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National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva and Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara at yesterday’s media briefing at Sirikotha. Picture by Siripala Halwala

Eighty seven files relating to mega scale fraud and corruption:

Legal advice sought on completion of FCID, CID probes :

‘AG’s Dept. is an independent body now’ :

National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva urged the Attorney General to expidite legal action relating to 87 files, which have been sent to the Attorney General’s Department.

He said that 87 files relating to various mega scale frauds and corruptions have been forwarded to Attorney General’s Department to seek legal advice after completing the investigations by various institutions such as FCID, CID and so on, but the Department has failed to take action on these files yet.

But it can be observed that there is a delay in taking legal action with regard to these files by the Attorney General’s Department.

Deputy Minister De Silva and Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara were speaking at a media briefing at Sirikotha yesterday. “The lethargic attitude of the Attorney General’s Department is questionable. With the investigations carried out by the Attorney General’s Department into Treasury Bond issue, it can be noticed that the Department can work efficiently.

Deputy Minister De Silva said that certain UNP members have pointed out this situation to the Prime Minister and Justice Minister and are looking forward to a favourable response.

He said that unlike the former regime, the Attorney General Department is an independent body now under the Justice Ministry.

“The Attorney General Department was under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his regime,” he said. “The resignation of Ravi Karunanayake from his portfolio resulted in the beginning of a new political culture, which the country never experienced during the last regime,” Deputy Minister de Silva said.

 He said under the Good Governance government this is the beginning of a new political culture. Besides, it symbolises the stance of the UNP.

The Deputy Minister added that no minister had resigned or an investigation carried out into a number of mega scale frauds and corruptions that had allegedly taken place during the regime of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. During the last regime, billions of rupees in public funds were misused.

“We had been raising our voice against various frauds and monetary malpractices, murders such as the Hedging Agreement, Central Bank frauds, underhand agreements,share market frauds, Greek Bond issue, Hambantota Commonwealth Games, frauds of airports and harbours etc.

He said that Employee Trust Fund (ETF) could not be summoned before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee for years.

Unlike that period, the Attorney General’s Department is conducting investigations into allegations relating to Government Ministers.

Minister de Silva said that the Supreme Court decided that a former Finance Ministry Secretary was not suitable for holding any position in government. But, he was reinstated into service by the previous regime.

When questioned about Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakhe’s statement regarding the Hambantota Port Agreement, the Deputy Minister said that no one has the ethical right to criticise the collective decision taken at the Cabinet meeting.