The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) is on the lookout for Gamini Sedara Senarath, Chief of Staff of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and three others over a string of alleged fraudulent acts. The three others are Piyadasa Kudabalage, Neil Bandara Hapuwinne and Mohan de Alwis. FCID detectives said yesterday that the four were evading [...]


FCID hunts for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s chief of staff


The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) is on the lookout for Gamini Sedara Senarath, Chief of Staff of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and three others over a string of alleged fraudulent acts. The three others are Piyadasa Kudabalage, Neil Bandara Hapuwinne and Mohan de Alwis.

FCID detectives said yesterday that the four were evading arrest and hence, they had obtained a court order impounding the passport of the main suspect, Gamini Senarath, to prevent him from leaving Sri Lanka. The four persons now sought after — together with another two nominated by the Treasury — have been on the board of directors of Sino-Lanka Hotel and Spa (Pvt.) Ltd. It is the owning company of the Hyatt Hotel now nearing completion at Kollupitiya.

Detectives said yesterday that the foursome were also directors of Canvil Golden (Pvt) Ltd. and Helanko Hotels and Spa (pvt). Ltd.
Sino-Lanka Hotel and Spa (Pvt.) Ltd. had obtained money from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) besides Litro Gas, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and the Insurance Corporation itself. This was after the Board of Directors had approved it and the Attorney General had given his okay.

Thereafter, the Central Bank’s Monetary Board had granted approval on condition that Canvil Holdings could utilise EPF funds. However, the Monetary Board had placed a condition that work related to the construction of Hyatt Hotel should be completed before they could embark on any other hotel project.
Accordingly, Canvil Golden Holdings had received Rs 18.5 billion from three different sources and transferred the money to Sino Lanka. It had come from Insurance Corporation (Rs 8.5 billion), Litro Gas (Rs 5 billion), EPF (Rs 5 billion).

The Board of Directors of Canvile Golden Holdings had only approved an alleged payment of Rs 500 million to Sino Lanka. Thereafter, the same Board of Directors had authorised the transfer of Rs 3.5 billion to Helanka Hotel and Spa (Pvt.) Ltd. contravening the conditions placed by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank.
Investigations have revealed, detectives say, Helanko received a total of four billion rupees even before the Board of Directors of Canvell Golden Holdings approved the transfer of funds to Sino-Lanka.

They also said that a project for a Hyatt Hotel in Hambantota had been launched but was abandoned after the present Government came to power. About Rs 312.2 million has been spent on preliminary work. FCID sources said there were also a number of other allegations of fraud.

75 Chinese couples in mass wedding at Independence Square
If China has gained a considerable stake in the country’s economy with ongoing multimillion dollar projects like the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port, Colombo appears to be reciprocating in unique ways. One such instance is hosting the wedding of 150 Chinese nationals at the Independence Grounds on December 17. The brides and the grooms are now being picked by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo.

President Maithripala Sirisena will be the chief guest at the ceremony where there will be a colourful pageant. Mr. Sirisena will distribute the wedding certificates. The couples will be entertained to dinner at the Waters Edge in Battaramulla and leave the next day in three groups for a tour of Yala, Sigiriya and Kandy.
The exercise is being undertaken by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Province Development together with the Sri Lanka embassy in Beijing and the Tourism Authority.


Belated thanks to Lord Naseby for supporting Lanka
While the British political establishment is being rocked with stories of shocking personal conduct, news of a low key turf war in our diplomatic quarter in Republic Square has surfaced.

It all started in London where Sri Lanka’s friend Lord Naseby fought a three-year war with Whitehall’s bowler-hats to gather some critical information from the reports of the British Defence Attache’ in Colombo about the last months of the Tamil separatist conflict.

How was the good lord to know that his efforts to do a good deed to clear Sri Lanka of multiple charges would ruffle the feathers of those over in Lanka.
So when the media broke the news of Lord Naseby’s speech at an Upper House debate supportive of the harangued Sri Lanka, several citizens wrote to the British politician with much affection for this country, saying “thank you”.

Strangely enough there was only silence from the Yahapalanaya government. It would have remained totally silent had the media not asked a question.
It took a bold step by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Wasantha Senanayake to throw political caution exercised by some to the winds and send a formal letter to Lord Naseby breaking the government’s deafening silence.

State Minister Senanayake thanked Lord Naseby for his “invaluable work” on behalf of Sri Lanka. He said the information made public by Lord Naseby “makes it clear that the Sri Lanka armed forces fought a much cleaner war than is often alleged in the international arena.” Hoping that “we in Sri Lanka will be able to build on your efforts” the State Minister said he hoped the British Baron would visit Sri Lanka once again, very soon.

Lord Naseby’s speech quoting the then British Defence Attaché in Sri Lanka has also been received by deafening silence by the otherwise vociferous ‘Eelam lobby’ in that country. Sometimes, ‘silence is golden’ seems to be their principle.


Hambantota conference hall now office for Chinese logistics
The multimillion rupee international conference hall, built by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa administration in Hambantota with financial backing from South Korea, has been converted into an office.

It will house the Sri Lanka-China Hambantota Logistics Office. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Xi Xiangliang declared it open yesterday.

Underworld boss takes  photos with top cop drinking wine, not meditating
The underworld big boss who operates a karaoke empire where music is only a small part of the service met a top cop at a star class hotel just weeks earlier.
He made sure he stood near the man, who was wearing civilian clothes. This time he was not meditating. It was night and he was drinking red wine at a hotel. The karaoke king had himself photographed. Later, three such photos were posted on the underworld boss’s Facebook. This uncrowned king of the underworld said he had known the top cop for more than 20 years.

As the matter became the talking point in khakied circles, the pictures disappeared. They had been pulled out but there were many who had obtained copies earlier.
Not many years ago, in a similar scenario, a top-most cop was photographed in the company of a notorious drug baron. When the photographs began circulating, the top cop was forced to quit his exalted position. Do they never learn?

Share This Post


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
Comments should be within 80 words. *


Post Comment

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.