President’s confidants named in PRECIFAC report JVP

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By 2018-01-16

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) alleged that once the content of 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) established to probe 34 such acts that took place during the previous regime would be revealed, even the names of those close to President Maithripala Sirisena would come to light.

Addressing a press conference held at the Party Headquarters yesterday (15), General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva, meanwhile, urged all forces and groups which acted to defeat the corrupt family rule of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to join with the JVP with the view of forming a new political force, adding that Sri Lanka had become the seventh most corrupt country in the world.

"Most of the Deputy Chairmen and Chairmen who had served in the Pradeshiya Sabhas have committed illegal acts and......they continue to do so even at this moment. Most recently, there was a news item which revealed that a former Deputy Chairman of a Pradeshiya Sabha had been taken into custody for having illegally felled teak trees. Another candidate had been arrested for possessing 32 kilos of cannabis sativa, while another had been nabbed for having engaged in selling moonshine." He queried as to where the PRECIFAC reports which had been submitted to President Sirisena were. He added that they had been swept under the carpet due to the report compiled by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating and inquiring into the issuance of Treasury Bonds coming to the fore?

"The reason for that is that the United National Party is behind the Central Bank Bond scam. If the report compiled by the PRECIFAC is revealed, the names of even those close to the President will be exposed. Hence those reports are not being published and what this shows is that the forming of Commissions is being done purely for political motives and not with the genuine aim of punishing those behind such acts. The President revealed about a year ago about a special kind of fraud. He said that money had been set aside for the Nilwala project in Matara on 8 January, 2015 and from that money not a single slice of soil had been cut. He promised to punish all those behind that scam. Afterwards, he became popular in the media. Now, nobody even remembers that fraud. There are also no probes and when that incident took place the Minister of Irrigation was incumbent Minister of Transport Nimal Siripala de Silva. However, he is now with the Sirisena faction. Punishing those behind fraud and corruption should not be turned into a game.

Now, they are planning to form Commissions to probe scams that had occurred at the SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka. It is true that there have been millions of rupees that had been robbed from both places. It was controlled before by a close relative of Rajapaksa. It was run akin to a family property. There is however no use in merely appointing Commissions to ward off the pressure exerted by opponents. The President should have the courage to institute legal action against not only those behind the scams of the Rajapaksa Regime but this Government as well."

Elsewhere, a gazette notification was published by the Ministry of Finance to lift the ban imposed on selling liquor to females and the time extensions on liquor shops.

"Now, these are decisions that are taken by Cabinet and after the relevant Ministries have been consulted. However, the President says at a political rally that he has now ordered both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to cancel the said notifications forthwith. The funniest thing here is that the President says that he had heard about the notifications only through the radio.

What we have to ask is how can a President, who only hears key decisions made by Government through the country's news media, govern a country effectively? Then, how could a decision taken by Cabinet, be cancelled during a rally? We as Sri Lankans ought to feel ashamed and humiliated that this country is governed by such a lame duck leader."




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