Opposition confident noconfidence will pass

The opposition today said it was confident the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will pass in Parliament.Former Foreign Minister and United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian, Professor G.L Peiris said that while 112 MPs had signed the motion, there are others who could not sign it and so the actual number in the end will be higher. He said that President Maithripala Sirisena will then need to appoint a new Prime Minister who has the majority support of Parliament.“From the time Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as Prime Minister he had a minority Government and not a majority,” he said. Professor G.L Peiris also noted that the term of the current Parliament ends in 2016 and not this year.But the President needs a Government and Prime Minister who has the confidence of Parliament to pass the 20th Amendment to the constitution.Peiris also noted that the new Government has hurt China and relations with some other countries. “Some of those who support the motion could not sign it because they did not get the opportunity. But they will sign it so the number will go up,” he said. He said the concerns over the Port City Project should have been discussed with China and not make it a political issue. Peiris said that once the motion is passed with a Parliament majority, the cabinet and not Parliament, will be dissolved. The former Foreign Minister also noted that some comments allegedly made on Australia could hurt Sri Lanka’s relations with Australia. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Germany expands diesel probe to include VW board chairman

Germany expands diesel probe to include VW board chairman by Frank Jordans, The Associated Press Posted Nov 6, 2016 3:37 am MDT Last Updated Nov 6, 2016 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BERLIN – German prosecutors have widened their investigation into Volkswagen’s handling of the emissions scandal to include its board chairman, Hans Dieter Poetsch, the company said Sunday.Poetsch was VW’s chief financial officer when the company’s efforts to rig cars to cheat on U.S. diesel emissions tests became public in September 2015.Volkswagen said in a statement that prosecutors in the German city of Braunschweig are investigating three members of the board including Poetsch. Prosecutors were already investigating former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and VW brand chief Herbert Diess over allegations they didn’t inform investors soon enough.VW rejects those allegations.“Based on careful examination by internal and external legal experts, the company reaffirms its belief that the Volkswagen board of management duly fulfilled its disclosure obligation under German capital markets law,” it said in the statement Sunday.The company said VW and Poetsch would “continue to give the inquiries by the public prosecutor’s office their full support.”German law requires publicly traded companies to alert investors as soon as they become aware of unforeseen developments that could affect a decision to buy or sell the stock.The company has acknowledged learning in May 2014 that an environmental group had uncovered emissions irregularities, but that top officials didn’t discuss the matter until more than a year later. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a violation notice on Sept. 18, 2015, leading Volkswagen to assess the risks as more serious and issue its investor advisory on Sept. 22, 2015.Last month, a U.S. federal judge in San Francisco approved a $15 billion settlement under which Volkswagen will buy back or fix almost half a million cars affected by the emissions scandal in the United States. read more