58 former Ministers in Bribery net

Police grills Shasheendra

The Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) yesterday interrogated former Chief Minister of the Uva Province, Shasheendra Rajapaksa.

If there was wrong-doing ‘Hold my cabinet responsible’

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that certain persons were accusing him of wrong-doing adding that “supposing they are right in their acc…

By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara

The opposition UPFA charged yesterday that 58 ministers of the previous government are facing bribery and corruption charges of which 90 per cent were initiated by anonymous letters. Challenging the Police Chief, the CID and the Director General of the Bribery Commission on allegations brought against him, former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said it would have been easy for the government if it opened a branch of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) in the Parliamentary complex itself.

He also offered to relinquish his seat in Parliament if allegations against him and his son are proved in Court.
Meanwhile, the government says it will look into the credibility of the allegation that MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage had deposited Rs73,795,000 in a bank account in his son’s name.

money300Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs, John Amaratunga said that he would look into the credibility of these allegations while responding to MP Aluthgamage who vehemently rejected the allegation.
MP Aluthgamage said the interrogation of his son by the Criminal Investigations Department was uncalled for as he was not involved in any way and that he had not opened an account in his son’s name in Singapore.
“You have been misled minister. I have not opened any bank account of such a nature. I opened an account at the Bank of Ceylon following all regulations for the purposes of my son’s higher education and there are records of this. Why did the authorities involve my son? It is an unethical move by the authorities” MP Aluthgamage said.
In response Minister Amaratunga said he had no personal vendetta against MP Aluthgamage and that the MP’s son was involved in the case as a result of the allegations against the MP.
However, MP Aluthgamage retorted saying that the minister had been fed with false information to mislead him.
“You have been given false information. There is no truth to these allegations, you are being misled. If you can find proof of a bank account with Rs 73,795,000 in Singapore I will vacate my position as a Member of Parliament. I’m prepared to do so because I know there is no such bank account. Are you willing to vacate your post as an MP if you are proven wrong?”
Minister Amarautunga said he would look into the credibility of the allegation to ascertain its legitimacy.
“Why should I vacate my post? I have no reason to do so. I did not bring these allegations. I am merely responding to criticism brought against me and the police force by the opposition. However, because you insist that these allegations are false I will look into the issue to determine the truth of the matter” the minister said.
The minister also said that MP John Seneviratne’s claim that MP Wimal Weerawansa’s daughter had been questioned by the police was false.
“I made inquiries of all the police divisions in the country and no one has questioned MP Weerawansa’s daughter. This is a false claim.”
Leader of the National Freedom Front, Wimal Weerawansa said that MP Seneviratne had mistaken MP Weerawansa’s wife being questioned as his daughter being questioned.
“I had told MP Seneviratne that my wife was questioned by the authorities. He had misunderstood what I said and thought it had been my daughter who was interrogated. So far my daughter has not been questioned by the authorities” MP Weerwansa said.