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COPE chair criticizes Mahaweli Authority

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The Committee on Public Enterprise evaluates the current performance of the Mahaweli Authority following the Auditor General’s Report of 2020 & 2021.

Professor Ranjith Bandara, Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprise took exception at the outdated ‘Vision’ statement and Key Performance Indicators of the Authority following consistent failure to deliver its services with integrity and quality.
The Chairman began proceedings with a stern look at the inability of the body to ‘raise the living standards of the citizens’ – a mantra clearly highlighted in the body’s vision statement. He directed the Director-General of the Mahaweli Authority to examine its policy and practices and re-invent the fundamentals of the body itself to reflect the modern world better. On this note, the Committee further queried the lack of digital infrastructure in the land reservation process and directed the Authority to take measures to strengthen it.

Regarding the conveyance of lands, the Committee directed the Authority to submit the following:
• Report on existing land conveyance procedure to be submitted within 02 weeks.
• Report on how lands conveyed for investment purposes was completed including details of the investor, purpose of investments, etc. to be submitted within 02 weeks.
• Report on illegal constructions taking place within the purview of the body to be submitted within 01 month.

Following an incongruence between the annual report submitted to parliament and the data sought out by the Auditor General’s office, an urgent report of all lands released in 2022 was requested. This comes on the heels of the President’s directive where a stay order was made on the issuance of lands.

The Recruitment Process Management was scrutinized, and it was found that there were vacancies that had not been filled up owing to suspected reservations for promotions to the existing staff internally. The Chairman of COPE immediately directed that the vacancies be filled within the next 60 days.
The Committee directed that all issues be revisited for review and accountability on 21-07-2023.

(Prof.) Ranjith Bandara, M.P., (Chair), Hon. Jagath Pushpakumara, Hon. Janaka Wakkumbura M.P., M.P, Hon. Shantha Bandara, Hon. Mahindananda Aluthgamage M.P., Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera M.P., Hon. Eran Wickremaratne M.P., Hon. Jayantha Samaraweera M.P., Hon. Sanjeeva Edirimanna M.P., Hon. Jagath Kumara Sumithraarachchi, M.P., Hon. (Major) Sudarshana Denipitiya, M.P., Hon. Premnath Dolawatte, Attorney-at-Law M.P., Hon. M Rameshwaran, M.P., Hon. (Mrs.) Rajika Wickramasinghe, M.P., Hon. Madhura Withanage, M.P., Prof. Charitha Herath M.P. were present

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Electricity tariffs reduced

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The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has approved a reduction of electricity tariffs by 22.5 per cent overall, PUCSL chairman Prof. Manjula Fernando said today (July 15).

The tariff revision, which will be effective from midnight today, is as follows :

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FR petition filed over Presidential Election dismissed with costs

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed seeking an order to prevent holding of the Presidential Election as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution has not been properly passed in Parliament, subject to costs.

This verdict was issued when the relevant petition filed by Attorney-at-Law Aruna Laksiri was taken up for consideration today (15) before a Supreme Court judge bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Arjuna Obeysekara and Priyantha Fernando.

Accordingly, the court ordered the petition dismissed with costs of Rs 500,000 to be paid by the petitioner before July 31, 2024.

The petition argued that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was not properly passed in Parliament and therefore called for a referendum to ensure its proper passage.

The Election Commission and its members, the General Secretary of Parliament and the Attorney General had been named as respondents of this petition.

The petitioner claimed that through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Article 70 of the Constitution has been amended to deprive the President of the power to dissolve an elected Parliament after one year has passed.

The petitioner asserted that the amendment has not been approved by a referendum, even though a Supreme Court bench ruled that the amendment should be referred to a referendum.

The petitioner pointed out that the amendment cannot be considered as a law because it has not been approved by a referendum and signed by the President.

Therefore, the petitioner had argued that it is wrong to continue to accept the 19th Amendment as a law.

(adaderana.lk)

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Sabry to visit Romania & Poland

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Foreign Minister Ali Sabry will pay official visits to Romania and Poland from 16 to 19 July 2024.  

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo, he will meet with his counterparts and other senior government ministers and officials.

Minister Sabry will also formally open the new Sri Lanka Embassy in Bucharest which commenced operation in 2023.

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