By Shamindra Ferdinando-May 19, 2017, 10:39 pm
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has been weakened to such an extent that the outfit is now useless, the Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) says.
Advisor to the ACF Rajith Tennakoon addressing the media at ACF office at Welikadawatte, Rajagiriya, on Thursday asserted that the situation had deteriorated following the resignation of Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe in Oct last year.
Wickramasinghe quit as the CIABOC DG close on the heels of a public statement President Maithripala Sirisena made, denouncing the outfit.
Wickremasinghe assumed duties as the new Director General of CIABOC on Feb 12, 2015.
Tennakoon said they, too, had accused Wickremasinghe of failing to fulfil her obligations but since her, the CIABOC had become what it used to be during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency. “The CIABOC is just a name board today. We are ashamed of yahapalana rulers’ failure to take meaningful measures to tackle corruption.”
Ven. Ulapone Sumangala, attorney-at-law Chrishmal Warnasuriya, former Director General Administration, Parliament Lacille de Silva and former President of the Ceylon Bank Employees Union Rusiripala Tennakoon endorsed Tennakoon’s call to establish special court to hear corruption cases as promised over two years back.
Except Rusiripala, others campaigned for the change of government at January 2015 presidential polls.
Tennakoon urged President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to establish a special court without further delay.
He blamed the government for not extending the tenure of Secretary to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources, and Privileges (PRECIFAC) Lacille de Silva.
Alleging that de Silva’s removal in March 2016 had undermined the PRECIFAC, Tennakkon said they were not satisfied with the status of investigations undertaken by that outfit. “Today, PRECIFAC, too, is just a name board. We are really disappointed and embarrassed.”
Alleging that the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat, functioning under the Prime Minister’s Office, was being starved of resources, Tennakoon said that outfit would also end up being a mere name board before long.
The ACF Advisor flayed the government for not setting up a special court to hear corruption cases though Cabinet approval obtained over two years ago. The civil society activist said that the judiciary had failed to vigorously prosecute corruption cases while the Attorney General Department, too, was holding up investigations.
None of those responsible for the Central Bank bond scam had yet to be punished, Tennakoon said, noting that CBSL officials had revealed sensitive documents, hidden audit inquiries and the one who had facilitated the bond scam had stayed put.
Calling the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Sri Lanka’s most corrupt ministry, Tennakoon alleged its Secretary Suren Batagoda was expected to receive a promotion soon.
Shocking revelations made at the Presidential Commission probing the bond scams underscored the pathetic state of affairs. It would be important to keep in mind that the Commission was still inquiring into the bond scam perpetrated on Feb. 27, 2015 and second bond racket in March 2016 remains to be investigated.
Tennakoon said those who had switched allegiance to President Maithripala Sirisena after serving the former President were enjoying life today. They had simply avoided investigations by joining yahapalana government, he alleged.