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Controversy over Indian Defence Minister deferring visit to SL

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The attention of political leaders worldwide has been drawn to the decision to defer the visit of Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Sri Lanka at the last moment.

Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh was scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on September 02-03 to review bilateral defence ties.

However, it was later announced that the visit has been deferred and fresh dates are to be decided later.

The Indian Defence Minister earlier announced that he would visit Sri Lanka against the backdrop when a Chinese research vessel is also scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka.

Many elements in political and security sectors around the world have expressed their views about this development.

Political and security sources said the deferral of the visit of the Defence Minister of India which has the fourth strongest military power in the world, could lead to serious issues.

During the visit, several rounds of crucial talks on defence relations between India and Sri Lanka were planned to be held.

The Indian Defence Minister was also scheduled to meet President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena as well as other heads of government during the visit.

Source – Ada Derana

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Tourists nowadays aren’t fools – Diana

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State Minister of Tourism Diana Gamage has warned that stern action will be taken promptly against those who are hostile to tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

She was responding to the media over the recent incident where a vendor had been hostile to a tourist over an overpriced Kottu.

Noting that tourists nowadays are not idiots and cannot be fooled, the State Minister urged such persons to refrain from such behaviour without harming the reputation of Sri Lanka as a hospitable, friendly tourist destination as well the livelihood of other such fellow businessmen as well.

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Hostile street food owner bailed (Update)

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Complaint lodged over Piumi Hansamali’s possession of Gota’s Range Rover

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Mage Rata organization president Sanjaya Mahawatta today, lodged a complaint with the Illegal Assets Investigations Division, calling for an inquiry into model Piumi Hansamali using the Range Rover vehicle previously used  by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“It is clear that an election is near and politicians tend to inject all their saved black money into the upcoming election campaigns and it has become a good time for the people who engage with money laundering activities. 

“Accordingly, we have some doubts on how Piumi Hansamal managed to get the Range Rover vehicle (CBH 1949) which was used by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“The question arises whether the Range Rover vehicle was given to the former president or if Gotabaya has given it to Piyumi,” said Mahawatta and further alleged that the model currently resides in a super luxury apartment, owns other properties and leads an exceedingly luxurious lifestyle.

Therefore, there are suspicions that Piumi Hansamali is being utilized for money laundering activities involving politicians’ black money, he charged.

“Therefore, we have lodged a complaint with the Illegal Assets Investigations Division. The initial complaint pertains to the Range Rover vehicle previously associated with former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and its transfer to Piumi Hansamali. This vehicle is estimated to be worth Rs. 100 million. Questions arise regarding how the vehicle came into Piumi Hansamali’s possession, the reasons behind its transfer and how she could afford such a valuable asset while primarily engaged in selling cosmetics. Additionally, it is noted that Piumi Hansamali’s has not made any television appearances lately.

“I personally know several individuals who rely on selling cosmetics for their livelihoods. But they struggle to cover their daily expenses with their modest incomes. However, Piumi Hansamali reportedly spends lakhs of rupees daily and leads a lavish lifestyle. 

“The Mage Rata organization is vigilant over the extravagant spending of politicians during election campaigns and their potential involvement in money laundering activities,” he stated.

“Hence, we anticipate an immediate investigation into this complaint,” he added.

(dailymirror.lk)

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

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SL hopes to continue discussion with bondholders

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State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe has said today (April 17) that Sri Lanka hopes to continue discussion with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.

Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, he has said.

The full statement of the State Minister is as follows :

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