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FMM urges Govt. to release and conduct an inquiry on journalist who was assaulted by Police

The Free Media Movement (FMM) has strongly condemned the arrest and assault of Malika Abeykoon, a freelance journalist and photographer, calling it a heinous act of the police.

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AG gets ‘MT New Diamond’ compensation settlement report

The final report on the settlement of compensation for the damages caused by the ‘MT New Diamond’ crude oil tanker is set to be handed over to Attorney General Dappula de Livera today.

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Mahapola Trust Fund‘s corrupt practices exposed

Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund, has been involved in several malpractices in investing money of the fund without proper accountability, a parliamentary committee report revealed.

A special report submitted by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), established by the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund, reveals that the top management of the institution has taken a series of steps to vest state resources in private ownership in an informal manner.

The report states that the government approved the establishment of the SLIIT through the Cabinet Memorandum (98/995/11/052) presented on 01 April 1988 under the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund (Act No. 66 of 1981).

The government also established the Sri Lanka Information Technology Company (Limited by Guarantee) to run this institution until an Act was adopted for it.

The report points out that the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund has given Rs. 500 million and its 25-acre land situated in Malabe as initial capital of the Sri Lanka Information technology Company.

The committee says that the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund and the Company decided to appoint three persons of the University of Moratuwa, two persons from the Ministry of International Commerce and Food, Chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Chairman of the Export Development Board (EDB) to the Board of Directors of the company.

“Out of the members appointed to the original Board of Directors of the SLIT Company representing the respective institutions as aforesaid, the three persons appointed from the University of Moratuwa and the then Chairman who was appointed at that time for his being the Chairman of the Board of Investment have remained in the posts of Directors uninterruptedly for over 23 years up to the present time (up until the year 2021).”

It concludes that during the yahapalana administration, four agreements were entered into by the SLIT Company and the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund and through these there was an attempt to remove Mahapola Higher Education Scholarships Trust Fund from the ownership of the SLIT.

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The masterminds of the Easter attack will be unmasked gradually - Chief Govt. Whip

Unmasking of real culprits responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage will take place gradually once the court processes would be underway, Chief Government Whip Highways Minister Johnston Fernando said yesterday.

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Maithri, Wimal hold talks at SLFP headquaters

Leaders of eleven parties of the ruling government coalition have agreed to meet Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and make a decision on the upcoming provincial council election. The party leaders met the Sri Lanka Freedom Party headquarters yesterday (08) under the patronage of former President Maithripala Sirisena.

The meeting between the party leaders and the Prime Minister is scheduled to be held on April 19.

SLFP General Secretary State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Minister Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila, DEW Gunesekera, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero and Gevindu Kumaratunga took part in the discussions yesterday.

These eleven party leaders first came together to oppose the government's move to hand over the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo Port to an Indian company and have met once a month at their respective party headquarters since then.

This is the first time that former President Maithripala Sirisena has joined the discussions. Prior to this, State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara was the sole representative of the SLFP at these meetings.

At yesterday's meeting, the leaders have not discussed the possibility of conducting separate May Day rallies. However, the Wimal Weerawansa faction hopes to reach an agreement with the Prime Minister in this regard as well.

We will not allow to break this coalition and build another : SLFP General Secretary

Meanwhile, SLFP General Secretary, State MInister Dayasiri Jayasekera said that neither the SLFP nor any other party of the ruling alliance has a need to splinter the SLPP led government coalition and form a new one.

Jayasekera expressed these views at a media briefing held in Colombo recently.

The SLFP General Secretary stressed that there was no truth to the claims that several parties representing the ruling alliance were engaged in discussions to form a separate alliance.

State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara emphasised that no one wanted to break the current alliance, adding that representatives of around ten parties met and conducted several rounds of discussions in the recent past on certain issues. He reiterated that this should not be viewed as an attempt to break the alliance but as a process that would actually help to strengthen the government.

He further said that their objective is to do what is right by the 6.9 million voters and not to cause any inconvenience to the government.

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Politicians and bureaucrats bend mineral sands tender

*The continuing corruption and mismanagement of LMSL.

*LMSL bad practices and non patriotic policies help overseas mining companies depriving locals from securing a share of the 7 million tonne global ilmenite market.

*LMSL's shocking 1.4% global market share continues to fall annually.

*A clear example as to why governments should not be in business.

*Are Sri Lankan politicians and officials paid by interested foreign corporations to suppress the most valuable industry?

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US calls on SL to be vigilant over “unintended consequences” of Port City bill

The United States yesterday called on policymakers to be vigilant of the economic impact of the proposed Port City legislation, given its sweeping tax concessions and warned it could have “unintended consequences”, such as money laundering, unless proper safeguards are put in place.

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SJB criticises Govt. for buying Chinese COVID-19 vaccine not approved by WHO

Amid the controversy surrounding the Sinopharm vaccine, an opposition lawmaker has said that Colombo has brought the Chinese made COVID-19 vaccine to the country without the approval of the World Health Organisation (WHO) showing disregard for the lives of their people.

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India and Sri Lanka agree to work jointly against global terrorist groups in the first ever virtual Police Chiefs' Dialogue

The first delegation level virtual Police Chiefs’ Dialogue between the Police Chiefs of India and Sri Lanka was held today (08), denoting the close and friendly relation between the two countries.

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Plantation companies to pay Rs. 1000 to workers following court order

Plantation companies said that they will pay Rs. 1000 to estate workers, following a court order.
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Equity Fund provides seed capital for SMEs

Sri Lanka Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) will be getting seed capital from an equity fund which was set up recently.

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Another u-turn ?: Sri Lanka reconsiders its decision to ban palm oil imports

In the wake of international palm oil suppliers including the Malaysian government exerting pressure on the Sri Lankan government, it is likely that the ban imposed on the importation of palm oil will be reversed.

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