employees urged to forgo salaries
Desperate Pramuka Bank (PB) depositors, struggling to recover
their money in the midst of a liquidation process that has been halted
by the courts, are now urging employees to forgo their salaries -
at least for the time being.
see their deposits slipping away from their grasp as cases filed
by them against the liquidation process by the Central Bank has
opened up another problem - payment of salaries for employees, which
come from deposits.
While the Appeal
Court prepares to hear arguments in favour and against the petitions
during a four day period (May 19 to 23), Pramuka employees received
their latest salary payment in April making it a total of Rs. 24
million (Rs. 4 million a month) being paid since November 2002.
Bank Employees' Union initially joined the struggle launched by
the PB Depositors' and Stakeholders' Associations to reopen the
Bank but that support appears to be waning since employees are receiving
their salaries - even though some may have found other jobs.
President, Pramuka Stakeholders' Association told The Sunday Times
FT that they have requested Sunimal Dabarera, President, Pramuka
Employees' Union to make a public statement pledging support to
the campaign and for its members to postpone acceptance of salaries
and claim it with arrears once the bank reopens. Gamage said the
union has so far declined the request. Dabarera could not be reached
Director, Janashakthi Insurance which wants to take over and revive
the bank, said that they were proceeding with the preparation of
the restructuring proposal but find the going tough in the absence
of vital documents pertaining to the affairs of the Pramuka Bank
that the Central Bank has refused to release in view of the court
the Supreme Court is preparing to hear three petitions on May 8
challenging the controversial way in which the amendments to the
Monetary Law Act were pushed through parliament to enable Pramuka
to be liquidated. It was alleged that this was yet another step
to cover up the evidence of Central Bank corruption in handling
the Pramuka matter. The three petitioners complain that the controversial
provisions in the amendment were neither placed on the Order Paper
of Parliament nor published in the Government Gazette as required
by the Constitution so that the public would have the opportunity
of petitioning the Supreme Court in respect of their inconsistency
with the Constitution.
constitutional lawyers are of the opinion that even if the Supreme
Court decides in favour of the petitioners it would raise some constitutional
issues as to whether parliament should accept the court verdict.
that 12,000 out of Pramuka's 15,000 depositors have joined the depositors'
association and at a recent meeting decided to raise the Pramuka
issue with international donors and appeal for their intervention.
A protest outside the Pramuka Bank by depositors is also planned
just before the court hearings to put pressure on the authorities
to act in favour of depositors.
Minister will not take over PERC
from the Office of the Government Spokesman last week, quoting official
sources, said there was no move by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
to take over the Public Enterprises Reform Commission.
It said Chrisantha
Perera, chairman of Forbes and Walker, was not "ousted"
from his position as chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation
and that "his outstanding performance in managing large and
strategic enterprises like SLIC and his commitment and understanding
of economic reforms was a basis for the Minister of Economic Reforms
Milinda Moragoda's decision to appoint him as chairman of PERC".
- which referred to our story on PERC in The Sunday Times FT - also
said the privatization of SLIC was "one of the model transactions"
done by PERC.
Our story said
the government was considering revamping PERC and that Chrisantha
Perera was likely to be its new chairman. We reliably understand
that the government did consider bringing PERC under the Ministry
of Policy Development and Implementation, which is under Prime Minister
Wickremesinghe, when PERC came in for heavy criticism over the controversial
Ibis bus deal, which is yet to be finalised.
24-hour emergency unit has on-call specialist
Hospital's Emergency Medicine Department (EMD) has a specialist
on duty, 24-hours a day, from its large staff of on-call specialists,
the hospital said last week.
is that these facilities are not restricted to Apollo registered
patients only, but to all emergency patients. Unique from other
disciplines, Apollo's EMD is actually many things both internal
to and external from the hospital such as a 24-hour Emergency In-patient
service, a fleet of mobile Intensive Care Units, and a helipad for
Air Rescue units.
The EMD also
utilises the "Hospitals On Wheels" fleet, which has state
of the art ambulance type vehicles linked by a wireless communication
system. "Another aspect of Apollo's rescue fleet is the helipad
which affords Apollo an unique opportunity in being able to receive
air evacuations. In the recent past air evacuations utilising Sri
Lanka Air Force helicopters have been carried out with positive
results. Patients from the North and from Kandy have been brought
to Apollo by air," the hospital company said.
strike affects exporters
Association of Sri Lanka has asked the Sri Lanka Ports Authority
not to charge rent for cargo not cleared owing to delays caused
by the strike by Customs officers.
It said exporters
were finding it impossible to clear cargo because of trade union
action by Customs officers.
It has asked
the SLPA to treat any period where there is delay in clearing cargo
from the port due to trade union action as a rent free period.
has also asked Sarath Jayathileke, Director General of Customs,
to make arrangements in consultation with the SLPA to issue gate
passes for cargo where Customs clearance has already been obtained.