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SLIIT to be taken over by Mahapola Trust Fund

The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) in Malabe will be returned to the Mahapola Trust Fund (MTF), cancelling its transaction in 2015, Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Wijedasa Rajapkasa said.
He told The Sunday Morning that discussions were in progress between the MTF and SLIIT to have an amicable settlement.
The Minister stressed that the SLIIT former Chairman Dr. Wickrema Weerasooriya had initiated a process to sever links with the MTF, and signed the documents without the knowledge of the trustees of the MTF, and even without a resolution in 2015.
SLIIT, which was launched in 1999 on a 25 acre state land, had utilised Rs. 373 million from the MTF to construct its first building, and currently, there are 7,000 students in it. The initial ownership of SLIIT was with the government, but was managed by a separate company.
However, the controversial transaction had been taken place in 2015, and accordingly, SLIIT was removed from the MTF and handed over to that company. SLIIT had paid Rs.408 million to the Fund, and had inked a new lease agreement for the land where Rs. 20 million is paid to the Fund annually as lease. All the members of the Director Board of SLIIT were initially from the government, but now there is no single Government official in it.
According to Minister Wijedasa, SLIIT would be operated as a fee-levying Government-owned independent institution, and the profits earned by the institution will be diverted to the Mahapola Trust Fund and used to facilitate more scholarships. (MM)