15 August, 2020

Blog

Exposé: Centre For Policy Alternatives Defrauded And Hoodwinked Donors

He was on his way home from work when someone threw acid on his face. He had to swallow acid to keep breathing, even though it damaged his lungs. Not only was he seriously disfigured he also lost an eye in the attack. Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) conferred the National Integrity Award on him in 2004 for his fearless service as an Audit Superintendent in the Auditor General’s Department.

Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

He was none other than Lalith Ambanwela, an exemplary public servant. Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was a TISL director at the time it was decided that Ambanwela deserved the Award.  Shelton Wanasinghe, a CPA director, was the judge who selected Amabanwela from the nominees.

Ambanwela was subjected to this acid attack while investigating corruption at the Education Department, Central Province. In addition to fraud committed in tender procedures, the inquiry also focused on embezzlement of funds amount to Rs 8 million for a series of workshops that were never held. Lalith Ambanwela stated that vouchers had been submitted to obtain money for these un-held workshops.

Ironically today Dr Saravanamuttu is himself accused of similar kinds of corruption – billing for un-held workshops, double billing scandals; i.e getting grants from two donors to do the same task and duplicating receipts, hotel bills and other bills to submit to donors (perhaps even submitting same bills to multiple donors), and hoodwinking donors by filing expenses under safe cost columns.

On one particular occasion the CPA asked Galle Face Hotel to issue four bills for the same amount — invoices on the same day but under different descriptions. We’ll come to this matter later.

On Sunday the June 8th – one week after Colombo Telegraph exposed a scandal which also involved billing, Sanjana Hattotuwa, the man who is in the center of the controversy responded to a question put to him by “The Nation” as follows:

“The institution’s accounts unit verifies every single payment related to every single project. With every project, the donor (or donors) gets a detailed financial report from CPA’s accounts unit of finances spent, under which line item, along with original receipts and invoices plus a narrative report.  In every single instance, the unit coordinator has to submit accounts to CPA accounts unit. More details can be requested from Dr. Saravanamuttu.”

The same day a whistleblower sent us a CPA alcohol and food bill amounting to Rs. 152,047.50 (click here to see the original bill).  We sent a copy of the bill to Dr Saravanmuttu and said, “Hope you will start an investigation. Let us know your findings.” He replied the same day, “your e-mail is noted. If there is further material in your possession pertaining to the contents of your e-mail, please forward.”

Quoting Hattotuwa’s statement to “The Nation” we asked Dr Saravanamuttu, “Considering the above (i.e. Sanjana’s statement to “The Nation”), please be kind enough to respond to the following. This refers to our earlier email on the above subject (CPA corruption files), sent to you on the 8th of June, 2014.  In that email I attached copies of bills from the Galle Face Hotel.  The bills clearly indicate that the CPA has ordered alcohol amounting to Rs 66,547.50 (Rs. 76,860 – discount of Rs 10,312).  It is our understanding that donors will not accept bills for alcohol.”

We asked:

a. Have you taken any action regarding the information provided by Colombo Telegraph?

b. Has CPA launched an investigation into this particular bill for alcohol?

c. Were these original bills (detailing purchase of alcohol) submitted to the accounts unit by the relevant unit coordinator (as Sanjana claims is standard practice)?

d. Were these details mentioned in the ‘Narrative Report’ which according to Sanjana must have been submitted by the CPA’s accounts unit to the relevant donor as per accepted CPA procedures (as mentioned by Sanjana)?

After one month, on June 8th, Dr Saravanamuttu replied to the allegation:

“CPA projects in which funds were used for the consumption of alcohol, which in turn, in your “understanding”, is expressly forbidden by funders. In this regard, you have sent me a scanned copy of a bill from the Galle Face Hotel dating back to 2006 in respect of CPA project activities conducted there culminating in a cocktail reception for participants.  Your “understanding” re funders and payment for the consumption of alcohol is partially correct, in that it has varied from funder to funder and over the years.  In this particular instance your reference is to a cocktail reception at the end of the project activities and I can confirm that CPA paid the sum mentioned by you to the Galle Face Hotel against a composite bill issued by them for project activities.  The cocktail reception was attended by representatives of the EU Delegation in Colombo – the EU being the funder in this instance. No issue was raised re payment for the consumption of alcohol in this instance.”

We replied; “Contrary to your claim that “CPA paid the bill”, Sasha Ekanayake (then Media Unit Coordinator) said CPA submitted a bill to EU as drinks and food “Since (we) can’t charge liquor”. This means the CPA got a different bill from Galle Face Hotel instead of submitting the original bill (a copy of which I sent to you).”

If it was, as claimed, a genuine transaction, why obtain 4 bills from Galle Face for the same thing?  The CPA is yet to give a satisfactory explanation for this strange accounting behavior.

Interestingly, there was no such cocktail reception in the project proposal CPA submitted to the European Union. Besides, the EU has repeatedly advised their beneficiaries in every workshop that they do not accept alcohol bills.

