Rajapkasa defends Weeratunge, Pelpita

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa defending his former Secretary Lalith Weeratunge and former TRC Director General, Anusha Pelpita said they have been punished for carrying out lawful instructions issued to them by him as President.

Rajapaksa in a press release issued yesterday, was of the view that the public service was expected to “work in good faith to achieve the policy objectives of the government”. Therefore, public officials who “follow instructions issued to them by the President and Cabinet should be protected if there are no serious allegations of corruption against them”.

Weeratunga and Pelpita have been sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment for having distributed ‘Sil Cloth’ amounting to Rs 600 million at the last Presidential elections. They had not only violated elections laws but also used state resources to do so.

Since the delivery of the verdict, Rajapaksa has come forward to take responsibility for the act and defend their actions, “From my point of view, they only carried out legitimate instructions issued to them by the President of the country. The verbal instructions given by me in this regard have been recorded in the form of minutes placed by Weeratunga on correspondence with officials of the Presidential Secretariat.

On March 20,2014, Weeratunga wrote a minute to the Senior Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat outlining eight projects that I had ordered funded through the President’s Special Development Fund during the year 2014,” he stated in his release.

 

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