None of the Ravaya staff shareholders apart from the Directors who are said to represent them, are aware that Victor Ivan was paid Rs 5 million from funds collected from the public, Colombo Telegraph learns.
Colombo Telegraph interviewed several key members of the Ravaya staff and they all said they were unaware of this transaction.
For example, when contacted by Colombo Telegraph, its News Editor Lasantha Ruhunage said he was not aware of any such transaction. When asked whether he would say that on record, Ruhunage said he needed “half an hour” to prepare a statement on the matter.
When we tried to contact him after half an hour, Ruhunage did not pick up the phone. Then, Colombo Telegraph contacted another staff member of Ravaya and asked him to hand over the phone to Ruhunage. At that point, the News Editor of Ravaya said he was busy and hung up the phone.
Ruhunage is a stalwart of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association and the Free Media Movement.
Efforts to contact the Editor of Ravaya, K.W. Janaranjana, have proved unsuccessful.
Ravaya, which has been a strong advocate of accountability and transparency, never disclosed in its appeal to supporters that Rs 5 Million of the funds collected would be given to any individual.
Meanwhile on the 19th of June, when Colombo Telegraph asked Kusal Perera (a key member of Ravaya Solidarity) about this matter, i.e. before we first published the story, he asked us to contact Ivan about what stakeholders can do with their stakes.
As per Kusal’s recommendation, ( read Kusal Perera’s answer here) we contacted Ivan again but the latter could not explain satisfactorily how the valuation was arrived at. When confronted he said ‘I was offered and I accepted’. This is in complete contrast to his original statement.
On 18th June, Gamini Viyangoda said that Ivan held 51% of Ravaya shares of which he planned to sell 40% (of the total) to Milinda Moragoda for Rs 20 million. When Ravaya Solidarity intervened Ivan had agreed to accept 10 million with the rest to remain invested in Ravaya. This contradicts Ivan’s statement about being offered and then having accepted the said amount.
Ravaya Solidarity paid half the amount (i.e. Rs 5 million). Accordingly RS still ‘owes’ Ivan Rs 5 million.
Meanwhile, today the Company Registrar told Colombo Telegraph that the entire transaction is illegal and completely out of order. An investigation is to be launched into the transaction, Colombo Telegraph learns.
R K Raghavan / July 3, 2015
Victor Ivan is struggling in his twisted knickers.
However, he is a good journalist.
Though I hate Mahinda, hope he will do something to salvage him.
If he comes to UK and claim political asylum, I am here to help him with all my expertise.
Saman Wijesiri / July 3, 2015
It is quite evident that there is a vicious malicious attempt to tarnish the image of Victor Ivan. I am inclined to believe what Gamini Viyangoda says. The transaction can be technically wrong. But I don’t think it is unethical!
Leelagemalli / July 3, 2015
This man IVAN never uttered a single word against MR et al even if his bunch worked as OVER CHAURA Raja. Why is that ? Alone that reason, the bugger lost his hand ( now he cant even write his columns as had been before. KARAMA punishes whoever whatever does wrong.. Now or later that we get to see.
shankar / July 3, 2015
“Rāvaya ‘Staff-Shareholders’ Clueless About Ivan’s Rs 5 Million Heist”
That is cos he is Bandit King.The Bandit Emperor is Tsunami Hora.
Naga / July 3, 2015
Good that the Company Registrar is going to investigate this matter.
The name Ravaya Publishers (Guarantee) Limited implies that it is a company incorported under the Sri Lankan Companies Act No.7 of 2007 as a company limited by guarantee.
There are no shareholders in a company limited by guarantee. There are only company members and each member will hold one share (section 35(1)(c)). If that is the case, how come Victor Ivan holds 40 per cent or 51 per cent of non-existing shares in a guarantee company?
Members of a company limited by guarantee do not hold shares. A member of a company limited by guarantee is not entitled to any dividends and all the profits will have to be applied to the objects of the company (section 34(1) and (2)). The articles of a guarantee company shall set out the the amount which each member of the company undertakes to contribute to the assets of the company, in the event of such company being put into liquidation(section 33(1)(b). That is the only liability of a member of a guarantee company.
Thus, in a company limited by guarantee, members are not shareholders and they do not have shares.The members do not contribute any monies to the company by way of any shares either at the time of incorporation or subsequently but only become liable to pay the amount set out in the articles of the company in the event of liquidation. Note that section 35(1) of the Companies Act specifically says that those sections listed in Schedule 3 of the Act do not apply to a company limited by guarantee. Among the sections listed in Schedule 3 are those relating to Shares and Debentures contained in Part IV of the Act.
Given these very clear provisions of the Sri Lankan Companies Act, how come this one time Marxist revolutionary is now claiming to own 40 per cent or 51 per cent of the Ravaya company? Or is he claiming the Rs 10 million as some kind of loan he extended to the company?
He owes an explanation at least to those over enthusiastic individuals who came forward to rescue Ravaya by their financial contributions.
Ivan’s story reminds me of a Sri Lankan Tamil radio announcer in Sydney, Australia, who was helped by some Sri Lankan Tamils living in Australia when the company came under hammer. These individuals contributed funds and bought the radio company but allowed the same Tamil announcer to operate the radio station. That bastard soon kicked them out and took control of the company leaving those good
intentioned individuals high and dry. The same appears to be the case of the supporters of Ravaya who coughed out Rs 12.7 million to rescue Ravaya.
The investigation of the Registrar of Companies may only lead to the cancellation of the incorporation of Ravaya Publishers (Guarantee) Company on the basis of breach of section 34 of the Companies Act. I do not think Victor Ivan has breached any offence provision of the Companies Act to be sent to jail. But definitely he has cheated those who contributed funds to keep Ravaya afloat. Whether he can be criminally charged under any provisions of the Sri Lankan Criminal Law is another matter that need to be explored.
And this man Victor Ivan is considered to be an angel preaching good governance and calling others “Chauwra Rajini” or ‘Bandit Queen”!!!
Mac Iwin / July 3, 2015
He is the founder of Ravaya. Is he entitled for such a pay off? Do you know the background? I don’t and your article doesn’t say anything worthwhile either!
On a different note, where is colombo telegraph going? That shameless spin doctor Jayathilake started licking MR’s backside. Most of the current articles on CT now seem to directly or indirectly support the course of that MR?
How much did the Medamulana highwayman pay you guys?
Jagath Fernando / July 3, 2015
Looks like something fishy has happened.
Victor should come out and put the record straight.
Jayantha Wimal / July 4, 2015
I have high respect on Victor Ivan. In last 30 years He taught us lot about the dirty politics and bad law and order in Sri Lanka. He must have reached 70 plus in his life and may have thinking of peace of mind in his retirement age.
5 million is nothing a person’s worth like him and once who described as king maker in Sri Lankan politics. One day in future his pen might have worth than that much of money if people understanding how he used it against so much of power in this political and other blood suckers here in time to time.
Only thing I have a doubt and suspicion why they selling this good will, another corrupt Politician like Millinda Moragoda.
Once they wanted to collect,contribution to maintain the Ravaya independently. I too have given that support and that we wanted Ravaya forever