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Coimbatore police confirm Angoda Lokka’s death



Coimbatore police on Sunday confirmed the death, in the city, of Sri Lanka’s underworld kingpin Angoda Lokka, a news report by Indian Express said yesterday.

The report, filed from Coimbatore, said: One man and two women, including a Sri Lankan national, were arrested for allegedly forging identity papers for the wanted criminal and cremating him in Madurai after his death on July 3. Police revealed that Angoda Lokka, who was wanted by Sri Lankan police, had been hiding in the city for at least two years.

While the two women — one of them a Sri Lankan native — were arrested in the city by Coimbatore city police on Sunday, the man was arrested from Erode for allegedly creating forged identity documents, including an Aadhaar card for him in the name R Pradeep Singh (35).

After the wanted man’s death on July 3, reportedly due to cardiac arrest, the trio submitted forged documents to take his body for cremation the next day, said a police report.

The arrested persons were identified as Sivakami Sundari (36) wife of Dinakaran from Hal Nagar Phase I near Pasingapuram in Madurai district, her associate from Erode S Thiyaneshwaran, who had helped get the forged documents, and Amani Thanji (27) daughter of Thanji Arjan Mugariya from Colombo in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan woman is said to have lived with Angoda Lokka in Coimbatore.

The three were booked under Sections 120 B, 177, 182, 202, 212, 417, 419, 466, 468 and 471 of IPC and remanded to judicial custody, said police.

According to police, the man who was later found to be Angoda Lokka was taken to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on the night of July 3, in an unconscious state. The women had claimed he was R Pradeep Singh from Green Garden near Cheran Maanagar on Kalapatti road in Coimbatore and told authorities that they were his relatives.

They said that he had fainted at home due to sudden cardiac arrest. Peelamedu police registered a case under section 174 of CrPC. Following the post-mortem they received the body after submitting his fake Aadhaar card details. Police allegedly failed to check the documents properly.

Meanwhile, based on an intelligence report that Angoda Lokka was murdered and buried in Coimbatore, Sri Lankan police approached Tamil Nadu police for further probe.

Based on this, city police reopened the case and found that the documents submitted by the women had been forged and they had pretended Angoda Lokka was Pradeep Singh. After receiving the body they had cremated it at Madurai the next day, said police sources.

Police sources added that, after the post-mortem, samples were sent for viscera testing and only after the test results come, would they be able to arrive at any conclusion whether he died of cardiac arrest or was murdered.

Based on preliminary investigation with the arrested persons, police said they had learnt that the deceased was Maddumage Chandana Lasantha Perera alias Angoda Lokka (aged around 35) from Kotikawatta, Colombo in Sri Lanka. He came to Coimbatore three years ago and lived at a rental house in Cheran Maanagar. He was running a food supplement business and lived with his girlfriend, Amani Thanji, who came to Coimbatore from Colombo in March. He had received forged documents, including Aadhaar card and citizenship documents, through Sivakami Sundari and Thiyaneshwaran, police said.

According to Sri Lankan police intelligence, Angoda Lokka was poisoned to death in India in early July. One of his sisters was allowed to watch the funeral via video streaming. His rivals had planned to assassinate him by using a woman, who was living with him in India, and she allegedly poisoned him.


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About Rs 3 bn paid as OT during past few months



Overtime gravy train for CPC refinery workers:

By Saman Indrajith

About Rs. 3,000 million had been paid as overtime for the employees of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation oil refinery, during the past few months, Parliament was told yesterday.

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said that he had asked for a detailed report as to whom and on what grounds the overtime payments had been made and it would be submitted to Parliament.

Fielding a question asked by Chief Opposition Whip, Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella, Minister Wijesekera said instructions had been issued to regulate overtime.

MP Kiriella demanded to know why overtime had been paid to employees of an institution that had been shut down. “There are reports that over Rs 4,000 million has been paid as overtime to the workers of the refinery that was not functioning owing to the non-availability of crude oil. This is a crime,” Kiriella said.

Minister Wijesekera: “I made inquiries after I saw newspaper reports on payment of overtime to refinery workers. I inquired from the Finance Manager of the CPC. I was told that a sum between Rs 2.5 billion to Rs 3 billion had been paid as overtime. The refinery was not closed during the months of March and April. It was closed only during the last month. They had issued refined fuel on all seven days of the week continuously. When an institution operates full time in such a manner the employees would have to be paid for their overtime work. However, I admit that could have been done with some level of management in the payment process,” the Minister said.

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Wigneswaran claims RW accepted all his demands



Head of the Thamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani (TMTK), C. V. Wigneswaran told the media recently that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had agreed to all demands he had made, including the release of Tamil ‘political prisoners’, to secure his vote during last month’s Parliament election, to elect a President.

He made this statement following a meeting with the President in Colombo to discuss the establishment of an all-party government.

“We have made several requests and if the President is ready to comply with them, we will consider taking part in the all party government,” he said.

“We met him when he was Prime Minister. Before the parliamentary vote to elect the President, I made these demands and he agreed to them. That is why I voted for him. Now, it is for him to keep his promises. I am here to remind him of this,” Wigenswaran said.

Wickremesinghe, as the Prime Minister in the yahapalana government, vehemently denied that there were Tamil ‘political prisoners’ in the country. (RK)

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MPs are not immune from country’s laws – SJB



By Saman Indrajith

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa told Parliament yesterday that the MPs were not immune from the Penal Code despite the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act.

Premadasa said Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane had claimed that incidents in Parliament could not be dealt with under the regular law.

“This claim sends the wrong message to people. Aren’t the provisions of the Penal Code or the Offences against Public Property Act applicable to the MPs? There were incidents in this Chamber during the 52-day coup conspiracy; some MPs damaged public property. There were investigations by the CID and also by Parliament.

The Secretary General announced the cost of the damage. When the process was on to prosecute those MPs responsible for the damage, political influence was exerted on the CID not to file cases against the culprits. It is against this background that Minister Gunawardane, in his position as the Cabinet spokesman, makes this false claim. His statement is sending a message saying that there is one law inside the Parliament and another outside it.

“He also claims that the Speaker decides whether these laws are applicable to Parliament or not,” Premadasa said.

Colombo District SJB MP Mujibur Rahuman said that people were already against the MPs and this new wrong message would further exacerbate their anger against elected members. “The Cabinet Spokesman says that the MPs have a different set of laws while the people are dealt with by the country’s laws. That is wrong. We are also liable for criminal offences that we commit,” Rahuman said.

“The CID conducted an investigation and was prepared to file cases, but that was prevented through political influence. The Cabinet Spokesman’s statement is fueling public hatred towards the MPs. Please, request the Cabinet Spokesman to refrain from making such statements,” he said.

Minister Gunawardane said that he was only responding to a question raised by a journalist and the question was about fairness of cracking down on protesters for destroying public property, during anti-government protests, when MPs, who damaged Parliament, property under the former government, are yet to be apprehended.

Minister Gunawardane said as a public representative in Parliament for the last 33 years he had only explained that the law would be implemented against those engaged in violent activities during peaceful protests.

“I said MPs had Parliament privileges and the Parliament law. I also explained that MPs attending Parliament cannot be arrested as they are engaged in legislative activities,” he said.

Chief Opposition Whip, Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella, said that the MPs had no such legal immunity. and Parliament privileges only cover MPs from being arrested while they are on their way to attend and when they leave Parliament. “Therefore, there is no law that says they are exempt from other laws of the country,” Kiriella said.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, agreeing with Chief Opposition Whip Kiriella, said that all other laws in the country applied to the MPs.

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