The Ambassador was speaking to a group of journalists from Sri Lanka who are in Germany to cover the visit of President Maithripala Sirisena. He says the German Government feels Sri Lanka must be rewarded for the progress made on several issues by giving the country the EU GSP plus trade concession. “This visit will open a new chapter between Germany and Sri Lanka,” he said.During the visit the President will have talks with the German Government and also meet the Sri Lankan community in Germany. (Colombo Gazette) He said that if Sri Lanka regains GSP plus Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU can increase by at least one billion USD.Meanwhile the Ambassador said that the visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to Germany will help boost the relations between both countries. The German Government has initiated a resolution at the EU Parliament supporting Sri Lanka to regain the GSP plus trade concession.Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany Karunatilaka Amunugama said that Germany is satisfied with the latest developments in Sri Lanka.
The case involving the $54 million worth of diamonds – that vanished while in Police custody several years ago – finally concluded with High Court Judge Fidela Corbin-Lincoln awarding the applicant, Ronald Khan, $5 million.The State, through the Attorney General’s Chambers, will have to pay out another $200,000 in court costs to the now elderly retired businessman, who never saw his missing merchandise after it disappeared from the Mahdia Police Station in the Potaro-Siparuni district following a 1994 robbery.The 430 carats of diamonds were taken as evidence by Police after it was recovered during an investigation after Khan’s Ewang Creek, mining camp was invaded.During that attack, his brother and another miner were shot and killed, while Khan’s life was nearly taken as he too was shot.In the judgment handed down by Justice Corbin-Lincoln he said regarding the assessment and value of the 430 carats of diamonds, Khan led no evidence regarding the current value of the 430 carats.In the absence of this, Justice Corbin-Lincoln said it was then open to the court to make no award of damages. She further said that there was a problem of proof but not of absence of evidence of the amount.The Judge opined that since Khan failed to produce the evidence of its quality or value, the court has to arrive at a nominal figure in favour of the defendant, the Attorney General, as opposed to Khan.She therefore awarded the sum of $5 million and observed that the defendants have to pay costs of $200,000.This case was before the court for just over eight years and Khan had alleged that late Commissioner Greene promised that the matter would be investigated but this never gained traction. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHigh Court set to rule on $54M missing diamonds caseOctober 24, 2018In “Court”$54M missing diamonds trial rescheduled as both sides unpreparedAugust 23, 2018In “Court”Judge orders trial for $54M in diamonds missing while in police possessionMay 22, 2018In “Court”
THE HEALTH SERVICE Executive is to be asked to appear before the Public Accounts Committee next week in the wake of controversy about top-up payments for some voluntary hospital CEOs.The committee agreed this morning that there was an “urgency” to bring officials from the HSE and potentially the CEOs and chairman of the voluntary hospitals before them.It follows the revelation that that one-in-four of the 43 State funded hospitals and health agencies are breaching official pay caps in the case of some senior executives, with some receiving top-ups payments to their salary.TDs agreed to arrange for the HSE to appear before the Dáil committee next Tuesday or Wednesday.Labour TD Gerald Nash said that the “general public are appalled” at the details that have emerged in recent days and said it is “appropriate that we hold special meetings in relation to this issue”.Shane Ross said that there was an “urgency about it” that required immediate action.Committee chairman John McGuinness raised concerns that the HSE internal audit report on the issue was only presented to the committee when the HSE appeared before it earlier this month about the medical cards issue.“[The] report was given to clerk and it was then too late for us to mention it or to flag it [at the last meeting],” McGuinness said.The Committee also agreed to write to the Department of Public Expenditure of Reform to see if similar payments are being made in other government departments or State agencies.McGuinness said there is a “need to raise it will all government departments to see what their understanding is of these payments”.In a statement issued after today’s meeting, Nash said: “It is clear to me that some have been engaged in a game of cat and mouse with the relevant government department.“This is not on and shows that the ‘because I’m worth it’ culture is still alive and well in some areas.”Read: Government ‘attempting to weed out’ top-up payments to health executives – KennyRead: HSE will report on hospital executive pay breaches ‘in a couple of days’