Fraud, corruption and abuse of power:
Investigations deliberate attempts to suppress UPFA politicians -
Former Sports Minister and UPFA Kandy District Candidate Mahindananda
Aluthgamage said that despite the big hue and cry made by the government
to bring crooks to book as early as possible, the government over the
past six months has failed to find anybody guilty over the alleged
financial frauds and other charges levelled against some UPFA
In an interview with the Sunday Observer, the former Minister said
the ongoing investigations by the FCID, CID and Special Presidential
Commission of inquiry into large scale corruption and fraud are
deliberate attempts to suppress prominent UPFA politicians who raise
their voice against the UNP led Government.
If the UNP's agenda was to suppress the opposition and go for an
election, their plan has failed and has boomeranged on them.
The incumbent government is targeting sprats, not sharks who had
committed massive scale financial frauds, he said.
What is your response on the number of investigations conducted by the
CID, FCID and Special Presidential Commission of inquiry into large
scale corruption and fraud against UPFA politicians?
A: We have no objections
to any investigation. If any fraud or crime is committed by a
politician, he should be brought before the law. But it is unfair to
single out UPFA politicians who raise their voice against the UNP. If
any politician has committed any offense, definitely legal action should
be taken. Before taking action against the opposition, the government
should conduct an investigation on the controversial Central Bank Bond
issue, the biggest financial fraud in recent history.
Q: Despite a promise by the
government that crooks will be brought to book with immediate effect,
even after a lapse of over six months, no UPFA ex-parliamentarian has
been found guilty of financial corruption charges. Do you see this as a
political witch hunt by the UNP led government against their political
A: Certainly. This is a
political revenge by the government to silence the voice of the UPFA
politicians who are critical of their actions.
The government also introduced a fake 100 Day Program to mislead the
people. Actually, all these baseless allegations on financial frauds
were levelled against prominent UPFA politicians like me, Rohitha
Abeygunawardena and Wimal Weerawansa who were at the forefront of
bringing back former President Mahinda Rajapaksa into politics.
The UNP's agenda was to suppress the opposition and go for an
election, but their plan failed.
President Maithripala Sirisena in his recent address to the nation
said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is held responsible for
the Central Bank bond issue.
When the government commenced investigations on the financial frauds,
they told the people that they had all the evidence and would bring the
culprits to book soon.
At present, the people don't care about UNP's drama to realise their
narrow political objectives.
Q: Would the UPFA election campaign
suffer adversely due to these financial crimes charges?
A: Whatever charges
levelled against the UPFA, the people are well aware that those are mere
speculations by the government to get political mileage. The people
don't believe these absurd jokes and they know this is just another
political strategy of the UNP to grab power. Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe's intention was to suppress the main opposition UPFA and
come to power by giving various false pledges to the people. But finally
it has boomeranged on them.
They could not fulfill the pledges given under the 100 Day program.
At the end of more than 150 days, there is not even a single 'crook'caught
by the government.
Q: A few ex-UPFA Parliamentarians who
have been charged for financial and other irregularities were not given
nominations to contest the election. How would you look at this decision
taken by your party hierarchy?
A: It was also an absurd
decision. To cover up the UNP's blatant lie, a few UPFA candidates were
taken for a ride by rejecting their nominations.
Three of those UPFA candidates who were not given nominations have
not been found guilty before the law over the charges levelled against
them. This is entirely a political campaign launched by the UNP to cover
up their inadequacies.
Q: In a situation when the UPFA seeks
a fresh mandate under its manifesto "A guarantee for the future", do you
think these alleged corruption charges levelled against some ex-UPFA
parliamentarians would pave the way to change the mindset of the voters?
A: The people are waiting
until August 17 to rectify the error they made on January 8 because the
UNP took over the government by hoodwinking the people. Apart from
reducing the fuel prices, what are the other key promises fulfilled
under the 100 Day program? None of those allegations on frauds have been
proved before the law.
Therefore, the people have realised that the UNP was engaged in a
futile attempt to mislead them. The UNP is trying their level best to
make Ranil Wickremesinghe the Prime Minister by implementing the agenda
of the Western powers. The UNP under the pretext of President
Maithripala Sirisena brought Ranil Wickremesinghe into the scene.
Q: Like a few other UPFA politicians,
you were also taken before the FCID and questioned. Do you see this as
an attempt by the UNP to take political revenge from you?
A: Definitely. I was taken before the
FCID over a decision taken as former Sports Minister to distribute some
carrom boards. If the Sports Minister cannot distribute carrom
boards, who else can? The charge levelled against me is for importing
some sports equipment and distributing them. Isn't this a task entrusted
upon the Sports Minister? Actually, those sports equipment were
imported, paid for and distributed by the CWE. But I was taken to the
FCID and questioned. Why did they question me? This is political revenge
to target their political opponents.
Q: If the UPFA comes to power will it
investigate these financial corruption and other serious charges?
A: We would never resort
to this kind of third grade acts to play to the gallery. Once we come to
power, a special Presidential Commission will be appointed to look into
the controversial Treasury Bond issue.
Going behind sprats without catching the sharks is of no use. Prime
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Highways and Investment Promotion
Minister Kabir Hashim and UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrama are also
held responsible for the Central Bank Bond scam which is a massive
financial fraud. During the past six months, a lot of other financial
irregularities have also been taken place within the Finance Ministry.
Q: Do you think the government levels
these financial frauds and other charges against UPFA politicians as
they are not in a position to win the forthcoming General Election?
A: Definitely. The UNP
knows they are not in a position to win as Ranil Wickremesinghe is an
unmarketable product. That is why the UNP extended their support to
field Maithripala Sirisena as the Common Presidential Candidate and
brought forth Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister.
They introduced a 100 Days Program with various false pledges and
systematically shifted the President's executive powers to Premier
Their intention was to form a government within three months and
brand the opposition MPs as crooks. Finally their 100 days were extended
to 150 days and the UNP became a laughing stock among the people.
Q: The UPFA which is critical of the
legality of the FCID alleges that it was set up to launch a political
witch-hunt against the political opponents. Is there any truth in this?
A: Certainly. The FCID
functions on the instructions of Prime Minister. The FCID is the second
Batalanda torture chamber set up by Ranil Wickremesinghe. He set up the
first Batalanda torture chamber to kill youth during the 1988-1989
The FCID is the second Batalanda torture chamber commenced to kill
SLFPers. Those who are against Wickremesinghe are brought before the
FCID and various cases are filed against them.
When there is an accepted rule of law, judiciary, Police, CID and
Bribery Commission in the country, what is the purpose of setting up yet
another body named FCID to investigate financial frauds. If we win the
election, we would never take revenge from our political opponents as
committed by the UNP.
Legal action will be taken against those who have resorted to
financial and other frauds. We don't need the FCID and we would act in
accordance with the existing law in the country.