23 September, 2018

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Mangala Pressured To Appoint One-Judge Commission To Investigate Rāvaya

Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera is under pressure from civil society organizations and other interested parties to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of misappropriation and other wrongdoing by the Rāvaya newspaper, especially its founder editor and Chairman of ‘Rāvaya Publishers (Guarantee) Ltd’ Victor Ivan.

Mangala Samaraweera

Civil society activists as well as individuals who had contributed to a fund launched by ‘Rāvaya Solidarity’ (to keep the newspaper afloat) have petitioned Samaraweera to act swiftly on these allegations.

Colombo Telegraph learns that Samaraweera had initially tried to sidestep the issue, claiming that the matter was not under his purview. He has since changed his mind and is considering appointing a one-member commission of inquiry, most likely a retired judge. This was after it was pointed out that the matter comes directly under him. First, it is a newspaper and mass media is one of the subjects he handles. More importantly, Rāvaya Publishers is registered as a company and comes under the Registrar of Companies, who comes under Samaraweera in his capacity as Minister of Finance.

Although these developments come in the wake of what has been described as an editorial coup whereby Ivan orchestrated the appointment of Wimalanath Weeraratne as Editor after K.W. Janaranjana was forced to resign, it is not a question of editorial independence, according to sources among those pushing the minister to act in this manner.

One of the reasons is that the Registrar of Companies is still to investigate or give a determination on a complaint filed two years ago regarding Ivan’s misappropriation of money to the tune of Rs 10 million. Ivan has claimed that he sold ‘shares’ whereas a ‘Guarantee Limited’ company, by definition is a not-for-profit entity.

Rāvaya being a Company limited by guarantee and operating as a not-for-profit organization, much like an NGO, does not and cannot have provision for Ivan or anyone else to claim monies that have been collected for a fund of this kind.

The relevant conditions are enshrined in Section 34 of the Companies Act:

“Where the Registrar is satisfied that an association about to be formed as a company limited by guarantee is to be formed for promoting commerce, art, science, religion, charity, sport, or any other useful object, and intends to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objects, and to prohibit the payment of any dividend to its members.”

Sections 32-34 are the applicable Sections. And here’s the Section that specifically exempts shares, debentures etc from companies limited by guarantee;

THIRD SCHEDULE [Section 35 (1)] PROVISIONS WHICH DO NOT APPLY TO COMPANIES LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
Part IV (Shares and Debentures)
Sections 93 to 98 (Minority buy-out rights)
Sections 99 to 101 (Interest groups)
Section 123(1)(b) and (c) (Company to maintain share register)
Section 124(1) and (3) (Place of share register)
Sections 198 to 200 (Disclosure of director’s interests in shares)
Section 220 (Duty of directors on serious loss of capital)

Furthermore when ‘Ravaya Solidarity’ solicited contributions it was not disclosed that part of the fund would be used to pay Ivan.

As has been demonstrated by Colombo Telegraph, Ravaya received millions of rupees from NGOs and INGOs as well as politicians such as former president Chandrika Kumaratunga and Lalith Athulathmudali. Ivan and the Ravaya were also supported by Mahinda Rajapaksa through advertising and the freezing of taxes amounting to approximately Rs 10.2 million during a period when Ivan chose to go soft on the former President.

Related stories;

Victor Ivan Pocketed Half Of Rāvaya’s Rs 10 Million Fund

Rāvaya ‘Staff-Shareholders’ Clueless About Ivan’s Rs 5 Million Heist

I Got Just Rs 1000 For My Share, Says Rāvaya Founder Director And Deputy Editor Colambage

Sajin Vass’ Restaurant Tip Same As ‘Hashish’ Ivan’s Salary

Ivan Must Return The Bucks He Took: Supporters Including 73 Year Old Pensioner Demand

Ivan’s Rs 5 Million Heist Goes To Fraud Bureau

Ranil Hits Sixers Off Full-Tosses Bowled By Fraudster

Rāvaya Backtracks, Starts Paying Back Swindled Contributor

Ravaya Editor Pressured By Victor Ivan, Submits Resignation

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Latest comments

  • 7
    0

    Mangala is the financial. There are 100 odd ministers. Why LAw enforcement’s work which COD or FCID should do Mangala is doing. They don’t have anything else to do or just to make forget their their leader, deputy leader, Foot note Gang are all PALHORU and are trying to escape until this election passes.

    • 1
      2

      Jim softy

      “There are 100 odd ministers. “

      Aren’t they all tribal appointments?

    • 2
      3

      Mangala in my view is one man who can deliver. Fit enough to be the Prime minister.

      • 1
        0

        Oh yes,the most fit to be. PM, but all young men in the land would have to be taken into protective custody.
        The Boy stood on the burning deck, when all but he had fled
        When Mangala seeing the boy, came up to him and said
        Come on son I will take you home, but the boy said no
        Then Mangala the wily one
        Threw the boy a plum
        When the boy stooped to pick the plum
        Mangala got him by the bum

        • 0
          0

          It says a lot for our country that we cannot differentiate a man’s private life with the public discharge of his duties and responsibilities.

