Sri Lanka: Yet Another Despicable Thief on the Run!

20th Minister Lakshman Kiriella convening a media meeting had said the tender for Japan’s Taisei Corporation was given with the approval of the cabinet.


( September 25, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) has directed the Auditor General to investigate frauds that have been committed in connection with the tender for the Central Expressway project immediately and make available the report.

COPE had asked for the report as several officials of Road Development Authority who were summoned by COPE had revealed certain conflicting information regarding the Central Expressway project.

On the 20th Minister Lakshman Kiriella convening a media meeting had said the tender for Japan’s Taisei Corporation was given with the approval of the cabinet.

This company had quoted Rs. 159 billion in its first and second tenders but they had brought it down to Rs.134.9 billion saving Rs.24 billion the Minister had said.

However, the Minister of Highways and Higher Education Lakshman Kiriella is making a drastic attempt to stop investigations COPE intends carrying out on this tender process and had informed COPE that he would not allow it to carry out the investigation.

As the Minister had said he would not allow the officials to participate in any inquiry by COPE the Speaker intervened to have a discussion between Chairman of COPE JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi, the subject Minister Lakshman Kiriella and the Auditor General. This was revealed in Parliament recently.

“Construction of the Central Highway project is being carried out at present. As such, I would not allow the Road Development Authority to be questioned by COPE,” Kiriella had said during the discussion.

“I act according to standing orders of the Parliament. As the Chairman of COPE I can investigate not only accounts of a state enterprise but its procedure as well,” Hanunneththi had said reminding that COPE carries out its investigation based on information in the annual report presented by the Auditor General.

However, Minister Kiriella had said he would not send his officials to be questioned.

Handunneththi had asked why the minister was afraid if he had not committed any fraud or corruption. He had said if there was wrong information the officials could correct them.

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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