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No retirement parties for public-sector officials

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The Treasury has banned the conduct of parties and functions at state expenses to mark the retirement of public sector officials.

The move came after reports that some of the senior public sector employees including secretaries and heads of state-owned enterprises were planning to have functions, some of them at five-star hotels to mark their retirement at state expenses. 

Some of the functions are being organised in halls or workplaces with catering services providing the food. Arrangements also have been made to provide them with gift vouchers and expensive gifts such as television sets and electrical equipment using state money, a senior Treasury official said.

Some 18,000 public-sector employees are set to retire by the end of the year due to a government decision to revise the retirement age of public-sector employees to 60 years from 65 years.

Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena issued a circular on Friday, spelling out guidelines restricting the use of state money for opening ceremonies, functions for officials assuming duties, get-togethers and similar events.

The circular has been issued to ministry secretaries, chief secretaries of provincial councils, heads of departments, district secretaries, heads of state-owned enterprises and heads of state-run banks.

They have been advised to ensure that funds are not misused as they are responsible for the funds of the respective institutions.

The circular has noted that despite previous circulars regarding the suspension of the use of state money for non-important events, there were instances that the circulars were being violated.

“The restrictions have been issued in view of the current financial situation and unnecessary expenses would be an additional burden on the Treasury,” the official said.

source – sundaytimes.lk

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Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrested

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Saman Ratnayake over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin injections.

The arrest was made after Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrived at the CID to provide a statement.

Several key individuals including former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Former Health Secretary, the Medical Supplies Division Director are currently in remand custody over the Immunoglobulin scandal.

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Dickwella replaces Kusal in SL T20 Squad

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The Cricket Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket has announced Niroshan Dickwella as the replacement for Kusal Janith Perera in the upcoming Twenty20 International (T20I) Series against Bangladesh.

The series is scheduled to commence on Monday in Sylhet.

Kusal Janith Perera, originally included in the T20I squad, will miss the series due to a respiratory infection.

Perera did not join the team on their departure to Bangladesh on Thursday. 

In light of his absence, Niroshan Dickwella has been named as the replacement and is expected to join the team ahead of the first T20I match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.

The T20I series against Bangladesh consists of three matches, with the second and third T20Is scheduled for March 6 and 9, respectively, at the same venue.

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Scholarship exam, GCE O/L, A/L dates released

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The Examination Department has announced the schedule for several key examinations for the year 2024.

Accordingly, the GCE (O/L) Examinations 2023 is scheduled to take place from May 6th to May 15th while Grade 5 Scholarship Examinations 2024 is set for September 15th, 2024.

In addition, the GCE (A/L) Examinations 2024 will run from November 25th to December 20th, 2024.

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