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UNP MP calls for Presidential Commission to probe alleged MR kickbacks

UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna said yesterday a Presidential Commission should be appointed to probe whether former President Mahinda Rajapaksa received US$7.6 million from China Harbour company through the Standard Chartered Bank for his election campaign as alleged by an article in the New York Times.

"We have a suspicion that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa started the Hambantota Harbour project to receive alleged kick backs." MP Rajakaruna said.

"There is also a suspicion that there could have an alleged attempt to sell the port on the basis that it is unprofitable," he said .

We are still paying this debt.

The truth should be revealed to the public through the proper investigation,” he said.

Addressing a media briefing at the UNP Headquarters 'Sirikotha' yesterday, the MP said the article has revealed that around US$3.7 million was distributed by way of cheques: US$678,000 to allegedly print campaign T-shirts and other promotional material and US $297,000 to buy supporters gifts, including women’s saris with 10 days to go before polls opened. "According to our knowledge, former President Rajapaksa and his family members distributed T-shirts, mugs, clocks and saris during his Presidential campaign. We should know whether these allegations are false or true,’ Rajakaruna added.