(Click here for the original bill which says for 60 people part one – part two , click here for the second bill and third bill and click here for the fourth bill which says “BQT – National Meeting Dinner for 100 people”). 

We have another bill.  It is for the purchase of liquor at the Havelock Bungalow to the tune of Rs 37,000.  This bill also inserted in a safe column. The irony is that even while people were boozing up and getting gullible and negligent donors to pay for it, the CPA continues to ask the public for donations to fund their activities.  Even the Colombo Telegraph received an email asking for donations!

Anyway, we also pointed out to Dr Saravanamuttu that he hadn’t answered the main allegation. The whistleblower said; “One particular case is to do a “Towards Public Service Broadcasting ” campaign/training, CPA submitted proposals to European Union (EU) and UNESCO. CPA was given the money by both donors to do the same task. What CPA did was submit the same bills/invoices to the donors, without even completing the given/proposed tasks.”

(Click here to read Dr Saravanamuttu’s reply and our reply to him)

What was this Public Service Broadcasting Project? The CPA together with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) (one of the most corrupted media organisations in world IFJ, famous for all kinds of deceit and fraud including double-billing at least in the Asian region, as exposed by Colombo Telegraph and the Sunday Leader a long time ago) submitted proposals to the European Union and UNESCO to promote public service broadcasting. The CPA and IFJ were given the money by both donors to accomplish the same task. What CPA did was submit the same bills/invoices to both donors, without even completing the given/proposed tasks!

The European Union awarded the CPA a grant amount to Euro 99497.16 to implement this project, titled “Toward Public Service Media in Sri Lanka: Sharing the EU Sri Lanka experience”.  (( Click here for CPA/ IFJ EU financial reports) UNESCO also gave approximately the same amount or less for the same project.  The financial accounts relevant to the project published by the CPA are “lacking in clarity”.  The final accounts published are sketchy.  They refer to “notes” which are not made available to whoever who wants to examine the accounts.

(Click here to see CPA accounts). Colombo Telegraph has specifically requested the CPA to furnish details on the project funds, but CPA has not done so and hasn’t even responded to the request. There’s more on this later.

Without giving a clear answer Dr Saravanamuttu repeatedly asked us to provide documents. Perhaps he may have thought that Colombo Telegraph has no documents to prove the allegations. The moment we discovered that Dr Saravanamuttu was the “paid supervisor” for the European Union funded project (click here to read the first “quarterly update” submitted to EU by CPA), Colombo Telegraph had no option but to inform him as well as the CPA’s Board of Directors that it’s not our duty to provide them documents. We are also aware that at least one whistleblower had informed him about the malpractices based on his (the whistle-blower’s) experience related to these projects.

After months of exchanging emails, on August 23rd Dr Saravanamuttu said:

“Your last email is noted.  As spelt out by us in previous e-mails, on the basis of the documentation provided by you in support of your allegations and based on organisational records, we find your allegations unsupported and unwarranted.

“Furthermore, we have requested additional documentation which, you claim further support your allegations and which, you indicate you have access to. We have yet to receive this documentation.  Accordingly, we consider further communication with you futile and reiterate our position that these allegations are clearly mala fide.”

At that time we were in a process of authenticating the documents we were given by another whistleblower. We had to hire an expert and get help from an anti-corruption expert, a retired civil servant. After it was established that the documents were indeed authentic, we wrote to CPA Board the following:

“You have said, ‘we ( CPA Board?) consider further communication with you futile and reiterate our position that these allegations are clearly mala fide’.

“It is of course your prerogative to communicate or refuse to do so, but there are troubling questions that remain.

“Can you tell us which of our allegations are mala fide?

“Can you tell us whether the CPA and the International Federation of Journalists together have submitted proposals to UNESCO and EU to do a “Public Service Broadcasting” campaign/training or not?

“If “yes” can you tell us what workshops were, for whom and where they were held?

How many workshops were held using UNESCO funding and how many workshops under EU funding?

“Since both EU and UNESCO funded workshops and certain activities, can tell us how much monies were given by both funders?

“Contrary to your claim that the “CPA paid the Galle Face Hotel liquor bill”, Sasha Ekanayake (the Unit coordinator at that time) said CPA submitted a bill to EU as drinks and food “Since (we) can’t charge liquor, the CPA submitted a different bill to CPA”. This means the CPA got a different bill from Galle Face Hotel instead of submitting the original bill (a copy of which I sent to you).  Would you agree?

“As we said before it’s not our duty to provide you documents. As you have implied in your last email, you have access to organization’s document so please check them.

“But don’t assume that we don’t have documents, we have all narrative reports which CPA submitted to the donors or a file of original bills, which the CPA did not submit to the donors.

“Just so you know, all documents are authentic and we can prove this if necessary.”

The CPA is yet to answer the questions above.

