Connect with us

news

SJB takes ‘sugar racket’ to CIABOC, demands PCoI

Published

on

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) youth movement yesterday (1) lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), calling for an investigation into the alleged sugar fraud, which it says caused a loss of Rs. 11 billion to the state coffers.

Filing the complaint, Samagi Tharuna Balawegaya Chairman MP Mayantha Dissanayake said that in addition to the bribery investigation, a Presidential Commission of Inquiry should also be appointed to probe every aspect of the alleged fraud and the persons involved in it. 

Samagi Tharuna Balawegaya Propaganda Secretary Rasika Jayakody, National Organiser Chamith Wijesundera and Attorney-at-Law Madhawa Jayawardena were present to file the complaint.

“Approximately, a consignment of 75,000 MT of sugar was imported by a powerful businessman after the import duty on sugar was reduced to 25 cents per kilo. Several other consignments of sugar are still arriving. Despite the drastic reduction in duty, there was no significance decrease in the sugar prices in the market. The state-owned Sathosa purchased sugar at higher prices and sold it at Rs. 85 per kilogram. We suspect that some racketeers with links to the government made huge profits.

“The impact of the alleged sugar fraud was two-fold. On the one hand, it deprived the government of a staggering amount of tax revenue. According to our calculations, this amounts to Rs. 11 billion. On the other hand, the benefit of the duty reduction was not passed on to consumers.

“We urged the Bribery Commission to probe the alleged involvement of former Sathosa Chairman Nushad Perera’s in this and his connection with Sajad Mowzoon, the owner of the company which imported sugar. When we raised the matter in Parliament, no member of the ruling party came out with a proper answer.” 

The MP said the alleged sugar fraud was similar to the Treasury Bonds scams which took place under the yahapalanaya government. “At least President Sirisena appointed a Presidential Commission to investigate the scam and the legal proceedings were initiated based on the report. We hope President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will have the courage to investigate the corruption allegation faced by his own officials and supporters.” 

Dissanayake said the SJB, as the main opposition, would continue to monitor the progress of the bribery investigation. “Our struggle will not stop here. We will continue to raise this issue in Parliament and demand answers. This staggering deal should not be swept under the carpet. Everyone involved in this deal, irrespective of their positions or allegiance, should be brought to justice.”



news

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

Published

on

… 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.

 

 

Continue Reading

news

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

Published

on

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

news

26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending