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HelloCorp inquiry: Sujani Bogollagama released on strict bail conditions
Saturday, 27 August 2016 - 1:53 PM SL Time

Sujani Bogollagama, who was arrested by the FCID into the two cases conducted under the Money Laundering Act, was released on bail by the Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris yesterday. She was released on cash bail of Rs. 100,000 with four sureties of Rs.10 million each. The Magistrate imposing strict bail conditions, ordered the suspects to produce sureties with appropriate documents to prove their assets to represent suspects. And directed to report FCID on first and last Sundays in every month. The Magistrate also advised the suspects that their bail conditions would be annulled and could be remanded until the case is over if they would interfere with witnesses inappropriately or hamper the investigation. Prior to the arrest she was being treated at Merchant ward in Colombo National Hospital. She and five others including Namal Rajapaksa were accused over alleged two transactions worth Rs. 45 million, which had discovered during the main inquiry conducted against them into the alleged purchasing Rs. 100million worth shares of a company called Hello Corp from alleged ill-gotten funds by the Gowers Corporation which is headed by Mr. Rajapaksa. The two transactions were found by the prosecution as offences that fell under the Money Laundering Act. Earlier, the prosecution had filed two separate cases against the suspects over the two suspicious Rs. 15 million and Rs. 30 million transactions. According to the FCID, the suspect Namal Rajapaksa had dealt with a company called `Boston Capital` and given Rs. 15 million by himself and another Rs. 30 million through one Indika Karunajeewa to the chairman of that company, Mr. Rohan Abey Iriyagolla, in order to conceal the origin of the alleged ill gotten funds. The prosecution alleged that according to the statements got from the chairman of the Boston Company, the given money was paid to Gowers Corporation and NR Consultancy Companies again, which are headed by Namal Rajapaksa, under the disguise of payments for the services obtained by the Boston Company. Full Story     Post Reply To This


President rejects alleged corruption reported in Aussie media
Friday, 26 August 2016 - 11:03 AM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena today rejected the news report that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald website that he and his adviser allegedly demanded a political `donation` to be paid by the iconic Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC) when he was the Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian services in 2009. In a statement issued by the President s media unit said that the President had no involvement or connection with the incident and that he had instructed the Attorney General to take further action necessary in this regard. He further reiterates that he had never been involved in or supported any corrupt activity in his political career. Full Story     Post Reply To This


JO urges local inquiry into Aussie reports
Friday, 26 August 2016 - 10:34 AM SL Time

The joint opposition today requested President Maithripala Sirisena to call for a local investigation regarding the news reports in the Australian media involving the name of President Sirisena over a bribery investigation conducted on a company there. Addressing a media briefing, joint opposition member MP Wimalaweera Dissanayake said it was not good for the country when the president is being accused of such an act and it was necessary to call for an impartial investigation in to the matter. The foreign reports claimed the president was involved in a bribery scandal with an Australian company, the Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC) for the construction of a dam in Sri Lanka in 2009, while he was acting as the Minister of Agriculture, he added. Joint opposition member MP Tharaka Balasuriya said they did not believe that the President could be involved in such a scandal. He also said it would be better if a local investigation could be carried out into this matter to clarify these accusations for the country s sake. Meanwhile, MP Dissanayake said the Government was carrying out all the Mahinda Chinthanaya projects as it was proved by the continuation of the Port City and The Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port projects. The Government is continuing all the profitable and successful projects commenced by the former government. They are not in terms to appreciate them. Instead, they put the blame on the Rajapaksa s for the down falls of their Government, he added. Joint Opposition member MP Widura Wickramanayake said he would not be surprised even if Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would have been appointed as the common candidate to the Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) at the next presidential election. He also said at present the SLFP was accorded with the agendas of the United National Party (UNP). Full Story     Post Reply To This


My father brought in Sinhala only Bill to give country back its identity: CBK
Thursday, 25 August 2016 - 10:46 AM SL Time

