Sri Lanka’s ex-Sports minister admits sleaze

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s former Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara Friday admitted that he received millions of rupees in unaccounted cash from undisclosed donors as he faced fresh allegations of sleaze.

Jayasekara told parliament that he encashed a one million rupee cheque given to him by an associate of the controversial Perpetual Treasuries at the centre of the bond scam.

He said the money was received when he was campaigning for the August 2015 parliamentary election under the leadership of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa who was leading the Kurunegala district list of candidates.

"I want to say very clearly that although I got money from them, I have never defended Perpetual Treasuries or Arjun Aloysius," Jayasekara said. "What is important is if I defended Aloysius."

Jayasekara had taken money from Aloysius in July 2015 despite the controversy over the February 2015 bond scam which had turned into a major campaign issue.

During the 2015 election campaign as well as during previous campaigns, Jayasekara said he received unspecified amounts of cash from businesses, but he never repaid with favours.

He said many other colleagues in parliament too had taken large amounts of money from Aloysius, but declined to name them.

Jayasekara defended his association with Aloysius saying he knew the family for a long period of time. He insisted that he did not defend bond deals of Perpetua.

Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was forced to step down last year after it transpired that Aloysius-linked company had paid rent for a luxury apartment occupied by him.  (COLOMBO, May 25, 2018)





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