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Stone removal leaves southern CM shocked

Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijelal de Silva has called for an immediate probe into an alleged fraudulent land purchase which cost the Southern Provincial Council millions of rupees.

He said that he was shocked to find that a sum of Rs. 59.2 million had been paid to remove stones from a plot of land demarcated for the construction of the Neluwa Hospital.

"This amount had been paid only for clearing the land of stones. Officials should have been more prudent when they planned and purchased that land. I am all for the construction of a new hospital. But the Council cannot squander money according to the whims and fancies of some officers," he told the monthly progressive review meeting of public servants in the province on Monday.

"We must find out who had recommended the building of a hospital on such a land in first place," he said.

A five-member committee had been appointed, he said, to investigate all aspects of the questionable land deal.

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