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Finance Ministry curtails privileges of university lecturers!

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The Finance Ministry has made arrangements to stop providing funds for air tickets and other facilities to university lecturers who travel abroad for postgraduate studies and training.

The ministry has informed this to the University Grants Commission in writing. The letter also said that measures taken in relation to all government institutions will also apply to universities and higher educational institutions due to the current economic crisis.

The appointment letter of lecturers who have been working continuously for seven years says that they are entitled to a one-year leave for their post-graduate studies or training activities, and the lecturers who go abroad will be given facilities such as air tickets.

However, the lecturers said doing away with these facilities is a violation of human rights and the university lecturers are of the opinion that since they are entitled to the seven-year leave facility for the work they have already done, there is no possibility to violate the rights related to that period.

Meanwhile, University Grants Commission Chairman Professor Sampath Amaratunga said they could have arrived at a compromise had the Finance Ministry discussed the issue with them before taking this decision.

The chairman pointed out that measures such as creating a ration system for universities, preparing a waiting list for lecturers going abroad and providing financial facilities accordingly, and providing these financial facilities from the income earned by the universities could have been discussed prior to taking the decision.

The professor warned that universities could become ‘deserts’ due to this new decision.

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Victoria Nuland to visit Sri Lanka next week

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The United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka, next week.

During her visit to Sri Lanka, Under Secretary Nuland will mark the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Sri Lanka relations which coincides with Sri Lanka’s 75th anniversary of Independence.

The American Embassy in Sri Lanka says this in a statement.

Full statement is below.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland Travels to Colombo for Bilateral U.S.-Sri Lanka Talks

United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland arrived in Colombo with an interagency delegation for meetings with the Government of Sri Lanka, as well as business and civil society leaders.  Other senior members of the interagency delegation include Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Amanda Dory.

Under Secretary Nuland and Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris will co-chair the 4th U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue which will address strengthening democratic institutions, human rights, sustainable economic development, mitigating climate change, deepening trade and investment ties, regional security, and educational cooperation.

Under Secretary Nuland, Ambassador Chung, and the U.S. delegation will meet with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to discuss the challenges posed by the global pandemic and ways to strengthen the U.S.-Sri Lankan partnership.

Under Secretary Nuland and the U.S. delegation will also meet with representatives of civil society and the

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Public urged to inform of unauthorized power outages

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General Public and electricity consumers requested to inform the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) in writing of any unauthorized power outages imposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

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Speaker endorses certificate on 2 Bills

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Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena endorsed the certificate recently (24) on the Regulation of Election Expenditure Bill and the Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill which were debated and passed in Parliament recently.

Accordingly, these bills come into force as the Bureau of Rehabilitation Act No. 2 of 2023 and the Regulation of Election Expenditure Act No. 3 of 2023.

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