Probe into swindled millions at Rupavahini

An attempt made to swindle Rs 70 million out of a total of Rs. 180 million provided by President Maithripala Sirisena to the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation to launch a reconciliation channel on behalf of the Tamil people has now come to light.

This matter and other alleged financial misdeeds running to tens of millions of rupees which occurred during the Rajapaksa era are now subject to an internal probe carried out in the Corporation under the direct supervision of the Corporation’s Director General Thusitha Melewwethanthri.

Severe deterioration of discipline had caused these misdeeds. Strict legal action will be taken against the culprits if they are proven, the Director General said.

The four main alleged misdeeds involves purchasing of character generators, a proposed satellite TV project, transmission equipment and Bar Code scanners.

Investigations revealed that the Corporation had spent Rs. 18 million in October 2014 to purchase five character generations. Due to their malfunctioning, millions of rupees had been spent to import spares, but the equipment had still been out of Commission and discarded.

Another Rs. 3.4 million had been released to an Italian agent to open a satellite telecast channel without a proper agreement and the project had not got off the ground.

Another Rs. 12 million had been issued to an institution in Italy to purchase two transmitters, but the equipment thus obtained are not operational.

The Corporation had also spent Rs. 9.5 million to purchase several Bar Code Scanner machines but the machines had been laid off as they are not functioning properly.

Machinery imported at a cost of several millions by the former administration to upgrade telecasts are still lying idle in their encasings without being put to use.

Members of the joint committee for the protection of the Rupavahini Corporation have said investigations into these alleged misdeeds were prevented in the past as a certain interested group within the Corporation prevented others from disclosing them.

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