Minister Harin, JVP, demand immediate probe | Daily News


Loss of Rs 2 bn, irregularities, in Lotus Tower project

Minister Harin, JVP, demand immediate probe

JVP wants COPE to question officials:

Telecommunications, Digital Infrastructure facilities, Foreign Employment and Sports Minister Harin Fernando yesterday demanded an immediate investigation into the loss of Rs. 2 billion in connection with the construction of Lotus Tower.

Minister Fernando’s comments came in the wake of statement issued by the Presidential Media Division stating that there was no record of Rs. 2 billion paid as an initial deposit to a Chinese company that was supposed to have been involved in the project.

The statement said investigations carried out in 2015 had revealed that no information was found to be available on the ALIT Company which had received the deposit. Under instructions of the President this was informed to the Chinese government through the Sri Lankan mission in Beijing.

Minister Fernando told the Daily News that every citizen in the country was indebted for Rs.1000 due to the loans obtained by the then government for the construction of the Lotus Tower.

He said a comprehensive investigation should be conducted into this and those responsible for this scam should be punished irrespective of their status in society.

Meanwhile, JVP Parliamentarian and Opposition Member Vijitha Herath yesterday demanded that Telecommunication Regulatory Commission officials be brought soon before the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) to identify and penalise the culprits in the Rs. 2 billion payment made when the Lotus Tower was constructed.

He made this observation yesterday in Parliament joining the debate on the Shrama Vasana Fund (Amendment) Bill, Wages Boards (Amendment) Bill and five regulations under the Factories Ordinance.

Herath also noted that President Maithripala Sirisena had disclosed during the inauguration of the Tower that Rs.2 billion had been mislaid in the construction. He added that if it was committed when the construction was initiated in 2012, it was a heinous crime. He added that the President made this observation in the presence of several ambassadors including China’s. “However MP Gamini Lokuge speaking in Parliament has denied the President’s statement as incorrect,” MP Herath said. “With these two contradictory statements, an investigation should be initiated on this matter.”

He also said that the President took four years to reveal this matter. “The President could have initiated an inquiry earlier and punished the culprits,” MP Herath said. “Why did not he do so?”

MP Herath also said that despite this situation the President established a government along with the suspects for 51 days.

MP Thushara Indunil Amarasena addressing a press conference at Temple Trees yesterday morning urged President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Rs.2 billion Lotus Tower scam of 2012, revealed by the President at its opening on Monday.

“This Lotus Tower corruption case occurred in 2012. Now we have to pay for that sin as well. It was a tripartite pact for corruption.

This should be probed by a Presidential Commission,” Indunil said. He said this addressing the media at Temple trees yesterday.




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