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Sri Lankan faces charges over pet lion joyride in Thailand

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Police in Thailand have arrested a woman whose pet lion was pictured going on a joyride in the streets of Pattaya.
A video that has now gone viral shows the chained lion cub seated in the back of a white, open-top Bentley.

The lion was being driven about by a Sri Lankan man who has since left the country, and is believed to be a friend of the woman, Sawangjit Kosoongnern.

While it is not illegal to own a lion in Thailand, it needs to be officially registered.

Authorities in Thailand said Ms Sawangjit claimed to have bought the animal from a Thai man in Nakhon Pathom province, who successfully facilitated its delivery to Pattaya.

However he failed to have his facility checked by officials before doing so, which made both the transfer and ownership of the animal illegal.

She is therefore facing charges of possessing a controlled wild animal without permission, which carries a penalty of a year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to 100,000 baht ($2,800; £2,200).

Police were also reportedly looking to charge the Sri Lankan man, who had kept the lion in his rented pool villa, but were unable to as he is no longer in Thailand. He was due to be charged with bringing a controlled wild animal into public places, which carries jail time of up to six months and a fine of 50,000 baht.

The man who sold the lion to Ms Sawangjit will also face charges of moving an animal without permission.

Officials say there are currently 224 lions in Thailand that are legally owned.

(BBC News)

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Dr. Shelton Premarathne passes away

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Legendary Sri Lankan music composer Dr. Shelton Premarathne has passed away today (May 30) at the age of 94.

He had been living with his son in Sydney, Australia, at the time of his demise.

Dr Premaratne has contributed to Sinhala cinema, theatre and classical Sri Lankan music. 

He was the music composer and director in over 30 stage productions, including Henry Jayasena’s popular theatre production Hunuwataye Kathawa (The Caucasian Chalk Circle), and 21 Sinhala films including films such as Daskon, Romeo Juliet Kathawak and Hithaka Pipunu Mal.

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Indian-owned ship held in Colombo after oil spill; travel ban imposed on captain

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The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has taken custody of a ship which had caused an oil spill while anchored at the Colombo Port.

A spokesperson of the MEPA stated that legal action has been initiated against the company that owns the ship and the relevant insurance company regarding the oil spill. Under the Marine Environment Protection Authority Act, the MEPA is seeking compensation for the incident, the authority revealed.

The ship, owned by an Indian company, had recently arrived at the Port of Colombo for maintenance activities. A special investigation conducted by MEPA had revealed a leak of hydraulic oil from the ship. The company’s owner has admitted to the incident and agreed to provide compensation, according to the MEPA.

Furthermore, the Colombo Magistrate Court has imposed a travel ban on the captain of the ship preventing him from leaving the country, as per a request made by the Colombo Port Police.

(This story, originally published by adaderana.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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5 companies fined Rs. 1,243 Mn. for illegal gold imports

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State Finance Minister Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that five companies have been identified for illegally importing gold into Sri Lanka during the past few years, and fines of Rs.1,243 million have been imposed on those companies.

The Minister said that one of the related companies was ordered to pay Rs.179 million as fines.

Emphasising that from now on, all licensed institutions carrying out import of gold goods should avoid these illegal acts, the Minister said that the relevant institutions will also be charged fines for the gold purchased by even third parties considering the production reports.

He said the efforts to stabilise the state revenue of the country are currently being carried out by closing all the loopholes related to the loss of state revenue gradually.

Certain parties who import gold goods have turned this into a big racket and therefore there is a mafia around it.There were various challenges and threats when the government tried to curb this mafia initially.

The Minister further said that there were various levels of threats, pressure and intimidation, and the government did not waver in the face of all these challenges and moved to the second step.

(dailynews.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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