Vajira speaks out on Palpita affair | Daily News

Vajira speaks out on Palpita affair

Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena rejected allegations by certain media institutions which claimed that Anusha Palpita was a close associate of his and that he [the minister] was trying to protect him through this appointment. “During the time of floods, we requested for officials from the Public Administration and Management Ministry since most of our employees in flood affected areas didn’t report for work.

As a result, certain officers from the pool of the Public Administration and Management Ministry were assigned for duties and Anusha Palpita was one of them,” Abeywardena said addressing a media briefing at the Home Affairs Ministry yesterday.

“The Home Affairs Ministry and the Public Administration and Management Ministry are located in the same building. Therefore, Palpita should have come to me seeking benefits and concessions,when I was appointed a minister on August 17. If not, he had enough time to derive favours from me during the past 10 months. But never did I meet him nor did I grant any kind of appointment to him. It is not related to my subject,” he said.

Abeywardena said although he knew many government servants, he had not known Palpita before this incident took place adding that he had not met him earlier nor had he spoken with him.

The minister added that government appointments are done through the Public Services Commission and he as the minister had not received any appointment letter. Abeywardena said that he and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe fought against the dictatorial and corrupt rule of the Rajapaksas for 20 years even when they were labeled as “traitors”.

However, the parties who called them so had later accepted their ideology and have stood with them, he added.

“It is sad to see the same set of people getting together to criticize me while calling me as a ‘ghost of Rajapaksa’,” the minister said.

The minister while thanking the media and the civil society organisations for their concerns shown on this incident however requested the media not to mislead the public by carrying false news.

“The civil society organisations played a major role in the January 8 revolution. However certain news items have misled them as well,” he said.

Palpita was assigned duties in the Home Affairs Ministry while facing charges along with former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga for allegedly misappropriating over Rs. 600 million for the distribution of Sil Redi among Buddhists in expectation of their votes for the victory of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election.


 

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