But let’s explore what really happened to/with the Public Service Broadcasting campaign Projects.

The CPA was required to appoint a group of experts to advise it on this project in line with the agreement with UNESCO.  Accordingly they appointed Rohan Edirisinghe, Tilak Jayaratne, Sumanasiri Liyanage and Sunil Wijesiriwardene. They met only once.  The meeting was held in the CPA office. Rohan Edirisinghe did not attend.  Tilak Jayaratne and Sumanasiri Liyanage raised several questions regarding the objectives of the project, funding and other details.  There is no record that any of them were paid.  They never met again.

A similar panel of experts had to be set up for the project funded by the EU.  CPA director Rohan Edirisinghe (who never attended meetings), Dharmasiri Lankapeli, Sanath Balasooriya and Victor Ivan were appointed to the “working group of experts”. They were each paid Rs 100,000 but never met as a group. Victor Ivan, although a recipient of payment, criticized the way the CPA was handling the project.

Even the EU, in their final evaluation report, after the project noted the fact that payments had been made to people who were not experts on the subject of public service broadcasting.

According to the project proposal submitted to the EU, the CPA had to conduct a survey which included one to one interviews with 100 journalists of state media organisations and 30 civil society organizations. The CPA submitted that such interviews had indeed been conducted.  The fact is that such a survey was never conducted.

According to the “First Quarterly Report” submitted to the EU, Dr Saravanamuttu was the Project Supervisor while Sunanda Deshapriya was the Project Coordinator.  Athula Withange was hired as Project Researcher. Withanage confirmed that no such survey was done either by him or anyone else in the project staff or by an outsider.

Although CPA hired him as “Project Researcher”, he was given lots of tasks and under paid. According to the job description given to him he was paid RS 25,000 and assigned to do lots of other work using EU funding. According to an internal communication (click here to read the full email) Withanage was given a one year contract with the following “primary responsibilities”: Coordinate all activities related to the European Commission Public Service Media Campaign, Coordinate all activities related to the UNSECO Public Service Media Campaign until the assigned Coordinator of the project, until  Ms Nadie Kammallweera returns to this position, Assist with Public Service Media component of Voice of Reconciliation project (Colombo Telegraph Note: VOR is another massive multi-million rupee project under Canadian funding which Sanjana Hattotuwa and Sunanda Deshapriya conducted and which was also scandal-ridden), Produce Workshop reports, Project Reports and Reports to Funders as required, mange finances related to above mentioned projects and liaise with funders, at all times in strict consultation with the coordinator and Unit Head of the Media Unit.

When contacted, Withanage told Colombo Telegraph, that he was new to the NGO field at the time, that it was his fist job in an NGO and that he did what he was asked to do. He said that the CPA had submitted the same bills to UNESCO and to the EU. He admitted that the workshops were not completed.

“It was all corruption, I did not know what to do.  Only one person advised me not to get involved with these corrupt activities”. He also said, “Nadie Kammallaweera wanted to complete all the activities, but CPA did not allow her to do so.”  Colombo Telegraph can categorically state that she has not perpetrated any fraud with respect to this project.  The project staff in general was helpless.  Some of them were advised to inform Dr Saravanamuttu, but Colombo Telegraph does not know whether they indeed took up the issue with him.

CPA had to conduct 12 workshops under the EU project and 6 workshops under UNESCO project.  The CPA never completed the task, but submitted that bills for conducted “workshops” and manufactured bills to the donors by duplicating them.

Over and above all this, we have credible information that Dr Saravanamuttu was blackmailed by a delegation of NGO activists including the late Sunila Abeysekera and Sunanda Deshapriya (through his friends) not to launch any investigation into the activities of the latter. They argued that this would open another Pandora Box and affect core funding scandals.

This was immediately after Deshapriya was sacked from the CPA on account of yet another double/triple billing scandal. Dr Saravanamuttu called a meeting of all CPA employees in the media unit. He detailed Sunanda’s corruption saga which led to his sacking (resignation), denouncing him in the strictest terms possible.  Sanjana was asked to oversee all projects previously handled by Sunanda. Dr Saravanamuttu further said that the CPA Board has decided to investigate all projects in which Sunanda was involved. At this point, visibly upset, Nadie Kammallaweera asked Dr Saravanamuttu; “Doctor, Doctor, are you going investigate all projects?” He said “Yes.”

It was after this that the delegation led by Sunila Abeysekera met with Dr Saravanamuttu, begging him to revoke his decision.  They told him that it was detrimental to the peace and human rights movement in Sri Lanka and warned that others will use it against NGOs.  Even though Dr Saravanamuttu disagreed with them at that time, on the following morning he came with the theory called “lacking clarity”.  Sunanda was no longer a swindler but just someone who did something that “lacked clarity”.  For the record, Deshapriya is still using that weak point and claiming that he did not rob any money!  Ironically, these are the very people who question others on matters like integrity, good governance, transparency, etc.

