Vijayakala arrested

UNP MP and former state minister Vijayakala Maheswaran was arrested today by the Police Organised Crimes Preventive Division in connection with a controversial statement she made recently on the resurgence of the LTTE, Police said.

Police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said she had been summoned to the Police Organised Crimes Preventive Division to record a statement this morning where she was arrested.

He said she would be produced in the Colombo Chief Magistarte’s Court today.

Grade 5 Examination results released

The Examinations Department today announced that the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination results-2018 had been released and could be viewed and downloaded from its website

Prez intervened when PM lashed out at businessman: SB

President Maithripala Sirisena had to intervene when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe became annoyed with a leading businessman at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting held on Tuesday at the Presidential Secretariat and reconvened it after the suspension of the meeting for a few minutes, SLFP dissident group front liner S.B.Dissanayaka said today.

He said Mr. Wickremesinghe had not been happy about the views expressed by DSI Group chairman Dr. Samson Rajapaksa when he said he was now importing leather products, mainly shoes from China.

“Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has reportedly said that the government did not want advice on economics from Rajapaksas and blamed Dr. Rajapaksa which compelled President Sirisena to postpone the meeting for a few minutes,” Mr. Dissanayaka said.

Addressing their weekly news briefing, Mr. Dissanayaka said the neo-liberal economic policies of the UNP prepared and operated by the threesome, Malik, Paskaralingam and Charitha did not suit today’s needs of the country and the failure in the economy was brought about by them.

“There is no doubt that the collapse of the national economy, uncontrolled depreciation of the rupee, continuous increase of fuel prices and related price hike of all essential commodities are the direct results of these policies,” he said.

“The unrestricted permission given to import anything and everything including non essential goods like kites, green gram, soy beans and various other food varieties and toys have drained billions of dollars out of the country. Almost all these imports can be easily produced in Sri Lanka. Result is the sharp depreciation of rupee and mounds of debts,” Mr. Dissanayaka noted.

He pointed out that Mr. Wickremesinghe and his government did not have a strategy to restore the confidence among investors and develop tea and rubber industry, tourism and garment industry.

Prez to decide on IGP next week

President Maithripala Sirisena would take a decision on Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara in the next few days unless he tendered resignation, Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday.

Minister Senaratne admitted that it was difficult for IGP Jayasundara to remain after President Sirisena expressed his displeasure over his behaviour in public and as the Police Chief.

Responding to the Daily Mirror at the weekly Cabinet news briefing yesterday, Minister Senaratne said the IGP was appointed by the Constitutional Council and therefore, President did not have the power to fire him.

He said but members of Parliament could bring and pass an impeachment motion against him in Parliament and then the CC could fire him.

Minister Senaratne said President Sirisena berated IGP Jayasundara at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (02) and not capable of giving leadership to the Police.

Interestingly, not a single Minister, including Minister of Law and Order Ranjith Maddumabandara under whom the Police Department runs, did not say anything against what President said on Police Chief.

“Mr Jayasundara has been questioned on last Friday (28) by a three-member Special Committee appointed to investigate allegations levelled against him that in 2008 he accepted a bribe of Rs. 12 million from a former Principal of Trinity College, Kandy,” he said.

“Minister Maddumabandara appointed this three-member Commission comprising three top public officials headed by Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Management and Law and Order Mala Basnayake.

“Under normal circumstances, the Government will have to wait until the committee releases its report.

“Besides, IGP Jayasundara has no other charges against him but his behaviour and certain public utterances are the problems.

“The crime rate has also come down in the country during his tenure, Minister Senaratne stressed.

Link more with Japan to face crisis: PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had told a group of Ministers and economic experts that Sri Lanka should enhance its economic and trade ties with Japan as a precaution for the ongoing economic crisis.

Prime Minister had expressed these sentiments at a meeting he had with a group of Ministers and experts on the current economic situation prior to his departure to Norway.

He has told the Ministers and experts that Sri Lanka should enhance its economic and trade ties with Japan as that country was the only country, which has managed to maintain its currency to some extent in the wake of devaluation as a result of strengthening the dollar.

The Prime Minister has said that Sri Lanka should try to attract more investments from Japan.

Meanwhile, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that Sri Lanka had taken timely action to get Japanese assistance for the development of Kandy.

He has said more investments would come in from Japan as a result.

One of the main projects that have been lined up is converting Bogambara Prison as a tourist centre and the expanding of the Kandy City limits up to Kundasale.