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Seven arrested over selling two school girls for prostitution

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The Children and Women’s Bureau of Matara Police has launched an investigation into an organized racket in which two school girls have been forced into prostitution for Rs.5,000 each.

Seven persons suspected of sexually abusing these two girls have been arrested as of yesterday (08).

Among them are the managers of two rest houses, a student, a fisherman and the boyfriend of one student.

The investigations have revealed information about at least 40 people involved in the incident and the police said 13 more people are to be arrested.

The boyfriend of one 16-year-old girl had forced her into prostitution.

After a while, the girl had lured a 15-year-old friend of hers into prostitution.

The investigations conducted by Chief Inspector Varuni Bogahawatta, the OIC of Matara Children and Women’s Bureau, revealed that the 16-year-old girl had sold her friend for Rs.5,000 and had kept Rs.3,000 as a commission.

Renuka Jayasundara, Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Children’s and Women’s Bureau, told the media that they would take legal action against the people involved in this racket under human trafficking charges.

The 16-year-old student has joined in this racket after befriending a young man through Facebook.

Information revealed that her boyfriend along with another person has sold her into prostitution.

Although the two girls had attended school occasionally, their parents had not paid close attention to them.

Once these girls were taken into police custody, the 16-year-old student had received a number of calls to her mobile phone from various people. Police said that they will take steps to arrest the suspects through these phone records.

Source – Aruna

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Central Bank makes decision on interest rates

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The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, which met yesterday, has decided to lower the Central Bank’s Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) by 250 basis points.

Accordingly, the reduced interest rates are as follows.

Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) up to 13.50%

Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) up to 14.00%

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List of professionals whose IRD registration is compulsory

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A gazette notice has been issued making it compulsory for those engaged in several fields such as medical, engineering, law, accounting and banking to register with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) from today (01).

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued this gazette as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies.  

According to the relevant gazette, the people who are required to register with the IRD are listed below.

1. Practitioners registered with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC)

2. Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka

3. Members of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka

4. Members of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka

5. Members of the Association of Professional Bankers

6. Members of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects

7. Members of the Institute of Quantity Surveyors Sri Lanka

8. Attorneys-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka

9. Individuals who have registered their businesses in Divisional Secretariats

10. Individuals who are in possession of vehicles registered (other than three-wheelers, motorcycles and hand tractors) in Motor Traffic Department

11. Individuals who have purchased or acquired, by virtue of Deeds Transfer, of any immovable property in Sri Lanka

12. Employees whose monthly contribution from both employee and employer to any Provident Fund is more than Rs. 20,000

13. Any individual who obtains approval for a building plan from a Local Authority

14. Any other individual who receives payment of Rs. 100,000 per month or Rs. 1,200,000 for a 12-month period for providing any services in Sri Lanka

In addition, all persons who have completed the age of 18 on 31 December 2023, or who will turn 18 on or after 01 January 2024, will also be subject to this new provision.

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Upcountry train services disrupted

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Train services along the upcountry railway line were disrupted due to a rock slip on the railway line between Haliela and Uduwara Railway Stations this morning (01), the Railways Department said.

Passengers said that while the Udarata Menike train was travelling from Badulla to Colombo at 5.45 this morning, the driver saw the collapsed earth mound and immediately stopped the train preventing a major accident.

The Railways Department said that the restoration of the railway line is currently being done.

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