The Government has taken steps to release 74 bowsers of kerosene today (23) to meet the fuel needs of the fishing community.
Presidential Director General (Community Affairs) Keerthi Tennakoon said that 49 private sector filling stations, 18 cooperative filling stations and 7 other filling stations will continue to distribute kerosene to fishermen.
The Provincial Chief Secretaries and Governors were entrusted with the task of distributing fuel to the fishing community from yesterday (22). The supply of kerosene to the fishing community will be fully restored by tomorrow (24).
Around 28 bowsers of kerosene were delivered to Wattala, Hendala, Beruwala (Fishing Harbour), Hendala Wijesinghe, Galle, Ahungalla, Tangalle, Norochcholai, Puttalam, Chilaw, Chilaw Aluwaththa, Velvettithurai, Puthukudiruppu, Kayts, Gurunagar, Thalladi, Myliddi and Kalavanchikudi yesterday (22).
In addition to this, kerosene and diesel will also be issued continuously to fishing communities in 14 ports operated by the Fisheries Department.
The Fisheries Department and the Governors of Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Kalutara, Colombo, Gampaha, Puttalam, Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara are looking into the fuel needs of the fishing community under the direction and supervision of the Chief Secretaries and District Secretaries of South, West, North West, North and East Provinces.
Directives have been issued to supply fuel today to all filling stations that had received approval by yesterday but had not received fuel due to not having paid for it yesterday.
The distribution of the kerosene oil will be carried out by 18 co-operative filling stations where no distribution of kerosene oil has been done so far. Necessary financial facilities have been provided by Cooperative Rural Banks on the recommendations of Provincial Cooperative Commissioners and Secretaries.
Director General of Community Affairs Tennakoon said that the delays in the distribution of kerosene would be completely resolved within the next two days.
If there is any difficulty in obtaining fuel for fishing activities, the President’s Community Affairs Division also requests the fishing community and businessmen to make their requests to the District Governor, Provincial Chief Secretary or the Cooperative Secretary of the concerned district.
SLC invite Alex Marshall to probe match fixing allegations
The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket decided today (November 23) to invite Mr. Alex Marshall, the General Manager of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, to Sri Lanka to investigate recent allegations of “match fixing” made by a parliamentarian regarding the recently concluded Pakistan Tour.
In a statement, Sri Lanka Cricket says that , as a full member of the ICC and mandated to uphold the integrity of the game at both the national and international level, they believes that it is the correct course of action to take in light of the recent allegations made by the aforementioned parliamentarian, which have caused immense reputational damage to Sri Lanka Cricket and its stakeholders.
Ministry was urged to bring back suspended Oman embassy official in February!
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.
Poisons & Opium Act in effect from today
The Poisons, Opium, and Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill passed in the parliament on October 19th, 2022 shall come into effect as the Poisons, Opium and Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act No. 41 of 2022 from today (23).
The aforesaid came into effect following Spekaer Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana endorsing the certificate on the Bill today (23).
On September 9th, the Minister of Justice, Prisons Affairs and Constitutional Reforms submitted the said Bill to Parliament to amend the Poisonous Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.
The Poisonous Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance amends the law relating to Poisonous Opium and Dangerous Drugs. The amendment of this Act is expected to update and strengthen the existing law based on the needs arising from the time regarding the possession and use of the importation of drugs.