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Sri Lanka's new quartet mount pressure for prosecutions

By Our Political Correspondent

May 14, 2016 14:46 PM GMT+0530 | 3 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - A new quartet of ministers has mounted pressure on the President and the Prime Minister to prosecute members of the Rajapaksa regime accused of massive corruption and ensure swift investigations into high profile murders as the government nears its first anniversary.

The four-member ministerial group had presented a cabinet paper demanding a detailed progress report into some of the headline grabbing corruption alleged by the United National Party when they were in the opposition.

Health Minister Rajith Senaratne, Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka, Ports minister Arjuna Ranatunga and Regional Development Sarath Fonseka signed the missive calling the conduct of the police and the Attorney General's department into question .

A top government source said there would be a major shake up in the investigative mechanism given the less than satisfactory progress at the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) and the CID.

"It looks like investigating crimes is being turned into a lucrative source of income for some police officers," a ministerial source said on condition of anonymity. He said the cabinet heard of a 30 million rupee bribe allegedly paid to remove a file that was under investigation.

At the highest levels in the government there were serious questions about the conduct of the police.

Allegations that the police Colombo Crime Division abducted a suspect and assaulted him to recant a testimony against former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's chief ofg staff Gamini Senarath has been brought to the President's attention.

"The President got down the parties involved and has given clear instructions to the IGP to hold an inquiry into this incident," a minister directly involved in the incident said.

Another minister said the government was also investigating allegations that some senior members of the police had been paid handsomely to hush up investigations or destroy evidence.

The new IGP Pujith Jayasundera has been asked to give the government a report on the specific instances that had been brought to the attention of the president last week.

Minister Senaratne, who led the breakaway faction from the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime in late 2014, told reporters last week that he was under pressure from over 40 civil society organisations to deliver or depart.

The minister had earlier this year given a February 4 deadline to the government to show results, but the administration was given more time to allow a new attorney general to settle in and speed up pending cases.

However, that has not been the case and even the new AG  Jayantha Jayasuriya, P.C, has failed to impress, the source said.

Apart from a failure to take decisive legal action against any of the high profile individuals in the previous regime, except Basil Rajapaksa, most of the investigations have stalled.

Even in Basil Rajapaksa's case, police went out of their way Thursday to block journalists reporting his latest court appearance before the Matara magistrate.

Matara SP Sudath Masinghe prevented all reporters getting into the court house although the magistrate had only requested that there should be no filming inside her court house.

SP Masinghe effectively prevented any photographs of Basil being brought into court and reporters being in court when the case was called up.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the Law and Order minuistry to investigate why police blocked journalists covering court proceedings.

The new AG and the new IGP are under pressure to show results in the drawn out cases. The assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga, the Eknaligoda murder and the Wasim Thajudeen killing are some of the high profile cases which are still dragging without suspects being arrested.

(Colombo/May 14, 2016)


 

3 Comments

  1. Mahinda Galapathy May 15, 07:24 AM

    Why is the government NOT probing the corruption charges of two Muslim ministers who amazed wealth during the Mahinda Rajapaksa government before January 8th., 2015 and are now holding important ministerial posts in the Maithripala Sirisena Ranil Wickremasinghe Yahapalana government. Corruption charges have also been reported against these Muslim ministers even in the present .Yahapala government. Is it true that one of these Muslim Ministers is on Maithripala camp in the Yahapalana government and the other is in the Ranil camp of the Yahapalana government? It is also rumoured that one of these ministers had very heavily funded the campaign in 2015 against Mahinda Rajapaksa and also vetted the JVP to sweep the land rackets under the carpet, that many Buddhist and environmental organizations has brought to light. HE. Maithripala Sirisena has to set in motion probes/inquiries against these Muslim ministers at the earliest. Deceptive Muslim politicians have disgraced the Muslim community in Sri Lanka enough and the Muslim community need to clear our name in the interest of our next generation as NOT being racketeers.

  2. johan May 14, 09:20 AM

    The lengthy article omits to mention that this quartet of ministers are accused of massive corruption, nepotism and misappropriation of public funds.

    One of them is accused of interfering to suppress a criminal investigation into a death by reckless driving, another appointing his two brothers to top posts under his ministry, another with the audacity to justify his claim for a luxury official car and astronomical office rent for his dubious duties.
    It is unfortunate that 'economynext' has failed to note these blatant facts

  3. punchinilame May 14, 08:25 AM

    I have made this comment (cut/paste)repeatedly, due to the gravity of the News and with the intent of provoking action by those concerned:

    1. Case No. 474/2015 at Fort M.C. dealing with Hedging Fund and involving A.N.Cabraal, PB Jayasuendra, A de Mel, L.Karunaratne (Rs.200-700 Million )


    2. Case No. 24327/2015 at Chief M.C.(3) In the matter of Lanka Hospital shares and connected to G. Rajapakse, Roshini ,Cabraal, N.Godahewa, D.Jayaweera, M. Medihewa, W.Amunugamuwa, D.P.Y. Wijesinghe. (Rs. 600 million)


    3. B26907/3/15 at Colombo M.C re Housing deals connected with W.Weerasena,B.K.J.K.Perera.


    4 . B/40/2015 at Kaduwella M.C. re Land purchases, involving Mrs. W.Weerasena, C.S.Ranasinhe.


