New Sri Lankan envoy to the US committed to expand ties

He also requested all staff to redouble their efforts and rededicate themselves to serve the motherland with commitment, determination and steadfastness. The Ambassador also emphasized the importance of keeping members of the Sri Lankan community engaged at all times with a view to promoting Sri Lanka’s image and interests in the host country. Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Rodney Perera thanked the staff for the warm welcome and expressed his optimism that the relations between the two countries would be further strengthened and expanded encompassing all conceivable areas of interest during his tenure.  Ambassador – designate of Sri Lanka to the United States of America, Rodney Perera assumed duties at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC. Prior to appointment as the Ambassador to the US, Ambassador Perera was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union. Upon arrival at the Embassy in Washington DC, Ambassador Perera was welcomed and greeted by the staff. His assumption of duties was marked by a simple ceremony which commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the Ambassador and other diplomatic staff and traditional Sri Lankan milk rice and sweet meats being served on the occasion.   Ambassador Perera, a member of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service for over three decades, held senior posts in Sri Lanka Missions abroad and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He held the post of Additional Secretary and was the Ministry Spokesman from  2013 – 2014. Ambassador Perera also served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Norway from 2009 to 2012 and to Italy from 2003 – 2007.Ambassador Rodney Perera holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Columbia University, New York. He is also the recipient of “Grande Ufficiale – Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta” (Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity – highest Italian civilian honor), bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic in May 2007. read more

Transparency accountability agencies under attack says Jagdeo

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGovt slashing budget of 16 constitutional agencies must be fully debated- OppositionNovember 15, 2017In “latest news”Gov’t slashes budgets for Opposition Leader, DPP, Parliament Office – using one-seat House majorityJanuary 8, 2016In “latest news”Expenditures by Coalition Gov’t will be reviewed, excesses will be cut – Jagdeo assures if PPP returns to powerJuly 2, 2019In “latest news” Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat JagdeoOpposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo believes the work of key constitutional agencies that have oversight on financial transparency and accountability is being impaired as a result of the cuts on their budget submissions.He was referring specifically to cuts to the Auditor General’s Office and the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) budget proposals. It was reported that the Government had slashed a significant amount of monies from the budgets submitted by the 16 constitutional agencies. This move, Jagdeo said, will hinder the work of these agencies. “So you see a pattern here… they have cut the budgets of the two bodies that are designed to look after transparency of financial affairs in the State. So, it tells you a lot about how they’re approaching this matter,” he posited during his weekly press conference at his Church Street, Georgetown office.Seeking to justify the cuts, Finance Minister Winston Jordan explained on Wednesday that the cuts were necessary because the State’s current fiscal space cannot facilitate the entire budgetary requests made by these bodies.He noted that while these agencies are allowed to make their requests, he has to review these submissions and make recommendations of the allocations based on the resources available. Jagdeo pointed out though that not only does the cuts impair these agencies, especially the Auditor General’s Office’s capability of doing existing work, much less the new responsibilities that would be added from the impending oil and gas sector.“Even the scrutiny that they are doing now would be impaired because they can’t do special investigations etc. And similar too, if the Public Procurement Commission has a sum of money and they have several investigations to do and you cut that sum of money, then they can only do limited numbers of investigations,” he stated.The Auditor General’s Office had requested $894.2 million, including $876.8 million for current expenditure and $17.3 million for capital spending. While the Finance Ministry left the capital sum requested by the audit office intact, it reduced the current expenditure figure that would cater for operational expenses, to $854.6 million.Meanwhile, the PPC had requested $276.7 million, which includes $22.2 million for capital funding and $254.4 million for current spending. Again, the Ministry cut almost $45 million from the current sum requested and $12.8 million from its capital request.Back in 2015, the coalition Government had amended the laws and removed the constitutional bodies from under the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, thus allowing no consultations between these agencies and the Finance Ministry in the preparation of their budget submissions. read more