Fines imposed on traffic offenders, by the police and courts, bring a daily revenue of Rs 6.5 million to the government, statistics maintained by the Police revealed.Accordingly, Rs 599 million has been realised from fines for the first three months of 2012.
Fines are collected in three categories; by the courts and police as spot fines imposed by the police, fines imposed by courts for traffic offences, fines imposed by courts after being found guilty of causing accidents.
In the first quarter of this year, spot fines imposed by police yielded Rs 227 million, with Rs 313 million collected from fines imposed by courts for traffic offences, and Rs 58 million collected as fines imposed by courts, after being found guilty of causing accidents.
January yielded the highest amount of Rs 332 million, while March yielded the lowest amount of Rs 76 million.
Probe into alleged fraud of Jaffna temple funds
An investigation into alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of temple funds has allegedly taken place at the historic
Sandrasegara Pillaiar Hindu Temple in Kalviyankadu, Jaffna, has been started by the Police.
Kopay Police OIC Mahinda Wijethilake said that Hari Mahadevan, the owner of the temple had lodged a complaint last October that two devotees who were temporarily in charge of the property for several years had failed to submit audited accounts.
According to the OIC, Mr. Mahadevan had lodged a complaint that former Jaffna Municipal Commissioner C.V.K. Sivagnanam, also a devotee promised to submit the audited accounts of the temple within three months, but had failed to do so.
He further complained that they had misappropriated funds and also were guilty of breach of trust.
Speaking to the Sunday Times Mr. Sivagnanam said that he was ready to go to courts to clear his name.
Vehicle importers split over new licensing scheme
The Vehicle Importers’ Association of Sri Lanka yesterday requested the government not to consider a proposal put forward by a group of importers to introduce a licensing scheme for importers, where there would be an annual fee ranging between Rs five million to Rs 10 million.
Association President Sampath Merenchige told the Sunday Times that the proposal put forward to President Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier this week, would have an adverse impact on vehicle importers, car dealers and even buyers.
He said that, under the scheme, small-time importers would be affected, while only a few big-time importers would benefit. “We want the government to give us an opportunity to explain our position,” he said.
Mr. Merenchige said they were invited for a discussion with the President this week following the imposition of the new tax system from April 1, but, when they arrived for the meeting, they were told it was cancelled.
He said however, a breakaway faction had met the President and made the new proposal.
Police break up unruly crowd in Wanathamulla
Police used teargas and fired rubber bullets to disperse an unruly, stone-throwing crowd at Wanathamulla, Borella, yesterday. Residents of T20 Wattha, Wanathamulla, had taken to the streets to protest the arrest earlier in the day of 27 males by the Special Task Force (STF).
According to the Police, the 27 arrested men had criminal records, and some were found with narcotics and even a hand grenade in their possession.
Residents told the Sunday Times that most of the persons arrested had served time and paid fines for their respective crimes and that there was no cause to arrest them again.
“The Police had promised that those rounded up would be released after being questioned, but this did not happen, and that’s why we came onto the streets,” said one resident.
Tangalle hurricane flattens 30 homes
At least 30 houses were destroyed by a hurricane that hit Ranna, in Tangalle, on Friday afternoon.
Traffic was disrupted in Ranna, Rakawa and other areas, and houses on the main Rakawa road were damaged.
Extreme rain conditions had caused the hurricane, according to M. K. Thilakarathne, Coordinating Secretary to the Minister of Disaster Management- There was no loss of life, but the damage is estimated at more than Rs. 1 million.
Hambantota District Disaster Management Centre director A. Ravindra told the Sunday Times that the heavy winds had abated, but rains were continuing.
IMF to review Lanka’s economic policies on June 4
The IMF’ next review of the Sri Lankan economy and monetary policies will take place on June 4 ahead of final approval for the last US$400 million instalment, a top official said.
"We met Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF and discussed the way forward. It was agreed that the next review will be on June 4," Governor Cabraal told the Sunday Times by telephone from Washington yesterday.
"We met with many investors who have already invested in Sri Lanka and updated them on the economy," he said adding that general satisfaction has been expressed all round (by the IMF and World Bank).
The Sunday Times learns that the World Bank board is due to consider for approval in the second week of May the Bank's Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) which sets out funding of local projects over a 5-year period (2012-2016).