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Sri Lanka to buy Russian coal; LCC will no longer pursue Indonesian order



Sri Lanka is to buy 720,000 metric tonnes of Russian coal from two companies–China’s Combasst Industries Development Ltd and Dubai’s Coral Energy DMCC–after an earlier agreement with an Indonesian supplier fell through.

Lanka Coal Company (LCC) will no longer pursue the order from Indonesia’s PT Arista Mitra Jaya. On Monday, the Power and Energy Ministry secured Cabinet permission to buy the stocks from the other two companies shortlisted along with Arista Mitra and Hans Australia Pty Ltd. Hans Australia was later ruled out on the basis of certain terms they required fulfilled.

LCC first placed its order with the lowest supplier Arista Mitra for US$ 240 per ton with 180-day credit. However, the Mandira Bank of Indonesia rejected the usance Letter of Credit (LC) opened by Lanka Coal Company without providing a reason, a Cabinet paper submitted on Monday by State Minister D. V. Chanaka, said.

Arista Mitra then sought to transfer the LC to a third party “where such a transfer is not possible within the context of the contract,” the Cabinet paper said. LCC would, on the Attorney General’s advice, terminate this contract.

The purchasing matter subsequently went to a ministerial sub-committee and the standing Cabinet-appointed procurement committee (SCAPC), after which Combasst Industries and Coral Energy were selected.

Combasst would sell the coal at US$ 230 per MT with 200-day credit, LCC Chairman Shehan Sumanasekara said.

Twenty percent of cargo value would be deposited by LCC in a non-resident rupee account and the balance to the same account, in equal portions. After the credit period, the rupees would be changed into dollars and remitted to the supplier. Combasst’s price was indexed to the Russian Coal Index (RCI).

Coral Energy was selling at a fixed price of US$ 240 per MT, Mr. Sumanasekara said. Under this agreement, there would be no payment until the cargo was discharged at Lakvijaya in Norochcholai, and disbursement would be according to usage (that is, “storage model”).

“This means that, today if the plant requires 5,000 MT despite having one to eight shipments unloaded, we will pay only for the desired quantity,” the Chairman said.

It was anticipated that the coal from Coral Energy would be used for the first time in early June this year.

“Even then, out of the total payment, 80 percent will be disbursed per usage on the same day and there will be a further 120 days of credit for the usage of the balance 20 percent. Both parties have provided the needed credit terms with two different mechanisms,” he said.

LCC had struggled to purchase fuel since its last competitive tender fell apart late last year. The latest companies were selected on the basis of unsolicited proposals after the Cabinet granted approval to this procurement method, alongside permission to make purchases through government-to-government agreements “considering urgent and exceptional circumstances.”

source – sundaytimes


Shooting incident ‘targeting’ former MP Uddika was self-orchestrated : Police




Sri Lanka Police says it has been uncovered that the incident where several gunshots had been fired at the vehicle belonging to former Anuradhapura District parliamentarian Uddika Premaratne, had been orchestrated by the actor-turned-politician himself with the assistance of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in the area.

Speaking during a press conference held in Colombo today (13), the Police Media Spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa said that the suspects connected to the incident have been identified so far following investigations carried out by the CID.

On September 17, 2023, a group of unidentified gunmen had opened fire at Premaratne’s car soon after he returned to his residence in Anuradhapura at around 10:35 p.m. The parliamentarian had managed to escape unharmed.

The perpetrators, who had arrived in a car, were said to have targeted the parliamentarian who was walking towards the house after parking his vehicle. The left rear door glass of Premaratne’s car was damaged in the shooting incident for which the gunmen were believed to have used a pistol.

Anuradhapura police initiated investigations soon after the incident was reported and Special Task Force (STF) personnel were deployed to beef up the security near the MP’s house. Later, investigations into the matter were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

However, the former MP claimed that the existing system within the country was the reason behind the recent shooting incident targeting him.

Speaking in Parliament in this regard, MP Premaratne said that while he believed the system was the cause behind the recent shooting outside his residence, it is also the reason why the country is in the state it is today.

Later on 27 February 2024, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP resigned as a Member of Parliament, following which S.C. Muthukumarana of SLPP was appointed to fill the vacant MP seat.

However, Premaratne was later reported to have flown to Canada, seeking political asylum, which he refuted, and claimed that he was expecting a work visa in Canada.

In 2020, the popular actor was announced as a candidate for the 2020 parliamentary election from the Anuradhapura District as a member of the Sri Lanka People’s Freedom Alliance, a political alliance led by the SLPP formed in 2019. 

He obtained 133,550 votes and won a seat in the 16th Parliament of Sri Lanka.


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

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Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar




Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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The G7 Summit begins today




Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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