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COPE chairman denies accusations as Opp. Leader calls for his removal

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The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Chairman – Prof. Ranjith Bandara has denied that he was engaged in conflict of interest by associating himself with Sri Lanka cricket (SLC) as a consultant for a project to construct a cricket campus in Kandy.

The drama unfolded after a document was circulated over social media which said Professor Bandara had been a consultant of the Kandy Cricket campus project which had been carried out by SLC in 2018.

Professor Bandara had sat for meetings with SLC CEO Ashley de Silva Professor Asoka Tilakawardane who has been the project manager, Sunil Ariyaratne, Janaka Kuruppu coordinator to Project Manager.

Speaking to ‘Daily Mirror’, Professor Bandara has said that he did get involved in the project back in 2018 but kept away from the project once he became an MP. “ I developed the concept of Kandy Cricket Campus but I did not accept any payment for it. I worked on a voluntary basis. This cannot have a connection to the current post which I currently hold in Parliament ,” he has  said.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa had called Parliament to replace COPE Chairman from the position due to conflict of interests with the Sri Lanka Cricket.

Explaining Prof. Bandara’s involvement in the aforementioned cricket campus in Kandy, the Opposition leader had added that Prof. Bandara’s son Kanishka Bandara had also been seated at the COPE sessions on SLC this week.

Mr Premadasa had requested the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to explain matters.

Making inquiries from the Parliament Secretary General, the Speaker had stated that Prof Bandara’s son had attended the meeting on the grounds that he was the Media Secretary of Prof Bandara.

However, MP Hesha Withanage pointed out there was no provision to call for a Media Secretary.

Prof Bandara was not present in Parliament at that time and the Speaker assured that he would look into the matter and give a ruling. 

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Sri Lanka Mirror wishes everyone a happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year!

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The 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawned at 09.05 pm last night (April 13).

‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ extends heartfelt New Year greetings to all our readers. May this upcoming year be filled with boundless happiness, prosperity, and success for each and everyone of you.

–  Sri Lanka Mirror team

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Derailed train causes delays on coastal line

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A train has derailed at the Kalutara South railway station on Saturday morning (13).

Trains operating on the Coastal Line are thus experiencing delays, Sri Lanka Railways said.

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Kristalina Georgieva to head IMF for a 2nd term

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on October 1, 2024.

The appointment comes ahead of the start of the fund’s spring meetings in Washington next week.

Georgieva, who has been in the role since the autumn of 2019, was the sole candidate for the position. However, it was only after European leaders signalled that they would endorse her last month that her candidacy was assured.

In a statement, the coordinators of the Executive Board, Mr. Afonso S. Bevilaqua and Mr. Abdullah F. BinZarah has said, “Looking ahead, the Board welcomes Ms. Georgieva’s ongoing emphasis on issues of macroeconomic and financial stability, while also ensuring that the Fund continues to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of its entire membership. It recognizes her focus on strengthening the Fund’s support to its members through effective policy advice, capacity development and financing. The Board looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Managing Director.”

“I am deeply grateful for the trust and support of the Fund’s Executive Board, representing our 190 members, and honored to continue to lead the IMF as Managing Director for a second five-year term,” Ms. Georgieva has said.

The Bulgarian national has served as Managing Director since October 1, 2019. The Managing Director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chair of the Executive Board. The Managing Director is assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors in overseeing the Fund’s operations, which serve its membership through about 3,100 staff.

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