Mahinda claims his family being used to deflect attention

He also said that for the first time, his youngest son Rohitha was also hauled before the FCID and was asked whether he was a shareholder of ‘Supreme Sat’ which was the first Sri Lankan company to be involved in the launch of a communications satellite.“Rohitha had explained that he does not hold any shares in Supreme Sat directly or indirectly and that he was a paid employee of that company with the designation of Technical Director from July 2012 to July 2014 after which he left to concentrate on higher studies. The FCID had thereupon wanted to know whether he had helped Supreme Sat to get their licences. Rohitha had explained that by the time he joined Supreme Sat in 2012, they had already acquired their licence and that he had been introduced to Supreme Sat by a Chinese businessman who had come to South Hampton University in England to recruit new graduates for his company. The satellite that was launched in 2012 is owned by the Chinese Government and Supreme Sat which is a Sri Lankan private sector entity has leased six of the 36 transponders on the satellite with a view to providing satellite communication services to Sri Lankan customers. I have been informed that the main investor in this company is a prominent Singaporean businessman,” Rajapaksa said. This week three members of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s family – his wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa and younger sons Yoshitha and Rohitha were questioned by the CID and FCID. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says his family is being used to deflect public attention from corruption allegations raised against the Government.He says the extent of the panic in the Government is evident in the shrill announcement that special courts will be established to hear cases involving the Rajapaksas. Mahinda Rajapaksa accused the CID and the FCID of being part of the Government propaganda offensive on his family. (Colombo Gazette) “My wife was asked why the colour of a jeep that had been made available by the Red Cross to her charity SiriliyaSaviya in 2011 and used by the Presidential Secretariat had been changed. International NGOs make their vehicles available to local charities once their projects are over. My wife had told the CID that she knows nothing about the maintenance or repair of vehicles used by the Presidential Secretariat. On Wednesday, the CID obtained a statement from my son Yoshitha on the same matter. He had been asked whether he had given instructions to anyone to change the colour of this vehicle. To this Yohitha had replied in the negative and explained that the transport division of the presidential secretariat maintains the vehicles and gets them painted if necessary. He had been asked whether he had used this jeep as his back up vehicle to which he had replied that it is the PSD that assigns any available vehicle for his back up team and that he had no role in the matter,” Mahinda Rajapaksa said. read more

Canadian banks face earnings pressures will look for ways to cut costs

Canadian banks face earnings pressures, will look for ways to cut costs: analyst AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Canada’s biggest banks are taking a closer look at ways to reduce their expenses this summer as they prepare for slower earnings growth, according to a new report from Barclays.Analyst John Aiken, who released a broad overview of the country’s banking industry on Thursday, said that cost controls are near the top of the list for the industry as it grapples with tighter revenues.The banks will look at ways to make their technical operations more efficient to save time and money, but if that doesn’t create enough savings, jobs could be in jeopardy, he suggested.“If this environment continues, you may need to see some more dramatic cost-cutting measures put in place,” Aiken said in an interview.“That could ultimately lead to head count reduction, although at this stage in the game it does not look like that’s the first item on the list.”However, Aiken said that some banks are looking at routes such as changing variable compensation structures to defer some payments, rather than simply the more immediate relief of cutting jobs.“Process improvement to create more efficiencies … will take a longer time frame to reap the expected benefits,” he noted.During the second-quarter earnings period, several banks noted that expense management was an area they were giving particular attention.Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) chief executive Bill Downe highlighted the bank’s continuing plans to lower costs across its operations as part of a long-term review that examines all of its businesses.Some of those savings will be recognized through the closure of 24 of its U.S. BMO Harris bank branches in the U.S. Midwest, which is expected to trim US$300 million — though integration and restructuring costs are expected to be C$600 million over the next few years.National Bank (TSX:NA) and Royal Bank (TSX:RY) were also vocal about their cost management plans.The report said that TD Bank (TSX:TD) is likely to spend more attention on compensation plans that discourage risk taking.“For wholesale banks, (the) first reaction is to cut head count, followed by a cut in compensation,” Aiken wrote in the note.Barclays’ analysis was based on an annual “walking tour” that the banks gave the investment firm, effectively providing a mid-year overview of their operations.Aiken said that every bank participated except for Royal Bank (TSX:RY), due to a scheduling conflict.——(TSX:BNS, TSX:CM) by News Staff Posted Jul 12, 2012 6:18 pm MDT read more