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Family obtained loans online from SL die by suicide

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Many people have faced inconveniences due to online lending companies operating in the country without obtaining the permission to give loans using internet or telephone, as stipulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) in 2019.

“Though online transactions are possible under the Electronic Transactions Act, compliance with the CBSL circular is mandatory for lending”

It has now been revealed that most of the lending companies have obtained company registration in Sri Lanka as a Sri Lankan company, but their parent companies are operating from overseas.

Accordingly, economic experts pointed out that online loans will add more pressure on the country which is already going through an economic crisis.

The reason for this is that the amount deposited at these institutions that exploit the customers on 50% or 100% interest, ends up in another country.

Since none of these institutions have been registered with the CBSL, the source of origin of the money earned by the companies and where the amount ends up remain a question.

Doubts have also been raised whether a part of this money is used to fund the underworld and drug dealers.

What does the Cyber Crime Unit say?

The Cyber Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said that those who are facing inconveniences due to the actions, pressures and other intimidations caused by these institutions can complain to the police in their jurisdiction.

Online lenders impersonate police officers

Meanwhile, these institutions are also carrying out a campaign of intimidation by sending fake messages saying that there are police complaints against the borrowers.

It has now been revealed that these groups also receive the support of corrupt police officers.

Below is an SMS with a fake complaint number sent by one such company.

Online loans that lead to conflicts between countries

Meanwhile, Indian media reported that the police investigating the suicide of a family of four in Kerala, India, have turned their attention to a group operating from Sri Lanka that gives instant loans online.

Below is a report published on the incident.

On September 12, 39-year-old Nijo, his wife Shilpa (32)  died by suicide and their bodies were found at home. Their children Abel (7) and Aaron (5) were killed by suffocation. 

The investigation took a turn when the police found the number used to send obscene pictures of one of the deceased to his relatives.

“During the investigation, we realized that Shilpa had obtained loans from online lending institutions. She had difficulty repaying them. Later, these companies resorted to sending obscene messages to Shilpa and their relatives. When we looked at that mobile phone number, we realized that it was registered in Sri Lanka. In fact, those groups have been operating from Sri Lanka,” said an Indian police spokesperson.

Diplomatic sources said that this situation can affect the goodwill between the countries as well.

We will make a full disclosure about these companies including their boards of directors in the future.

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MoD clearance needed when ex-servicemen seek Russian visit visa – Sabry

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Sri Lanka ex-servicemen applying for visit visas to Russia will now have to get Defence Ministry clearance, Minister of Foreign Affairs M U M Ali Sabry said.

Sabry met the Russian Ambassador in Colombo Levan S Dzhagaryan today (May 29).

On a X post, the minister said, “We addressed the urgent situation of Sri Lankans being deployed in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and agreed on immediate steps to resolve these issues.”

“Russia will now require Sri Lanka Defence Ministry clearance for visit visas of ex-servicemen,” he said, adding that the upcoming visit to Russia will enable further discussions to find a solution to this matter.

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Japan announces skills new test in Building Cleaning

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The Embassy of Japan has announced that a new skills test in the field of Building Cleaning will be newly introduced in July 2024 in Sri Lanka for those seeking jobs in Japan as specified skilled workers. 

Together with the existing skills tests in Nursing Care, Food Service and Agriculture that have been in place since 2022 as well as recently added Construction, Airport Ground Handling and Accommodation Industry, skills tests will be available in seven fields in Sri Lanka with the addition of Building Cleaning.
Building Cleaning is the work to eliminate environmental pollutants in the buildings, such as offices, shopping centres and hotels to maintain the hygiene conditions of the interior of buildings such as the entrance hall, the passage, the toilet, the floor and the bed making work at hotels. House cleaning work is not included in building cleaning work.

The Embassy of Japan sincerely hopes that many talented and aspiring Sri Lankans will take advantage of this new opportunity to work in Japan in the Building Cleaning sector, which is estimated to welcome up to 37,000 foreign workers over a five-year period starting in 2024. The Embassy of Japan will continue to provide the necessary support and cooperation for Sri Lanka’s development, further deepening our long-standing friendship with Sri Lanka.

For more information on the skills test, please visit the following website of Japan Building Maintenance Association. It contains an Introduction video of Building Cleaning (available in Sinhala, English and Japanese), the textbook (available in Sinhala, English and Japanese) and a practical exam preparation video.

https://www.j-bma.or.jp/examination/94334

– The application period for the skills test will be from 5th June (6:30am) – 12th June (1:30pm) 2024 (Sri Lankan time).
– The skills test will take place from 16th – 18 July 2024 at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI).
– The examination fee is Rs. 5,000.
– The skills test details: A judgement test (paper test) and a practical test on building cleaning will be implemented. The paper test is an examination that uses photographs and illustrations. The practical test
consists of three tasks (Task 1: Routine cleaning of floor surfaces, Task 2: Routine cleaning of glass surfaces, and Task 3: Routine cleaning of western style large urinals).

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A/L results to be released before Monday ; schools to function normally

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The results of the 2023 G.C.E. Advanced Level (A/L) examination will be released before Monday (June 01), Education Minister Susil Peremajayantha said.

He said the Examinations Department is taking measures to release the results.

Meanwhile, the education ministry has issued a statement saying that all government schools will function as normal on Thursday (May 30) and Friday (May 31).

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