Bandula Gunawardena: Latest News

President orders to further curtail government expenditure

COLOMBO (News 1st); In a note to the Cabinet, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, had stated that the Government revenue at present is far below the monthly expenditure for the month of January 2023.The President's Media Division, and Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Bandula Gunawardena confirmed that the President had instructed on further curtailing government expenses.The President had noted that the Treasury finds it challenging to meet all expenditures at this moment, except for payments for salaries, pensions, welfare, pharmaceuticals and debt servicing.Therefore, President Wickremesinghe had pointed out that the Government expenditure will have to be curtailed further / postponed until planned revenue to be raised on the recent tax revisions is realized, reported the President's Media Division.He had noted that the Treasury will formulate a priority criterion for this purpose.Furthermore, the President had pointed out that public officers should refrain from obtaining goods/services on credit basis, and any officer who violates this will be held personally responsible for such expenditure, said the PMD."The President informed the Cabinet of Ministers that the revenue for January collected from the Inland Revenue Department, Sri Lanka Customs and the Excise Department was Rs. 158.7 Billion.

The total expenditure stood at Rs. 368.7 Billion," revealed the Cabinet Spokesperson on Tuesday (31) morning.

. president information Government Department reports

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Bandula Gunawardena - Ranil Wickremesinghe - Yala Fiasco : President orders probe, says Cabinet Spokesperson - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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Yala Fiasco : President orders probe, says Cabinet Spokesperson
COLOMBO (News 1st)- Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the security forces to conduct an investigation in an impartial manner in to the recent incident inside the Yala National Park where a fleet of Off-Road vehicles were seen performing doughnut inside the park premises.Cabinent Spokesperson & Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that the President also instructed to penalize those accountable.Nine people and seven jeeps that were involved in the Yala Fiasco over the weekend, that received widespread condemnation, were produced to the Tissamaharama District Court on Wednesday (26) after they surrendered to the Yala National Park Rangers Office earlier in the day.The Magistrate ordered for the suspects to be released on a personal bail of Rs. 500,000/- each.In the meantime, a three-member Committee was appointed to conduct further investigations on the Wildlife officials who have been temporarily suspended for failing to prevent incident from taking place.This committee will be chaired by an Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resource Conservation.A total of seven Park Rangers have been interdicted until the investigations are over, and they are charged with dereliction of duty and for their direct or indirect involvement in the incident.The matter was also raised during Wednesday's (26) cabinet briefing, and Minister Bandula Gunawardena.
Bandula Gunawardena - Coal Crisis: Cabinet Spokesperson blames conspiracy - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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Coal Crisis: Cabinet Spokesperson blames conspiracy
Coal Crisis: Cabinet Spokesperson blames conspiracyCOLOMBO (News 1st) – Sri Lanka's Cabinet Spokesperson on Friday (23) revealed that a conspiracy is taking place to deprive the country of on-time coal imports.Minister (Dr) Bandula Gunawardena, the country's cabinet spokesperson, told reporters on Friday (23) that a conspiratorial plan is afoot to deny the on-time coal delivery and to extend the power cuts.He said that the coal tender that was awarded recently, was for a bid that was lower than what was offered last year.The Minister said that due to technical and legal issues if Sri Lanka fails to import coal on time it would lead to a crisis, and therefore it was decided by the Cabinet of Ministers to appoint a Cabinet Sub-Committee to make an emergency decision that is paramount for the country and to make purchases in a manner that does not affect the people.He said that all necessary decisions will be made by the subject Minister, and the Cabinet Sub-Committee to prevent a shutdown of the power plant that would lead to extended power cuts.The Minister said coal procurement will be made as an emergency national requirement, that will not affect the people in any way.Sri Lanka is likely to once again face an electricity crisis due to issues surrounding the procurement of coal to power the Norochcholai Power Plant.The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineer's Union warned that daily power cuts are likely to be extended to ten hours a day, if coal is not received by the 25th of October 2022.The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka also approved the Ceylon Electricity Boards' (CEB) request for power cuts of 2 hours & 20 minutes from 23rd to 25th September.Electricity Supply: 30 percent of the country's electricity supply
Bandula Gunawardena - Chinese missile and satellite tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 to depart Sri Lanka on Monday (22) - newsfirst.lk - China - India - Sri Lanka
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Chinese missile and satellite tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 to depart Sri Lanka on Monday (22)
