Connect with us

news

Lawyer Hizbulla, Madrasa principal remanded

Published

on

By A. J. A. Abeynayake

Lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, accused of aiding and abetting the Easter Sunday bombers and engaging in activities deemed detrimental to the religious harmony, and Principal of Al-Zuhriya Arabic College in Puttalam, Mohommad Shakeel were remanded till 03 March by Fort Magistrate, Priyantha Liyanage.

Hizbullah was a board member of Shakeel’s school.Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris told the court that the suspects had lured 56 young boys from poor families by promising to make them moulavis; 26 of the children were from Colombo and its suburbs. The boys had been trained to become extremists in the mould of NTJ leader Zahran Hashim, the court was told.

Magistrate Liyanage remanded the two, based on the DSG’s statement.The Deputy Solicitor General told the court that the real intentions of the suspects had been revealed by the evidence given by the boys who studied at the madrasa. The boys were between the ages of five and 14. Sarah Jasmin, who fled the country after the attack, had also been involved in teaching extremism for the students, he said.Deputy Solicitor General told the court that a number of individuals who took part in the Easter Sunday attacks, including Zahran Hashim and his brother Rilwan had visited the school, brainwashed the boys and trained them as militants.The suicide bomber who blew himself up at Cinnamon Grand was a Treasurer of Save the Pearls Organization headed by Hizbullah. The suicide bomber had spent a large amount of money on the organisation and also bought it a land encompassing 108 perches at Madurankuliya, Peiris said.The Save the Pearls Organization had also received Rs. 27.6 million from a Qatar-based organization, linked to extremism, the Deputy Solicitor General said. A separate inquiry had already commenced under the Money Laundering Act, he said, adding that 16 boys who underwent military training and indoctrination classes at the school had already given statements to the court and investigation officers.Deputy Solicitor General added that an organised group had visited the majority of the children and taken affidavits claiming that their statements given to investigators had not been made voluntarily. He said that threats and inducements had been used to obtain the affidavits.

The AG had instructed investigators to arrest the suspects and produce them in court after studying over 1,200 pages of investigation documents, Peiris said. The AG also felt that a case could be charged against the suspects, Peiris said.Deputy Solicitor General said that attempting to create religious and ethnic animosity is a serious offense and urged the court to remand them.Attorney Niran Anketell who represented Hizbullah, denied the allegations leveled against his client and said that a magistrate has no power to give a verdict on suspects arrested under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) act. Anketell added that the detention order against Hizbullah is still valid and thus the magistrate could not remand him.Anketell said that the CID had recorded more than 50 statements from Hizbullah and nearly 116 persons were given statements about the operation of the Madrasa School.”The CID had only submitted selected statements to the Court and due to that matter, the Magistrate cannot give a fair conclusion about the remand order,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Magistrate said that the CID is obligated to submit everything related to the case and directed the CID to submit a summary containing every fact reported about the case on the next hearing date.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

SJB: Excise, FM officials all out to pocket Rs 1 bn

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Matara District SJB MP Buddhika Pathirana yesterday told Parliament that the Finance Ministry and Excise Department officials had misled Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal in order to obtain billion rupees, fraudulently.

The officials had got a contract for printing stickers or barcodes to be displayed on bottles of liquor awarded to an Indian company.

“The project would result in one-billion-rupee loss to the government coffers annually,” the MP said, adding that the money being taken from the public purse would end up in the pockets of corrupt officials.

Pathirana said that the Excise Department had commenced a project to paste stickers on bottles of liquor to differentiate them from the fake and counterfeit bottles in the market.

“As per this project’s requirements, 32 million stickers would be needed per month. The stickers are to be purchased from Madras Security Printers company of India. This method was proposed in 2016 but it failed and the officials thereafter decided to introduce a barcode system.

