FCID wanted me to say Gotabaya wanted gold for Stupa – Retired Customs officer | Daily News


 

FCID wanted me to say Gotabaya wanted gold for Stupa – Retired Customs officer

Retired Customs Additional Director General Tharaka Seneviratne, giving evidence before the Presidential Commission on Political Victimization, said FCID officials had forced him several times to confess that it was on the instructions of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa that the Customs was to provide eight kilos of gold to be enshrined at the Sanda Hiru Seya, Anuradhapura, being constructed for the fulfillment of a vow on winning the war.

Seneviratne said the police officials had made this request twice, once in 2016 and then in 2019 when he was in his sick bed, whereupon he was arrested. He knew that a Buddha Statue for the Stupa was being procured at the request of the Navy. He did not know the Defence Secretary personally.

He recalled that the Navy had seized 45 kilos of gold from a raid in the North. The Navy had requested that eight kilos from this be donated to the Stupa. However, due to administrative procedures this could not be done, but he had suggested that eight kilos could be given from previously confiscated gold on the basis of reimbursement.

He told the Commission that Police questioned him about Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s alleged involvement in 2016, when he categorically denied that Rajapaksa had made any such request. He repeated the same answer in 2019. However, when the latter announced his candidature for the Presidential Election, the officials arrested him (Seneviratne) on false charges while he was in hospital to tarnish the image of candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He later came to know that the gold had in fact been procured through the Port and the Customs had nothing to do with it.

The Commission is headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Upali Abeyratne with retired Court of Appeal Judge Chandra Jayatilake and former IGP Chandra Fernando as members.


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