SF wants Rajapaksa bros investigated, top LTTE  operative ‘Morris’ released

By Shamindra Ferdinando

UNP National List MP and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that Rajapaksa brothers, Mahinda, Gotabhaya and Basil should be thoroughly investigated on waste, corruption and irregularities during the last ten years of President Rajapaksa’s rule.

Democratic Party (DP) leader Fonseka alleged that the Rajapaksas had profited from entire range of projects carried out in the country.

Addressing the media at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI), Minister Fonseka described the Southern highway and Katunayake expressway projects as the most corrupt deals. The MP alleged that the Katunayake expressway had been much costlier than the costliest road in France.

Asked to explain why he had remained with the Rajapaksas at that time, MP Fonseka said that had he raised various contentious issues with them, the war against the LTTE couldn’t have been sustained.

The Field Marshal emphasised that he wouldn’t have done anything to jeopardise the war effort. Had there been a rift between him and the Rajapaksas, the LTTE would have survived, MP Fonseka said.

The DP leader accused the previous leadership of squandering public money, abusing political authority, causing irreparable damage to the national economy and exploiting triumph over terrorism for political gain.

Fonseka said what he called th January 2015 revolution had ousted the Rajapaksas and brought their dictatorial rule to an end.

Briefly explaining what he called controversial projects that had been carried out by the Rajapaksas, the DP leader called for investigations into the disappearance of USD 33 mn loan obtained from South Korea to build three incinerators in Colombo and its suburbs. MP Fonseka also called for an investigation into a Dubai-based Sri Lankan acquiring Dubai Marriott as well as the Steel Corporation at Aturugiriya. The former Army Chief claimed that the Dubai based man was a front for the Rajapaksas.

Field Marshal Fonseka questioned the then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s decision to establish Lanka Logistics and Technologies Pvt Limited to procure arms, ammunition and equipment required by the military as well as the acquisition of MiG 27s from Ukraine. Consequent to the setting up of Lanka Logistics and Technologies Pvt Limited, the price of some items went up sharply, MP Fonseka alleged, adding that a 130 mm artillery round recorded a staggering USD 400 increase. "All of a sudden cost of one 130 mm round went up to USD 650 from USD 250."

The former Army Chief demanded forensic audit of major projects undertaken by the Defence Ministry and that punitive action be taken against those responsible for misappropriation of public funds. The DP leader emphasised the need for Api Venuven Api project. Although the then government had collected Rs 4.5 bn from the public for the welfare of security forces, there was no proper auditing of the accounts, Field Marshal Fonseka said.

The former Army Chief reiterated the allegation that Basil Rajapaksa had paid USD 2 mn to the LTTE in the run-up to Nov. 2005 presidential polls to influence northerners to boycott the election. The Field Marshal challenged Basil Rajapaksa and former MP Tiran Alles to face the media.

Commending President Maithripala Sirisena for recently releasing an LTTE operative given a seven-year jail term for alleged involvement in the attempt on his life, the Field Marshal requested the President to pardon LTTEer ‘Morris’, who was in prison. The former Army Chief said Morris had brought the woman suicide cadre who made an abortive bid on his life on April 25, 2006 at the army headquarters. The Field Marshal said he had an opportunity to speak with Morris when he was brought to the High Court of Colombo some time back. The DP leader asserted that his gesture would help post-war national reconciliation moves.

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