The promised investigation into projects under Sunanda Deshapriya was never held.

Whistleblowers continue to send us information that indicates that there is fraud, nepotism, favoritism, selective punishment, signature forgeries and other serious problems in the CPA.  We are in the process of investigating these allegations. We have given more than enough time to CPA to respond.  It is up to the CPA to reply and clear its name. It is European Union’s and UNESCO’S duty to compare the project proposals and the bills which the CPA and IFJ have submitted and make them public. What we have shown is how people pocket NGO money and how they cheat the donors by producing forged bills. The story is still unfolding.

We conclude this by quoting the anti-corruption activist, a retired civil servant who checked the documents against the allegations: “When you first spoke to me about these allegations I couldn’t believe something like this could’ve happened under Dr Sara, but after the investigation I can say, ‘the CPA is a cesspool of bile’.”

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Latest comments

  • 18
    5

    Well done CT.

    • 22
      6

      CT editors, let us be clear:

      It is the 50 plus cabinet members in the Rajapaksa regime, particularly, Mahinda Rajapaksa his brothers and sons and nephews who are in the politics family business in Sri Lanka that is a “cesspool of bile”.
      CT Reporting on this infighting at the CPA and exposing it as investigative reporting is a PATHETIC JOKE, and an insult to investigative reporting and reporters, when there is massive corruption on going in Lanka..
      Please investigate Rajapaksa brother’s and son’s and cabinet members corruption, first.
      PM Narendra Modi in India, and 17 out of his 22 cabinet members have declared their assets. How many Rajapaksa brothers, sons and cabinet members have declared their assets?
      CT YOU need to investigate each and every one of them – if you are short of things to investigate at this time…
      Please investigate REGIME CORRUPTION which is far more relevant and important and tricking down to every corner of the country rather than a couple of cocktail parties of CPA at Galle Face Hotel..

      • 11
        7

        I have to agree here with Don Stanley… The right thinking people in this country have a bigger enemy. CPA ‘irregularities’ should have been addressed discreetly and not exposed like this. MR government is will not waste no time in taking advantage of the situation….

        • 1
          0

          CPA is preaching honesty but practicing fraud and talking of fraud in the Govt. What hypocrisy is this? Definitely the MR govt will take advantage of this exposure. You cannot blame them.

      • 11
        3

        People of Sri Lanka dislikes Rajapassa regime as much as they dislike high flying NGO Big-Wigs.

        Unfortunate. Some NGOs actually do great work. Credible and Independent. CPA among them. I respect and admire their work.

        Howver, CPA needs to stay away from star class hotels. Practice what you preach. Live more like average Sri Lankans. Though you have fat funding from wealthy sources. Otherwise you will find more difficult to win hearts and minds of the people.

        Agree with Don Stanley, I wish CT focused seriously more on massive corruption committed by Hamba Clan, Cronies & Henchmen.

        Sri Lanka seriously lacks talent & resources for investigative journalism of that level. Where are all these funding agencies for that kind of purpose? Coz’ Investigative Journalism is not cheap. It costs lots of money actually.

        Cheers!

        PS: Sri Lankans should establish an Anti-Corruption Prize named after Lalith Ambanwela. The fearless Audit Superintendent in the Auditor General’s Department. Who was attacked with acid by corrupt cowards. He should never be forgotten. A true Sri Lankan Hero.

        • 19
          4

          Ben Hurling

          “Agree with Don Stanley, I wish CT focused seriously more on massive corruption committed by Hamba Clan, Cronies & Henchmen.”

          There should not be any sacred cows in this island. No one should be allowed to continue their business as usual.

          First one starts stealing a paper clip, then A4 papers, ……… he/she/it end up gobbling billions. It would be too late to stop the thief, by now he/she/it would have gathered enough political and state official supporters, and become an mighty untouchable.

          • 1
            1

            Native,

            Zero tolerance for stealing is understood.

            However, believe in giving second chances to peopel as well. But, of course you don’t have to.

            Cheers!

          • 2
            0

            CT becomes very small by looking for hair on eggs !!? Please try to encourage this lonely ranger who fights for justice to all….I mean Dr.Sara.

            • 2
              0

              May not agree or pat Dr. Sara’s back at all times.

              But, I admire him a lot. He is an asset to our country. There is no doubt.

              Cheers!

        • 0
          2

          CPA work should focus more on ECONOMIC and SOCIAL Rights, and not just on political rights. They should focus on Rajapaksa’s and his cronies FINANCIAL TERRORISM against the poor and vulnerable in Lanka.

