Sri Lanka: Opposition political party unveils alleged corruption, civilians feel economic agony
As the opposition political party of Sri Lanka has unveiled alleged corruption and fraud in the government, civilians express great anguish with an ongoing economic crisis.
The Voice Against Corruption special media briefing at the Foundation Institution, Colombo on May 3 exposed details of a large scale of alleged corruption and fraud in Sri Lanka.
The leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), an opposition political party of Sri Lanka, Anura Kumara Dissanayake spoke at the media briefing and referred to many files that he brought with him.
“If any international body of media institution investigates international fraud and corruption, it will indicate that several people from Sri Lanka are involved in these illicit transactions,” he said.
Jaliya Wickramasuriya is a relative of Mahinda Rajapakse, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
The final decision in Wickramasuriya’s case in the United States is to be delivered in May.
“Over US $ 6.2 million was allocated for the construction of the Sri Lankan embassy in the United States. He had stolen US$ 3.3 million, which is 55% of the total amount. He has confessed that he did this in US courts,” Dissanayake said.
Dissanayake continued saying, “You remember the Pandora papers that were released recently. It revealed that the family of Thirukumar Nadesan and Nirupama Rajapakse, relatives of the Rajapakse family own close to US$ 160 million.
Many properties of Basil Rajapaksa, former finance minister, and brother of President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse are under the name of Thirukumar Nadesan.
There was a famous deal called the Gin-Nilwala Deal. For this Sri Lankan rupees 4100 million (US$ 11,724) had been allocated, but not a single thing has been done.
JVP leader Dissanayake said that his party owned over 500 files on politicians, former ministry secretaries, and investigative officers involved in corrupt activities. Among them, there is Sajith Premadasa, the opposition leader, Namal Rajapakse, and Yoshitha Rajapakse, sons of the Prime Minister, and some other members of parliament.
Then Convenor of the Voice Against Corruption Wasantha Samarasinghe alleged former minister Namal Rajapaksa had received money from two Companies—‘NR Projects’, a Dutch company, and ‘Aspen Medical’, an Australian company through Nimal Perera who is connected to the construction of the Nuwara Eliya and Hambantota Hospitals. Rajapaksa has denied the allegation.
Samarasinghe said that fraud came to light during the investigations into a complaint they lodged over the Krrish Deal.
JVP leader Dissanayake said, “These files are only a very small portion of the evidence of corruption in this country. We have some more. We are cautious in exposing these frauds so as not to let the fraudsters understand what we know about their frauds.”
“Some of the issues in these files are already under investigation by several institutions including the bribery commission. Some of them are there in the Attorney General’s Department and investigative institutions without any progress being made. We decided to expose them so that people can understand why the country remains poor,” he said.
As the corruption scandal unfolds in the country, civilians express great economic distress.
RVA News talked to at least two civilians about the current state of life in Sri Lanka.
“Now, it is about to explode the prolonged exacerbated crisis. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)/ National People's Power (NPP) should tackle and manage the situation discreetly and judiciously to the total satisfaction of the common masses who have banked on them irrespective of their individual tenets, convictions, and other differences,” said Rohana Wijesekara.
According to him, “The JVP/NPP now has the full support, cooperation, patronage and blessings of the people. So, they have to live up to the earnest aspirations of the people. The whole country is watching how they are going to face that challenge.
Nilantha Weerasinghe, another civilian said, “Unfortunately, most of our people do not understand the reality on the ground level in Sri Lanka. The unraveling of country's economy has been swift and painful.
“Imports of everything from milk to fuel have increased, spawning dire food shortages and rolling power cuts. People have been forced to queue for hours daily to buy essentials. The doctors have warned of a crippling shortage of life-saving drugs in hospitals, and the government has suspended payments on the US $7 billion in foreign debts due this year alone.
“Some people still support corrupted government and politicians due to little favor (tender, government job, liquor, roofing sheet). Very soon, all the Sri Lankans will realize the reality in the country. It is so a pathetic situation,” he added. – With inputs by Hemantha Perera / RVA Sri Lanka
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