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Request made to bring 22,500 vials when 56,000 were available

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Supplier Sudath Janaka Fernando, Director of the Medical Supplies Division Dr Kapila Wickramanayake, Assistant Director Deva Shanthi Solomon, Accountant (Supplier) Neran Dhananjaya and Stores Controller Sujith Kumara and former Health Ministry Secretary Janaka Sri Chandraguptha who were arrested in connection with the import of substandard immunoglobulin vials to the Medical Supplies Division, were ordered to be further remanded till January 10 by Maligakanda Magistrate Lochana Abeywickrama yesterday.

The prison had presented five suspects including the former Health Secretary to court, and it was informed that the director of the Medical Supplies Department, Dr.Kapila Wickramanayake, was being treated at the Colombo National Hospital due to an illness.

The Magistrate ordered the Criminal Investigation Department to obtain a statement from the first suspect in this incident, Sudath Janaka Fernando, who is the minor drug supplier, as per his statement.

Although the bail orders for the suspects were to be announced, the magistrate noted that the bail order would be postponed to the next day based on the facts presented, and informed that the bail order would be announced before hearing the further report on that day.

The magistrate had ordered the prison superintendent to detain all the suspects separately in the prison and if they are admitted to the prison hospital, to detain them there.

The submissions were made for more than five hours, whereupon the former Health Secretary Janaka Sri Chandragupta informed that he was fainting, the magistrate instructed the prison to keep him in a separate seat in the dock.

Former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella was severely criticized by the lawyers who appeared for suspects for giving statements to the criminal investigation department.The Magistrate ordered the CID to to follow a common practice in obtaining statements on behalf of all the suspects.

Informing the court of the progress of the further investigation regarding this incident, the Deputy Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Department, Mini Girihagama, informed the court that the foremr Health Secretary by importing 56,000 vials of human immunoglobulin at the expense of Rs.1,444 lakhs of government money, has committed an offence under the Public Property Act. The Deputy Solicitor General said that the investigation is still in its preliminary stages and informed court that she was against granting bail to the suspects.

The Deputy Solicitor General said the Criminal Investigation Department went to the house of former Health Minister Rambukwella based on his request and obtained a statement from him on Tuesday. She also informed the court that a related report would be submitted to the court.

The Deputy Solicitor General said that although the first suspect requested permission to import seven thousand five hundred vaccine vials according to the tender form, he was given permission to import 22500 vials and if he imported 22500 vials of vaccine, he would have to pay a sum of one billion rupees.

The Magistrate who appointed an Acting Magistrate to monitor Dr. Kapila Wickramanayake who is undergoing treatment at the National Hospital informed that the bail order will be announced for him in the next day.

The lawyer who appeared for him informed court that the wife and two children of Dr.Kapila Wickramanayake, currently undergoing treatmentin Ward 80 of the National Hospital, are undergoing treatment due to a stressful situation and asked him to consider the matter as a special case and grant him bail.

Deputy Solicitor General said that even if a farmer is in jail, his family also gets this stressful situation. Acknowledging that such matters are exceptional, she also informed that if bail is granted, bail should be granted to all those who are in prison.

The Deputy Solicitor General noted that the first suspect was not given any permission to manufacture vaccines. Since March 2020, permission has not been given to import pioneering chemicals into Sri Lanka. In such a background, tenders have been arranged and medicine bottles, water purification chemicals and equipment have been brought through the Customs. The Magistrate gave permission to issue an order to the Director General of Customs to submit the relevant documents.

Under the controversial procurement process, the manufacturer has been given permission to import these drugs under the emergency procurement process. According to the documents obtained from the Deputy Director General Saman Ratnayake, purchase annexes have been issued by the Medical Supply Unit on 12.13.2022 to bring the vaccines related to colon cancer to Sri Lanka.

Under the Indian Credit Line , the selected orders procured in 2006 and 2007 have been forwarded to the relevant sub-committee.

Anil Silva PC who appeared for Former Health Secretary said an emergency procurement committee was appointed. My client, Treasury Secretary, Chairman of the State Drug Regulatory Authority and others were there. It was appointed by the Cabinet. My client is an administrator. He did it out of spite. Doctors U.S.K. Dhanawatta, A.P. Sudarshan, Deputy Director of Medical Supply Division, Dr. Jayanath Buthpitiya and others were there.

The tender was awarded to the lowest bid after the committee decided. Order delays were reported. The money has been paid only after lengthy process. He has nothing to do with the payment. He has just sat on the procurement committee of the cabinet. Even when the former health minister said not to pay the money, the money was paid.

The case was fixed for January 10.

(dailynews.lk)

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Notice on rebuilding or compensating housing damaged by bad weather

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Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayaka, announced that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed to take the necessary measures to either rebuild or provide compensation, subject to a maximum limit, for houses that were completely damaged by the recent adverse weather conditions.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also stated that measures will be implemented to assess the damage and provide compensation, subject to a specified maximum limit, for the repair of partially damaged houses.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka shared these views during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (20), concerning the rebuilding of houses fully and partially damaged by recent adverse weather conditions.

The discussion extensively covered the reconstruction of houses affected by natural calamities such as strong winds, floods and landslides, which have impacted various parts of the country in recent days. The provision of suitable compensation, subject to a maximum limit, was also deliberated.

To ensure appropriate compensation within specified limits, for fully damaged houses upon agreement with beneficiaries, and prompt construction of such houses with the assistance of the Armed Forces. Additionally, the assessment and repair of partially damaged houses, with compensation also subject to a specified maximum limit, were discussed.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also directed District Secretaries to submit formal reports on houses fully and partially damaged by natural calamities.

In attendance at the discussion were State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, the three commanders of the armed forces, and heads of relevant line Institutions. Participating remotely were District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries via online technology.

(President’s Media Division)

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Piyumi’s income generated from Lollia Skin Care – CID

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has initiated a thorough investigation regarding a beauty products manufacturing company named Lollia Skin Care (Pvt) Ltd, which is said to be the main source of income of model Piyumi Hansamali, who is under investigation for her assets.

It was informed to the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday by the Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the CID. This company has been registered under the Business Registration Number PV00256805.

According to the CID, the investigation will be focused on businesses carried out by this company, taxes paid and also the imports and exports carried out by the company.

The Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the CID on Wednesday (19) informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that an investigation was initiated regarding the purchase of a Range Rover Jeep for Rs.78 million, the purchase of a house from Grand Housing Complex in Colombo 7 for Rs.148 million and maintaining 20 bank accounts with suspicious transactions by Piyumi Hansamali. It has been revealed that these 20 accounts have been opened in relation to the National Identity Card numbers of her and people closely associating the model.

The investigations were based on a complaint lodged by President of the ‘Magen Ratata’ organization Sanjaya Mahawatta under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

(dailynews.lk)
(This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Dharma Rashmi Homagama Poson Zone to commence today

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The Dharma Rashmi Homagama Poson Zone annually held to coincide with the Poson Poya will be held from June 21 – 23.

This year, the Poson Zone spans across 13 kilometres covering Diyagama, Pitipana, Dampe, Meegoda, Godagama, Panagoda and Homagama.

The event is jointly organized by the Homagama Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya, the Presidential Secretariat, the Transport and Highways Ministry, the Western Provincial Council, the Homagama Divisional Secretariat, Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha, the Homagama Zonal Education office, the Army and the Police.

Cash prizes to the value of Rs. 4 million will be given to the winners of the Poson Lantern competition.

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