Sri Lanka President suspends officials who sought bribe from Indian investor

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena said the anti-bribery agency is acting independently and suspended two officials arrested two officials charged with soliciting and accepting  bribe from an Indian investor.

His current Chief of Staff, I H K Mahanama, a former temporary secretary of the ministry of lands and a Chairman of the State Timber Corporation Piyadasa Dissanayake were arrested by officials the anti-bribery agency after soliciting and accepting a bribe from an Indian investor.

"The officials connected to the incident had been suspended and all officers (of the Bribery Commission) are asked to carry out the law," President Sirisena said in a statement.

"This incident show the value of having an independent commission to act against corruption.

President Sirisena said he is happy to see that officials charged with implementing the law as acting independently as was expected by his administration when it came to power.

Gamage and Dissanayake was arrested following a complaint from an Indian investor who had come to revive Kantalai Sugar, a defunct state-un sugar factory.

The project had been help up for almost three years on delays involving the transfer of 500 acres of land.

The officials are alleged to have demanded a 560 million rupee bribe which and been negotiated down to 100 million to complete the paperwork.

The arrest was made while handing over an advance payment of 20 million at a 5-star hotel in Colombo, officials said.

According to earlier reports, a company called SG Sugars Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, had entered into a deal with the government to invest 100 million dollars to revive the factory but the release of land.





The firm was promoted by Shri Prabu Lingeshwar Sugars Chemicals Ltd, Mendel Gluck, a UK-based investor and K P Nagaraja another Indian national, officials said in 2015.

The project was delayed over the release of the land. (Colombo/May04/2018)

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