Misappropriating public funds : Former President hiding behind press releases - UNP

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should have accepted in court to having given the order to distribute ‘Sil cloth’ during the previous Presidential election campaign and not by issuing a press release, MP Nalin Bandara said.

Bandara addressing the media yesterday at the Information Department said former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had issued a press release accepting responsibility over distribution of “sil cloth” and also trying to justify the use of public funds.

He said that the former President should have done it before his Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, and former Telecom Regulatory Commission Chairman Anusha Pelpita, were found guilty.

“The former President could have easily saved those public servants but he never did. He never appeared for any related cases in courts. But he had issued a press release that he is responsible for it,” he said.

MP Bandara said some Buddhist monks are trying to protect the former President by saying that Weerathunga and Pelpita were arrested for distributing Sil cloth.

“Some politicians are using Buddhism to cover up their fraud and corruption. I request the Maha Sangha to make a decision to control such incidents,” he said.

MP S.M. Marikkar said Weerathunga and Pelpita were not arrested for distributing “Sil cloth” but for misappropriating public funds and for violating election laws.

“Provincial council elections are coming therefore the former President is trying to create a picture among public that they were arrested for distributing “sil cloth”. he said.

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