COLOMBO (News 1st); The Yuan Wang 5, China's missile and satellite tracking ship berthed at Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, will leave at 4 PM today (22), said the Harbour Master of the Hambantota Port Exclusively to News 1st.The Yuan Wang 5 is one of China's latest generation survey vessel officially entered Port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka on Tuesday 16th August 2022 replenishment purposes.Sri Lanka granted permission for the high-tech Chinese tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 to dock at the Hambantota Port in a backdrop marred with controversy.Diplomatic clearance for the Chinese vessel to make a port call at the Hambantota port from 11-17 August​,​ 2022 for replenishment purposes was granted by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreing Affairs, however due to concerns raised by various factions including India, the Ministry requested China to defer the visit of the said vessel to the Hambantota port.However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not provide any reason for the request.When the request to defer the visit of the vessel was made, the Yuan Wang 5 had already set sail to Sri Lanka leaving its port of origin on the 14th of July, and it was already in the Indian Ocean.The vessel thereafter slowed down and moved over the Ninety East Ridge, a mid-ocean ridge on the Indian Ocean floor named for its near-parallel strike along the 90th meridian at the center of the Eastern Hemisphere.On 16th August 2022, Sri Lanka's Cabinet Spokesperson & Minister Bandula Gunawardena confirmed that the Chinese ballistic missiles and satellite tracking vessel was requested to delay their visit due to concerns voiced by India.He said that a request was made from China to defer the arrival until Sri Lanka cleared out the concerns of its neighbor
Bandula Gunawardena - Ranil Wickremesinghe - President meets Chinese Ambassador behind closed doors - newsfirst.lk - China - city Beijing - Japan - India - Sri Lanka - Australia
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President meets Chinese Ambassador behind closed doors
COLOMBO (News 1st); President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Ambassador to China Qi Zhenhong met on Saturday (06), President's Media Division confirmed.The closed-door meeting was held at the request of the Chinese Ambassador. The meeting took place against a backdrop where the arrival of the Chinese vessel 'Yuan Wang 5' at Hambantota Port in located in the Sea of Sri Lanka, has sparked controversy in the region.Initially, Sri Lankan authorities said that there was no information that such a ship would arrive.However, a few days later, Cabinet Spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena confirmed that the ship will remain at the Hambantota port from August 11th to 17th for refueling and replenishment.Sri Lankan authorities also pointed out that it is routine for ships of friendly nations such as India, Australia, Japan and China to visit Sri Lankan ports.However, amid strong protest from India, the Foreign Ministry has requested for the ship's arrival to be deferred, according to a release issued by the Ministry.The Foreign Ministry has requested the Chinese Embassy to defer the arrival of the vessel, “until further consultations” are made between the two Governments.Moreover, reports indicate that the Chinese Embassy will consult  Beijing before responding to Sri Lankan authorities on the deferral.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa - Bandula Gunawardena - Ranil Wickremesinghe - Gotabaya Rajapaksa gets short-term visit pass in Singapore extended - newsfirst.lk - Singapore - Sri Lanka - city Singapore - Maldives
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Gotabaya Rajapaksa gets short-term visit pass in Singapore extended
Singapore; Sri Lanka’s former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is set to extend his stay in Singapore.The Straits Times in Singapore reported that his short-term visit pass, which was issued when he arrived here on a private visit two weeks ago, has been extended by another 14 days.This development comes as Sri Lanka’s Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday (July 26) that he was expected to return home.He added that he was not aware of when the former president was returning but emphasised Mr Rajapaksa was not in hiding, neither was he in exile.Another Sri Lankan government official who asked not to be identified said Rajapaksa wanted to return home as soon as possible and was keen to live again at his private residence in the outskirts of Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo.On July 14th, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 73, was issued a 14-day visit pass when he arrived at Changi Airport on a Saudia flight from the Maldives.He had fled Sri Lanka amid a deepening economic crisis and widespread protests against his government as soaring inflation affected the prices of basic necessities such as food and fuel.Shortly after he arrived in Singapore, Rajapaksa tendered his resignation, which was officially announced by the Sri Lanka parliament on July 15.His ally and former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was voted in by lawmakers as the new president last week.The Straits Times reported that the new visa Rajapaksa has been issued will expire on Aug 11.Gotabaya Rajapaksa initially stayed at a hotel in the city centre, but is believed to have moved to a private residence.He has kept a low profile since he arrived, and has not been seen in public.Shortly after he arrived on July 14, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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