CABINET SHUTS DOWN THE ‘FRAUD’ COMMITTEE

CABINET SHUTS DOWN THE ‘FRAUD’ COMMITTEE

By Denagama Dammika Ranaweera-2017-07-12

The Cabinet of Ministers yesterday decided to close down the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat. At the meeting, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presented to the Cabinet a summary of the activities carried out to date by the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat that was set up after the Presidential Election in January 2015 on a recommendation to the Cabinet by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe himself.

It was intended to be a high-powered committee that met weekly to review progress in anti-corruption probes.

Yesterday’s decision comes in the wake of harsh criticism by President Maithripala Sirisena of the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat at last week’s Cabinet meeting. Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne then told journalists that the Cabinet will discuss the matter further at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

He added that the Secretariat was only investigating minor fraud allegations and that very many SLFP MPs feel that it is deliberately targeting its members over trivial matters. “Although the monthly expenditure for the upkeep of the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat is Rs 12 million, it only has six investigators and one consultant investigator but has five directors and five consultants.

We promised the people that we will punish financial criminals but we have done nothing. People are losing faith,” he said.
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