Dubious Italian instigator making malicious charges against me - State Minister

State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said he made a fresh complaint on Thursday (18) at Police headquarters against the instigator who levelled bribery allegations against him recently. Senasinghe said the same person also happened to have made a death threat against about an year ago.

It was also revealed that the same person has also made a death threat against Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara during the same period.

Senasinghe also said that he is requesting the Financial Crimes Investigation Division, the Criminal Investigations Department and the IGP to inquire into these malicious charges levelled against him. Senasinghe said he hopes to propose reinstating the law of criminal defamation back, in Parliament soon.

Minister Harin Fernando said they will request Interpol to launch an investigation into the instigator Anton Deshapriya, who is in Italy. Fernando said they will write to the Italian Embassy in Sri Lanka to inquire into the said person and also requested the Foreign Ministry to take action against him through Interpol.

At a press brief held at Sirikotha, UNP Headquarters yesterday, the two ministers together with Law and Order Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara Jayamaha and UNP backbencher MP Heshan Vithana vehemently denied the allegation that State Minister Senasinghe had requested bribes from an investor for the project.

State Minister Senasinghe speaking said the person had aimed malicious charges against him, pointed out that the instigator and his family had fled the country due to heavy indebtedness. “This Anton Deshapriya, his mother and his wife are all scammers.They all have taken loans from People’s Bank and the Bank of Ceylon and haven’t paid them. This is public money, we are talking about. How can such scammers level bribery allegations against me? This very same person contacted me over the phone about a year ago and threatened me with life. He spoke in a very abusive manner. I even made a complaint at the Mirihana police in reference to this phone call I received. Now this very same person comes and alleges that I asked for a bribe to bring in Rs. 800 bn worth investment into the country. How can a person like this bring in such a gigantic investment? If this man can bring in 1% of the Rs. 800 bn investment that he was speaking about, I will resign and go home,” Senasinghe said.

Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara, on the same note, said that the allegations against State Minister Senasinghe are the doings of “a well-organized gang who wants to defame the government.” He also said that nobody can affect the government by spreading creative allegations as these.

Minister Harin Fernando said that it is suspicious that the allegations surface in a time when a Joint Opposition MP had travelled to Italy. “Initially we didn’t want to make a fuss about these allegations because we didn’t want to make these persons well-known characters in the country. But there comes a point where we have to defend ourselves. By the end of this month, all the three special high courts will be up and running. The persons who are frightened by these developments are trying to unstable the government.” Minister Fernando pointed out. MP Heshan Vithanage said there is a well-designed agenda to defame young UNP politicians who were a major part of toppling the previous regime. “This is a project that targets young politicians like Senasinghe, Fernando and Bandara who contributed to change the former regime.These politicians come from well to do business families. They don’t want to earn money using politics. The Rajapaksa-gang is frightened by the new Special High Courts. They even criticise their own MPs like Kumara Welgama for speaking the truth,” MP Heshan Vithana said.

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