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President’s DG Gunasiri requests 22 liquor licences!

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President’s DG Gunasiri requests 22 liquor licences!

President’s Director General (Government Revenue) M.J. Gunasiri has requested the Excise Commissioner General to provide observations and further recommendations regarding the issuance of 22 new liquor licences  .

The letter dated on February 13 has been sent seeking approval for opening up retail liquor stores in Jaffna, Mankulam, Kiran, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Kithulgala, Beliatta, Hambantota, Tissamaharama, Kannanthota, Kodikamam, Mulliyawalai, Muthur, Dehiwala, Amithirigala, Galle, Weeraketiya, Aiththimale, Ethiliwewa, Wanduramba and Mapalagama.

The applications related to obtaining liquor licences for the stores in these areas have been issued by the Excise Department, and they have been signed by the Revenue Operations Commissioner of the Excise Department.

However, when asked, Excise Commissioner General Saman Jayasinghe said that the issuance of new liquor licences has been stopped, and that no letter related to the issuance of new liquor licences has been received from the Presidential Secretariat.

Meanwhile, when the former Excise Commissioner General has inquired Mr. Gunasiri about the letter, he has said that if someone makes a request regarding obtaining liquor licences, the letter will only be forwarded to the Excise Commissioner General, and that no undue influence will be made.

He also said that only the Excise Commissioner General has the authority to issue liquor licences.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Liquor Licensing Association President Ajith Udugama said that a Director General of the President’s Secretariat cannot issue liquor licences. Although only the Excise Commissioner General has the authority to issue licences subject to the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, he said that some have obtained millions of rupees by granting licences.

He said the liquor licence is a special privilege given to the people, and although it should be given under a fair system, it is now being issued for money.

He further said that legal action will be taken against granting licences in this manner.

Source – Aruna

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Expressways generate whopping income during Avurudu season

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The expressways have generated an income of Rs. 159,802,950 from April 10 – 13, Road Development Authority (RDA) says.

According to the Director of Expressway Operation Maintenance and Management Division – R.A.D. Kahatapitiya.

Over 4,350,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this period, he has added.
As many as 366,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this three-day period.

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Special transport arrangements to those returning to Colombo

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Special train services are in operation from this evening (April 14) for people to return to Colombo after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays, the Railways Department said.

Deputy General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways –  N.J. Indipolage stated that accordingly, eight additional train journeys will be in operation from Badulla, Galle and Beliatta railway stations to Colombo Fort.

The Department of Railways also mentioned that the office trains will be operational as per usual from April 16.

Meanwhile, the National Transport Commission has said that special buses will be deployed to transport those who had gone to their hometowns during the New Year.
Bus associations have also stated that buses to Colombo will be operational.

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Local multi-day fishing trawler seized with ICE & heroin worth over Rs. 3798 Mn.

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In another successful intelligence operation of the Sri Lanka Navy, a local multi-day fishing trawler (01) carrying a large haul of narcotics, with 06 suspects aboard, were intercepted about 133 nautical miles (about 246 km) off Dondra, south of Sri Lanka. 

The operation also resulted in the seizure of another local one-day fishing trawler (01) with 04 suspects, believed to have been there to fetch the consignment of narcotics mid-sea. The operation was mounted by deploying Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship (SLCG) Samudraraksha which made the apprehension on 12th April 2024.

 The haul of narcotics included about 179kg and 906g of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and about 83kg and 582g of heroin (with their packages). The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera arrived at the Galle Harbour on 13th April to inspect the consignment of narcotics held in this operation.
The Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard regularly patrol and conduct search operations along the island’s coast to prevent illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, stemming via sea routes.

During this dedicated operation based on naval intelligence, a suspicious multi-day fishing trawler, which was about 133 nautical miles (246 km) off the south coast of the island, was intercepted and searched by SLCG Samudraraksha. As the fishing trawler was suspected of smuggling a haul of crystal methamphetamine and heroin in 17 sacks, during the search, the narcotic-carrying trawler was held on 12th April, with 06 suspects aboard.

Additionally, SLCG Samudraraksha inspected another local one-day fishing trawler, which was plying suspiciously in the sea area. During the inspection, 04 suspects were apprehended, along with the trawler, on suspicion of attempting to exchange narcotics with the multi-day trawler previously seized.

Following a thorough search of the suspicious multi-day fishing trawler at the Galle Harbour on 13th April, authorities recovered 17 sacks containing crystal methamphetamine and heroin. The haul of crystal methamphetamine, weighing about 179kg and 906g (including packages), were in 129 packages, stuffed in 13 sacks and the stash of heroin, weighing about 83kg and 582g (including packages), were in 76 packages, contained in 04 sacks. The consignment of narcotics, along with the 06 suspects and the multi-day fishing trawler was handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) for onward legal action.

Moreover, the 04 individuals, along with the one-day fishing trawler, which were seized on suspicion of being involved in a drug exchange at sea, were also handed over to PNB for further legal action.

The individuals held in the operation are known to reside in the Weligama, Imaduwa, and Galle areas, ranging in age from 23 to 54 years old. Meanwhile, the gross street value of the consignment of drugs seized during this operation is believed to be more than Rs. 3798 million.

Including the recent confiscation, the Sri Lanka Navy has held drugs with a gross street value of over Rs. 9300 million during operations mounted so far in 2024. The Sri Lanka Navy – the country’s first line of defence is committed to coordinating with other law enforcement authorities, to carry out anti-drug operations of this nature in order to foil drug smuggling attempts being made in the guise of fishing.

(navy.lk)

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