    5. B323/15 in Tangalle M.C. about Carlton Pre-school construction involving State Eng. Corporation Staff (Rs. 35 million)


    6. 8674/15 in Pugoda M.C. re Development works, involving B.Rajapakse, N. Thirukumar


    7. B22467/1/15 at Colombo Chief M.C. re Money Laundering by M. Aluthgamage (Rs. 3 27 million)


    8. B22468/1/15 in Colombo Chief M.C. on Wealth acquired of Dr.P.B. Wickrema.


    9. B25389/1/15 at Colombo C.M.Court re Money Laundering by G.Senarath.


    10. B25166/3/15 at Colombo Ch M.C. Teleshan TV Network with A.Pilapita S.Wickremasinghe, and Sil Reddi with L.Weeratunga and Ven.V.Somananda Thero.


    11. B9823/15 at Kaduwela M.C. re CSN Channel involving ITN Directorate Staff. (5 Remanded in Jany.2016)


    12. B 25389/15 at Kaduwela M.C. re ownership of Marriot Hotel in Dubai with N.Lokuwitharne and M.Rajapakse ( Rs. 48 to 190 million)


    13. B27453/1/15 at Hultsdorf M.C. about Lanka Logistics Arms importing connected to G.Rajapakse, P.B.Jayasundera, Mohan Peiris, J.Wickremasinghe.


    14. B/663/15 at Fort M.C. on Bank of Ceylon, Seychelles by M. Rajapakse family


    15. Greek Bonds purchase with names of Cabraal Rajapakse in Petition Colombo M.C of 15.8.15 involving Rs. 1257 million


    16. Sajin Vass Gunewardena in abuse of Public property, at Fort Magistrate Court, remanded since May, 2015. Also at Bribery Com. for questionable Assets.


    17. Petition accepted in Supreme Court on 6.8.15 re V B/663/15 at Fort M.C. on Bank of Ceylon, Seychelles by M. Rajapakse family


    15. Greek Bonds purchase with names of Cabraal B/663/15 at Fort M.C. on Bank of Ceylon, Seychelles by M. Rajapakse family


    15. Greek Bonds purchase with names of Cabraal ehicle Permits abuse


    18. Case No. 50/10 at High Courts, Kandy: Captain Wickremasinghes activity in Giritale Army Camp re Torture Chambers under G. Rajapakses directions?


    19. On Bail Rohita Bogollagama


    20. B/C Case BC/2370/2011/B1 1 Billion heist: Pradeep Gunawardana (Cman State Trading Corporation)


    21. B 586/15 in the Fort Magistrates Court on June 5, 2015 re Pushpa Rajapaksa Foundation SMB payments .


    22. B1171/15 Fort Magistrates Courts re MILCO Officials/ex-Ministers in a Rs.600 Mil. Fraud


    23. Champika Karunaratne Former Coordinating Secy.of MR remanded over Fraud (10 million)


    24. M.C Nuwara Eliya Case of Prof. Dharmasiri in fraud of David Paynters Art work worth Rs.37 Million ?


    25, Lankaputra Development Bank re release of Rs. 2000 million as loans to 14 parties. CID Report now in the hands of the AG..


    25. Ethanol Imports, involving a former Minister and 2 current Deputy Ministers, FCID investigations ongoing.


    26. Paddy Marketing Board involved in the sale of 234000 tonsPaddy to 3 selected mill owners loss thereof to be reported to FCID.


    27. Colombo Commercial HighCourt Case for Rs. 142 million due to SLTB on bus hires for 2015 PE, against M.Rajapakse 6 others.22 of these Files are gathering dust at the AGs Office see http://www.lankaenews.com/news/1194/enOther matters with FCID, whose Staff strength is 65 are:


    Lanka Teacher Services Union complaint re Computer purchases for Rs. 5.87 billion for Mahindaodaya Labs as per Auditor Generals Report, given to one Company by Ministry of Education. ii PRECIFAC to probe the issue of 1000 Diplomatic Passports during the past Regime. iii Wealth of several Presidential body guards to be probed.iv. Finanacial Frauds under Investigation are:


    a) Tourist Promotion Burea (B.Guneratne) 5.7 Mil.,


    b)SL Insurance (Dr. Jayasundara Basil R)


    c) State Eng. Corp. (R.Edirisuriya) 4.7 mil.,


    d) Diary Printing (W.Weerasena) Rs. 1.4 mil.e) D.A.Rajapakse Meuseum ( G. Rajapakse H.de Silva) 91 Mil.


    f) The FCID filed charges against the eight persons before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris on 9.3.16, including MP Namal Rajapaksa for allegedly purchasing Gow

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