11 December, 2017

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Exclusive: Another Scandal Rocks The United National Party

In what is acute embarrassment to the already shamed United National Party after the Treasury bond fiasco is another very shocking scandal.

The Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake asked the Director General of Customs Jagath P. Wijeweera to give sweeping duty concessions to his privately owned firm. He flatly refused the demand on the grounds that the country would lose millions of dollars. Because he could not continue to stand undue pressure being brought on him for favours costing millions to the country, Wijeweera tendered his resignation on Monday to Treasury Secretary Dr R.H.S. Samaratunga.

Ravi KarunanayakeThough Wijeweera said he is quitting due to “personal reasons,” he confessed to close friends in the Customs Department he could not bear Karunanayake’s interference into fiscal matters not only on behalf of his private firm but also various suspicious businessmen. For his private company Global Park which provides warehousing and logistical services he had wanted duty concessions running into millions of dollars granted. Karunanayake had also been in the habit of telephoning Wijeweera almost every day to seek duty waivers, withdrawal of fines and other concessions for several businessmen. He told his friends that he could no longer continue to do things Karunanayake wanted and be answerable for public moneys.

On Monday night, as we reported, Karunanayake announced Wijeweera’s resignation and said the exact reason was not revealed. The Finance Minister claimed that Wijeweera might have resigned due to ongoing investigations to determine the reasons for the considerable loss that had been reported in the Customs Department in the recent past. A senior Customs officer handling revenue told Colombo Telegraph the Customs were now earning a record revenue of five billion rupees a day. The same officer said Wijeweera enjoyed President Sirisena’s confidence, regardless of allegations against him and therefore served in the Assets Recovery Task Force too.

The talking point in Colombo’s private sector, which Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has despised as being of no use, is how it was easy to get the UNP Government to get any job done if one got around Finance Minister Karunanayake. Two examples being cited are those of Nissanka Senadhipathi, owner of Avant Garde Maritime Services (who is facing a CID inquiry) and Lalith Kotelawala, Chairman of the Ceylinco Group of Companies. Added to that, Karunanayake has also been personally approaching foreign business concerns with Sri Lankan connections. Both Senadipathi and Kotelawala reportedly made substantial donations fronted reportedly for the UNP to be spent on the general elections. If any went to the UNP and how much it was is not known.

The UPFA opposition was on Tuesday amending their Vote of No Confidence on Finance Minister Karunanayake to include the reasons behind Director General Wijeweera’s resignation. They are also including references to Arjun Aloysius, Karunanayake’s bosom friend and financial supporter. Arjun is the son-in-law of Arjuna Mahendran, a foreigner who is Governor of the Central Bank and at the centre of the Central Bank’s scandalous bond issue. The UPFA opposition says there were five persons who were in the know of the bond issue well in advance – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Finance Minister Karunanayake, UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema, Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Arjun Aloysius.

During the presidential election campaign both Wickremesinghe and Karunanayake shouted loud from political rallies about bribery and corruption by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and members of his family. They promised that they would be brought to book. However, after elections, Wickremasinghe directed the Attorney General Yuvanjan Wijetilleka not to arrest Rajapaksa or his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There were a lot of reservations within the UNP when Karunanayake was named Minister of Finance by Wickremasinghe. Many businessmen have been told by top UNP members that Karunanayake was raising funds for the elections but some are dismissing these statements.

UNPers are also shocked that President Maithripala Sirisena, who also spoke out against bribery and corruption is maintaining dead silence. Many reports about Finance Minister Karunanayake’s deals have reached him but no action has been taken. An SLFP Minister said the President was waiting for the COPE report. Members of the COPE sitting daily to inquire into the scandal involving the UNP leadership and Governor Mahendran.

Related stories;

Stolen State Assets Recovery Task Force Member Resigns From Sri Lanka Customs

Customs Officials Demand Ransom Of Rs.120 Million – Custom Chief Wijeweera Under Fire

Deal Or No Deal: Customs Chief Wijeweera In A Rs.100 Million Defraud Deal?

