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X-Press Pearl  disaster bribe : USD 250mn. credited to Chamara Gunasekera

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Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha has revealed that a sum of US dollars 250 million has been credited to the bank account of one Chamara Gunasekera as a bribe to prevent the operator of the ship X-Press Pearl to prevent the Sri Lanka government from securing damages.

Dropping a bombshell in parliament yesterday (25), he had said,“I am revealing this on information I have received and cannot be responsible for these revelations. I do not know whether this information could be used as evidence. The Ministry of Defence and the police should conduct investigations in this regard.”

Reponding to a question raised by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the minister further said that a limitation procedure has been filed in the UK to limit the damages which the Sri Lankan government could claim. “The Government has already filed a case countering this move to get the limitation procedure case cancelled,” he added.

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Four SriLankan Airlines flights experience delays

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This morning, four SriLankan Airlines flights experienced delays as ground staff refrained from performing some of their duties, according to reports.

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“Dosti” Coastguard Exercise ends today

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Highlighting the importance of “collaboration and interoperability” among the coastguard personnel of the Maldives, India and Sri Lanka, Maldivian Defence Minister Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon said the trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’ will unite the troika to address “shared maritime security concerns through collaboration.

” Maumoon was speaking at an event to formally inaugurate the 16th iteration of ‘Dosti,” the biennial exercise, which began on Thursday and would continue until today.

Indian Coast Guard ship Samarth and ICGS Abhinav along with Sri Lanka Naval Ship Samudura are participating in the exercise ‘DOSTI-16’ while Bangladesh is participating as an observer.

Sri Lanka has described ‘Dosti’ as a trilateral exercise that aims to enhance cooperation, strengthen friendship, improve mutual operational capability, and develop interoperability among the Coast Guard personnel of India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka. 

“Scheduled from February 22nd to 25, the exercise provides participating forces with opportunities to engage in various maritime activities, including interdiction operations, search and rescue missions, surveillance, and communication drills,” the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) said in a statement.

(ET)

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Presidential poll will be held first as scheduled: President affirms

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed that the Presidential election will be held as scheduled with the General Elections anticipated to be held early next year, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

The President gave this assurance during a meeting with the representatives of the United Republic Front headed by by its leader Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka at Sirikotha today.

The United Republic Front presented a proposal titled “A United Step for the Country” to President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (24), at ‘Srikotha’, the United National Party headquarters in Colombo.

After engaging in discussions with the President, the leader of the United Republic Front, Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka, along with his delegation, presented this proposal to the President.

Speaking at the event, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, highlighted the government’s concerted efforts over the past two years to stabilize the country’s economy, which had faced significant challenges. 

Stressing the government’s commitment to steering the economy towards recovery through strategic reforms, the President expressed his determination to continue these initiatives with the collective support of everyone.

Recalling his open invitation to all political parties to unite under a common agenda on behalf of the country, regardless of political differences, the President reiterated his willingness to embrace constructive proposals from all political parties as part of the nation-building efforts.

The President responded positively to the request made by MP Patali Champika Ranawaka to allow other political parties to participate in the upcoming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month concerning the restructuring of foreign debts.

United National Party Deputy Leader and President’s Senior Adviser on Climate Change, Ruwan Wijewardena, along with Secretary General of the United National Party Palitha Range Bandara were also in attendance at the event. 

Representing the United Republic Front were Karu Paranavithana, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe and Attorney-at-Law, Shiral Lakthilaka.

(dailymirror.lk)

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