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Muslim World League fails to honour promise to pay Easter carnage victims USD 5 mn – WJ



Wijeyadasa takes it up with Saudi-based outfit

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Government MP Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, says the Muslim World League owed families of those who had perished or suffered injuries in the Easter Sunday terror attacks USD 5 mn.

One-time Justice Minister and ex-President of the BASL Rajapakse said that Dr. Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdul Kareem Al-Issa had, on behalf of the Muslim World League, given an assurance in that regard, at a National Peace Conference, at Nelum Pokuna under the patronage of the then President Maithripala Sirisena on June 30, 2019.

Rajapakse told The Island he had taken up the issue with Secretary General of the Muslim World League Dr. Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdul Kareem Al-Issa recently.

In a letter dated March 22, 2021, MP Rajapakse urged the Muslim World League to carry through its widely reported promise made in the presence of President Sirisena and former Presidents, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Dr. Rajapakse emphasised that there couldn’t be any justification in further delaying the payment. “Let us hope those who organised the Nelum Pokuna event, too, will take up this matter with the Muslims World League and finalise the transfer of funds before the second anniversary of 2019 Easter Sunday carnage.”


Responding to another query, Rajapakse said the failure on the part of the Muslim World League to make the payment had been raised at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (P CoI) into the Easter Sunday attacks.

The MP said that as the families of the victims hadn’t received the promised financial assistance, he had raised the issue with the Office of former President Sisisena and his successor, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Dr. P. B. Jayasundera had recently confirmed that funds hadn’t been received yet, the MP said.

Referring to a letter received by the then Western Province Governor A. J. M. Muzammil from Dr. Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdul Kareem Al-Issa in the wake of accusations relating to the mysterious disappearance of USD 5 mn, Rajapakse questioned the rationale behind the Muslim World League holding up the payment pending Sri Lanka providing information relating to the spate of suicide attacks.

Samira De Silva, Secretary to former President Sirisena yesterday told The Island that the Muslim World League had held up the payment claiming the group was yet to receive response from the Nelum Pokuna event organisers to the following questions (1) the number of dead and wounded (2) their faith (religion) (3) list of the dead and the wounded (4) collateral damage to public property (5) number of widows and orphans (6) other relevant information and (7) account number of the President’s or  Prime Minister’s charitable fund.

 According to a missive received from Dr. Jayasundera, the Muslim World League was to directly get in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office to finalise the matter.

 The former Justice Minister said that those who organised the event had to ensure that compensation was paid as promised. “They had the President and two former Presidents on stage at Nelum Pokuna when the assurance was given to Easter Sunday victims,” MP Rajapakse.

MP Rajapakse took up the issue with the World Muslim League amidst ongoing debate in parliament on PCoI report on the Easter Sunday attack.




President requests the opposition to support the implementation of the IMF agreement




President Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the Opposition to unite and disregard political differences to assist in carrying out the IMF agreement, which would aid in the development of Sri Lanka’s economy.

The President emphasized that his duty is not to condemn previous administrations but to concentrate on the development of the country. He also declared his dedication to constructing a better future by creating laws and frameworks that prevent the recurrence of past errors.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered this message in a special address to Parliament this morning (22) regarding the receipt of the Extended Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund.

He stated that despite allegations being leveled against him that his objective was not to rescue the country from an economic crisis but to safeguard the Rajapaksa family, the international community had acknowledged his efforts to carry the country across the economic vine bridge.

The President further said that he had faith in rebuilding the beloved country where he was born, brought up and educated, and said that many past experiences were the reasons for confirming that faith.

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SJB, JVP move SC against Finance Secy. for contempt of court



The main Opposition, Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB), and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday (21) moved Supreme Court against Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana over his failure to provide funds required by the Election Commission to conduct the Local Government polls, ignoring an interim order issued by the apex court, on 03 March.

Ranjith Madduma Bandara, MP, is the petitioner for the SJB and Vijitha Herath, MP, moved court on behalf of the JVP, the leading party in the Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB).

Two Opposition parties declared action against Siriwardana the day after the Freedom People’s Alliance (FPA) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Finance Secretary to release the funds.

EC Chairman Nimal Punchihewa is on record as having said that in spite of SC directive he didn’t receive fresh funding.

The petitioners sought the issuance of summons on Siriwardana for contempt of court over failure to carry out its interim orders, given on 03 March.

The petitioners want the Finance Secretary punished in terms of Article 105 (3) of the Constitution.

The SJB stated that Siriwardana had refrained from carrying out the March directives, on the basis of a Cabinet decision, taken on 13 Feb., 2023. The SJB also pointed out that the offensive conduct of the Treasury Secretary, inter alia, causes grave prejudice to the esteemed authority of the Supreme Court and in turn disturb the public confidence in the authority of the highest Court in the country. (SF)

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Minister indicates reduction in fuel prices in April



Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara told Parliament yesterday that fuel prices would be reduced considerably according to the fuel price formula at the next fuel price revision, due in April.

The Minister said that the government would be able to procure fuel shipments, at lower prices, during competitive bidding, with the receipt of the IMF bailout.

There had been practical issues, and problems, in opening Letters of Credit, and obtaining credit facilities, in the recent past, as Sri Lanka could not give a guarantee to fuel suppliers, Minister Wijesekara said.

“We could not open LCs and obtain credit facilities when procuring fuel. After the IMF bailout, we will be able to procure fuel at lower prices during competitive biddings. We will be able to obtain a long-term credit facility as well. Fuel prices in the global market seem to have declined and the rupee has also gained strength against the US Dollar. Having considered all these factors, fuel prices will be reduced by a considerable margin which could be felt by the people,” he said.

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