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Software for online bidding of coconut auctions, inactive!

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The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has disclosed several administrative concerns and irregularities in the Coconut Development Authority, Coconut Cultivation Board and Coconut Research Institute during a meeting held on July 06.

During the meeting, it has been revealed that although a computer software has been prepared for online bidding for the coconut auction, the software is currently inactive. 

It was revealed that this system will enable the auction to be conducted in a more transparent manner and this system was introduced with the aim of preventing the monopoly of a few people in the coconut auction in Sri Lanka.

It was also discussed that some officials of the authority expressed their reluctance to implement this online digital system with the cooperation of several brokers. Thus, instructions were given to restore this online system to conduct this auction with more transparency t within three months.

Advance of Rs.1 mn given sans contract

It was also revealed that a contract of nearly Rs.5 million was awarded to a private firm in 2021 without a contract to construct a digital outdoor billboard in front of the Narahenpita head office of the Coconut Development Authority. 

The Director Finance stated that an amount of rupees one million has been given as an advance and the payment was made under certain influence. 

Accordingly, the Secretary to the Ministry was instructed to conduct a comprehensive investigation in this matter within two weeks and reveal those responsible. Apart from this, it was also decided to conduct a separate investigation carried out by the Auditor General.

6 failing to properly appear for interviews, recruited

It was also revealed that 6 people who did not properly appear for interviews of the Coconut Cultivation Board were recruited by the former chairman at will. 

Expressing strong displeasure over this, the Committee informed to give a formal report within two weeks. 

It was also decided to inform the President’s Secretary to take further action in this regard.

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Tourists nowadays aren’t fools – Diana

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State Minister of Tourism Diana Gamage has warned that stern action will be taken promptly against those who are hostile to tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

She was responding to the media over the recent incident where a vendor had been hostile to a tourist over an overpriced Kottu.

Noting that tourists nowadays are not idiots and cannot be fooled, the State Minister urged such persons to refrain from such behaviour without harming the reputation of Sri Lanka as a hospitable, friendly tourist destination as well the livelihood of other such fellow businessmen as well.

Related News : 

Hostile street food owner bailed (Update)

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Complaint lodged over Piumi Hansamali’s possession of Gota’s Range Rover

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Mage Rata organization president Sanjaya Mahawatta today, lodged a complaint with the Illegal Assets Investigations Division, calling for an inquiry into model Piumi Hansamali using the Range Rover vehicle previously used  by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“It is clear that an election is near and politicians tend to inject all their saved black money into the upcoming election campaigns and it has become a good time for the people who engage with money laundering activities. 

“Accordingly, we have some doubts on how Piumi Hansamal managed to get the Range Rover vehicle (CBH 1949) which was used by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“The question arises whether the Range Rover vehicle was given to the former president or if Gotabaya has given it to Piyumi,” said Mahawatta and further alleged that the model currently resides in a super luxury apartment, owns other properties and leads an exceedingly luxurious lifestyle.

Therefore, there are suspicions that Piumi Hansamali is being utilized for money laundering activities involving politicians’ black money, he charged.

“Therefore, we have lodged a complaint with the Illegal Assets Investigations Division. The initial complaint pertains to the Range Rover vehicle previously associated with former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and its transfer to Piumi Hansamali. This vehicle is estimated to be worth Rs. 100 million. Questions arise regarding how the vehicle came into Piumi Hansamali’s possession, the reasons behind its transfer and how she could afford such a valuable asset while primarily engaged in selling cosmetics. Additionally, it is noted that Piumi Hansamali’s has not made any television appearances lately.

“I personally know several individuals who rely on selling cosmetics for their livelihoods. But they struggle to cover their daily expenses with their modest incomes. However, Piumi Hansamali reportedly spends lakhs of rupees daily and leads a lavish lifestyle. 

“The Mage Rata organization is vigilant over the extravagant spending of politicians during election campaigns and their potential involvement in money laundering activities,” he stated.

“Hence, we anticipate an immediate investigation into this complaint,” he added.

(dailymirror.lk)

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

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SL hopes to continue discussion with bondholders

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State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe has said today (April 17) that Sri Lanka hopes to continue discussion with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.

Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, he has said.

The full statement of the State Minister is as follows :

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