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Makandure Madush killed in his accomplice’s bid to free him from police



Local Magistrate visits the scene of yesterday’s shooting where gangster Makadure Madush died (pic by Saman Ranaweera)

By Norman Palihawadana and Hemantha Randunu

Drug lord and underworld leader Makandure Madush died in the early hours of yesterday following an exchange of fire between the police and some underworld figures at the Lakshitha Mahal Housing Complex at Maligawatte.

Madush who was in the custody of the CID for one and a half years after he was sent back by Dubai, where he had gone into hiding was handed over to the Colombo Crime Division a few weeks ago for further investigations.

According to Police, the incident occurred when Madush was brought back from the 10th floor of the Maligawatte housing complex, where a haul of heroin with a street value of Rs. 220 million was taken into custody. The members of Madush’s underworld gang fired at the police in a bid to free Madush from police custody.

In the exchange of fire Madush was seriously injured and on admission to the National Hospital, the drug lord breathed his last.

In the clash, two policemen were also injured.

The policemen were out of danger, hospital sources said.

One policeman received injuries after one of the two gang members threw a grenade at the police and the other in the exchange of fire.

The duo who arrived on a motorcycle fled the scene when their bid to save Madush failed. The motorcycle was found abandoned at the bridge at Babapulle Road at Maligawatte. The police said the motorcycle had been stolen from its owner, in Wellawatte.

The police also recovered two 9 mm pistols used by the underworld figures.

Earlier, the CCD recovered a haul of drugs with a street value of Rs.100 million belonging to Madush from a garage on information provided by him.

The police had provided Madush with a mobile phone to talk to his contacts to gather more information about the haul of drugs. 

Two women were fighting each other claiming the ownership of a 60-room hotel owned by Madush. However, the police said following Madush’s death the right of ownership of Madush’s wealth and properties could only be claimed by his wife.

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Economic crisis: 100,000 families already starving



Govt. to provide monthly assistance package – official

By Ifham Nizam 

Plans are underway to assist an average needy family of  four with a monthly package of Rs. 15,000, a senior adviser to President Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, adding that the move was expected to help ameliorate the plight of nearly 65,000 families.

Food Security Committee Chairman Dr. Suren Batagoda told The Island yesterday that at present some 100,000 families across the country were starving.

He said financial assistance would be provided to those families for three months. Within three months, the government would design a package in the form of food stamps, etc.

Dr. Batagoda said the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the World Bank, and state agencies would also team up to strengthen food security, focusing especially on needy pregnant mothers and pre-school children.

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GR govt. ignored Chinese lenders’ request for debt restructuring



By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa government had ignored suggestions by Chinese lending institutions that Sri Lanka to restructure the debt in 2021, Prof. Samitha Hettige said yesterday.

“The Rajapaksa government started talking of debt restructuring earlier this year. The Opposition had been asking for this before,” he said.  By 2021, before the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration decided on debt restructuring, the Chinese institutions that had given Sri Lanka loans suggested that a restructuring process should start since Sri Lanka would have trouble repaying the loans, the Strategic Studies scholar said.

However, the request had gone unheeded, and if the government had started discussions then, Sri Lanka would not have been in crisis, Prof. Hettige said.

The Sri Lankan foreign policy, in the last few years, had also been misguided, Prof. Hettige said. A number of Indian and Chinese companies faced unnecessary issues by the behaviour of the government, he said.

Prof. Hettige said that the government must focus on establishing free trade ports and reducing negative lists for investments.

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SJB dissociates itself from SF’s call for protest



By Chaminda Silva

MP Sarath Fonseka’s call for people to join anti-government protests was not a decision taken by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), party MP J.C Alawathuwala said.

The SJB believed that they had to help President Ranil Wickremesinghe stabilise the country, economically and politically, he said.

MP Alawathuwala said the President must be given some time to solve the problems faced by the people and that the SJB was holding discussions with the government to guide it on a people-friendly path.

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