          Today P.B. Jayasundara is saying that elderly pensioners should waste their savings on the stock market which is effectively Rajapaksa cronies casino to steal from the poor. The stock market is manipulated by cronies as we well know and telling pensioners to risk their savings is Criminal. PB is a financial Terrorist as is
          Nivard Cabraal who has been spinning lies about inflation rates and keeping interest rates down so he can borrow from already indebted local banks to fund Mahinda Jarapassa’s illegal reelection campaign while forcing pensioners to play the stock market and lose life savings.
          As PB said: “We can already see some concern over low interest rates by those who live on interest income from traditional savings for which the capital market could provide alternative opportunities”.
          His solution is for the elderly is to put their savings in the corrupt colombo stock market because their income from fixed deposits are so low!! Bloody criminal!

      • 5
        3

        CT Editors: Please INVESTIGATE and EXPOSE the FINANCIAL TERRORIST and economic hit man Nivard Cabraal who is putting out fake inflation rates in order to drive down interest rates and hurt people who live off their savings and the poor..

        Today there is a strange phenomenon of NO credit and jobless growth because of the lack of economic and political policy stability and fictional figures generated at the central bank means that people do not believe the SPIN about growth and are NOT investing in Sri Lanka.

        Which means the REAL ECONOMY is NOT growing and Cabraal is merely SPINNING FANTASY GROWTH FIGURES. In any case at the leading New York University Stern bBusiness school academic pointed out “there is good growth and BAD GROWTH”, that latter can kill the real economy and generate violent conflict because of a rise in inequality and povert of the ninety percent.

        Today interest rates are being kept artificially low and elderly people living off saving are impoverished because Cabraal wants to BORROW more from already debt ridden local banks and endanger the whole banking sector to fund Mahinda Jarapassa’s re-election bid and for hand outs to Sinhala Modayas and plantation workers too!

        It is because of Jarapassa’s election that the Jantha Estate Development Board (JEDB), is NOW planning to pay EPF and ETF dues and gratuity payments to workers amounting to Rs.1,141 million which have remained outstanding since 2001. Around 85 workers from two estates will receive their incentive payments, bonuses and gratuity dues. CT – editors, please you must expose the truth and fact that the plantation communities have been suffering for years without their EPF and ETF and now will be not payed the proper value because the rupee has depreciated and COL gone up because Jarapassa wants to win another illegal presidential election…

      • 6
        0

        Well done CT. This is what we expect from our journalists. Unbiased reporting scrutinising both governmental and non governmental actors to ensure accountable and honest behaviour. Keep it up.

      • 1
        0

        I agree with the sentiments expressed by Don Stanley. Among other things, why did it take more than EIGHT YEARS to reproduce bills that weren’t legitimate?
        The timing of this “expose,” tends to raise suspicions for very obvious reasons.
        I would strongly urge CT to apply its not-inconsiderable investigative skills to pursue evidence of the BILLIONS of rupees being stolen from the people of this country in the form of “commissions” etc. etc. That would be a national service. And I am sure there will be people of conscience prepared to leak such documentary evidence TO ct in the public interest.

      • 1
        0

        Don, CT has every right to expose questionable practices of NGOs, especially those purporting to be involved in human rights. I personally have knowledge of at least two NGOs that are happy to ‘bend’ the rules to their own benefit when it comes to billing funders.

    • 4
      3

      Paul

      Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. I say it is unfair. These peace prizes should have been awarded to MR and GR every year since winning the war in 2009. This is blatant racism and should be a conspiracy to undermine this thrice blessed island.

      Here the news:

      Malala Yousafzai wins Nobel Peace Prize 2014
      Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, has won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Kailash Satyarthi of India

      By Harriet Alexander, and Jessica Winch10:09AM BST 10 Oct 2014
      Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

      The prize was awarded jointly to Malala and Kailash Satyarthi from India, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.
      “The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim – an Indian and a Pakistani – to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,” the judges said in a statement.

      The awarding of the prize to the two campaigners was celebrated widely on social media.

      Last year the award was given to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stocks.

      Mr Satyarthi, 60, has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the Nobel committee said.

      Malala, now aged 17, was living in Pakistan’s Swat Valley when she was shot in the head by militants in October 2012 as punishment for her high profile campaign to encourage girls to go to school.

      But a year later she was living in Britain, having staged a remarkable recovery thanks to surgeons in Birmingham, and has become an international role model for young people.

      Malala’s father now works for the High Commission in Birmingham, as an education councillor.

      Within Pakistan, however, not all people support the teenager.
      Some have cast doubt on her story, accusing her of making it up – despite photos of her head wound – or criticising her for her campaigning zeal. But Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK told The Telegraph last year that her detractors were “living in the Dark Ages.”

      “Where Malala comes from, is a complicated place. It’s not backwards – that is the wrong word, as it’s very beautiful – but it is lacking in worldliness,” said Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

      “And a small minority of people don’t support education for women. They claim to be Muslims, but that is a contradiction in terms because Mohammed encouraged everyone to be educated – men and women.

      “Those who say otherwise are barbarians. They are not Muslims, nor followers of any religion. Islam gives property rights to women, for instance.
      “And that is the kind of strong Muslim woman that Malala represents. That is why we are all so proud of her.”

