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Thursday December 1st, 2022

Pillayan released due to CA decision – Lawyer

Joseph Pararajasingham’s funeral procession in 2005/Tamilnation

ECONOMYNEXT – Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan and 4 others were acquitted of a murder carried out on Christmas Eve Mass 2005 because of a Court of Appeal decision, his lawyer told EconomyNext.

The Batticaloa High Court discharged the prisoners yesterday after the Attorney General, Dappula de Livera withdrew charges against the accused on Monday, ending the possibility of justice for the family of the victim Joseph Pararajasingham.

The former Member of Parliament was murdered in a dramatic assassination fifteen years ago. Pararajasingham was gunned down in a fusillade of bullets as he and his wife Sugunam were returning to their seats after receiving Communion at Christmas Eve Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in Batticaloa.

Seven others including Sugunam were injured and Pararajasingham’s killers were seen fleeing towards the Patpodi camp where the terror group led by Chandrakanthan and Vinayagamurthi Muraleetharan alias Karuna Amman were housed by the security forces.

Mangaleshwari Shankar, Chandrakanthan’s lawyer said the accused were held in custody for a crime committed ten years before they were arrested based on a “confessional statement” made by two of the accused.

“No other evidence has been produced against the accused,” Shankar told EconomyNext.

She said that the Court of Appeal on November 14 last year rejected the confessions as evidence after an appeal was filed by Chandrakanthan’s lawyers.

This Shankar said, paved the way for de Livera to withdraw the charges against the ex-terrorist and his co-accused.

At that time Chandrakanthan was granted bail and thereafter contested the Parliamentary elections and won a seat from the Batticaloa district as an ally of the ruling Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Party. Before that, the former LTTEer had been the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province.

Pararajasingham, a former government functionary, journalist and social activist was a Northerner who moved to the East and established a political base there.

Two of his in-laws were MPs as well and he was a strong supporter of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) from which party he was elected.

Pararajasingham played a key role as an intermediary between then-President Ranasinghe Premadasa and the LTTE when the Tigers were under heavy pressure from the Indian Peacekeeping force in the later 1980s.

That was the time when Tiger leaders including Anton Balasingham were brought to Colombo and housed at the Galadari Hotel to hold direct talks with the Premadasa administration.

Pararajasingham was well-known as a journalist and columnist for both Tamil and English newspapers. He was a correspondent for the Independent Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd and his work appeared in the Dinapathi, Chinthamani, Sun and Weekend newspapers under the name P Joseph.

Muraleetharan and Chandrakanthan led the LTTE in the Eastern province during much of the separatist war before they defected and joined the Sri Lankan government side in the 2001 – 2002 period.

They are notable for leading two horrific massacres of unarmed civilians which apart from the murder of more than 140 pilgrims at the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura are the worst on record in a single strike in our bloody history.

One is the killing of 33 civilians, including 30 novice Buddhist Monks at Aranthalawa in the Ampara district on June 2, 1987.

The other is the killing of several hundred police officers who had been asked to surrender to the LTTE by President Premadasa in 1990. (Colombo, January 14, 2021)

By Arjuna Ranawana

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  1. Chutta says:

    Now these guys can file a case against Mr. Pararajasingham.

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  1. Chutta says:

    Now these guys can file a case against Mr. Pararajasingham.

Sri Lanka China-backed port to welcome second cruise ship

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s China-backed Hambantota Port said it was getting ready to welcome MV Azamara Quest, a cruise ship, as another passenger vessel departed.

Mein Schiff 5, operated by TUI had departed Hambantota International Port for Pulau Penang Island, Malaysia on November.

“As well as being her maiden call at the port, Mein Schiff 5 is the first passenger cruise ship to call at the port since the pandemic began,” said Johnson Liu, CEO of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) said in a statement.

“It was undoubtedly a great boost for the tourist economy in the south when the vessel called at the Hambantota International Port.”

Mein Schiff 5’s passengers had also visited the Bundala National Park, Hambantota Botanical Gardens, Galle and Kataragama.

Passengers had explored Hambantota by tuk-tuk, while others had enjoyed the beaches in the Shangri La Hotel, the port said.

MV Azamara Quest will arrive in Hambanota on on December 05. (Colombo/Dec01/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s shares gain in mid market trade

EXONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s shares gained in mid market trade on Thursday (1), pushed up by strong positive sentiments on interest rates easing in line with inflation and speculation on government to hold talks with multilateral creditors ADB and World Bank for a possible loan facility.

Market has continued to gain for the past four sessions.

“Shares were moving on positive strong sentiments flowing in from yesterday (30), we are seeing a rally in the hotels, while the retail favorites such as LIOC and Expolanka,” analysts said.

Positive investor sentiments have been established, from positive comments from the Governor of the Central Bank over market rates eventually seeing an ease despite the fears of a domestic debt restructuring as inflation falls, increased liquidity in dollar markets, and the inter-bank liquidity improves.

Analysts further stated that, Treasury related stocks are also activated due to downward movements in yield.

All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained by 1.4 percent or 123.41 points to 8,774.64, while the most liquid share gained by 1.31% or 35.68 points to 2,765.

The market generated a turnover of 1.6 billion rupees at 1130 hours. (Colombo/Dec1/2022)

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Sri Lanka electricity losses from overpriced fuel, no tariff hike considered: regulator

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board’s high operating costs are partly due to excessive prices paid for fuel and no tariff hike is being considered, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, Janaka Ratnayake said.

The CEB itself does not buy fuel but depends on state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka Coal, another state firm to buy fuel. Both firms are periodically caught in procurement scandals.

“They are paying about 385 plus rupees per litre for furnace oil,” Ratnayaka told EconomyNext.

“That is too much. From the global market we can buy it to much lower price. It can be imported below 200 rupees,”

“I ask the government to take the necessary steps to create a system to import furnace oil, like they did for fuel, to be imported at the lower price levels. If that happens, we can go without going for a price hike.”

Sri Lanka’s CEB generally gets furnace oil and residual oil from the domestic refinery and usually do not import furnace oil.

The refinery however is not regularly operating due to inability to get crude amidst the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s intermediate regime central bank.

Ratnayake had earlier brought to light import costs of the CPC.

Pushing for operations efficiency of the CEB is a role of the regulator. Regulating costs based on global benchmark prices to push for procurement efficiencies is a standard practice. However the PUCSL is not the official regulator of the petroleum sector.

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Sri Lanka power tariff revisions sought in Jan and July: Minister

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told parliament that cabinet approval was sought to twice yearly tariff hikes in January and July of each year.

No Electricity tariff hikes are being considered yet, Ratnayake said.

Wijesekera blamed the regulator as well as successive administrations for not regularly revising power prices and pushing the sector into crisis.

In Sri Lanka activists had also blocked cheap coal power. (Colombo/Dec01/2022)

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