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US training on Accounting Standards & IT

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The first group of Sri Lankan public sector accounting and auditing professionals participated in Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards 11-20 through a training by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and its public sector wing, the Association of Public Finance Accountants of Sri Lanka (APFASL).

The U.S. Government, through its development arm – the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – supported the training under its Partnership for Accelerating Results in Trade, National Expenditure, and Revenue (PARTNER) activity.

The first 50 of a total 600 public sector accountants and auditors learned about the standards, which provide a framework for preparing and presenting financial statements under the accrual accounting system in line with international best practices. The partnership of USAID, CA Sri Lanka, and the APFASL will also train 1,200 public sector workers on the effective application of IT systems for data management, analysis, and strategic decision-making.

“As one of the country’s longstanding development partners, we are committed to help strengthen and streamline Sri Lanka’s public financial management practices and thereby its path to recovery,” USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Mission Director Gabriel Grau said at the inaugural training. “Further strengthening skills and competencies of key accounting and auditing professionals can help contribute to this long-term goal through improved financial analysis, planning, and management”.

In his opening remarks, Mr. V. Kanagasabapathy, President of APFASL, said: “Strong public financial management is imperative to achieve the long-term goals of any country, therefore, in our standing as the public sector wing of CA Sri Lanka, APFASL has taken immense pride in being a catalyst in helping strengthen the public financial management practices in Sri Lanka. We are delighted that the U.S. Government has recognized our important work and is supporting our efforts to help public sector accounting and auditing professionals perform better.”

Mr. Heshana Kuruppu, CA Sri Lanka Vice President said, “The public sector in Sri Lanka is considered to be large in comparison to the size of our economy, employing approximately 1.5 million people. This sector also holds the key to helping change the lives of 22 million people. Excellent public financial management will play a critical role in achieving this important objective and improve productivity of the sector. As the national body of accountants, CA Sri Lanka together with APFASL are committed to helping the public sector contribute effectively to the economy. The launch of this landmark program with USAID is part of our continuing efforts to achieve this crucial goal.”

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SLFP to support no-confidence motion against the Speaker

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The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has announced its endorsement of the no-confidence motion to be brought against the Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Accordingly, the SLFP announced that it will support the motion being brought against the Speaker by the opposition, and will vote in favour of it.

On Monday (26 Feb.), several Opposition members, led by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa, signed a motion of no confidence against the Speaker, claiming that he had violated the Constitution.

As such, a group of MPs belonging to the opposition in Parliament including M. A. Sumanthiran, Lakshman Kiriella, Prof. G. L. Pieris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody and Shan Wijayalal de Silva, had inked the motion for approving the much-disputed Online Safety Bill amidst ‘irregular procedures’.

The no-confidence motion pointed out that the Speaker had ignored the Supreme Court’s recommendations pertaining to Sections 13, 17, 20, 33 (6), 34 (1), 35 (1), 21, 22 and 33 of the Online Safety Bill.

Earlier this month, Opposition Leader charged that the Speaker had ignored nine recommendations given by the Supreme Court while enacting the Online Safety Act, adding that they no longer have faith in him.

(adaderana.lk)

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School outdoor activities suspended over soaring temperatures

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The Education Ministry has instructed all respective school authorities to refrain from making students participate in strenuous outdoor activities until Friday (March 01) at schools as temperatures are expected to rise further.

Accordingly, Sports Day events, sports practices or any other scheduled outdoor activities are urged to be suspended for the time being.

Provincial and zonal authorities of education have been instructed to brief school principals about the matter, the ministry said in a press release.

In addition, school administrations are required to comply with the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry.

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Court suspends divestiture process of SLT & Lanka Hospitals

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The Court of Appeal yesterday (27) issued an interim order preventing authorities from proceeding with the divestiture process of Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC, until March 12.

Three Petitions were filed for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC including by Lyca Mobiles, and S.M.R. M company, while two petitions were filed for Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC including by Lyca Leasing Holdings.

Upon the oral submissions made by President’s Counsel Kuvera De Zoysa, Court of Appeal Justice D.N. Samarakoon issued notices on respondents, returnable for March 12.

The petitioners named Minister of Finance Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, the members of the special Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee for the purpose of selecting pre-qualified bidders for the strategic divestiture pertaining to 51.34% shares of Lanka Hospitals PLC and several others as respondents.

Kuvera De Zoysa, PC with Raslka Dissanayake, Sajana de Zoysa, Dinusha Pathirana and Shablr Huzalr instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the petitioners.

The petitioners had informed the court that they had submitted bids per the required criteria for the divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government’s shares of 50.23% in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and 51.34% in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC.

The petitioners alleged that, however, the Cabinet of Ministers had rejected the bids without providing any clear explanations, adding that the decision was against the law.

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