UK offers to help probe financial frauds
From Shamindra Ferdinando in London
President Maithripala Sirisena has assured British Premier David Cameron that the Sri Lankan judiciary could be moved on the findings and recommendations made by the Maxwell Paranagama Presidential Commission inquiring into missing persons as well as accountability issues.
While asserting that the report could be made public in July, the President said that the now independent judiciary could be moved on the commission’ findings.
President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Cameron met at No 10, Downing Street on Tuesday afternoon.
Both the President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe want accountability issues handled by the Sri Lankan judiciary; they expect no international intervention.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama as head of a three-member team to investigate missing persons. Subsequently, the former president expanded the commission’s mandate to probe accountability issues while naming an international panel to advise the domestic inquiry.
Acknowledging that problems remained in spite of the conclusion of the military campaign over five years ago, the President briefly explained ongoing resettlement programme, release of lands as well as restoration of civilian administration.
The President said that his administration valued British support.
Premier Cameron, while congratulating the Sri Lankan on the latter’s electoral victory, reiterated UK’s commitment to assist the new administration.
PM Cameron also suggested that the UK could also help the new administration investigate financial frauds.
President arrived in London on March 7 on a three-day official visit.
A senior spokesperson for the Sri Lankan High Commission in the UK said that the visit attracted significant interest due to the Tamil Diaspora of Sri Lankan origin being a key factor at the forthcoming parliamentary election scheduled for May 7. President Sirisena and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met both the ruling Conservatives and the Labour Party.
The President received an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday noon at the conclusion of his visit.