Probe on bribe to US Congressmen

The Government is to launch an investigation into claims that the former Government had collected funds through institutions based in the United States to pay some US Congressmen to back Sri Lanka on the human rights issue.

Janatha Viumukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned the Government in Parliament today over the claims.

20151131065036734_20Responding to this, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that, according to the documents in the hands of his Ministry, funds had been collected for the Congressmen but it was not clear if the money had been given to them or if they had taken the money and not done what was expected from them.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe later said that collecting money for US Congressmen is a violation of US laws.

The Prime Minister said that if institutions based in the United States had paid the Congressmen then under US law the Congressmen need to declare for what the money was accepted.

He said that he will instruct Foreign Minister Managal Samaraweera to launch an investigation into the allegations and the brief the United States Government if such violation of US law had taken place.

Dissanayake, meanwhile, said that it is good if the Government in Sri Lanka keeps changing every year because only then will the Government in power expose the deals of the Government which was in power the previous year.

The former Government had hired some top US firms to conduct propaganda campaigns in the US at a time when the US was raising its voice against Sri Lanka on the human rights issue.

However the new Government has cancelled those agreements as Sri Lanka and the US are now working together to address the human rights concerns. (Colombo Gazette)