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No annual reports from Insurance Corporation, Electricity Board, Sathosa, Lotteries Board and Fisheries Corporation, etc., from 2015 to 2018



By Saman Indrajith

SLPP National List MP Professor Ranjith Bandara told Parliament yesterday that the government’s economic policies and their feasibility had been amply reflected in the Central Bank annual report, the Finance Ministry’s performance report and in its mid-year fiscal report presented to Parliament during the last week of its sittings.

Moving a motion for the debate at the time of the adjournment of the House, Professor Bandara said that those reports scientifically analyzed and recounted the major economic setbacks suffered by the country’s economy during 2015-2019 due to the unhealthy economic policies, weak management and poor decision making of the previous government.

Prof. Bandara said that the said reports could be used to formulate future economic policies and strategies.

The adjournment motion was then seconded by SLPP Gampaha District MP Sahan Pradeep Withana, who said the country’s economy had been severely affected by the poor decision making and management under the previous government, the Easter Sunday carnage and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citing the annual report of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, MP Withana also said that there were several institutions that had not submitted their annual reports for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 to the CBSL. The institutes include National Insurance Corporation, Electricity Board, Lanka Sugar, Sathosa, Lotteries Board and Ceylon Fisheries Corporation.

MP Withana said that during the previous government, financial assistance for the private sector had decreased. He added that investors and entrepreneurs had lost confidence due to lack of political stability as well.

The MP pointed out that the government revenue had decreased by Rs. 29 billion in 2019, compared to 2018.

MP Withana said that the government expenditure had increased by 8.2% in 2019 compared to 2018.

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Cardinal: Was there any link between passage of 20A and Easter Sunday probe outcome?



… stands by his claim of foreign involvement

By Norman Palihawadana

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that there could be a connection between the outcome of the probe into the Easter Sunday attacks and the enlisting of Muslim MPs’ support for the passage of the 20th Amendment.

The Cardinal said: “The leader of a Muslim political party voted against the 2Oth Amendment. But his MPs voted for it. The brother of Rishad Bathiudeen too was released around the same time. These are questionable developments. These events could be part of a deal.”

The Cardinal reiterated that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday attacks and that he did not believe that there had been any local political group directly involved in the Easter attacks.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Cardinal said that the remarks he made on Sunday had been misunderstood. He stood by his claim that international forces had been behind the attacks, he said.

“However, some people claim that I said a local political group was behind the attack. I have always maintained that there are international forces that use religious and ethnic extremists such as Wahabists to create conflicts. I was referring to such groups.”

The Cardinal added that only a small group of Muslims was involved in extremism.

The Archbishop also said that former President Maithripala Sirisena believed that taking action against extremists like NTJ leader Zahran Hashim would create unnecessary issues.

“Something along these lines is also in the PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks. The report also implies that the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was lenient in dealing with growing extremism in Sri Lanka.”

The Cardinal urged the government to protect the country and ensure that there would be no repeats of incidents like the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo requested all religious leaders to work on rebuilding trust among all communities.



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AG appeals to Supreme Court against granting of bail to Ravi, others



The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against bail for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others indicted in the bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The eight accused were arrested and remanded over the bond scams. Later, they were released on bail.

The court warned that if the accused attempted to exert influence on the witnesses, by any means, bail would be revoked and they would be placed on remand until the end of the trial.



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26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area



Another 26 COVID-19 cases had been detected on Sunday, from the Tirunelveli Market in Jaffna, which was the epicentre of the recent outbreak in the town, Dr. A. Kethiswaran, Regional Director Health Services told the media yesterday.

The market and its surroundings had been reopened on April 11 following a 19-day lockdown. However, 378 PCR tests were conducted after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and 26 of them proved positive.

Dr. Kethiswaran warned last week that there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jaffna after the New Year celebrations.

A large number of COVID-19 cases had been reported in Jaffna in the past few weeks. Thus, the people should adhere to health guidelines. If people did not follow the guidelines, there would be a spike in cases and then some places would have to be lockdown, he warned.

“It’s too early to say whether we have to close the area down. We are monitoring the situation,” DR. Kethiswaran said.

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