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‘There is no better friend one could ever have than Krishantha Cooray’

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It is my privilege to send my fondest wishes to Krishantha Prasad Cooray on this occasion of celebrating his birthday.

To those who are unfamiliar with the background of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Krishantha is the kind of business leader and political visionary that even a very fortunate country will only see once in a generation.

Through the many years I have known him, I have found Krishantha to be, to borrow the words of 19th century journalist Carl Schurz, “one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following in its footprints.”

“Throughout his career, Krishantha has built new businesses from the ground, and has taken existing great companies to new heights of prosperity and stability.”

As an independent non-executive director of DFCC, Krishantha applied his unique expertise in mass communications to the banking sector.

As Chairman of the Colombo Hilton, he kept Sri Lanka’s oldest five-star hotel profitable against the odds even through renovations and the collapse of tourism following the dreadful attacks of April 21st, 2019.

He was the founding CEO of The Nation and Rivira newspapers, both of which quickly grew a strong base of dedicated readers in Sri Lanka and around the world, both in print and on the internet. As Chairman of Lake House, he started the Resa newspaper, which saw similar success.

Conscious of the precarious state of the Print media industry, Krishantha helped Lake House to leverage its real estate assets into profitable lease agreements, keeping the company financially sound for years to come.

It is a sad truth that working in journalism in Sri Lanka is not without danger.

“Whenever Krishantha’s colleagues have been in peril, he has never hesitated to put his own life in harm’s way to ensure their safety, from the 2008 abduction of Keith Noyahr to the 2009 assault on Upali Tennakoon.”

As many past Presidents, Prime Ministers, senior civil servants and other officials can attest, there has been no crisis faced by our democracy in the past decade that Krishantha was not instrumental in resolving, with his unique combination of ingenuity, passion, associations and sheer force of determination.

At different times, both Krishantha and I have found our lives imperiled by standing up for what we believed in.

It was my privilege to stand by him whenever he was in danger, just as he has done for me in my darkest hours. When I was overcome by dread, by the cruelty of a pain and loss that is beyond comprehension, Krishantha dropped everything and flew across oceans to be by my side.

As I learned in my darkest hour, there is no better friend one could ever have than Krishantha Cooray.

Karu Jayasuriya Former Speaker

 



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Southern MP warns that Russian & Ukranian tourists working here are at risk

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“They may be knifed or their lives threatened”

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists from Russia and Ukraine who are staying in houses in Sri Lanka for long periods are engaging in business activities and should be taxed to prevent them being knifed by competitors, SLPP MP Chandima Weerakkody told parliament on Friday.

“There are many tourists who are staying long term in houses,” he said. “Though they come here they cannot use their credit cards – especially Russian and Ukrainian tourists who cannot use their money through their cards. As a result they have been forced to work and earn something in Sri Lanka.”

He called on the government to have a system where they can use their money.

“In our areas many tourists are cutting hair, some are doing tinkering work, some are setting up pizza shops, some are selling cannabis – I think there is a new name now *for ganja),” Weerakkody said. “If we send the immigration behind the tourists who are coming, even those that are coming will not come.”

“No taxes are being charged from any of these tourists who are doing business. Our (local people’s) taxes are raised. I am asking at least to have a system for the government to collect some taxes

“I want to say in Parliament that in our areas, a knifing (pihi anumak), or some other threat to life (jeewitha tharjanayak) may happen if this situation continues.”

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Kidney sale racket unearthed in Colombo

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Five duped to sell their kidneys at Rs. 15 million each

By Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranjindra Jayasuriya that an investigation has been launched to arrest the suspects involved in the organized racket of obtaining kidneys from poor people promising big money and selling them to local and foreign people.The CCD told the court on Thursday that four men and one woman have parted with their kidneys, and despite promising to pay Rs.15 million per kidney nothing was paid.

CCD reported to court that the victims were operated at a Hospital on Cotta Road in Borella and no money was paid. A mother who was nursing a one-and-a-half-year-old infant was among those cheated.

The police told court that a person from the Bloemendhal area had referred these people through another man and a woman. Required medical tests had been conducted at three private hospitals.

Evidence has been obtained that kidney surgeries had been performed at a private hospital in Borella and the CCD stated in court that this racket was organized targeting poor families in Colombo.

It informed court that they have already launched investigations and will arrest the suspects and produce them before court.After considering the relevant submissions, the Magistrate ordered the CCD to conduct investigations and arrest the suspects and present them to court.

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Record highest number of school students visit Parliament

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School children wave during their visit to Parliament on Thursday (1). Serjeant-at Arms Narendra Fernando said that the largest number of school students in the history of the Parliament visited the Parliament on Dec 1. Over 5,000 students from 32 schools from different provinces visited the Parliament on that day, he said. More than 25,000 students representing schools in different parts of the country had visited to observe the Parliamentary debates after the Public Gallery was reopened for school students from Sept 19.

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