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Tuesday September 26th, 2023

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.

Future SJB govt to “refine” Sri Lanka’s agreement with IMF: Harsha de Silva

ECONOMYNEXT – A future government led by the incumbent main opposition party the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) will “refine” Sri Lanka’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), SJB legislator Harsha de Silva said.

The MP tweeted Monday September 26 morning that a closed-door discussion between the SJB and an IMF team that’s currently in Sri Lanka to review the ongoing programme was productive and had focused on governance, transparency and equity in the reform process.

“It was a good discussion. We were quite frank,” said de Silva in a clip he shared of him speaking to the privately owned NewsFirst network.

“Yes, we said we agree as the SJB that we need to work with the IMF, and that we accept that large-scale economic reform will have to take place. That was the baseline.

“However, the leader of the opposition said that, under our government, certain modifications will have to happen,” said de Silva.

The MP, who also chairs the parliament’s Committee on Public Finance (COPF), said this is because the people “obviously see that there is inequity in the implementation of this agreement”.

News footage of the SJB’s latest round of talks with the IMF team showed that SJB and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa along with de Silva and a handful of his colleagues in the party were joined by former Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MPs who were vocal supporters of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. MPs Nalaka Godahewa and G L Peiris also seen joining a group photo with the IMF and the SJB lawmakers.

The SJB was among the first to demand that the then government of ex-President Rajapaksa approach the IMF before Sri Lanka’s currency crashed in 2022. Over the months since incumbent President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s administration embarked on an IMF-prescribed reform agenda, the opposition party has adopted a more critical position on the international lender.

In May,  SJB MP Kabir Hashim speaking at a public event in Monaragala alluded to a unique vision his party possesses with regard to macroeconomic development that doesn’t necessarily include the IMF.


Sri Lanka’s SJB no longer enamoured of IMF, promises new govt in three moons

The SJB’s position with regard to the IMF programme, Sri Lanka’s 17th so far, has been less than consistent. The party, which was among the first to call for a deal with the iInternational lender at the onset of the island nation’s worst currency crisis in decades, abstained from voting for the agreement in a vote taken in parliament in April.

While the SJB hasn’t quite had a drastic departure from its original pro-IMF stance, the party has been increasingly vocal of late about the socioeconomic impact of the deal.

SJB leader Premadasa earlier this year reportedly said a future SJB government would not be obligated to honour deals made by the incumbent government headed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe. MP de Silva explained later that what his party leader had meant was that Sri Lanka must negotiate terms favourable to the country when dealing with the IMF. (Colombo/Sep26/2023)

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Sri Lanka cabinet okays appropriation bill for 2024 budget

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had approved a draft Appropriation Act for 2024, the state information office said.

The Finance Minister’s proposal to gazette the bill and table it in parliament was approved by the cabinet.

Presenting the appropriation bill is the first stage of presenting a budget for 2024,

The appropriation bills set outs the expenditure plans for each ministry.

The budget proposals, made in November is called the second reading of the Appropriation Act. (Colombo/Sept24/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s MEPA to get 28.5 mn rupees from Singaporean AEPW, for beach clean up

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) is to receive 5.7 million rupees a year, for five years, from Singapore-based marine waste solutions provider, Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), to maintain 8 beach cleaner machines.

The donation is meant to support MEPA clean coastal areas across Sri Lanka, using BeachTech Hydro Sweepy beach cleaner machines, previously donated by the organisation.

The oil industry-founded non-governmental organisation donated the 8 beach cleaners worth about US$180,000 to MEPA in the wake of the 2021 MV X-press Pearl ship disaster.

The machines manufactured by Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, a German company, are effective at cleaning up plastic nurdles and other types of potentially harmful non-biodegradable waste, minimising human contact with hazardous materials.

As a significant amount of money is spent for the deployment of these machines for beach cleaning activities, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has agreed to provide the funds for the upkeep of the machines for a period of five years.

With this financial donation, the Maritime Environment Protection Authority will be able to continue using these machines without interruption to clean identified beaches in the future. (Colombo/Sep26/2023)

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