“The cost of a sticker at 25 cents and the new barcode system will cost of two rupees a piece. This is a dubious deal. It seems that the Finance Ministry officials and the Excise Department heads have ganged up to give the contract to the Indian company and get commissions. There are many unanswered questions. First, the contract of printing the barcode too has been given to the MSP company, which could not secure the first contract. I want to know whether the proper procurement process has been followed. The second question is whether the barcodes would be up to the standards listed in the tender. Third question is who had selected the MSP company which is black-listed in India after being found guilty of frauds with Indian liquor companies in providing stickers to them. MSP has been blacklisted in many other countries. The company has been banned in Sudan and Liberia for supplying the stickers to private companies. The last question is whether this fraud is being committed with the knowledge of ministers of this government.”

Continue Reading

news

Reserves fall to lowest since 2009, rupee strengthening to be short-lived: report

Published

on

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Sri Lanka’s Foreign reserves had dropped to USD 4.1bn in March 2021, the lowest since August 2009, on the back of over US$ 4bn outstanding debt payment during April-December 2021 period, a report issued by First Capital Research yesterday said.

According to the report, rupee appreciation is likely to be short-lived considering Sri Lanka’s depleting foreign reserve position, high foreign currency debt repayment requirement and limited funding sources available in the market are expected to further increase depreciation pressure on the currency during 2Q and 3Q.

“We maintain our exchange rate target for 1H2021 at Rs. 196-202 with 2021 year-end target at Rs. 205-215 as mentioned in our ‘Investment Strategy 2021 – January 2021,” the report recalls.

“Sri Lankan rupee appreciated 5% against the US dollar over the last 2 market days reversing the continuous accelerated depreciation witnessed in January-April 2021. On 12th April, Sri Lankan rupee recorded a historical low of Rs. 201:1 US$. Ministry of Finance (MoF) reported on the same day that the government of Sri Lanka entered into a loan agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB) for US$ 500mn and MoF expected the funds to be disbursed during the same week. Following the announcement, the market registered a steep appreciation with mid-rate recording at Rs. 190.9 on April 19,” it says.

The total foreign debt repayment (capital and interest) for 2021 is US$ 6 bn, according to the report.

Meanwhile FC Research believes that the temporary appreciation in USD-LKR, may adversely impact earnings of export companies such as Hayleys, Haycarb, Dipped Products, MGT Knitting Mills, Teejay Lanka, Expolanka Holdings etc. in the short term.

“However, considering the potential future currency pressure, we expect an overall depreciation of approximately 12% for the rupee providing a significant gain for companies with foreign currency revenue”, FC research predicts.

Continue Reading

news

Govt. asks Opposition not to propagate lies

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Chief Government Whip and Highways Minister Johnston Fernando yesterday accused the Opposition MPs of abusing parliamentary privileges to mislead the public by propagating lies about the Easter Sunday terror attacks. 

Addressing Parliament, Minister Fernando said: “The Opposition MPs level wild allegations in the House knowing that they have the cover of parliamentary privilege. If they have anything substantial or any knowledge of the perpetrators of the Easter attacks still not in custody they can go to the CID and lodge complaints so that such complaints could be investigated.”  

Fernando said so after SJB Galle District MP Manusha Nanayakkara had told the House that he possessed evidence of those who carried out the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

Nanayakkara also said that the facts that he had were not in the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday carnage.

“You are making various statements regarding the Easter Sunday terror attacks in the Chamber without any proof because you know that you have Parliamentary privilege. You even quoted some statements which are not included in the PCoI report. How did you obtain such information? Why didn’t you complain about this to the CID in the first place? Your action is aimed at misleading the public,” the Minister said. 

Minister Fernando said that the Opposition should stop insulting Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith by misinterpreting the latter’s statements. 

“When you are in the Government you never said that this is a Buddhist country. Now you are insulting the Cardinal too. You should not do that,” the Minister said. 

“The former Government should be responsible for the terror attack. Now we are trying to punish those who are responsible for it. We will take action against everyone who is responsible. You should support us, not try to obstruct the on-going investigations,” Minister Fernando said.

Continue Reading

Trending