          Sri Lanka in many ways must learn to respect diversity. It still struggles…….

        • 0
          0

          Percy the dated pathetic

          “Mangala got him by the bum”

          Are you fantasizing you are being a boy and Mangala catching you by your bum?

    • 0
      3

      Civil Society Associations,

      Why not go after the biggest culprit, Gotabaya Rajapaksa? Right now he is out of the country counting his stolen ill gotten gains.

      Rajitha announces arrest of GR soon after Feb. 10 polls
      Indians deposited ill-gotten funds in HK bank

      http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=179107

      Health Minister and Cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne alleges that Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate for the next presidential election, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has fled the country fearing arrest in the wake of ongoing judicial investigations into acquisition of MiGs from Ukraine under controversial circumstances.

      Dr. Senaratne said so at a public rally in Mahara yesterday in support of the UNP candidates contesting the Feb. 10 local government polls.

      The minister claimed that Rajapaksa would return on Feb. 12 after the conclusion of Feb 10 local government polls. Dr. Senaratne said: “Arrangements have been made to arrest Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Once charges are proved. Rajapaksa will be sent to prison in the near future.”

      Senaratne alleged that funds illegally obtained through the MiG deal had been deposited with Hong Kong banks by five Indian nationals.

      The previous government acquired MiG 27s from Ukraine to strengthen the SLAF during eelam war IV.

  • 1
    0

    CT

    If the concern is a Company limited by guarantee, the the financial statements are subjected to annual audit. With all these existing discrepancies how did the auditors give a clean chit for its affairs?

    Anything and everything is possible in this island.

  • 6
    2

    I think RAVAYA under Janaranjana made a very low key note . Because Janaranjana abruptly favored the UNP and did not focus on the flip side and even the Bond scam was swept under the rug. Ravaya was very forthright and vigilant, Jana never explored into frauds committed by the UNP crooks. Janaranjana’s prime aim is to bring federalism by hook or crook does not work . Also his Purawasi Balaya has proved itself to be a miserable failure within. An award winning young journalist like Kasun Pussalla was given a poor salary of Rs 5000. and when asked for a pay hike Kasun had been asked to leave . That is how those so called socialists behave in real life situations.
    I am not a judge or jury and I can not say Eye-one’s decision is right or wrong but Janaranjana certainly not a good editor with his dodgy political affiliations . Jana insults Buddhist clergy and once a leading monk of Malwatte Chapter pointed it out .

    • 1
      0

      Every story has two sides, So far what we hear is from Uvindu!
      Why not get a comment from Ivan?
      Is that not the ethical thing to do?

    • 0
      0

      Jana insults Buddhist clergy_ fancy.

      As far as i know every body is born equal – empty head. It is with time that the head gets filled up.

      What is fancy about a Buddhist monk. It is another head that had got filled up with soothra.Have they attained SOVAM, SAKRUDHAGAMI, ANAGAMI or ARAHATH state – No. They are another set of people who are in uniform – this time in safron.

      Do they avoid conflict of interest NO, How come they preach against other races, tolerate caste differences, indulge in womanising, sodomy, financial transactions, latest rumour is that some even deal with women.

      So what is the fancy reason why Buddhist Clergy – correcting my expression – Safron robed gentry- be safe from criticism , which is taken as insults.The safron robed gentry is insulting our intelligence.

  • 0
    1

    All are challenging if Old King’s Civic Rights can be removed.

    This Sihala Jury Only Court are not for Tamils. We need UN Peacekeepers, before the Genocide Inquiry starts.

    Sumanthiran has been campaigning in North-East that under Secret Solution EP will be gone, then the Provinces will be shared with that executive power. Sumanthiran still probably doesn’t know New King wants six years this term and he want to stand for the 2 term and if the 21A can be brought in 3rd term too. Ranil has already filed his papers with election commission for 2019, EP candidature.So what is going to be in Secret Solution? Whom does Sumanthis fooling?

  • 7
    2

    I second “Former RAYAVA fan”. Jana is a politically motivated character and not a journalist. Ivan has his own weaknesses but did fame the name Ravaya. These so called “pressure groups” who want Mangala to intervene are none other than, catchers of “puravesi balaya” consisting Dollar motivated crows but no representatives of the real ‘puravesiyas’.

  • 0
    4

    Ivans face says it all. CATCH THIS CROOK AND JAIL HIM. Must have stolen the money to buy a set of dentures.

  • 0
    0

    A one person commission (if it eventuates at all!) may only come up with recommendations which may not be enforceable.
    Is it not a better idea to take this matter up in a court of law? Both sides may present their case to the best of their ability and the judgement will be binding.

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