      Pakistan’s president, Nawaz Sharif, said last year that she was “the pride of the nation”.

      She has addressed the UN General Assembly, been received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and met Barack Obama at the White House – a meeting at which she reportedly spoke to the American president about her concern over continued drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

      The UN designated July 12 – her birthday – as “Malala Day”, a day of global campaigning for a child’s right to receive an education.

      Malala’s first cousin Mehmood ul Hassan, who is the administrator of Khushal Public School where Malala studied before she was shot, said the whole family was thrilled about the award.

      “We cannot express the level of our happiness in words. I just spoke to Ziauddin (Malala’s father), and her mother. I also spoke to Malala, and they are all very excited and happy about this,” he said. “Malala told me that Allah has blessed her with this award and she hopes this peace prize will help her cause [of educating girls], which is what she is focused on.”

      One of Malala’s teachers, Shumaila Khan, said she was very proud of her former pupil. “I have never seen a brave girl like her. She challenged the Taliban at a time when all men didn’t have the courage to oppose them,”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan

      Congratulations to Malala and Kailash Satyarthi

      • 6
        0

        Native,

        Nice to find you on the same wave length, though not often.

        May I join you in congratulating both Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.

        It is difficult to find more deserving candidates for the world’s most prestigious Prize.

        Their bravery and committment to the causes they represent unquestionable.

        Cheers!

        PS: Pay attention, CPA & Rajiva Wijesinghe etc. Learn about personal sacrifice. From Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.

      • 0
        0

        It is indeed right that Malala and Kailash received the award this year and congrads to the Nobel committee for getting it right this time around after a couple of blunders.
        Don’t see anything wrong in MR and GR getting it after all Obama and the EU got it.

    • 3
      0

      Good work CT. Rajapakse family crimes and corruption does NOT give any other guy to free passport to do any crime they want. Specially people like Pakiasothy.. Pl expose all crimes and stealing of these people too.

  • 9
    2

    Now the truth comes out! So, even Sunila wanted the truth to be whitewashed so the stench will not be noticeable.

    If we as a people can fall so low in morals and principles to gain a quick dollar, what are we to tell the man who steals a coconut to feed his family?

    For that crime, the ASP, DIG and IGP will turn up to do the arrest.

    Anything else…ballo kaala!!

    • 6
      6

      Dear CT editors ,

      the above revaluation have two sides

      1) exposing & destroying the wrong doer ,
      2) Adding fuel to the authoritarian regime to further clamping on NGO s .

      Dr Saravanamutthu is one of fearless Human right defenders in SL who stood against the all odds under extremely difficult conditions , true it appears to be some sort of financial irregularities and covering up taken place , but is this the best way to handle such complicated/complex matters ? going public ? my humble opinion , these sort of unwarranted unprovoked attacks on individuals will not necessarily benefit the civil society at large , your intention may be to expose who ever guilty regardless of their social status , but one needs to carefully weigh the actual impact and the subsequent consequences on the vulnerable society like ours ,ultimately who is going to be benefited over these revaluations ?

      don’t get me wrong here , i’m not trying to protect Dr Sara , but the manner in which you have chosen to deal the matter is highly questionable , i feel you should have informed all the relevant funding agencies and Dr Sara himself of the abuse first , and letting them know as a responsible organization you are compelled to go before the public if you do not rectify the issue , if he hadn’t , by all means yes .

      As for late Ms Sunila , she might have known the impact of such magnitude would have been detrimental to the very existence of the said NGO , that may be the reason why she pleaded not to proceed.

      PS: over to regime backers , have a field day !

      • 1
        2

        sorry there were some Typos,

        it should be

        the above revelation has two sides ,

  • 9
    2

    Audit Superintendent of education dept Lalith Ambanwela has been straight forward man. Throughout his life, he has been exposing corruption and embezzlement without fear. Inhumane acid throw at Ambanwela in 2002 is true and needless to say is beyond imagination of law abiding people of this country. The culprits should have been send to gallows but they were sentenced to 10-20 years rigorous imprisonment after ten year lapse. Well, that’s the rule of the law.

    Needless to say Mr Ambanwela deserves more than a mere award. Out of Mr. Ambanwela’s anguish an NGO shark has capitalized it to whitewash his wrong doing and bloat his sagging fame.

    I say, get Ambanpola to do a thorough check on NGO funds and funding and clear your names NGO bigwigs.

  • 3
    7

    This is all very pathetic and we are losing site of the big picture..
    I will now have to stop reading this website because am afraid you priorities are upside down.

    Very well and good, we know that there is small scale corruption in the NGOs but CT editors, why do you not INVESTIGATE and expose some of the financial corruption of the Rajapakse Brothers and sons which is on a far larger scale?

