Sri Lanka political culture has changed; action against corruption, fraud: Eran
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s culture of tolerating corruption has change in the open culture of the current administration and action is finally being taken against massive financial frauds and even ministers are being questioned by authorities, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said
Under previous regimes it would have been unthinkable for cabinet ministers to be questioned he told a debate on a commission reports on a securities and serious frauds during the Rajapaksa regime.
He said Sri Lanka’s judiciary has become independent and even when the President Maithripala Sirisena asked about his term there was a unanimous decision.
"If it was the last regime we can imagine what the answer would have been," Wickramaratne said.
"The judiciary was under the jackboot of the ruler. Even the parliament was under the jackboot. The Chief Justice was removed after humiliating her.
"The constitution was changed to end the term limits of the President. We were given six hours and was told to either vote or go."
He said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had made an opposition member the chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises to be a check on the system.
These institutional changes are now bringing results, Wickremaratne said.
Tow kingpins behind the bond scam was arrested this week.
Wickremarante said Presidential Commissions have been appointed but the reports were not published.
"I hear that copies of these reports are missing even from the President’s office," he said. "I appeal to the President to make public all these reports."
JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said there was an attempt to cover up the bondscam when it was first brought to parliament.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had helped shield Arjuna Mahendran by making inaccurate statements to parliament.
The commission of inquiry had also pointed out that the Prime Minister should not have gone by statements provided by Mahendran (and Deputy Governor P Samarasiri), he said.
Now perpetrators are being arrested after three years, he said. In the past with time, all scandals were forgotten. But in this case it was not forgotten, he said. (Colombo/Feb06/2018).