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Cabraal asks Sajith why they were silent when Rs 10 bn was released to PTL in 10 minutes

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…nothing wrong with Rs 3.1 bn loan to D.S.Gunasekera

By Saman Indrajith

State Minister of Finance, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Parliament yesterday that there was nothing wrong in the Bank of Ceylon releasing a Rs 3.1 billion loan facility to D.S. Gunasekera Company.

“The BoC has adhered to its procedures and followed all accepted methods in releasing that loan. Nothing wrong has happened in that transaction,” said Minister Cabraal, responding to a series of questions raised by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa on the loan facility.  “However, when 10 billion rupees was released in 10 minutes from the same bank to the Perpetual Treasuries in 2015 by a government in which you were a Cabinet minister, all of you kept silent. You should have raised questions then.”

Minister Cabraal said that the D.S. Gunasekera Company was operating in the North Central, Eastern, Central and the Southern Provinces. The company had its accounts at the Katuwana Branch of the BoC since 2015.  The company had been a customer of the BoC for 62 years since 1958. As per the audit reports of recent years, the company has shown an income increasing by 10 billion rupees in the years of 2017, 2018 and 2019.  The BoC has released the loan facility of Rs 3.1 billion considering the long standing relationship between the bank and the company and the latter’s financial feasibility. The bank had followed all accepted guidelines and procedures in releasing a pledge loan. The company used a sum of Rs 2.1 billion for stockpiling. In releasing the loan the bank had kept the stockpile as a pledge and it has been released in installments as the company settled their loan in installments.

Opposition leader Premadasa made a special statement alleging that the company named D.S. Gunasekara (Pvt.) Ltd. had obtained a sum of Rs. 3.1 billion from the BoC Katuwana branch as a pledge loan.



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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