Police directed to seize state vehicles still being used by former ministers

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The police have been directed to seize state-owned vehicles used by former UPFA ministers.

Media Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke yesterday said that the government was taking action to regain vehicles as many former ministers continued to use them.

The post-Cabinet media briefing was also told that President Maithripala Sirisena had transferred 126 vehicles previously assigned to the Presidential Secretariat to various needy ministries.

Both Co-Cabinet Spokespersons Gayantha Karunatilleke and Dr Rajitha Senaratne declined to reveal the identities of those under investigation for retaining state property. Asked whether the culprits could be named at the next post-cabinet media briefing, Minister Karunatilleke said by then the wrongdoers would be known.

Minister Karunatilleke said that the government had recently called for a report regarding private lands taken over by the previous government, in some instances through the military. The minister mentioned the districts where the alleged takeover of lands had taken place and revealed the on-going efforts to identify those who had been affected. Responding to questions regarding the on-going investigations into the operations undertaken by the Avant Garde Maritime Services, Dr Senaratne insisted that the inquiry was on track. The minister rejected claims that the Attorney General had been under pressure from vested interests. He sidestepped a question regarding the credibility of the AG.

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