Govt. closed down Ant- Corruption Secretariat to protect old & new thieves

The present Ranil – Maithri ‘yahapalana’ government protects new thieves as well was old thieves and the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat was closed down in a bid to stop investigations being carried out in connection with frauds and corruption committed by ministers of the previous regime as well as the present regime says the Information Secretary of the JVP Comrade Vijitha Herath.
He said this at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP today (12th).
Speaking further Comrade Vijitha Herath said, “People who defeated the corrupt Mahinda Rajapaksa regime expected the new government that boasted of ‘good governance’ would develop the country. The main reason for driving away the Rajapaksa regime was the rallying of masses against the fraudulent corrupt family rule that existed. This is why Mr. Maithripala Sirisena who contested as the ‘common’ candidate had to promise the masses at the presidential election that frauds, corruption and waste would be eradicated and an administration with good governance would be established. He had to present a manifesto including these promises at the election. He boasted on election stages that legal action would be taken against all fraudsters, not allow them to flee the country but would punish all of them. During the 100 day rule a programme called ‘A new country in 100 days’ was presented. According to this programme a special judiciary council was to be established by 5th February, 2015 to investigate large scale frauds and corruption. It was said that special courts would be established. However, after 2 ½ years these promises have become empty words. The so-called ‘yahapalana’ government too continues with frauds, corruption and waste.
On 27th February, 2015 the biggest Central Bank bond scam was committed. Despite stating corruption would be stopped this government has beaten the previous regime in carrying out corruption. Due to the request from the people the government had to establish the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat and the FCID. The main function of the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat was to accept complaints regarding large scale frauds and corruption and carry out initial investigations. It got the authority from a cabinet paper. It functioned under the Prime Minister’s office. It received a large number of complaints. It carried out an initial classification and directed the complaints to Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, FCID, the CID and other institutions. The institution for which the complaints should be sent was decided after they were classified under a deputy Solicitor General from the Auditor General’s Department. During the two year five month period initial investigations on 481 complaints on serious financial crimes, 547 complaints on frauds and irregularities and 120 other complaints were carried out. 258 complaints were referred to the FCID, 43 to the CID, 148 complaints were referred to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption and 32 complaints were directly sent to the IGP for further investigation.
Lately, the President and cabinet ministers made various comments on the expenses of the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat. Media has reported so. Rajitha had said more than Rs. 400 million was spent but nothing had happened. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena said only people from his faction are being investigated and nothing was done about others. He said the Secretariat investigated on against Fouzie and Priyankara Jayaratne’s daughter. It is an erroneous statement. We made inquiries about the expenses of the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat. The total expense for two years and 5 months was Rs.31 million. However, media reported that Rs. 12 million a month was spent for the Secretariat. It was an opinion the government needed. The government took steps to create fabrications regarding the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat when investigations against ministers of the government were launched.
The Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat investigated the complaints it received and took measures to take legal action. It took measures to get back the money that was defrauded. It took measures to take back Rs. 159 million to the government from CSN. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa spent public funds for the construction of D.A. Rajapaksa museum. Rs. 25 million had to be paid to the government after investigations began in connection with this fraud. The mansion and the land at Malwana built and bought by Basil Rajapaksa worth Rs. 300 million was taken over by the government. The Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat for which Rs. 32 million was spent was able to take back money that was defrauded. Rajitha Senaratna should tell the country whether money spent for the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat is more than the money obtained after investigations. People like Basil, Namal and Wimal Weerawansa used political power for flights. As a result of investigations launched Rs.16 million had to be paid to the government. The government has gained more than Rs.500 million from the investigations carried out on a few complaints of fraud and corruption. There are many more investigations due. They money the government would get after these investigations could be billions.
The government that stated a special court would be established for investigation of frauds and corruption is carrying out a deception. The investigations regarding Fowzie and Priyankara Jaayaratna’s daughter that the President mentioned were carried out by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. They were not done by the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat. The likes of Rajitha Senaratna wanted to close down the Secretariat before investigations against them could be started. Officials know about telephone calls given to delay investigations. There are many complaints against ministers of the present government as well. Among them are ministers who were in the previous government and now are with Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. Why did the President took thieves of the previous regime on to his lap? There are ministers who have used Rs.30 million from Lanka Transform Ltd. that is accused of re-exporting areca for election campaigns. Mrs. Wickremesinghe of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption was intimidated by Rajitha Senaratna. After she was removed there isn’t any talk about the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. Rajitha Senaratna, who was the Minister of Fisheries in the previous government, gave Modara Fisheries Harbour for 25 years at the rate of Rs.125,000 a month when the 1 acre and 30 perch harbor could be leased out for Rs. 1.7 million a month. The loss incurred by the government was Rs. 470 million. When investigations are to be carried out in connection with such frauds the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat is closed down.
Also, President Maithripala Sirisena made a special statement in Galle regarding the Nilwala project fraud. He said Rs. 4011 million has been paid when the estimate for the Nilwala project was only Rs. 1037.5 million. This accusation was against Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva who was the minister in charge of the subject in Rajapaksa administration. Also, Minister Harrison’s transactions in Paddy Marketing Board have incurred a loss of Rs. 4000 million to the government. All in the SLFP and the UNP have been accused of frauds and corruption. Even Rohitha Bogollagama, who has been appointed as a governor has accusations of a hotel bill of Rs. 1.1 million and millions spent for his daughter’s birthday bash. A case is currently being heard regarding the matter. This government not only protects thieves but also gives positions to thieves. It is not the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat that is at fault.
Minister Ravi Karunanayaka has an accusation of incurring a loss of Rs. 2262 million to the government by illegally releasing 211 luxury vehicles. Mr. S.B. Dissanayaka who was the Minister of Higher education in Rajapaksa administration is accused of taking away very valuable furniture from a mansion gifted to Colombo University. Minister Akila Viraj is accused of recruiting labourers to schools without adhering to financial regulations. There is complaint filed by Mr. Range Bandara against Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa regarding a financial fraud.
As initial investigations have commenced regarding these complaints the cabinet decides to close down the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat. Also, the officials of the Secretariat are targeted with baseless accusations. These officials took part in the investigations despite there were threats to their lives. The government is attempting to put the blame on the officials to conceal its crimes.
Once the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat is closed down there wouldn’t be any place to file complaints against fraudsters of the government. Then the FCID would not be of any use. For, FCID has no authority to accept complaints. Complaints to be investigated by the FCID were referred to the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat to be sorted out and directed to the FCID. The government attempts to abolish FCID by closing down Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat. The government breaks all the promises it made to protect old and new thieves. Previously, the family stole. Today, the partnership steals. The machinery to investigate frauds and corruption is made inactive by the government for it to spend billions to buy luxury vehicles and rent out buildings. The government has no money to get dustbins to schools. The garbage and dengue issues have intensified. The government has no answers for such issues. Fraud, corruption and waste have infested the society. The JVP would take every move to work against this situation. We call upon all citizens to rally with us.”