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Raju Radha says he is occupying Green Lanka building legally (Update)

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Businessman Raju Radha has said that he is staying in the Green Lanka building located at Navam Mawatha in Kompanna Vidiya based on his legal right.

He expressed these views under the ‘right to reply’ with regard to the news titled “Building occupied by Raju Radha, entangled in shady dealings!” published on ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ website on June 05.

He said that the building in question is owned by Green Lanka Property Developers Pvt. Limited, of which he is a director.

He also said that there are no residencies in the building and that they only have offices.

A lawyer’s office belonging to former Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) director – Ravi Waidyalankara and the Embassy of Cyprus are also located in the building, he said.

Meanwhile, ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ learns that the nightclub owned by well known businessman Nalin Fonseka, which was located in the building, is now closed after not being reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 60 people entered the ‘Asia Capital Institute’ located in the building on June 03-04, and later 23 of them were arrested by the police and produced in the court.

However, they were later released on bail by the court.

The group had said that they entered the building to paint it.

Ravi Pradeep, who is said to be the leader of the group, has told the police that he went there based on a request to enter the building by an individual named ‘Soysa’, who is said to be an officer of the Mercantile Investments and Finance PLC.

Pradeep has said that he was told that Mercantile Investments owns the building, and he entered the building accordingly.

‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ learnt that Gerard George Ondaatjie, who is the largest stakeholder at Mercantile Investment and Finance PLC, had been overseas at the time of the incident.

It was also reported that the aforementioned ‘Soysa’ is the Head of the Recovery Department of Mercantile Investment and Finance PLC.

Meanwhile, a case filed by Mercantile Investment and Finance PLC against Green Lanka Property Developers (Pvt) Limited at the Colombo Commercial High Court, is still ongoing.

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( Previous News – 05 June 2023 1:17pm )

Building occupied by Raju Radha, entangled in shady dealings!

A group of around 50 people have reportedly tried to take over the Green Lanka building at Navam Mawatha in Colombo 02, after gradually entering the building since Saturday night (03).

The building is said to have been forcibly occupied by Indian businessman Raju Radha for some time now.
The first group of around 12 persons had entered the building around 10.45 pm last Saturday, and entered the sixth and seventh floors of the building where the Indian businessman is residing.

This was followed by a group of nearly 50 people entering the same floors around 1.00 am yesterday.

Subsequently, the Kompanna Vidiya police had entered the building, removed the trespassers and recorded statements.

Officials of Mercantile Investments – the company currently owning the building, have also given statements to the police.

Police later said that 23 people who were arrested for trespassing the building were released.

However, reports say that the police chief had acted in favour of Mr. Radha. A ministry-level inquiry is also to be launched in this regard, reports add.

According to reports, a retired Senior Superintendent of Police by the name Bandula, has been tasked with the building’s security by Mr. Radha.

‘Shady dealings’
This nine-storey building initially belonging to Green Lanka has been mortgaged by its owners to Mercantile Investments, a leasing company located in Kollupitiya.

The leasing company has filed a case in the Supreme Court that the Indian national Raju Radha is illegally occupying and using this building through a Malaysian company, Asia Capital PLC.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has launched an investigation into the allegations that Mr. Radha has been staying in the building since 2014 with the backing of political and high-ranking police officials and had rented out the floors of the building to several companies.

The second floor of the building has been rented by Pastor Jerome Fernando to conduct religious services.
It is also reported several relatives of the Thondaman family, former Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) director – Ravi Waidyalankara and his son, as well as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s private secretary – Uditha Lokubandara, have houses in this building.

It was reported that a nightclub owned by well known businessman Nalin Fonseka, is also located in the building.

A cafe owned by Raju Radha’s daughter is located at the rooftop, reports add.

Previously, media had reported that some individuals in this building had been accused of forcibly seizing property and land worth billions after deceiving wives of Colombo businessmen.

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Shooting incident ‘targeting’ former MP Uddika was self-orchestrated : Police

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Sri Lanka Police says it has been uncovered that the incident where several gunshots had been fired at the vehicle belonging to former Anuradhapura District parliamentarian Uddika Premaratne, had been orchestrated by the actor-turned-politician himself with the assistance of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in the area.

Speaking during a press conference held in Colombo today (13), the Police Media Spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa said that the suspects connected to the incident have been identified so far following investigations carried out by the CID.

On September 17, 2023, a group of unidentified gunmen had opened fire at Premaratne’s car soon after he returned to his residence in Anuradhapura at around 10:35 p.m. The parliamentarian had managed to escape unharmed.

The perpetrators, who had arrived in a car, were said to have targeted the parliamentarian who was walking towards the house after parking his vehicle. The left rear door glass of Premaratne’s car was damaged in the shooting incident for which the gunmen were believed to have used a pistol.

Anuradhapura police initiated investigations soon after the incident was reported and Special Task Force (STF) personnel were deployed to beef up the security near the MP’s house. Later, investigations into the matter were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

However, the former MP claimed that the existing system within the country was the reason behind the recent shooting incident targeting him.

Speaking in Parliament in this regard, MP Premaratne said that while he believed the system was the cause behind the recent shooting outside his residence, it is also the reason why the country is in the state it is today.

Later on 27 February 2024, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP resigned as a Member of Parliament, following which S.C. Muthukumarana of SLPP was appointed to fill the vacant MP seat.

However, Premaratne was later reported to have flown to Canada, seeking political asylum, which he refuted, and claimed that he was expecting a work visa in Canada.

In 2020, the popular actor was announced as a candidate for the 2020 parliamentary election from the Anuradhapura District as a member of the Sri Lanka People’s Freedom Alliance, a political alliance led by the SLPP formed in 2019. 

He obtained 133,550 votes and won a seat in the 16th Parliament of Sri Lanka.

(adaderana.lk)

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

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Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar

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Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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