Australia probes graft allegation involving Sri Lanka President: report

ECONOMYNEX – Australia is probing an allegation involving Snowy Mountain Engineering Company, an Australia-base firm which had allegedly been asked to pay commissions to win a construction contract when Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena was a minister.

Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald said Snowy Mountain Engineering Company (SMEC) was being probed Australian Federal Police over 1.82 million dollar dam project which was funded by World Bank.

Investigators had uncovered emails sent by the firm’s Sri Lanka manager (who had since been sacked) who had written the President Maithripala’s co-ordinating secretary had asked for an ‘election donation’, in 2009, the report said.

The payment was needed to sign off on a cabinet paper to approve the contract, the manager had claimed, the report said.

SMEC had denied that such a donation was made.

However ‘key people’ had been paid a 1 percent of the contract or 2.5 million rupees, the report said. (Colombo/Aug24/2016)

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