27 July, 2017

Amunugama Comes To Dinesh’s Rescue, Fires FCID For Lethargy

Minister Sarath Amunugama came to Joint Opposition Leader Dinesh Gunawardena’s rescue this week, when he came to his defence and fired out against the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) for soft peddling cases against big time culprits, and instead trying to take on politicians with minor accusations.

Dr. Amunugama

During the weekly cabinet meeting, Amunugama who is the Minister of Special Assignments said he opposed any investigation against Gunawardena, on grounds that he was a respected politician known for his integrity. Amunugama had also criticized the FCID for questioning Gunawardena, on some financial transactions that took place at the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, when he was the subject minister during the government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Amunugama had pointed out that if there was a discrepancy in financial transactions at the water board, and then it was not the ex-subject minister who should be questioned but instead the FCID should have questioned the officials at the water board in charge of the financial transaction.

Amunugama had expressed his disgust in the manner in which the FCID has been conducting itself, by its sluggish attitude in probing big wig criminals with far more serious offences, but instead was trying to make life difficult for others, such as Gunawardena, with very minor accusations against multi billion rupee frauds committed by some other.

Many probes commenced by the FCID in 2015 continue to be in limbo, with no action being taken against culprits despite evidence of serious financial misconduct by top politicians and even bureaucrats during the previous regime. However in May, the FCID accused the Attorney General of adopting a sluggish attitude in directing the division on how to proceed with certain vital cases concerning former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his associates.

According to highly placed sources closely connected to the FCID, apart from coming under pressure from powerful quarters, the FCID is also compelled to ‘sit and wait’ because despite referring certain cases to the AG, they were yet to receive instructions on how to proceed. Chief among these cases is the investigation into the purchase of the Mariott Hotel in Dubai by Nandana Lokuwithana, a close associate of Rajapaksa’s. “Due to the Attorney General’s delay, even the FCID is unable to take any action,” sources said. In recent months, Lokuwithana has become a close associate of a top minister in the Maithripala Sirisena – Ranil Wickremesinghe government. “This association can also be one reason why no action is being taken against him,” a source told the Colombo Telegraph in May.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    4

    It’s time for a complete clean up of the cabinet. A good start will be to make Sarath Fonseca, a real man of real action to be made PM.

    • 6
      0

      Politics is high-stakes in Sri Lanka. You never know which snake is under which grass. If your guess is believable, tell me how the MS/RW you elected to clean up the mess is a total flop.

  • 2
    0

    “….the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) for soft peddling cases against big time culprits, and instead trying to take on politicians with minor accusations……”

    True, Most of the prisoners in jail are for petty crimes and when big time culprits and mostly powerful politicians are walking free there is no place for even small single murderers such as Swiss Kumar to be in jail and they all must be set free.

    Like Amunagama said police must not be concerned with house breaks, robberies and allow such robbers to walk free, until big crime politician are caught. This will give a small break for poor people to rob small scale.

  • 8
    0

    In the above clean up Sarrij has mentioned, there should be no place for Wijedasa Rajapakse anywhere near the cabinet.

    In a softish way, he is simply disgusting.

  • 4
    0

    Whichever side comes to power they come with lots of promises but end up same or worse than the previous. MY3 came and to hold power onto the party he needed the support of some of the corrupt. They had become the Trojan horses of the biggest corrupt of all time. Now they are bidding time to topple the govt. and bidding for the highest money.
    Time and again people of immense power in the land come out saying they know this and that but never reveal the truth for the sake of the country. They keep the truth close to their chest to keep their power to themselves. A good example is recently Minister Captain Cool said something about the World cup. So this is an important truth about the country losing the final being hidden by a minister. Why no action against him taken to reveal the truth? Similar stories been told by MR, Ranil & MY3. If they are the so called leaders of this country why nothing being disclosed.
    Even there is no noise from the wider populace to make them reveal the truth. Till that happens nothing would work in this country. The corrupt will go smiling to their banks wherever they are.
    Ranajan Ramanayake & Sujeewa Senasinghe and some others have made noises but to no avail. The people of the country especially free media need to give these politicians a boost to operate without fear. Then a force will emerge to make a difference in the country. Till then we will have to live in a dream land.

  • 13
    0

    Denesh was corrupt and made a lot of money when he was in charge of the WSDB. His former Coordinating Secretary who was the go between should be grilled by the FCID.
    Amunugama too made a lot of money when he was in charge of the BOI.This is a case of the Pot calling the Kettle black and both these crooks who are now pretending to be saints were shielded by MR!!!

  • 5
    0

    How ethical is it for a “senior minister” to intimidate and bully the FCID into letting someone off the hook because he thinks the man is clean ? Shameless behaviour by a so called “educated” man .

  • 6
    0

    what about the criminal justice bill which sarath wanted re introduced to expedite justice
    he seems to have forgotten about it

  • 4
    0

    ”…… opposed any investigation against Gunawardena, on grounds that he was a respected politician known for his integrity”

    Dr Amunugama, you are supposed to be an educated man but when you imply that minor crime should be overlooked in favor of major crimes, I wonder about your intellect because a crime is a crime, big or small, but particularly when a VIP public servant, such as a Minister, is accused of what ever crime, it is a matter of importance to restore public faith. In fact, a true public servant would welcome an investigation to clear his or her name.

    At least you accept the wheels of justice is ‘sluggish’, so as a Minister of the current regime, why don’t you ask your colleague, the Minister of Justice, to do something about it? After all, you seem to believe in going for the sharks & not the minnows, so why don’t you go for the man at the top, instead of FCID Officials?

  • 5
    0

    Dr. Amunugama: How about bringing in Legislation to amend the Laws pertaining to Police Investigations stating that: “Respected Politicians known for their integrity must not be subjected to any type of investigation by the Law Enforcement Authorities”. Let the Ministers of Justice and Law and Order collectively define the words “Respected” and “Integrity”, as otherwise the Law Enforcement Authorities will decide to exclude all the Politicians from any investigations.

  • 2
    0

    Dr. Amunugama: In news: The President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe have been summoned to appear in Courts in regard to the case filed against Mr. Tissa Attanayke for the alleged forgery of the signatures of these two politicians. I did not see yet, you protesting over that action by the Courts. Is it because you consider these two politicians (The President & Prime Minister) are not “Respected” and did not posses “Integrity” and in your own definition, both these politicians can be subjected to “Investigations”?

  • 3
    0

    Mr Amunugama,
    Who are you to decide what is major accusations and what are minor. Of all people you who was once selected to serve as a public servant should know that any breach of law by a public servant or an elected representative is a serious offence.
    If you have any calibre you should refrain from voicing your comment on police matters involving public officials or members of parliament. Or are you getting nervous because of your own baggage?
    It’s so puzzling why President Sirisena has not ensured that all Elected Representatives declare their personal and family assets for public scrutiny?

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