Mangala attacks govt. over corruptionSeptember 20, 2012, 10:51 pm
By Saman Indrajith
Colombo Stock Market has become a laundry where black money is converted into white, UNP Matara District MP Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday.
Participating in the debate on the adjournment motion on the midyear fiscal position policy, the Matara District MP said the corruption is prevalent in almost of all development projects being carried out by the government and large amounts of money running into billions of rupees are stockpiling in the hands of politicians. "These are black monies and they need to be laundered. The powerful politicians use the Colombo Stock Exchange for this purpose," he said.
Samaraweera said graft was spread all over the society and building and rehabilitating the road network had become the hunting grounds for those grafters in the garb of ministers. From the grassroots where village roads were concreted to reconstructing the road networks in the North and East, large sums of money had been spent and unaccounted for. "Apart from that there are commissions being taken by those with power to approve these projects."
He said that the 56-km-long rail track reconstructed from Palali to Kankesanthurai was estimated at US 245 million making it that every km costs four million US dollars. "The track laid from Omanthai to Palali of 93 km had cost US $ 185 million making the cost of one km US $ two million. These figures tell the story of graft in this country," he said.
"There are many other examples including the Mihin Lanka fraud, EPF and ETF swindle, corruption at Sri Lanka cricket, CPC, Colombo Stock Market manipulations etc etc," he said.
MP Samaraweera drawing examples from the recent history abroad said that many corrupt rulers, who amassed money for themselves, could not even live to see it as their people threw them out of the power. The best example was Libya. Deep rooted corruption in Libya under Gaddaffi and sons, a regime which was so a close friend of our incumbent government ended as people ousted them. "We like to remind of these examples and can expect the same here if political corruption continues for a few more years in Sri Lanka," he said.
A document tabled by Senior Minister of Human Resources D. E. W. Gunasekera, during his speech in the debate, said that Sri Lanka’s black economy amounts to 50 percent of its domestic economy. The document quoting an Australian research of 18 Asia Pacific nations, "ever since the advent of neo liberalism our black economy has grown fearlessly and freely. It amounts to about 50% of the domestic economy by now. This trend is alarming."
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