Avant Garde was no revenue spinner for Sri Lanka -Champika
Unless closely monitored, ongoing malpractices within the private
maritime security providing companies can pose a serious threat to the
very existence of the country, Megapolis and Western Development
Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
"We will not allow these malpractices to continue and promise to
ensure that culprits are brought to book and dealt with according to the
country's law. Otherwise, this problem will create serious threats to
the very existence of the country," Minister Ranawaka remarked during an
interview with the Sunday observer.
The general understanding of the Avant Garde Security Services
Company, depicting that it is a highly profitable, foreign currency
magnet, is a total lie, he said.
Ranawaka said the company was still nit is formative years and with
the passage of time, it would have been possible to make significant
profits."The monopoly in the trade was established with the setting up
of Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited (RALL) by the previous government," he
"Several American companies visited the country in 2009, to handle
the emerging piracy problem, particularly the Somalian piracy issue
affecting sea routes around Sri Lanka.
Their effort was to work in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Navy,
specially for the protection of merchant vessels sailing close to India
and the Maldives," he explained.
"Because of the flourishing nature of the business that it earned 80
- 200 million US$ per month in 2012, some people tried to exploit that
situation. The first step was to introducing RALL, a company under the
Ministry of Defence, to create a monopoly," he said. According to the
minister, the first blunder, after appointing Avant Garde as the sole
representative of RALL, was the issuing of over 3400 automatic weapons
to RALL without proper permits.
"I challenge all these so called legal luminaries to produce the
permits issued to Avant Garde according to the applicable laws.
They do not exist in reality. There was blanket approval,' he
When queried about allegations made by Chairman, Avant Garde Security
Services, Nissanka Senadhipathi, about alleged bribe taking attempts by
Minister Ranawaka and Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Arjuna Ranatunga
from Avant Garde, Ranawaka demanded that Senadhipathi disclose his
purported evidence without taking cover under a purported 'medical