Amidst protests of trade unions, Sri Lanka Telecom is hurriedly embarking on a vendor financing project aimed at further extending the previous Rajapaksa regime’s accelerated FTTH programme, the country’s first fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband service initiative.
The vendor financing agreement is to be signed (or has been already signed as per certain reports) with international vendor firms Huawei, ZTE and Nokia (Alcatel), the former handlers of the FTTH programme at a financing cost of Rs 69 billion.
This money should have to be repaid by SLT in three years in US$ terms with accumulated inters and dollar depreciation under the vendor financing agreement, Telecommunication Engineers Union (TEU) said.
It has been planned to provide 160,000 fibre loops under this FTTH extension programme, TEU revealed. ,
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) is now initiating long term financial agreements to implement artificially built-up or massive scale projects with investments running up to billions of rupees in a hurry on the eve of upcoming presidential elections, SLT engineers alleged.
This money spending spree of vendor financing initiatives will impact the company bottom line and will eventually lead towards curtailing benefits of employees, Telecommunication Engineers Union (TEU) said.
SLT trade unions will lodge a complaint at the National Election Commission urging them to inquire into this matter and suspend vendor financing Projects which will be used as cover up for siphoning money to sponsor fvourite candidate of SLT top management.
In a letter of protest, TEU stated that at a time of elections where the people of the country including the pubic and private sectors are adopting a wait and see stance, SLT is venturing into mega projects unrealistically.
The TEU has sent this letter to the President, Prime Minister, Finance Minister and other relevant authorities focusing their attention on money spending attempts of the top management of the company.
TEU has urged the current SLT board of directors to suspend unrealistic vendor financing initiatives aimed at siphoning money for election propaganda activities and leave the decision for funding of mega projects to a new board which will be appointed after elections following the normal procedure.
Another demand of TEU is to desist from entering into any agreements on any vendor financing projects or long term investments during the presidential election period.
Despite a crackdown on discriminatory policies against local travellers certain tourism-related establishments continue to adhere to a ‘no locals’ policy. One such offender according to a post on a social media site has been identified as ‘Central Beach Inn’ located in Mirissa.
The post on the page claims the establishment had denied serving a local living in Australia when he visited the restaurant with him, family. Though the original post explaining the incident appears to be over two years ago sources claim the policy is still in place with only foreign tourists being able to avail of its facilities and services.
A Sri Lanka Tourism Board official, when questioned, claimed that the issue will be looked into and necessary action will be taken in this regard.
Ending weeks of speculation, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan on Sunday tied the knot with his "spiritual guide", his party confirmed. This is Imran Khan's third marriage.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Fawad Chaudhary said party chief Khan married Bushra Maneka, a "respected Pir" (faith healer) in a simple ceremony in Lahore yesterday.
65-year-old Khan's previous two marriages ended in divorce. His first marriage was with Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of a British billionaire, in 1995, which lasted nine years. Khan has two sons from her.
His second marriage with TV anchor Reham Khan in 2015 ended after a brief 10 months.
Source : DNA
The picture of an Arpico Super Center employee spraying Mortein inside of a coffee vending machine is being circulated widely on social media as of yesterday. While the act has been caught on camera the company is now being taken to task by the public for its violation of food safety at the eatery located on the premises.
“ Our people are not aware of health and safety” one comment on a social media site read with another social media user pointing out that cockroaches are a common issue with similar vending machines which may have prompted the act. Others claimed to have decided to avoid the eatery going forward.
Mortein which is a popular bug repellent is considered to be poisonous and it is generally advised to be kept away from food as well as children.
Pic Source : Facebook
KFC in Sri Lanka has come under fire after a customer posted a video on social media this week of an exchange between him and the branch manager of a KFC outlet regarding the quality of the meal served to him. According to the customer, the meat despite cooked on the outside was found to be raw. He also accused the store manager of speaking to him in an inappropriate manner. The incident is reported to have taken place at the KFC Kottawa outlet.
However, releasing a statement today KFC Sri Lanka claimed that the chicken served is cooked in an automated cooking system and that it appeared to its staff members that it was cooked to requisite standards. The statement also said it regretted that its staff were treated in a derogatory manner.
Opinion on social media has been divided with some accusing KFC of providing low-quality meals while others accused the customer of behaving in a rude manner.
Yet another popular school in Colombo was seen using elephants during the annual school walk over the weekend. As pictures surfaced on the internet, especially on social media the school came under fire by environmental activists and the public alike for the act. Public opinion has been building up against the use of animals for recreational and similar purposes in recent times.
According to sources from the environmental lobby, the Principal had been requested to leave out elephants from the parade. Nevertheless, despite the pleas, the school appears to have gone ahead with the original plan when elephants were seen being paraded during the walk.
Speaking to ISIS one environmentalist pointed out the irony of the situation. “One elephant was wearing grab which called to protect elephants in the country,” he said adding that it is not only ironic but a pathetic situation when those who call to protect these animals end up being the abuses themselves.
A number of other popular Colombo schools too were recently criticized for the use of animals for school events.
Pic Source: Facebook
Hashini Amendra, the wife of veteran singer Victor Ratnayake, was arrested by the Tangalle Police this morning for the alleged misappropriation of Rs. 1.28 million worth of jewellery belonging to a state bank.
Police said the manager of the said state bank had lodged a complaint with the police against the 32-year-old for the crime she allegedly committed during her time as an employee of the pawning section of the bank during 2012- 2016.
The Tangalle Police arrested the suspect, a resident of Ambagahawatta Mawata in Athurugiriya when she arrived at the police station this morning.
Police said she will be charged under the Public Properties Act and is to be produced before the Tangalle Magistrate.
Source: Daily Mirror
Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has met President Maithripala Sirisena to divulge some previously unknown details pertaining to the controversial bond issue, a Sunday Newspaper reported.
It also says that the former Minister has expressed his willingness to clear his name by providing evidence.
Meanwhile, releasing a video via social media, Mr. Karunanayake revealed that even though he was the former Minister of Finance, neither the Central Bank nor the State banks were under his purview.
As such, he stated that he would bear no responsibility with regard to the bond issue.
Veteran singer Victor Ratnayake is said to have sent legal notice recently to his sons Jayantha and Lelum. According to Jayantha Rathnayake who had revealed the information to a weekend newspaper the notice has now barred the duo from performing any songs of their father during concerts or other events.
A rift was created between them recently due to a family spat over the veteran singer remarrying at the age of 75.
“I don't think the ban will affect our careers,” he said adding that they had only sung their father's songs at certain events at the request of audience members. “We have not made a living out of our father's songs” he added.
According to Jayantha, however, his financial state has taken a major hit due to the rift between him and his father. While earlier he directed music at all concerts attended by Victor Rathnayake, the family feud meant that he was no longer hired as the music director at these events. “For 11 months I have not directed music at a concert,” he said.
Kavinda Dissanayake, brother of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary and Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake got hitched yesterday at a lavish wedding ceremony held at the Water's Edge Hotel in Colombo. Kavinda Dissanayake is also the Personal Secretary to the Minister.
Pic Source : Duminda Dissanayake Facebook Page