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Namal’s alleged unpaid electricity bill issue challenged before SC

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A lawyer has filed a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court seeking an order directing the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to produce before Court all relevant files maintained by the CEB regarding an alleged unsettled electricity bill adding up to Rs. 2.6 million in lieu of providing electricity to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s residence in Weeraketiya.

The petitioner Vijitha Kumara, an Attorney-at-law representing the Polonnaruwa Bar Association filed this petition naming the CEB, CEB Chairman, Auditor General,  Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera, MP Namal Rajapaksa, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, MP D.V. Chanaka and several others as respondents.

The petitioner is further seeking an order directing the Auditor General to provide a comprehensive audit report into providing electricity by the CEB during the period September 12, 2019 to September 15, 2019 to the Weeraketiya residence. 

The petitioner states that JVP’s former Provincial Council member Nalin Hewage publicly disclosed that pursuant to a right to information request, it has been revealed that a sum of Rs. 2,682,246.57 was due and outstanding for a wedding held at the private residence of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2019.

The petitioner said it is public knowledge that Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa’s wedding was held on or about September 12, 2019 and a series of receptions were held at the Weeraketiya residence to celebrate the said momentous occasion. 

The petitioner states that being a public spirited individual, he became curious as to how Namal Rajapaksa’s wedding was funded by public funds.

This petition had been filed through Attorney-at-Law Thamila Dinushi Perera and to be supported by Senior Counsel Thishya Weragoda. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)

(dailymirror.lk)

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IMF approves Sri Lanka program review

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The International Monetary Fund has approved a review of Sri Lanka’s program, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry has said.

On a X post, he has said, “This achievement is a testament to our dedication to driving forward economic reforms and securing a prosperous future for all Sri Lankans.”

According to the State Minister of Finance – Shehan Semasinghe, “a favorable outcome from the review is expected to unlock the 3rd tranche of approximately USD 330 million”.

The IMF had earlier said Sri Lanka had made “sufficient progress” on debt restructuring for a review on June 12, despite final deals pending with bilateral creditors and private creditors.

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Another probe related to Easter Sunday attacks

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a Committee of Inquiry to investigate the actions taken by the State Intelligence Service (SIS), Chief of National Intelligence (CNI), and other relevant authorities concerning prior intelligence received about the bomb attacks on April 21, 2019. This decision follows the findings of the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry, dated January 31, 2021, which highlighted that Indian Intelligence agencies and other sources had provided advance warnings about the impending attacks.

The Committee of Inquiry will be chaired by Ms. A.N.J. De Alwis, Retired Judge of the High Court. Other esteemed members of the committee include SLAS special grade Officer Ms. K.N.K. Somaratne and Senior Lawyer Mr. W.M.A.N. Nishane, AAL. 

The committee’s mandate includes examining whether actions or measures were taken by the SIS, CNI, and other relevant authorities based on the prior information or intelligence on an impending attack on April 21, 2019 by Indian intelligence agencies and any other sources and if so, adequacy of the actions and measure taken by the SIS, CNI and other relevant authorities. 

Additionally, the committee will investigate the circumstances surrounding the Directorate of Military Intelligence’s (DMI) and Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) initial belief that the Vavunathivu killing of two police officers on November 30, 2018, was connected to the LTTE. This belief was held for four months before suspects with alleged links to the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) were identified.

A compact disk containing the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Bomb Attacks of April 21, 2019, has been provided to the committee. The President has authorized the committee to inquire relevant officials and examine pertinent documents to thoroughly investigate these matters.

Ms. Sarathanjali Manoharan, Senior Assistant Secretary to the President, will serve as the Secretary to the Committee of Inquiry. The committee is expected to submit its report, including findings and recommendations, to the President by September 15, 2024.

(President’s Media Division)

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New, free train ride for pilgrims visiting Mihintale (Video)

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Cabinet Spokesman Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena has said that a new short train ride between Anuradhapura and Mihintale will be arranged for pilgrims during the Poson season.

He said this at the Cabinet briefing held today (June 12) at the Government Information Department.

Since work on the Northern railway line have been delayed, 400 special buses will be deployed to Anuradhapura instead during the Poson season, he added.

Noting that a special railway line from Anuradhapura to Mihintale has been reconstructed,  the minister said that Sri Lanka Railways has been directed to arrange special, free train rides on this line for pilgrims.

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