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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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Arthur C. Clarke Centre announces satellite launch for next year

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The Arthur C. Clarke Centre has announced plans to launch a satellite next year. 

Professor Chandana Jayaratne, Director of the Astronomy and Space Science Unit at Colombo University’s Physics Department and Chairman of the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies, emphasized the need for further infrastructure development to educate schoolchildren on satellite technology.

He made these remarks during a program focused on teaching students about satellite technology.

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Suspect in burglary of Sachithra Senanayake’s house arrested

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Police have apprehended a suspect involved in the burglary of former Sri Lankan cricketer Sachithra Senanayake’s house in the Kalalgoda area of Thalangama. 

The burglary occurred on the night of June 22, 2024.

The suspect, a 34-year-old resident of Thalangama, was identified through CCTV footage. 

Police recovered the stolen items, including a laptop, two tablet PCs, five expensive watches, four valuable bracelets, two rings, and Rs 10,000 in cash, from the suspect’s house. 

The motorcycle used in the theft has also been seized.

The suspect, who has a history of criminal activity and was recently released on bail after serving time for multiple burglaries in Kottawa, Thalangama, and Maharagama, will be produced before Homagama Court. 

Kottawa Police are conducting further investigations.

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MP Dylan Perera’s vehicle involved in highway accident

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MP Dylan Perera’s vehicle was involved in an accident near the Galanigama interchange on the Southern Expressway. 

The former minister was not injured, but another passenger in the car sustained injuries.

Kalutara-South Police and Highway Police are conducting further investigations into the incident.

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