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COPE reveals irregularities at Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital

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The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) revealed major irregularities at the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital.

The Chairman of the Committee Ranjith Bandara and the Auditor General W.P.C Wickramaratne charged that the management conspired to enable fraud, by not seeking counsel of the Attorney General for six years since the hospital’s land encroachment issue was first brought to notice.

The issue was discussed when the COPE committee convened on Dec. 06.

The COPE committee also recommended that the amount of land belonging to the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital premises should be identified and legal action should be taken quickly to evict the unauthorized residents if there are any.

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Bakery industry in crisis as bread and bun sales decline

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The All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association (ACBOA) has reported a significant drop of around 50% in the sales of cakes, bread, and buns in the local market. The association attributes this decline to the high manufacturing costs currently faced by the bakery industry.

According to the ACBOA, the costs of margarine and butter have surged to Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 3,000 per kilogram, respectively. Additionally, the association cited challenges in obtaining imported eggs from India, forcing them to purchase locally produced eggs at Rs. 60 each.

The chairman of the association expressed concerns about the impact these rising costs have on the bakery industry. In light of these challenges, the ACBOA is urging the government to provide concessions and work towards reducing the prices of essential ingredients before the upcoming Sinhala and Hindu New Year.

The association’s plea emphasizes the need for government support to help stabilize the bakery industry and ensure its sustainability amid the current economic challenges. Further updates on the situation and any government response will be monitored closely.

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Former Minister Ronnie de Mel no more

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Former Minister – Ronnie de Mel has passed away today (27) while being treated at a private hospital, reports say.

He was aged 99 years old.A former civil servant, he was the Minister of Finance from 1977 – 1988 under the United National Party government and holds the record for the largest number of budgets presented by a finance minister.

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NPP to also back NCM against Speaker

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The National People’s Party (NPP) has also decided to back the No Confidence Motion against Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kieirella, Professor G. L. Peiris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody, Shan Wijayalal de Silva, and others have signed the motion on behalf of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya and Samagi Jana Alliance.

Meanwhile, Dullas Alahapperuma, the leader of the Freedom People’s Congress has also said that they would back the NCM.

Yesterday (26), the Uttara Lanka Sabhagaya had stated they would back the motion as well. 

The motion cites several reasons, including the Speaker’s failure to appropriately present the amendments proposed by the Supreme Court for the Online Safety Bill before its passage. 

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