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Six failed finance companies had Rs 62 billion in deposits

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By Saman Indrajith

Finance, Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprises Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Parliament on Wednesday that around 62 billion rupees had been deposited by customers in six failed finance companies during the past six years.

 Responding to a question raised by Ratnapura District SJB parliamentarian Hesha Withanage, the minister said that 256,306 customers had deposited Rs. 61.79 billion from 2015 to Aug 2020 in those companies.

 The failed finance companies were the Central Investment and Finance Ltd    (formerly known as Central Investment and Finance PLC), The Standard Credit Finance Ltd, TKS Finance Ltd., The Finance Company PLC, ETI Finance Ltd., and Swarnamahal Financial Services PLC, the minister said. 

He said that The Finance Company had 147,152 customers who made deposits amounting to Rs. 27,400 million, ETI Finance had 37,586 depositors with Rs. 22,648 million, Central Investment and Finance had 20,161 with Rs. 3,965 million , the Standard Credit Finance had 6600 depositors with Rs. 2,721 million, TKS Finance had 35,184 with Rs. 2,691 million and Swarnamahal Finance Services had 9,623 depositors with Rs. 2,372 million. 

Minister Cabraal tabled in the House the names of the members of the directors of the failed finance companies and the measures had been taken by the Central Bank to assist the depositors in recovering their money.

 The minister said that there were 41 financial institutions registered with the Central Bank as of Aug 31, 2020. 



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Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’

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By Norman Palihawadane and Ifham Nizam

The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) yesterday arrested six suspects in the Sapugaskanda Rathgahawatta area with more than 100 kilos of Crystal Methamphetamine also known as Ice.

Police Media Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ajith Rohana told the media that the PNB sleuths, acting on information elicited from a suspect in custody had found 91 packets of Ice.

A man in possession of 100 kilos of heroin was arrested in Modera during the weekend and revealed that a haul of Ice had been packed in plastic boxes.

The PNB seized more than 114 kilos of Ice from the possession of a single drug network.

According to the information elicited from the suspects, more than 100 kilos of Ice were found.

The PNB also arrested six persons including two women with 13 kilos of Ice, during an operation carried out in the Niwandama area in Ja-Ela on Sunday.

DIG Rohana said the ice had been packed in small plastic boxes and hidden in two school bags.

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PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners

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By Norman Palihawadane

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he was confident that differences among the constituents of the SLPP coalition as regards the May Day celebrations and the next Provincial Council elections could be ironed out soon.

Leaders of all SLPP allied parties have been invited to a special meeting to be held at Temple Trees with the PM presiding on April 19.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa said it was natural for members of a political alliance to have their own standpoints and views on matters of national importance. “This is due to the different political ideologies and identities. It is not something new when it comes to political alliances world over. In a way, it shows that there is internal democracy within our alliance.

The PM said: “As a result of that the allied parties may express their own views on issues, but that does not mean there is a threat to the unity of the alliance. An alliance is more vibrant and stronger not when all the parties think on the same lines but when the member parties have different ideologies.”

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Thilo Hoffman remembered

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A copy of the book “Politics of a Rainforest: Battles to save Sinharaja” was handed over to Dominik Furgler, the Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka by the author of the book, Dr. Prasanna Cooray at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo last Tuesday, to be sent to the family of the late Thilo Hoffman in Switzerland.

Hoffman, a Swiss national, who made Sri Lanka his second home for six decades, was a pioneering environmental activist who led the battles to save Sinharaja from the front in the early 1970s, abreast with the likes of Iranganie Serasinghe, Kamanie Vitharana, Lynn De Alwis and Nihal Fernando of the “Ruk Rekaganno” fame. That was the era when the trees of Sinharaja were felled for the production of plywood by the then government. Hoffman was also a livewire of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) for a long time. Hoffman died in 2014 at the age of 92.

The book includes a chapter on Thilo Hoffman.

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