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga yesterday said her father had brought in the Sinhala only Bill in 1956 not to as a racist move but as a means of giving back to the country its identity after 450 years of subjugation by foreign rulers. After eight years of independence, the Sinhala people, who accounted for around 75 per cent of the population, felt that they were being discriminated against, not by the Tamil or Muslim people but by the white rulers and they felt they needed to express their identity by regaining an important place for the Sinhala people. What better way to give people an identity than to elevate the status of their language?, she asked. Ms. Kumaratunge said both the languages should have been given rightful place without giving its rightful place to the language of the people who made up the majority of the population. We only gave the language of the majority its rightful place. We should have given both languages their rightful place, she said. Speaking at the launch of the website of Language Facilitators pool at the BMICH, she said leaders of the 1956 government realized a year later that Tamil language must also be given recognition and brought in the Reasonable use of Tamil Bill, but it had not been implemented so far. Every successive government in this country excelled in sweeping the Bill under carpet and not giving the Tamil language its rightful place. This has created a situation where we do not have a single person who can speak Tamil or work in Tamil in most government departments and ministries. I looked into this when I became President. However, we had to face practical problems when recruiting Tamil people due to the war, she said. `This may be a small initiative but this is the first time that in post-independent Sri Lanka, a government has taken an effort to create an enabling environment to allow citizens to communicate with the government, in their language of choice, she said. Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan said the implementation of the language policy, addressing language related issues and implementing them would be a prelude to solving more than half of the ethnic problems in the country. `A cabinet paper has been put forward to re-assess the selection criteria of recruitment into government services, where there will be further motivation for learning new languages, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This


Separate institute to administer Hambantota Port Industry Park
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 - 11:19 AM SL Time

The Government has decided to set up a separate institute to administer the work of the proposed Hambantota Port Industry Park, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament today. He said this in response to a question asked by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake. The Prime Minister also said the proposed institute would liaise with the Board of Investment. The Prime Minister said apart from Chinese companies, investors from other countries would also be invited to participate. Full Story     Post Reply To This


JVP too wants President to reveal secrets
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 - 10:28 AM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena should reveal what he knows about his rivals now instead of threatening to do so when a new political party is formed by them, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said today. Whatever secrets President Sirisena knows about are not personal disputes between his family and that of the Rajapaksas or some personal matter. These are obviously things which the people of this country know about. Therefore the President should reveal these secrets now, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said responding to the statement made by the President at the Matara rally recently. He threatened to reveal the secrets if the joint opposition formed a separate party. The President should not keep such secrets to be disclosed only when his party is threatened, Mr Dissanayake said. Full Story     Post Reply To This


Financial City: JVP asks why build on reclaimed land
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 - 10:26 AM SL Time

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today asked why the proposed Financial City could not be constructed inland instead of building it on land reclaimed from the sea. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a media briefing that finding a block of land for this project in Colombo would not be that difficult. There are enough spacious lands in the Colombo City to build the Financial City without doing so on land reclaimed from the sea and causing an environmental hazard, he said. Mr. Dissanayake said the coastal belt extending through Wellawatte, Mount Lavinia and Moratuwa would be severely affected by sea erosion resulting from reclaiming land from the sea. All hotels along this coastal belt will be destroyed in time to come, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This


Threats will only motivate us: MR
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 - 10:03 AM SL Time

The threats would only be directed to the formation of new parties, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. Addressing the 19th commemoration of All Island Samurdhi Development and Agricultural Research Production Assistant Officers Society, Mr. Rajapaksa said each and every person had the right to form political parties. No force can stop the formation of political parties. It is a normal procedure. There should be enough independence within the country to form new parties. Each person should have its independence to take decisions, he added. He said the threats would not affect such moves and they would only motivate somebody to form a new party. Political thinking of persons cannot be concealed by a threat or any other force. Taking into remand custody will also not affect some one s political life, he added. He said there were no president in the Sri Lankan history who made such a statement and only former president Ranasinghe Premadasa made such a statement in the latter period of his regime. He said he would not prefer to continue these discussions further as he has no concern for hatred and envy in his political life. Meanwhile, he said now the UNP and the SLFP had been combined under the Government s pretext to safeguard the democracy in the country. The UNP and SLFP have come to an agreement for two years to work together and now it has extended up to five years. Some politicians declare that they would rule the country in the same manner even after the five years, he added. He said the policies and the principles of these two parties were completely different. He also said if the Government had wished to use the current procedure even in the future, they would have to dissolve both the parties and form a new party. If not the SLPFers who are in favour of the UNP have to recruit in to it and the SLFP should be hand over to the ones who are in favour of it he added. Full Story     Post Reply To This


