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Prez against Cabinet paper by Minister on behalf of brother



President Ranil Wickremesinghe has submitted his observations to the Cabinet over a request made by eight players, including the Cricket World Cup winning team Captain Arjuna Ranatunga, to be allowed to build and sell a housing complex by combining the land plots given to them.

The President has said in his observations that the use of land allocated for a residential project for a commercial purpose may set a bad precedent.

The President has given these observations over a Cabinet paper presented by Minister Prasanna Ranatunga on behalf of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.

Minister Ranatunga is the younger brother of Arjuna Ranatunga, the Captain of the 1996 Cricket World Cup winning team.

The Cabinet paper has been submitted requesting permission to combine the plots of land given separately to the eight players at Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha in Battaramulla and build a housing complex.

Cabinet approval was also sought to sign a Memorandum of Understanding among the eight players or their representative, the Urban Development Authority and the company buying the housing complex.

The plan is to get all approvals within six months and complete the construction of the building within three years.

However, the transfer of ownership or sale of these plots of land which were given to the 1996 world cup winning cricketers on deeds of gift is considered legally impossible.

Through a Cabinet paper on January 22, 1997, 15 players of the 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lankan team were given 20 perches each on a vacant land in Battaramulla on a 99-year lease basis.

The then Sporst Minister S.B.Dissanayake presented the Cabinet paper.

The assessed value of a perch has been determined to be Rs.1,000 back then.

Meanwhile, seven owners have refused to give their land to this housing project.

The President has further mentioned in his observations that due to the request made by the players to build and sell a housing complex on the lands given to them, the basic purpose of giving the land has been completely changed to a commercial purpose.


19th Asian Games to kick off at Hangzhou in China Today




The 19th edition of the Asian Games is all set to kick off today in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Delayed by a year due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, the 19th edition of the event is set to officially begin with a two-hour opening ceremony from 5.30pm.

The opening ceremony for the Asian Games will take place at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, which is capable of accommodating up to 80,000 people.

The stadium was completed in 2018 and is mostly used for soccer matches, features a retractable roof, a circular LED screen, and a natural grass field.

Dating back to 1951, the Games are bigger than the Olympics when it comes to the number of athletes and sports – and this year’s competition is billed as the biggest in history.

Nearly 12,500 athletes – more than ever – from 45 countries and territories will be competing across 40 sports. The Games will be held in 56 venues, 12 of which have been newly built.

The programme includes the more traditional events, such as athletics and swimming but also those which reflect Asia’s diverse sporting culture, such as sepak takraw, or kick volleyball, kabaddi, and wushu, a martial art.

China, as the host country, has the privilege of choosing which sports to include in the programme, with bridge, chess and Xiangqi (Chinese chess) being among the non-Olympic events featured in the schedule.

Meanwhile, e-sports, breakdancing and sport climbing will be making their Games debut, in an effort to attract the interest of younger people.

FIFA Online 4, Street Fighter V and League of Legends are among the seven e-sport medal events.

The Games will see participants competing for 481 gold medals across 15 days.

Sri Lanka is fielding a 96-member contingent with 62 male and 34 female athletes.

The closing ceremony on October 8 will include the handover to Japan before the 2026 Aichi-Nagoya Games.

Qatar will host the Asian Games in 2030.

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Minister of Agriculture explores opportunities to export eggs and chicken




Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the relevant officials to look into the opportunities of exporting eggs and chicken.

He says that chicken and eggs are already being exported to several countries including the Maldives.

Minister Amaraweera says that Sri Lanka will have to import eggs in the upcoming festive season.

However, he says says that steps have been taken to ensure that eggs and chicken will be produced within the country, by next year.

The Minister of Agriculture says that a surplus of eggs is expected to be created by August 2024, and that plans have already been made to look into the opportunities in the world market.


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Anura Kumara asks Pilleyan if he is still paid by intelligence services




Claiming that the group led by Parliamentarian Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan has been paid Rs.3.5 million per month by the intelligence services, NPP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned whether the group is still being paid that amount. 

He told parliament that Pilleyan’s group has been maintained and paid from the account of the Intelligence Services.   

The MP said this during a cross-talk with Pilleyan after Dissanayake alleged that most of those who were accused of their failure to prevent the Easter attacks and those who were accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan are with the government now. 

“You and your group were paid and maintained by the intelligence units Rs. 3.5 million per month. We want to know whether you are still being paid,” MP Dissanayake questioned Pilleyan.   

Speaking during the adjournment debate on the exposure by Channel 4 on the Easter Sunday attacks, Dissanayake said reasonable investigation into the Easter attacks cannot be expected as those who were accused of their failure to prevent the attacks and those who were accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan are with the government now.   

“The faction that failed to prevent the attacks such as then President Maithripala Sirisena, then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, heads of intelligence units such as SIS are with the government. Those who are accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan and Gotabaya Rajapaksa also represent the government. So, how can we expect a reasonable investigation,” he asked.

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