29th April 2001
Dr. Arthur C. Clarke and Dr. T. Somasekeram former Surveyor General will be honoured with the Paul Harris Fellowship at the Rotary Club of Mt. Lavinia’s 57th anniversary celebration on May 2 at the Mt. Lavinia Hotel at 6.45 p.m.
By Chris Kamalendran
Two women who allegedly gave a contract to kill a businessman were arrested after the ‘contract killer’ secretly tape recorded a conversation of the women and handed it over to the Police in Kuliyapitiya this week.
The two women were apparently involved in a blackmail racket and wanted to kill the businessman in order to obtain his wealth. The women had provided an advance of Rs. 50,000 and promised to pay the killer Rs. 500,000 after he carried out the killing.
The ‘contract killer’ who had been involved in a series of criminal activities had secretly recorded the conversation in which the women gave instructions to carry out the killing and taken the tape to the Special Operations Branch of the Police at Kuliyapitiya.
Police had wanted the ‘contract killer’ to get further details about the motive for the killing and the man had on a second occasion done a further secret recording of his conversation with the women.
The two women were arrested thereafter.
ASP Sumathipala Ranasinghe told The Sunday Times that the modus operandi of the two women had been to place an advertisement in the marriage proposals column of newspapers.
“When the responses are received they pick out wealthy businessmen and try to start an affair with them. Thereafter they go out with the men and subsequently blackmail them”, he said.
Among the victims have been land and car sale owners and also a retired bank manager. The two women later extorted money from them by threatening to expose them to their families. ASP Ranasinghe said that a land sales owner had paid Rs. 600,000 as hush money.
In a similar fashion the two women had developed a relationship with the businessman’s son and tried to extort money, but he had not given in and had left the country. Subsequently the two women had given the contract to kill the father. The would be contract killer told police that he decided not to carry out the killing, though he initially undertook the contract.
The two women were due to be produced before the magistrate’s court.
Among the many shortcomings of the National Lotteries Board as pointed out by the Auditor General is its failure to give 90 days notice when calling for worldwide tenders for the supply of Samurdhi lottery tickets and of security papers the value of which was Rs. 41,639,200 and Rs. 12,342,967 respectively. According to the audit report on the accounts of the Board for 1996 it had been observed that tender procedures had not been followed in the purchase of five automobile display platform units and 20 gold coins worth Rs. 1,783,460 and Rs. 173,360 respectively.
The report also said approval of the Finance Minister had not been obtained for investment of Rs. 18,625,000 in fixed deposits and Rs. 71,654,720 in Treasury Bills.
The Board also had failed to transfer unclaimed prize money of the Govi Setha lottery amounting to Rs. 7,208,380, Mahajana Sampatha lottery amounting to Rs. 19,918,850 and Vasana Sampatha lottery amounting to Rs. 15,158,041 to the Consolidated Fund during the year under review, according to the report.
The Board had neither entered into agency agreement with the lottery agents nor had surety bonds or security deposits been obtained from them. The provision for bad and doubtful debts had not been made during the year under review for outstanding balances due from lottery dealers and cancelled lottery dealers amounting to Rs. 4,665,755 and Rs. 10,790,801 respectively which remained unrecovered for over one year. Though the Samurdhi lottery was conducted by the Board on behalf of the Ministry its operating losses amounting to Rs. 6,794,526 had not been recovered by the Board.
The audit report dealing with outstanding loans of 1994 points out a vehicle loan of Rs. 444,550.00 to the ex-Chairman, Rs. 421,200 loan to an ex-working director, a special loan of Rs.. 67,600 to the ex-chairman, Rs. 15,999 loan to a ex-working director and a property loan of Rs. 430,000 to an ex-working director.
The Auditor General had made the following observations in this regard: There was no evidence in the files to show that the motor vehicles had been purchased. The board of directors, on its own, had decided to recover interest at the rate of 5 percent on vehicle loans. An ex-working director who had obtained a property loan had not mortgaged the property to the Board. He had not produced any evidence regarding the purchase of the property. There were no sureties for the special loans granted.
According to the General Manager this matter had been referred to the Fraud Bureau.
The official residence for the Chairman purchased at a cost of Rs. 1,850,000 had been given to an outsider, according to the report.
By Nilika de Silva
Judging them at their own game ! This week a contingent of archers from Dambana including Wannila Gunathilake arrived in Colombo to compete at the Archery Nationals.
The four archers from Dambana arrived in Colombo on Friday afternoon. “We have given them some training,” Secretary of the Archery Association, Cdr. H.U. Silva said, explaining that the archers from Dambana had been recently supplied with new bows and arrows.
Although Veddah leaders such as Uruwarige Wannila Aththo had expressed interest in participating in the meet, it would had been difficult to arrange transport and make other arrangements, officials said. Many had, in fact, participated at the Uva Archery Club meet.
Explaining that now the tribal folk had got used to other tools in place of the bow and arrow, Cdr. Silva quipped “We are better than them”. He however conceded, that it was “their own game”.
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