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Bond Scam: Court released Mahendran & others from Public Property charges

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Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, and nine other people who were accused in the 1st Bond Scam case of 2015 were released from the charges filed under the Public Property Act, by the Colombo Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar on Tuesday (11).

The court ruled that it cannot proceed with the charges filed under the Public Property Act by the Attorney General against the ten people accused of committing the Bond Scam of 2015.

The verdict was delivered by a 2/3 majority in the court.

The case was called up in the presence of Justices Chamath Morias, Damith Thotawatte, and Namal Balalle.

President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana had filed a preliminary objection with the court noting that charges cannot be charged against a company under the Public Property Act and noted that Perpetual Treasuries Limited which was also named as an accused is a company and not a person.

After the court accepted the objection, the defense counsel also argued that as a majority of the other accused at Directors of Perpetual Treasuries Limited, it applies to them as well, and therefore the charges under the Public Property Act filed against them cannot be taken forward.

Thereby, the Justice of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar ordered for all other charges to be taken up for a trial, leaving the charges filed under the Public Property Act, on the 16th of December 2022.

The case was filed against the 10 accused under 23 counts for committing the Bond Scam on the 27th of February 2015, and causing a loss of Rs. 688 Million to the government.

The accused are:

Ex-CBSL Governor Lakshman Arjuna Mahendran

Ex-CBSL Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri

Perpetual Treasuries Limited

Arjun Joseph Aloysius

Kasun Palisena

Geoffrey Joseph Aloysius

Pushpa Chandra Gunawardena

C. Ranjan Hulugalle

Muthuraja Surendran

Ajahn Gardiye Punchihewa

(News1st)

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What we need now is national harmony not racist struggles – Karu (Pics)

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Former Speaker and renowned politician, Mr. Karu Jayasuriya received the “Sri Lankabhimanya” Honorary Award, at a ceremony held at the President’s House in Colombo under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, this morning (03).

This honour was bestowed on Mr. Karu Jayasuriya in recognition of the services rendered to the country by him.

Mr. Karu Jayasuriya was presented with the medal and award by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

During the ceremony, Mr. Karu Jayasuriya presented the President with a commemorative book containing a collection of photographs, a retrospective of his life’s journey.

This event was organized in line with the 75th Anniversary of Independence.

The once-in-a-lifetime “Sri Lankabhimanya” Honorary Award is the highest national award given by the Government of Sri Lanka to a Sri Lankan citizen or non-Sri Lankan individual.

Only five Sri Lankans can hold this honor at the same time, which means that if five recipients of the award are alive, the award cannot be given to a sixth person. However, the award can also be given posthumously.

The award was presented most recently in 2017 to W.D. Amaradeva for his contribution to the Sri Lankan music industry. In addition, the Sri Lankabhimanya award was also bestowed on former presidents Ranasinghe Premadasa and D.B. Wijetunga, scientist Arthur C. Clarke, Laxman Kadirgamar, A.T. Ariyaratne, Lester James Peiris and Christopher Weeramantri.

Addressing the ceremony, Mr. Jayasuriya said that what should be done at this point of time is not the struggle of racism, but to work to create national harmony.

He also requested all parties and opposition parties to join hands to ensure that the next generation would be handed over the country after having rectified the shortcomings that have occurred over the past 75 years.

Mr Jayasuriya also pointed out that in his political career, he had never criticized or offended anyone and neither has he ever engaged in any illegal activities.

He said that as a result of an effort to create a new political culture, on the advice of the Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, he had dedicated his political career for justice and fairness and this National Award is a tribute to the policies he followed.

Mr. Jayasuriya recalled that he entered politics on the invitation of the current President Ranil Wickremesinghe after he became the leader of the United National Party and said that he is happy to work in close contact with the people.

He also stated that during his tenure as the Mayor, he was able to create a new culture in the Colombo Municipal Council and its success was even recognized internationally.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President Mr Saman Ekanayake, Presidential Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Mr Sagala Ratnayake, Government and Opposition Ministers and Mr. Karu Jayasuriya’s family members participated in this event.

(Pics : President’s Media Division)

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No COVID-19 deaths yesterday

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No COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed yesterday (02) by the Director-General of Health Services.

Accordingly, the current COVID-19 death toll remains at 16,828.

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Govt. policy statement to be debated next week

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The government policy statement by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, which will be presented on the 08th of this month, will be taken up for debate on the 9th and the 10th of February.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake said the decision was reached at the party leaders meeting held today (3) under the patronage of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana.

Accordingly, Parliament will convene on the 09th at 9.30am while the regulations under the Welfare Benefits Act and 51 motions regarding the annual reports of various statutory institutions will be taken up.

Thereafter, the adjournment debate on the government policy statement presented by the President will be debated till 5pm.

The debate on the government policy statement will continue for a second day on the 10th of February from 9.30 am to 5pm.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapakse, Leader of the House Minister Susil Premajayantha, Chief Government Whip Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and party leaders were present at the meeting.

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