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JVP accuses government of violating due process over nano fertilizer deal



The JVP Friday accused the Government of violating due process and depositing USD 1.275 million to an account of a private company as payment for recently imported nano liquid nitrogenfertilizer from India.

JVP propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath told Parliament on Friday that the Treasury had requested the People’s Bank to release USD 1.275 million as payment for the import on Oct 18.

“The due process for this type of transaction would be to make payments from the accounts maintained by the Ceylon Fertilizer Company Ltd. However, President’s Secretary P.B. Jayasundera had intervened and ordered the People’s Bank to open a separate private account at its Town Hall Branch under the name United Farmers Trust Limited (UFTL)on Oct 18,” Herath said.

He said that after opening the account, funds of the People’s Bank had been transferred to the company’s account.”Directors of this company named as Mohan Perera and G. M. Weerasinghe. Who are these people? Are they public servants? The parliament has a right to know  how the payment was made to the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO),” the MP said.

He said that the UFTL had paid USD 300,000 to IFFCO and another USD 50,000 as freight charges and another USD 37,000 as payments. “This is only a part of the total payment. What happened to the rest of the money,” he demanded to know from the government.

“Not only that, It has been also revealed that a Director of UFTL Limited had repeatedly requested People’s Bank to convert the remaining money into local currency. Why is that? This is a serious concern. I have to say that the Parliament has the monetary power. But we have been kept in dark on this matter until now. The government should investigate this immediately,” he said.

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that it was the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka which facilitated the fertilizer imports.

“The IFFCO had appointed the UFTL as its Sri Lankan representative. That is why the government paid the money to them and they opened the LCs for the import after that,” the minister said.

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Renew firearm license for 2024 before 31st December 2023 – Ministry of Defence




The Ministry of Defence has announced that the renewal of firearm license of individuals/ institutions for the year 2024 will be carried out from 01 October 2023 to 31 December 2023 and the required details can be downloaded from the Defence Ministry’s website

Firearm license renewal for 2024 will not be carried out after 31 December 2023. It is also informed that possession of a firearm without a valid license is a punishable offense under provisions of Section 22 of the Firearms Ordinance.

Registration renewal of Private Security Firms for the year 2024/2025 will be carried out from 01.10.2023 to 31.12.2023. Any renewals made after the deadline will be subjected to a fine or legal action.

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“Unite to secure a developed Sri Lanka by 2048” – President




President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his Milad-Un-Nabi message urged all Muslim brethren in Sri Lanka, to unite at this juncture in working towards strengthening the path to secure a developed Sri Lanka by 2048.

“Let us together overcome the challenges facing our nation, while adhering to the principles espoused by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, in ensuring a brighter future for all” he said.

The full text of the President’s message :

“My greetings to the Muslim community in Sri Lanka and around the world, observing Milad Un Nabi, being the auspicious occasion commemorating the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam.

He is celebrated as the final messenger of Allah, known for profound teachings of love and peace that encompass humanity. His journey to spread the message of Islam in the challenging societal context of that time, was marked by significant trials. Even in the face of adversity, the Holy Prophet’s unwavering patience and equanimous strength served as powerful attributes. He was victorious in attaining his aspirations, through boundless sacrifices for faith and humanity.

As we celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday today, it is timely to resolve to uphold the values that were the hallmark of his life, which include mutual understanding, brotherhood, assistance to one another and fairness. Our commitment to fostering social harmony is the most meritorious tribute which could be paid to his legacy.

I urge all Muslim brethren in Sri Lanka, to unite at this juncture in working towards strengthening the path, to secure a developed Sri Lanka by 2048. Let us together overcome the challenges facing our nation, while adhering to the principles espoused by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, in ensuring a brighter future for all.

I wish all those of the Islamic faith, a joyous Eid Milad-Un-Nabi, filled with love, peace and prosperity!”

Ranil Wickremesinghe
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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National Security Oversight Comm. Chief denied US visa



By Shamindra Ferdinando

Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on National Security, Rear Admiral (retd.) Sarath Weerasekera has told Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena that the US should not deny a visa to an MP nominated by the Sri Lankan Parliament to join an official delegation unless he/she posed a threat to US interests.

In a letter dated 25 Sept., 2023, the former Public Security Minister has informed Speaker Abeywardena the issuance of visas was the prerogative of the US mission, but the issue of the US Embassy insisting that he be replaced with a member of a minority community must be taken up.

Of the Chairpersons of 17 Oversight Committees chosen for a 10-day study tour of the US organised by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and USAID, later next month, only Weerasekera has been denied a visa.

Declaring that he had B1 (business) and B2 US visa (tourism) or combination of the two, Rear Adm. Weerasekera said that he had no special interest or reason to join the delegation but it was wrong for the US Embassy to deny him a visa.

The MP has said that he will seek an explanation from Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardena in this regard. “In my capacity as Chairman of the Oversight Committee on National Security, I intend to call a meeting with Secretary Defence and Armed Forces chiefs to discuss this matter,” MP Weerasekera said.

Weerasekera retired in late 2006 after having served the Navy with an unblemished record for well over three decades.

Responding to another query, the former Minister said that the Parliament had been asked by the US Embassy to name another member of his committee, representing a minority community for the programme.

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