UPFA owes Rupavahini Rs.42 mn for election ads – UNPFebruary 21, 2011, 9:41 pm
by Zacki Jabbar
The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises has revealed that the ruling UPFA owes the Rupavahini Corporation Rs.42 million for advertisements it had placed during the Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council Elections, held between 2004 and 2010.
Kandy District UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference in Colombo yesterday, that the COPE report which had been submitted to parliament five to six years late in the case of the Presidential and Parliamentary Polls respectively, was a glaring revelation of the extent to which the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had abused State resources to win polls. "According to the COPE report, the ruling UPFA has defaulted payment of Rs.42 million for election propaganda it had placed with the Rupavahini Corporation during the Parliamentary, Presidential and Provincial Council Elections, held between 2004 and 2006."
The abuse of the State media, he said, was in addition to the illegal use of State property, vehicles and public servants including certain members of the police and armed forces in the UPFA’s polls campaigns.
The then Chairman and Directors of Rupavahini should be held personally liable for dereliction of duty and offences against the State, Kiriella said.
He alleged that the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake was "in league" with the Rajapaksa regime.
Dissanayake kept issuing letters and media statements warning the ruling UPFA not to abuse State resources, but had done nothing to enforce his directives. He also talked about the need to conduct free and fair elections, but turned a blind eye when government goon squads obtained an unfair advantage by resorting to intimidation and violence against Opposition party members, Kiriella said.
He said that during the last Western Provincial Council Election the names of 125,000 voters had been duplicated and he had brought it to the notice of Dissanayake, however no remedial action was taken.
Certain members of political parties, Kirella said, were in the habit of meeting the Elections Commissioner and also posing for the media, but do not take up the issues that really matter.
Thousands of cases are pending before the Human Rights Commission, but none of them are being investigated, because the Rajapaksa regime does not want to, he said.
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