Lawlessness In Customs Costs Govt Dearly: Tyre Importer Says

Customs DG’s Collusion To Embezzle Hundreds Of Millions Tax Revenue Reported To President Sirisena

Exposed: Rajapaksa’s Blood Ivory Robbery: Justice Rohini Lies Internationally

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Latest comments

  • 3
    2

    Sirisena silent? Well he is Wessanthara to his UNP colleagues – one of them called him ‘Mandela’ the other day !! He is Bodisath to the North-West provinces but he is Devadatta to his former SLFP colleagues!!! So he is too busy to do anything else.

  • 6
    0

    Ravi K never had a clean past. UNPers too do not like his way of politics.I think his seniority in the party helps him to go up the ranks.He is a dealer…Suggest to give him the Bogollagama treatment.

  • 2
    0

    I still remember Ravi Karunanayake’s words
    during and after the presidential election
    campaign.

    He said they are not going for the harl
    messas but the big thoras and moras.

    So the thora and mora hunters have got a good
    kill now. How can you blame MR and others for
    robbing when you do this.

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who appointed
    stinking Ravi also created a record. When there
    were accusations about Arjuna Mahendran’s bond
    scam, he said even Nivard Cabraal had done so in
    the past. They robbed, so why can’t we? That seems
    the philosophy.

    Yes, RW, Ravi K et all are trying
    to rob in months what Mahinda Rajapaksa and his
    cronies did in nine long years.As long as it is public
    money none seem to care. What a damn shame!!!

    Maithripala Sirisena is watching this and is talking
    about yahapalanaya. It is gasa kana palanaya.

  • 3
    0

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2015/05/31/allegations-follow-resignation/

    JUST SO YOU’LL STOP POSTING LIES

    HERE IS THE TRUE STORY ON THE RESIGNATION

    THEREFORE KINDLY IGNORE THIS PIECE BY CT

    Responsible journalism please.

  • 1
    1

    nivardcabaal

    How wonderful Goebbels!!

    Who leaked those files from
    the Finance Ministry? Is it
    not Ravi?

    I am not saying Jagath P.
    Wijeweera is an angel. He
    was also upto tricks with
    Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    When thieves fall out, this
    is what happens. Now Ravi
    is leaking Finance Ministry
    files to cover his arse.

    Who allowed the 15 container
    loads of Glyphosate? Who rang
    the Customs chief? It is Ravi K.
    The containers were in Ravi’s
    Global Park yard. Maithripala
    Sirisena has now ordered that
    it be destroyed.

    So you can see “who is posting
    lies” you coward hiding behind
    a funny name. Crooks like you
    are ruining this country by defending
    bigger crooks.

    • 0
      0

      [Edited out]

      READ THE NEWS haha

      yeah cause clearly Ravi K is a bigger crook than MR
      your not too smart !

      Also just cause the containers are in his yard doesnt mean he would have ordered it ! it could be a customer of his who placed it there.

      That means that the owners in Oruduwattu are the biggest rogues cause of all the contraband they have IN THEIR YARD

      haha think before you talk

      Kingsley

  • 2
    0

    From day one this detestable character Ravi K has terribly damaged the prospects of the Yahapalanaya govt by his backroom wheeling dealing. The basic problem with Sri Lankan politics is most of the top appointments (ministers, secretaries, chairmen of corporations) themselves are the result of wheeling and dealing. The process is never transparent. Selection is not based on merit or record but rather on political influence ……and money talks. No wonder they have to pay back once they are appointed. Their ability to make sound decisions in the interests of the country and people is compromised. A shadow government then emerges and takes over. If you don’t appoint the right people right from the outset, you might as well forget Yahapalanaya. While granting Maitri had to operate in a world of realpolitik, it is still no excuse for appointing shady characters in sensitive, key positions. Sadly it appears he sabotaged his own efforts to reform governance even before he started.

  • 0
    1

    Do not vote for Ravi.K at the next election. Let us get rid of all these parasites. Ranil you have to looki into all this. If not the UNP will suffer as well.

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