Malik calls for CID probe

Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema has asked the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to start a full scale investigation into any Cabinet Minister who has allegedly received a fund of Rs.150 million to be credited to his or her bank account.

Samarawickrama responding to the media reports that Rs. 150 milion had been received to be credited to his bank account and the Central Bank had frozen the funds, yesterday urged the CID to investigate this matter at its earliest and take action against any Cabinet Minister if such funds have been received.

He said that he had already written to the DIG of the Criminal Investigation Department regarding this matter.

He called on the Speaker to take necessary steps to prevent Members of Parliament being insulted and defamed through irresponsible media reporting.

“If not, no decent person will want to enter Parliament,” the Minister said.

Making a Ministerial statement, he said there was a sinister social media and electronic media effort by certain parties to tarnish his reputation and discredit him.

“While I was in Germany about 10 days ago, I was made to understand that a Director of the Ceylon High Speed Railway Limited, a company who had sent a proposal to the Board of Investment (BOI) to produce and export high speed trains, had accused the State Minister and myself of requesting for a commission of US $ 25 million to have the project proposal approved. This is a totally false allegation. In fact, I have never met this party, nor have I spoken to them or even seen the colour of them,” he said.

However, he did not want to delve into details of the process through which the BOI and the Single Window Investment Approval Committee approves the investments proposals submitted to the BOI.

“The BOI officials have given a detailed description of how the proposals are evaluated and approved. At no stage do the ministers get involved in the approval process. However, I have requested for and received a report of this proposal from the BOI,” he said tabling the said report.

Minister Samarawickrama noted that last week the same media institutions had published reports that Rs.150 million had been received to be credited to his bank account and the Central Bank had frozen the funds.

“This is a totally false allegation. I have checked with the Central Bank and I am informed that no such funds had been received to be credited to any of the accounts of Cabinet Ministers,” he added.

However, the Minister said that he had written to the DIG and CID to investigate this matter at this earliest and take necessary action against any Cabinet Minister if such funds have been received.

Expressing his dissatisfaction over certain news reports he asked, “Is this the media freedom that we wanted? This is nothing but freedom of the wild ass,” the Minister said.

 

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