SriLankan-Airbus corruption scandal: SLPP doesn’t want to protect anyone – Rohitha

ECONOMYNEXT – The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) does not wish to protect anyone involved in the Airbus-SriLankan Airlines corruption scandal, a party spokesman said.

“We are thankful to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for expressing immediate concern over this alleged corruption case,” Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardana told reporters this morning.

Allegations surfaced on Saturday that Airbus had paid the wife of a SriLankan Airlines executive at least USD 2 million through a Brunei shell company for a large aircraft order. A UK probe revealed that the aviation group had offered USD 16 million to the lady in question.

Airbus had “failed to prevent persons associated with Airbus SE from bribing others concerned with the purchase of aircraft by SriLankan Airlines from Airbus, namely directors and/or employees of SriLankan Airlines,” between July 01, 2011 and June 2015, the UK judgement said.

President Rajapaksa ordered a full inquiry into the allegations yesterday.

If state resources are misused in any way, said Minister Abeygunawardena, the law must be enforced.

“The public ought to know who this executive and his wife are. It’s the only way we can move forward as a government without corruption,” he said.

“We do not want to protect anyone. If it happened in 2013, that was when we were in power. Regardless of who did what, they should be arrested. If it happened in 2015, the same applies,” he added.

Asked for a comment, SLPP Chairman Prof G L Peiris told EconomyNext that since the case is the subject of an ongoing investigation, one must “await the outcome.”

Meanwhile, Attorney General Dappula de Livera directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) this afternoon to obtain an arrest warrant for former SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer Kapila Chandrasena and his wife Priyanka Niyomali Wijenayaka on allegations of money laundering. (Colombo/Feb03/2020)

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