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Public left to bear additional fuel costs due to CPC’s conduct!

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The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has expressed displeasure that dishonesty within the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) due into existing dishonesty within the institution, and the deliberate delay of 08 years and 08 months in issuing the relevant circular to filling station owners by its marketing department, has incurred a loss of Rs. 3,416 million for the period 2014-2022. 

In this backdrop, COPE was of the view that the marketing department should assume responsibility for committing large-scale fraud to the CPC.
This matter was taken up for discussion recently (19) when COPE met under the Chairmanship of MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena to examine the Auditor General’s report for the year 2022 and the current status of the CPC.

The Committee expressed its strong displeasure whilst insisting on holding the corporation’s officials accountable. Furthermore, COPE reiterating to the high officials present that the internal officials of the CPC are clearly responsible for such acts of fraud, inquired as to what actions the CPC has taken in this regard thus far.
Furthermore, COPE directed the CAO/AO to submit a report to the Committee within 7 working days containing the list of names of those affiliated to committing the fraud and the measures the CPC has taken to hold such officials accountable for their wrong doings.

Furthermore, it was disclosed that the public had to bear an additional cost for fuel due to the payment of Rs. 31,021.07 million as extra commission to the distributors.

Due to the overpayment made by the officials, COPE disclosed that the customer has to pay Rs. 5.85 for a liter of 92 petrol, Rs. 7.50 for a liter of 95 petrol, Rs. 5.88 for LED and Rs. 6.96 for LSD in excess as of the calculations to date (June 19).

The Committee also inquired regarding the commission which was paid in excess for the year 2022 which has been accounted as a sales expenditure when it should have been entered as a receivable. Accordingly, the Committee further inquired about the officials responsible for the recovery of these overpayments and the action taken in this regard.

It was also disclosed at COPE that the officials responsible for the said are no longer in the country.

The Committee on Public Enterprises directed the CAO/AO to submit a comprehensive report within two weeks containing the list of names of those affiliated to committing such financial fraud and to make a complaint to the CID for investigations in parallel with the internal investigations.

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MP Ali Sabri Raheem released on bail (Update)

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Puttalam District MP Ali Sabry Raheem has been granted bail after being produced before the Puttalam Magistrate’s Court today (July 20).

The Puttalam Acting Magistrate has ordered the MP to be released on a surety bail of Rs. 200,000 and also to appear before court on 22 July.


(Previous News on 20th July, 2024 at 11:51am)

MP Ali Sabri arrested

Puttalam District MP Ali Sabri Raheem was arrested by Kalpitiya police earlier today (20). 

The parliamentarian, against whom a warrant had been issued recently, had appeared before the Kalpitiya Police this morning (20), after which he was arrested, police said.

Police said that he will be produced before the court today.

In March, the Puttalam District MP was suspended from Parliament for a period of one month, after a resolution proposing the suspension of Raheem from parliamentary proceedings was approved in the Parliament.

Raheem was embroiled in controversy last year after he was detained at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo along with a stock of undeclared gold and mobile phones.

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Teachers and principals to work to rule for two weeks starting Monday

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The Teacher-Principal Trade Union Alliance has announced that the work-to-rule campaign will begin for two weeks starting Monday, as previously decided.

The Alliance stated that this action is due to the failure of negotiations held yesterday (19), which included Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, Treasury officials, Public Service Commission officials, and others.

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105 killed in Bangladesh protests; nationwide curfew imposed

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At least 105 people have been killed in Bangladesh as police cracked down on unrelenting student-led protests against govt job quotas despite a ban on public gatherings.

The govt has decided to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy the army.

Earlier in the day, telecommunications were disrupted and television news channels went off the air.

Authorities had cut some mobile telephone services the previous day to try to quell the unrest. 

According to reports, police and security officials fired bullets and tear gas at protesters and banned all gatherings in the capital Dhaka. 

The protests, which began weeks ago but escalated sharply this week, represent the biggest challenge to PM Sheikh Hasina since she won a fourth consecutive term in office after the January polls.

The government has deployed police and paramilitary forces across the capital to lock down campuses and break up protests. 

On Wednesday, universities including the country’s largest suspended classes and closed dormitories, and on Friday police in Dhaka said they were banning all gatherings and demonstrations in the capital. 

According to foreign media, border guard officials fired at a crowd of more than 1,000 protesters who had gathered outside the head office of state-run Bangladesh Television, which was attacked on Thursday. 

The border guards shot at the crowd with rifles and sound grenades, while police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Bullets littered the streets, which were also marked by smears of blood. 

Internet services and mobile data were widely disrupted on Thursday night and remained down on Friday in the capital, Dhaka. 

Social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp were also not loading. A statement from the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said they were unable to ensure service after their data center was attacked by demonstrators, who set fire to equipment. 

Student protesters said they will extend their calls to impose a shutdown on Friday, and urged mosques to hold funeral prayers for those who have been killed.

Source: Times Of India

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