therefore there is a mafia around it.There were various challenges and threats when the government tried to curb this mafia initially.

The Minister further said that there were various levels of threats, pressure and intimidation, and the government did not waver in the face of all these challenges and moved to the second step.

(dailynews.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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