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Ministry was urged to bring back suspended Oman embassy official in February!

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A COPA sub-committee to resolve the issue pertaining to the lack of skilled workers to meet foreign job demands.

The Committee on Public Accounts disclosed at the Committee meeting held yesterday (22) that complaints against the, currently suspended Omani embassy officer were made since February this year. However, a decision on the matter has been delayed.

Additional Auditor General. Mr. P. L. K Perera pointed out that on 28.02.2022, the former chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau has requested an investigation through the Internal Audit Division regarding this particular officer. The Additional Auditor General further pointed out that financial fraud, certificate fraud, etc. had been reported regarding this official.

Thus, it was disclosed that the former chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, had requested the Ministry in February of this year to make arrangements for him to be brought back to Sri Lanka immediately, as investigations may be hindered if this person remains in the post. The committee expressed its strong displeasure for not taking action until the incident received a lot of publicity through the media.

The Director General of the Foreign Employment Bureau said that on 28.02.2022, according to the request of the former chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau, an investigation on this official was conducted through the Internal Audit Division. However, the allegations could not be confirmed. The Director General said here that after calling for a report from the Ambassador of Oman and based on the investigation report received from the Criminal Investigation Department on the 4th of November, the Bureau too action to suspended the said officer.

The Committee expressed its displeasure over the lack of prompt action regarding this officer and questioned on the matter at length.

The secretary to the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment said that even though he came to this Ministry after the month of May this year, he will accept the responsibility. The committee pointed out that even if the secretary changes, the officials should take responsibility for this.

The absence of trained workers to meet the demand for foreign jobs in many fields including nurses was also taken into discussion at length. COPA also pointed out that the responsibility of the Foreign Employment Bureau is not to send unskilled workers abroad, but to work with all other relevant ministries and institutions in a joint approach to send skilled workers abroad to meet the demand for foreign jobs.

Thus, the committee chairman instructed the secretary to the Ministry of Labor and Foreign Employment to prepare a mechanism within 2 months to send trained workers to meet the demand of foreign jobs in good coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Education and other related institutions. Furthermore, a COPA sub-committee will be appointed for this, COPA chair – Kabir Hashim stated.

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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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