by Ashanthi Warunasuriya
- Questions arise as to where funds and donations have gone
- Mrs Anoma Fonseka has not responded to the many attempts to be contacted
- The main reason for this could be lack of response to justify her conduct, RSA source claim
Three Criminal Investigation Department (CID) agents have been reportedly stationed at the Ranaviru Services Authority in order to report on public officials and whistle-blowers leaking information to media and anti-corruption activists, The Sunday Leader learns.
The agents have been given the task of uncovering the sources who had leaked the documents revealing fraudulent activities to The Sunday Leader which were published recently. The matter has been discussed several times at the Ranawiru Services Authority and the CID officers have also been instructed to question the journalists as well, sources say.
Even though we had attempted to contact Mrs Anoma Fonseka several times to clarify the matter, she did not respond to any of them. The main reason for this should be the lack of response to justify her conduct, a source at RSA opined.
Mrs Fonseka Left Speechless
Although she did not respond to us, in a recently held meeting with the war veterans, she has given them a fine answer. Recently, Mrs Fonseka has organized a meeting of war veterans associations who had sacrificed their lives and limbs in battle. At the meeting, several representatives of these associations queried Mrs Fonseka as to the truth behind the news article The Sunday Leader had published about her use of super luxury vehicles. As we had revealed, the monthly instalment of her vehicle alone is Rs.250,000, which has to be paid for 5 years. Even a parliamentarian is allowed to spend a maximum of Rs 160,000 for a vehicle.
Accordingly, the representatives have questioned the Ranawiru Services Authority Chairperson as to how would she expect to pay this massive amount when four more vehicles have been hired at Rs.190,000. But in response, she has reportedly said that all the funds have been allocated by the Finance Ministry. She has also said that she would find out who had given out this information.
At the meeting, the war veterans have posed several other questions to her as well. However she failed to provide any answers to many of these questions. In 2014 Rs 40 million had been allocated to provide three-wheelers to several of these war veterans. Although the Ranawiru Services Authority had decided to give away these three-wheelers in 2015, so far not a single tree wheeler had been donated, The Sunday Leader learns.
When queried by the war veterans, Mrs Fonseka has said that she was unaware about anything.
“She was even unaware of the amount of money that has been allocated for the welfare of war veterans for the year 2015 and 2016,” one war veteran told The Sunday Leader.
Computers Rendered Useless
In recent times there were computer training courses for war veterans that were held in divisional levels. But the new administration under Anoma Fonseka has halted that program. At present, most of the computers have become useless due to disuse.
Even after witnessing this waste of money, Mrs Fonseka had decided to create a computer course centre for each district. But still that too has not become a reality due to the lack of a proper procedure. There are many who have still not received their 3rd and 4th instalments for housing loans for war veterans.
Accordingly the total value of these misdeeds exceeds Rs.50 Million. But unfortunately, the chair of the Ranawiru Services Authority has been unaware of any of these matters and she has said that she would look into it.
Apart from that the representatives of these associations have also complained that the scholarships that have been set up for the children of war veterans are also not being given in an orderly fashion. Even though Anoma Fonseka claims that she had not misused any funds from the Ranawiru Services Authority for elections, she has been accused of spending the money that had been allocated for the welfare of war veterans indirectly in the election in Gampaha.
In addition they have accused that the Ranaviru families in Gampaha had been used for election works. Justifying the skipping of 2017 election to appoint new office bearers, she has said that there is no use in holding such an election, since the previous office bearers had not done anything. At present, Rs. 525 Billion have been allocated for the North and Eastern provinces. It has been given under an interest rate of 4% and it is given to the families of deceased or disabled civilians. When questioned as to why such a scheme is not implemented for war veterans. For that too she has become speechless. When asked as to how the war veterans would be taken care of after the age 55, she has said that requests have been made to give them salaries. At the meeting, the war veterans have also complained that they are not getting adequate amounts of artificial limbs.
On January 28 2017, she went to Batticaloa to donate bags. Although 500 bags had been taken to the event, only 37 bags have been given to war veterans. She has not given an explanation for the missing bags. During the three month vacation she had in 2016, she had said that her vehicle was parked at the Defence Ministry.
But during that time Rs.735,000 has been paid for fuel. However, she has denied the allegation during the meeting. However, the representatives have requested for a meeting with the President to discuss the matter further. Since there is one chairman for the Ranawiru Services Authority she has to answer these questions.
Meanwhile sources informed that the CID has visited the residence of the officer who had posed these questions and have questioned him about his organization.
“Unfortunately, it has become apparent that the Ranawiru Services Authority has begun a witch hunt. Many have accused that the suppression of those who pose questions has been going on for quite some time. It seems that the Yahapalana government has also started to take the same path. However, we are vigilant as to what is going on. Even though the government claims that investigations are going on, nothing has been achieved so far. There is no use of silencing the media as many more would come to join the cause,” a source told The Sunday Leader.