    Namal’s Carlton Sports and media events bills for instance? Car races, military businesses etc.
    Why has the Minister of Health not yet tabled the National Drugs Policy bill – is he not paid off my multinational Pharma companies. Mahipala Sirisena’s brother stole lands from the Parakrama Samudra reservation to build the Hotel Sudu Araliya and now the farmers don’t get enough water because the tank is not allowed to reach spill level because it would flood the hotel. Please investigate this BIG TICKET CORRUPTION first!

    CPA’s accounting issues pale by comparison to the corruption of the Rajapaksa brothers and sons at the Central bank where the crook Cabraal is fixing figures (inflation and interest rates) in order to borrow massively from already heavily indebted local banks to fund Mahinda Jarapassa’s relection campaign.

    Why don’t you investigate corruption in the Ministry of Sports? Talk to the cricketers and go behind really big ticket corruption?

  • 5
    8

    CT editors, sorry to say you really have lost the plot and got your knickers in a god awful twist! Please put your money where your mouth is and do proper investigative reporting on Rajapaksa regime BIG TICKET corruption…

    • 0
      0

      Dude, CT not only has the right but also the duty to expose possible illegal practices wherever they find it.

  • 1
    7

    I sometimes forced to think that Pakiyasothy is the true oppostion party in Mahinda led government.

  • 4
    6

    This is much ado about nothing.

    Are the donors EU, Canada, the UN and the like unaware of what is going on in places like CPA and who is who in the NGO business?

    Investigations into these allegations of corruption and what not would make sense if the objective of the project was as stated “Toward Public Service Media in Sri Lanka……” (whatever that means!)

    Unfortunately, not just this project but all projects for which agencies like CPA receive funding from “donors” has more to do with the “understanding between CPA and the donors” than anything implied by particular titles. Don’t forget that there is a reason why Taliban today are shooting at Polio vaccination teams! Looks can be deceiving. At the end of the day, CPA and donors are in a mutually beneficial partnership. The reality is no matter what EU may say in public they are happy to pay the liquors bills of CPA!

    • 2
      0

      Exactly! EU and other donors are not babies born yesterday to be fooled like that.
      They know how to get the value for their money not from the stated or published projects but getting them carry on their agenda.
      There are no super men or women who work on public interest but self interest.

  • 3
    2

    Why are we surprised. These actors are peas of the same pod. Sunanda Deshapriya throws proverbial hail Marie at the MaRa/ Gota corruption using this NGO money, and his brother our national joke, Mahinda Deshapriya, election commissioner, he’ll bent on electing this thug regime, part of the plan to dig money from every side. They both claim to be coming from strong leftist stalwart background , s second just to Lenin in talks. This exposes their duplicitous socialist stance, steal from the money for the just society. Hypocrisy at best, just like all the other red shirt in name only socialists in the goverment-, Wasu, Tissa Witharana, king of hypocrisy Wimal Weerawansa. To name a few and their action speaks for it self on where their socialism lie. Now come to think of it, Sunanda Deshapriya attacking the regime while brother carries water would be a joint family project. Or on the government payroll. People at the EU, UN should look at these people’s affiliations , family connections before giving money.

  • 6
    5

    Holy Macaroni….

    This can’t be right….

    3 Litres Red Label, 3 Litres, Bacardi, 3 Litres London Dry, … The whole CPA could have been Pissed as a Fart…

    Norris and Vass between them couldn’t handle even one bottle of Red which Poshos drink.

    Hotta has certainly certainly initiated them well

    By the way can you please . please publish the Food Bill,

    I am keen to know what these Elite ,Anglicans and the Vellalas feast on at 5 star digs like GFH…

    • 4
      4

      Deartarnis CT Editors ,

      “By the way can you please . please publish the Food Bill “

      look what you guys done here , there are million and one burning issues out there , yet these sort of characters are after all these non events , CT you need to get your priorities right , rivalry and competition among your peers are not very important to intelligent CT readers , in fact those issues must not be in the public domain . if my memory serves me right , you were very harsh on Dr Wickramabahu K on a very minor issue and kicked him out of this forum very unfairly , please try to be fair and objective when you deal with civil society .one last thing , CT you have gained immense respect and trust among the readers all over ,please try to uphold that image without getting into gutter journalism.

      • 4
        1

        “CT you need to get your priorities right , rivalry and competition among your peers are not very important to intelligent CT readers”

        Competition? What is that? with whom? Sirilal, can you be specific, we would like to know it.

        • 1
          3

          Gunasinghe ,

          i’m afraid i can’t , if you are a regular reader you may know it .

          • 0
            0

            hey Sira, I like your comments and been reading CT for at least for two years. Couldn’t found any “competition” issue. Please educate us.

            • 1
              2

              are you part of the CT editorial team ? obviously no body would openly say i’m competing against X or y , but if one goes through certain articles it’s not that difficult to see what they are up to .by the way why are you so curious ? if you are not competing against any one , just ignore my comment.

