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Fare increases expected for buses, school vans, and three-wheelers in January

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The Inter-Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA), the All Island School Van Operators Association (AISVOA), and the All-Island Three-Wheeler Drivers’ Union (AITWDU) are planning to raise fares in January due to the introduction of a new 18% value-added tax (VAT). 

IPPBA Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said after imposing the new VAT, the diesel price would increase by Rs. 50, and therefore the minimum bus fare should also be increased.

However, they hope to increase the minimum bus fare to Rs. 36 while increasing the remaining rates according to the percentage. 

The minimum bus fare is Rs. 30 as of March 31, 2023.

Meanwhile, AISVOA chairman Malsiri de Silva told the Daily Mirror that they have not come to a conclusion about the charges that need to be increased.

“We know that increasing the school van fee is a huge burden to the parents, but in the current situation, we also cannot do anything to reduce the school van fare,” he told the media.

Moreover, AITWDU president Lalith Dharmasekera told the Daily Mirror that there is a possibility of petrol prices increasing by more than Rs. 50 from January, and if that happens, the charges for the first kilometre would increase according to the fuel price.

“We did not take any measures to revise fares on previous occasions where the government had increased petrol prices. But this time, we cannot remain so. We have to increase the fares according to the price increases,” he told the media.

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Port City sea sand sent to Port construction?

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The Frontline Socialist Party made a disclosure concerning the alleged unauthorized use of construction materials at the Colombo Port City project, specifically in the construction of two terminals.

Frontline Socialist Party’s Education Secretary, Pubudu Jagoda,  raised concerns regarding the construction of the Port City in Sri Lanka, highlighting alleged irregularities in the procurement and use of construction materials by a Chinese company contracted for the project.

Jagoda asserts that the Chinese company, tasked with constructing the East Container Terminal and Jaya Container Terminal, has been involved in questionable practices.

According to Jagoda, the company has purportedly been transporting sea sand from the Port City area to the Colombo port, bypassing regulations and inspections. He claims to possess video evidence supporting these allegations.

The videos, according to Jagoda, depict the loading of sand from the Port City’s sand piles onto tipper trucks, which then enter the harbor without undergoing proper inspections or acquiring necessary permits. Additionally, he alleges that the sand, originally intended for the Port City’s construction, is being used in the Colombo Port’s development instead.

Jagoda further contends that approximately 4000 sand cubes are being transported from the Port City to the Colombo Port every month, with an estimated value of 90 million Sri Lankan rupees.

The Frontline Socialist Party Education Secretary questions why the Colombo Port security department has not intervened in these matters and calls for an investigation into the alleged breaches of protocol surrounding the procurement and transportation of construction materials for the Port City and Colombo Port projects.

Keith Barnard, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority stated that he was not aware of the allegations brought forth by Jagoda.

However, he assured that a formal investigation into the matter will be initiated promptly.

(News 1st)

(This story, originally published by News 1st has not been edited by SLM staff)

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IGP arrives before Supreme Court

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Newly appointed IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon arrived today before the Supreme Court in connection with several Fundamental Rights petitions challenging the President’s decision to appoint him as the Acting IGP.

(Daily mirror)

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Gunshots fired into air near tourist hotel in Wellawatta

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Two unidentified men on a motorcycle have fled after firing gunshots into the air in Wellawatta, the police reported.

The shooting took place in front of a tourist beach hotel located on Marine Drive in Wellawatte this morning (Feb.27).

According to the police media division, the suspects have used a T-56 assault rifle. Nine empty T-56 cartridge cases were found at the scene.

No fatalities were reported in the incident. Wellawatta Police has initiated an investigation to apprehend the gunman and the accomplice.

(adaderana.lk)

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