Bandula says will resign as Homagama SLFP Organiser
Monday, 22 August 2016 - 10:16 AM SL Time

UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane said today that he would resign from the post of SLFP Homagama electorate organiser. He said the resignation letter would be sent to President Maithripala Sirisena tonight. Last Friday, UPFA MP Dullas Allahapperuma said he would also resign from his post as SLFP Matara District leader because MPs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane and Kanchana Wijesekara were removed from their post as organisers. Full Story     Post Reply To This


2017 annual budget on Nov. 10
Monday, 22 August 2016 - 10:12 AM SL Time

The government will present the 2017 annual budget to Parliament on November 10, and allot one whole month till December 10 for the debate, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said yesterday. Minister Karunanayake told Daily Mirror the government had initiated the process of formulating the annual budget. President Maitripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mr. Karunanayake have already met. The Minister said other segments concerned would be engaged in the preparation of the budget. The main budget speech will be made on November 10, he said. This will be the third budget to be presented in the House after the change of government in January 8, last year. Meanwhile, the Cabinet will decide on the new Valued Added Tax (Amendment) Bill tomorrow. Full Story     Post Reply To This


More secrets will be revealed when new party formed-MS
Saturday, 20 August 2016 - 1:32 PM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena who seemed to be in an aggressive mood said he will disclose secrets about some opposition politicians as and when they form a new political party. President Sirisena was addressing a rally in Matara to mark the first anniversary of the joint-government by the UNP and SLFP on Friday evening. Some are trying to form a new party to regain power. I challenge them to do so. We will disclose what we have maintained as secrets and politically wipe out those who form new parties. They will never be allowed to come to power again,` the President said. Some people are asking us as to what we have done during the past year. I would like to tell them that we have deleted the words electric chair and war tribunal from our dictionary,` he said. Also he said the foundation had been laid to pull the country from the rupees nine trillion debt trap. `Those who question us are the ones who pushed the country into the debt trap,` he also said. `Those who question us on our achievements should actually ask as to what would have happened to the country had they remained in power,` The President said. Speaking further the President said he would deal severely with those who engage in corruption and misuse of funds. He actually approved the proposal made by the movement for just society convener Sarath Wijesuriya who spoke at the rally earlier. `I would like to second the proposal of Prof. Wijesuriya and let me clearly state that the punishment given to those in my government for corruption and misuse of state funds will be severely that the punishment given to corrupt people in the previous government,` he said. Commenting on the future of the joint government, Mr. Sirisena said both parties will review on the joint approach only in 2020. Full Story     Post Reply To This


Dullas resigns
Saturday, 20 August 2016 - 1:27 PM SL Time

UPFA MP Dullas Allahapperuma today said he would resign from his post as SLFP Matara district leader. He told a media briefing that he would inform President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the Chairman of the party, of his resignation on Monday. I decided to resign because MPs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane and Kanchana Wijesekara were removed from their post as orgarnisers previously, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This


Dullas resigns
Saturday, 20 August 2016 - 1:27 PM SL Time

UPFA MP Dullas Allahapperuma today said he would resign from his post as SLFP Matara district leader. He told a media briefing that he would inform President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the Chairman of the party, of his resignation on Monday. I decided to resign because MPs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane and Kanchana Wijesekara were removed from their post as orgarnisers previously, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This


Navin threatens to resign
Friday, 19 August 2016 - 10:10 AM SL Time

Plantation Industries Minister Naveen Dissanayake today threatened to resign from his ministerial portfolio if the Finance Ministry tried to take a sum of US 60 million dollars belonging to the Sri Lanka Tea Board, which falls under his Ministry. Addressing a ceremony in Elpitiya, Mr. Dissanayake said it was reported that the Finance Ministry intended to take the funds from the Tea Board. I can t give Tea Board funds. If they were to take it, I will resign as I can t continue to function as the Minister, he said.
Full Story     Post Reply To This


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