CB Bonds scam and PRECIFAC President’s Secy assures copies of reports for JVP

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By 2018-01-03

By Niranjala Ariyawansha

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday (2), submitted a written request to President's Secretary Austin Fernando demanding copies of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Report on the Central Bank Bonds scam and the Report containing details related to 17 alleged......acts of fraud and corruption that had taken place during former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime. Both Reports were handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena.

JVP Western Provincial Councillor, Attorney-at-Law, Sunil Watagala said President's Secretary, Fernando had promised the JVP that copies of both Reports would be handed over to them shortly. However, Fernando had not specified a date.

Watagala said that as soon as the JVP gets copies of the Reports, it will ensure that the people will be made aware of the contents of both Reports.

Meanwhile, the Report compiled by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) relating to 17 acts of fraud and corruption that had taken place during the previous regime, has 1,200 pages and also contains recommendations to prevent such acts from taking place in the future.

The Report compiled by PRECIFAC contains large- scale fraud and corruption that had taken place in State institutions from 1 January, 2010 to 1 January, 2015 - the second tenure of former President Rajapaksa.

PRECIFAC was set up by President Sirisena on 15 March, 2015 to probe alleged acts of fraud. PRECIFAC's term was extended on five occasions and expired on 31 December, 2017. Once PRECIFAC began its probe, 1,599 complaints were received and out of them 1,180 had been rejected by the Commission.

Although probes had commenced into 419 complaints, a further 385 had been rejected while 34 complaints had been taken into consideration.

Some of the key incidents contained in the Reports are as follows :

The incident where former Minister Wimal Weerawansa and Chairman of the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) and 11 others were charged with handing over houses and rooms owned by the NHDA to close relatives for costs that were way below government estimates.

The incident where former Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman, Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrema and former Executive Director of the Sri Lanka Shipping Corporation, Sanjaya Senerath Sedara along with three others were charged with committing financial misappropriation when purchasing the Lanka Mahapola ship.

The incident where former Treasury Secretary, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and former Sathosa Chairman, Nalin Ruwan Fernando were charged with committing financial fraud when importing big onions.

The incident where former Secretary of the Central Engineering Advisory Bureau and seven others were charged with causing a massive loss of funds to the State by acting contrary to the tender policy when purchasing VIP seats for the Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre in Polgolla.

The incident where former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Dr. Amal Silva and 12 others were charged with causing immense loss of State funds while purchasing drugs during Silva's tenure as Director of the Sri Lanka Drug Control Authority.

The incident where former Army Commanders Mahinda Satharasinghe, Daya Ratnayake and four others were charged with causing a loss of State funds to the tune of millions of rupees while selling copper and bronze belonging to the Kankesanthurai Cement factory, while having called for tenders to sell iron rods at the Kankesanthurai Cement factory.

The incident where the North Central Provincial Councillor Senasinghe, auditor and 11 others were charged with causing a loss of State funds when purchasing equipment, which was to be given to kidney patients in the North Central Province contrary to tender procedure.

The incident where the former Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene and four others were charged with misappropriating funds at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research Institute.

The incident where former Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), Chairman Wimalasena Rubasinghe and six others were charged with causing a loss of millions of rupees to the SLRC while publishing election campaign advertisements of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the run-up to the 2015 Presidential Election. Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena functioned as PRECIFAC Chairman.

The other members were High Court Judges Vikum Kaluarachchi, Gihan Kulathunga, late Amendra Seneviratne and former Auditor General P.A. Padmathilaka.

High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe replaced High Court Judge Amendra Silva after his demise.

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