Even the PM should be in Prison for the frauds
By Ranjith Kumara Samarakoone
Kandy District UPFA Member of Parliament Dilum Amunugama said the Local Government Election should have been held a year earlier, and went on to say "We have been prepared since then. We will contest through a separate Alliance. It is this Government that keeps postponing elections and is playing with the sovereignty of the people".
Excerpts of the interview:
Minister Lakshman Kiriella says that the Colombo-Kandy Expressway is being built?
A: It was commenced by our Government. Then this Government came in. Even now, it has been delayed. These people struggled looking for new companies to contract with, but finally had to settle with the same companies that we had sourced and for higher prices than the amounts we had decided on.
Prices, then and now can change, can't they?
A: Yes, but then they asked whether the Southern Expressway was built with platinum or gold. Then, work on the Kandy-Colombo Highway was halted saying that the prices were too high, and then they procrastinated for two years, is it ok to say prices were too high after that?
Anyhow, now the work has started again, but some are making allegations?
A: What we are saying is, whether at higher or lower prices the work should be done. We are not trying to obstruct, however, having said that, we cannot allow these large scale frauds to be suppressed. The Japanese company to which this job has been assigned has been blacklisted both in Japan and here, so, we know what took place underhand. It is apparent in standards too, there is fraud there too. On one marshy land, the highway has to be constructed on pillars; however, that is not what is happening. The road is at ground level. The standard is being lowered while prices are rising, how can these things happen?
Another thing is that those whose lands are being taken over are being paid only half of the estimated value. This is also a very unfortunate situation.
Many representing your district are joining the Government of Good Governance. Why didn't you join?
A: When compared to the other districts, we are alright. As from those who won, only one has crossed over. People will decide on that individual, all the others were those defeated at polls and came in on the National List.
It is the opinion of some that on this historic occasion when the two parties are on a journey the Joint Opposition has kicked it?
A: Where have the two parties got together? It is only the staff at Darley Road that has joined, and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is the United National Party, President. Even though Duminda Dissanayake is the Secretary he is not a senior. To say the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has joined the Government is a complete lie.
From the beginning didn't the JO group want to tread a different path?
A: No, we supported as much as we could. Didn't we help with the 19th Amendment? We did. However, if the path they are following is detrimental to the country and thefts, frauds and revenge, is taking place, do we still have to approve? What was the benefit of these two parties getting together? What a lot of detrimental things have happened?
From the Government side there is a long list of positives?
A: This is the Government that engaged in the biggest fraud in history. What else is there to say? Arjuna Mahendran says that it was the Prime Minister who gave instructions in the Treasury Bond case and did everything. When you consider that, both parties have got together and won the trophy for selling State institutions. They have also won the trophy for fraud. They have kept a record for sending the farmer to his grave.
Now, finally, they are preparing to bring a new Constitution and a federal administration, and that is what both parties haven't been able to do as yet. Very soon they will do that too.
Even though you say that, even those errors are being investigated, aren't they?
A: How can that be!
Ravi Karunanayake had to resign. Ministers are being summoned to the Commission. Recently a former chairman was handcuffed, aren't these investigations? The Treasury Bond Commission was appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena, your Party Chairman?
A: He had no choice, what I am saying is that this Commission was established for these persons to slowly escape.
You are making a serious allegation?
A: Yes. By now, these people should not be facing a Commission. They should be in prison. The Commission cannot arrest them, and they cannot take legal action. What they do is question and take down notes.
Nevertheless a Minister resigns?
A: Yes, what you said was correct; there is no argument about that. What we are asking is whether it is adequate for them to only resign. Just consider our people are being pursued for issues like iron pipes and misuse of vehicles, but, how can legal action be taken against those in this Government? Considering the frauds that have taken place even the Prime Minister should be in prison.
However, investigations are still underway. The legal process cannot be rushed?
A: Yes. That is what we are on the lookout for; if the thieves are caught, punished and legal action taken we will openly say that the Government is doing their job.
Even though you say this, by now, Government Ministers are resigning or being sacked, are these incidental events?
A: What you say is true, but, why was former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe sacked? Because he didn't agree to the will and pleasure of certain people, to put persons in prison, he was removed from his post. So where is the justice? They talked about an Independent Police Commission, an Independent Elections Commission. Are they in operation? The election has been postponed indefinitely. The Inspector General of Police is bending the law. The Central Bank is engaged in daylight robbery. Some hack foreign banks and engage in theft. Where is this Independent Judicial Commission?
Some say that the biggest fraud in history is the Treasury Bonds fraud. What is the role of the JO in that issue? As yet, there is no intervention even as much as from certain media.
A: We exerted maximum pressure that is why the President at least appointed a Presidential Commission. What we are saying is, let us see how action will be taken against what has been revealed. It is clear from Arjuna Mahendran's evidence that the PM is also involved in this. Let us wait and see whether the PM will be summoned to this Commission. Now the noose is tightening around the Treasury Bonds rogues.
Don't you believe the Commission is powerful enough to drag this story up to the PM of this country?
A: We definitely believe that justice will be done, if that happens, then we can say the Government acted well and we won't be insincere.
The Chairman of the 'Swan' Party under which symbol this Government contested the election has been taken into custody. Do you not believe that in this instance they are not biased?
A: The accusation is stealing millions of dollars through a Cyber Attack, the other is, it is a bank of a foreign country; can they avoid taking him into custody?
Now, the elections are set for January. What are the preparations on your side?
A: The election should have been held a year earlier. We have been prepared since then. We will contest through a separate Alliance. It is this Government that keeps postponing elections and playing with the sovereignty of the people.
Wasn't the election postponed due to the 'wrongs' of the previous Government?
A: What wrongs?
It is said that tasks such as delimitation were done during that time according to the way the previous Government wanted?
A: What sort of joke is that? How can you determine political conduct of the people and that it will remain the same? Can you prepare delimitation considering that? Can the political conduct of people be determined by demarcations at ground level? These are nonsensical stories of the Government.
The other thing is, how many times did the Delimitation Commission say, all work has been completed and that it was the PM who was not allowing it to be presented. So, it is the Government that is not allowing the elections to be held.
Holding an election as soon as a Government comes into power is advantageous to the incumbent. But what this Government is saying is that they are not doing that and is doing what is correct?
A: The election was not advantageous to the Government from then, from the day they began they have been on the decline.
Their objective is to postpone the elections. When 20th Amendment was brought, the Supreme Court said that if elections are to be postponed a Referendum should be held. What did they do? They sent a two page Act to the Supreme Court. That did not contain what was included in the new Act. When it came back from the Supreme Court, they added 42 Amendments and brought in a separate Act.
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