UNP calls for high level probe

Fraud in supply of school uniforms?


By Zacki Jabbar

The UNP yesterday called for a high level probe into, what it alleged was, a fraud, committed by the Education Services Minister Duminda Dissanayake and Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, in the supply of school uniforms.

Badulla District UNP MP Harin Fernando told a news conference in Colombo that school uniforms, which could have been supplied at a total cost of Rs.1.3 billion, had been purchased at Rs.2 billion from local suppliers.

A meter of cloth, which could have been imported at Rs. 120 had been obtained locally at Rs. 164, resulting in the total cost zooming to Rs. 2 billion, he charged adding that the Bribery and Corruption Commission would be petitioned.

Crimes committed in the name of encouraging the apparel industry was unacceptable. It was such waste of public funds that led to regular tax hikes resulting in the cost of living skyrocketing to unprecedented levels, the MP pointed out.

He said that decentralisation, which was an essential component of democracy, had become a joke, with the Rajapaksa brothers being allocated 52 percent of the budget.

To make matters worse, as the year progressed, funds would be transferred from one Ministry to another without Parliamentary approval, thereby making a mockery of the legislature, Fernando observed.

The MP noted that though Sri Lanka was officially labelled as a democracy, it was a "one family show" with the other Ministers being also ran’s.

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