Two drown after boat capsizes in Valaichchenai

Two persons died while two others survived when the boat they were in capsized at Jayanthi Yaya reservoir, Punani in Valaichchenai yesterday night.

Police said a group of four individuals had gone rowing in the lake around 11.45 pm when they met with the tragedy.

The deceased have been identified as Mohammad Anas Sakir aged 24 and Mohammad Ushnar Kapis aged 21 residents of Eravur.

Police are carrying out further investigations into the incident

Presidential polls likely in Jan. if MS, MR join hands

New political alliances and formations are common occurrence when the national elections are around the corner.

The presidential elections are scheduled to be conducted at the end of next year. Now, the country’s political air is pregnant with preparations for such happenings. The latest is a move to forge an electoral pact between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Efforts are now underway for this project with the backing of a section of the Joint opposition. The proposed political deal is brokered by former Minister MP S. B. Dissanayake on behalf of President Sirisena.

An additional secretary for each ministry to implement bilateral pacts

Steps have been taken to appoint an additional secretary to each ministry to evaluate and implement bilateral agreements entered into during the President’s foreign visits, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

This matter has been discussed at a meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and ministry secretaries on Monday.

The President has emphasized the need for ministry secretaries to play a vital role to optimize the government’s development process.

He has also reviewed the progress of the development programmes implemented at ministerial level.

Another matter which had been reportedly discussed was with regard to programmes implemented, submitting new proposals to promote government revenue, creating new income avenues, contributions to the national economy and expenditure management of state institutions.

The President pointed out the need to streamline public relations and emphasized the importance of giving prominence to the resolution of the grievances and requests of the people.

He said it was mandatory that on Wednesdays the ministry secretaries should be in their offices to meet the public.

Moreover, the President stressed the importance of maintaining a website and regularly interrelating the information between the ministry’s official duties and the development plans.

He said it was the duty of the ministry secretary to reduce the cost of living and provide benefits to people by taking vital decisions to provide the public with a better livelihood.
Presidential Secretary Udaya R. Seneviratne was also present at the meeting.

Auditor General only draws a salary of Rs. 69,000

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe, who is also the Chairman of the National Audit Commission, said yesterday that he was drawing only a monthly salary of Rs. 69,000 which is sufficient only to foot his monthly electricity and telephone bills.

He said he was not paid the salary increment due to him for the past three months.

Mr. Wijesinghe stated that although he was not working as the Auditor General and the Chairman of the National Audit Commission for financial gain it was only right that he be an acceptable salary.

While a motion for the payment of a salary increment with retrospective effect from November 23, 2015 and other relevant remunerations to Mr. Wijesinghe had been included in the Order Paper in Parliament for the approval of the House, it was withdrawn by Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella on the day it was to be taken up on August 23 with the hope of re-submitting it for approval on a later date.

Driving Trishaw: NTC to study ban on age limit

The Transport Ministry would appoint National Transport Security Commission to study and analyze the ban imposed on three-wheeler passenger transport, sources said.

The Government earlier considered banning the issuing of trishaw driving licence to persons less than 35 years of age.

The existing National Council for Road Security will function as the National Transport Security Commission for the relevant task, Deputy Transport Minister Ashok Abesinghe said.

“There are more than 700, 000 three-wheeler drivers below 35 years, while the total registered number of three-wheelers are 1, 200, 000,” according to the Chairman Sunil Jayawardena of the Self-employed Three Wheeler Drivers Union.

“The ban is still not in operation and the matter is being investigated and public opinion will also be entertained before coming to a solution,” the deputy minister said