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CID trying to sweep ‘lentil’ probe under rug: Two Aussies write to Prez!

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Inspector General of Police (CGP) C.D.Wickramaratne has been ordered to launch an immediate investigation into a written complaint made by two Australian citizens to President Ranil Wickremesinghe that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has tried to sweep the investigations related to a fraud of USD 243,610 under the rug. 

The letter addressed to the President was sent by Rajaratne Manoj Dushyantha and Maxwell Marvin Perera, the directors of the Australian company Bulk Buy Grains (Aus) Pty Ltd registered at Unit 11, 24-26 Carrick Drive, TULLAMARINE VIC 3043.

The two Australian businessmen had entered into an agreement with a company called Life Australia (Pty) Ltd at the address 52B1,Seewali Mawatha, Kothalawala in Kaduwela to send lentils from Australia to Sri Lanka.

Accordingly, Life Australia (Pty) Ltd has started a business of importing lentils to Sri Lanka, cleaning them, distributing them in Sri Lanka and re-exporting.

Life Australia (Pty) Ltd is said to be owned by Tharanga Sajeevani Perera.

The two Australian businessmen, who were unable to visit Sri Lanka during the COVID-19 pandemic, have conducted their business online.

In their letter, they said the Sri Lankan businessman had misplaced 10 containers filled with lentil sent from Australia. They came to Sri Lanka and lodged a complaint at the CID due to non-receipt of money for the containers.

They also said the lentil cleaning plant, which had been built from funds worth Rs.100 million sent by them, is also now missing.

After making a complaint to the Piliyandala Police, the two businessmen went to observe the venue along with the police officers.

A few days later, a man had complained to the Piliyandala Police saying that a group of people had trespassed his property and threatened him.

According to the letter, the CID had conducted investigations properly at the initial stage. However, the investigation officer has been removed from the CID today.

The two businessmen have informed the Australian High Commission, the Minister of Public Security, the Attorney General, the IGP and the Senior DIG (Western Province) in writing about the incident.

They requested the President to ensure that foreign investors are given due protection and treated fairly.

Meanwhile, an investigation carried out by Sri Lanka Mirror revealed that the Australian businessmen have alleged that the police investigation has been suppressed due to the intervention of Samuditha, the son of Sri Lanka Podujana Education Services Union President Wasantha Handapangoda who was arrested over violent incidents on May 9, 2022.

It was reported that Samuditha has exerted undue influence in this manner since he is to wed Tharanga Sajeevani Perera.

The letter sent by the two Australians to the President.

The lentil cleaning plant which is located at 52B1, Seewali Mawatha, Kaduwela.

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Colombo air show and CADE 2024 exhibition postponed to next year

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The Colombo Air Show and Defence Exhibition (CADE 2024), initially set to take place from May 29 to June 2 at Galle Face and Colombo Port City, has been postponed to next year, according to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

The SLAF stated that the decision to reschedule the event was made in response to multiple requests from international partners, defence industry stakeholders, and foreign Air Forces. This postponement aims to enhance participation and provide a more diverse experience for spectators.

The rescheduled event will now be held from February 26 to March 2, 2025, coinciding with the 74th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

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 Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrives in Sri Lanka

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The Global Peace Ambassador and Spiritual Leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon (18) for a three-day visit. He was welcomed at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake by State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon and Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman.

During his stay from May 18 to 20, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will participate in an event titled ‘Ekamuthuva: An Evening of Music, Meditation and Wisdom,’ which will be held at Taj Samudra on May 19. Renowned for his global humanitarian efforts and as a peace envoy, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is also an Indian yoga guru and the founder of ‘Transcendental Meditation’.

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President leaves for Indonesia

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has left for Indonesia this morning (18) to attend the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting in Bali, at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The 10th World Water Forum is being held from May 18th to 20th in Bali, Indonesia.

This significant gathering, themed “Water for Shared Prosperity,” will convene global leaders to address pressing issues related to water management and sustainability.

President Wickremesinghe left for Indonesia on Saturday, following an invitation from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, underscoring Sri Lanka’s commitment to international cooperation on water-related challenges.

Scheduled to deliver a keynote address on May 20th, President Wickremesinghe will articulate Sri Lanka’s perspective on achieving equitable access to water resources for all, the President’s Media Division said.

During the forum, President Wickremesinghe is expected to engage in bilateral discussions, including a meeting with President Widodo, to explore avenues for collaborative action in water resource management.

His delegation, comprising senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflects Sri Lanka’s comprehensive approach to addressing global water issues.

President Wickremesinghe’s participation underscores Sri Lanka’s proactive role in advancing sustainable solutions to ensure water security, not only domestically but also on the global stage, the PMD said.

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