              • 0
                0

                No, I’m not. Please tell us what is this all about? I’ve read almost all articles, expect some crap by Rajiva prof and David prof. Couldn’t find any “commutation” issue. Please educate us!

                • 1
                  0

                  Gura Machang ,

                  Don’t waste your time so much on this non Issue , but if you still insist , try to read the article on “Sanjana” .

                  • 0
                    0

                    Yes yes yes, I read about that corrupt bugger who abused a female tamil coworker. So what is this “competition”? That is what I want to know.

  • 3
    5

    Wonder whether Paisiakothy shouting pre show drinks and providing tickets to his loyal CPA Staff, to watch Lionel Richie at the Convention Centre tomorrow?…

  • 5
    0

    So Sara has also been blackmailed by the NGO gang! It is very sad to see how he has knuckled down to them. Sunila was always a manipulative political creature whom anyone in their right minds would steer clear of. I do know very well how they operate and how they would have boycotted him and spread all kinds of false stories about him if he had refused to “play ball”. I have had my share of dealings with that pack of sewer rats but I was happy to refuse the funding rather than knuckle down and do and say things that I could not agree with. Too bad Sara did not do the same.

    Of course today as a result of my decision I am a no body with zero credibility whom no funding agency will touch even with the proverbial barge pole – not least because I would be the first to expose the vicious games that THEY play as well. Sara on the other hand has been rewarded for “playing the game” as he has learned very well from the school by the sea that has recently begun producing “gangster TED” as well and as a result he enjoys a great deal of credibility with donors and civil society. He has made his choice as to whom and what he works for and so have I. God bless the poor fellow, cushion his considerable ego and class consciousness based elitism and keep him from harms way!

    I am glad to hear that Rohan has kept himself out of this mess.

  • 7
    0

    Ouch…. This will hurt a lot of NGOs. It is true that most of them are a source of sustenance for the employees and their administrators. Covering up further will erode the little remaining faith the international community has. Let few heads roll and the concerned Dr. should allow an independent and a totally transparent investigation to take place. Replying letters mentioning worlds like “lack of evidence” and “unwarranted’ will do no favors to the continued existence of CPA.

    Let not this stench scuttle the efforts of other NGOs doing much needed work for sections of the under-privileged/victimized society and country.

    • 4
      0

      Fazl,
      please write more of your articles that would help the many for sure to rethink whether or not to vote for him. people are caught by all the blatant lies spread by this man and his co.
      People fo the this country deserves a leader who is honest and can feel for them, the man in power is a marauder of number 1 type. Please help the nation grasphing it . Majority folks are under povert. If the media men could inform the nation by putting facts and figures befoer them, for sure, they will rethink.

      People of this country is fed up of Rajapakshes today.
      Not many would feel that the man has done so much as his media units repeat.
      Had the man held on austerity measures, with the savings he could give a life to Rajarata people that are caught by kidney problems and to the others that struggle for their 3 meals today.

      • 5
        0

        Leelage Mallita namak nathdha?
        :)

        I am certainly encouraged by words from people like you. Need to get in to a mood. The next one should be ready hopefully in the next few days… Cheers.

        • 2
          0

          Yes Brother, regardless of the race and religion, we should get together in getting rid of the man that started all unethical crimes in ths country today. Jaya niyathai :: we ll make it.

          Unfortuantely, I dont want me to be identified by name – since they can then take my life easily. THis is unfortuantley common to all of us that stand against the brutal regime.

          • 0
            3

            I don’t know who cares about a little punk like you.

            • 0
              1

              You cant know that because BBS has taken your balls and brains too.

              Next days, they will even take more of your guys by introducing you self immolation tactics just learnt from Burmese terror monks.

  • 2
    2

    Will CPA do a inforgraphics on this?

  • 7
    5

    The sudden and abrupt end to Tamil terrorist violence impacted a few industries negatively.

    Funeral parlous, arms dealers and artificial limb manufacturers are the most obvious ones.

    Just like war mongers even the peace mongers run out of things to do when peace dawns.

    NGOs such as CPA can no longer justify their pay cheque to their donors. Alan Keenan is one example who hasn’t stopped barking even when the violence ended 5 years ago. His biggest problem is “Gopi” when there is mass slaughter taking place in the middle east.

    Another example is Yasmin Sooka. She ran out of funding. She re-hashed a report on alleged Tamil rape victims by Human Rights Watch. She again received funding.

    • 6
      2

      Well, you must realise that they’ve got mouths to feed. If they are no good at the professions they were trained for, they have to go into politics or NGO type work, both of which are lucrative in the extreme. Who would want to go back to earning a measly wage when one could have it all for little effort.

    • 1
      1

      Why don’t you mentioned those who benifited fron the war such as the Rajapaksa brothers, their sons and a few of their close friends who are all now multimillionaires if not billionaires.

      The commissions and bribes they raked in on weapons purchases made them immensely wealthy overnight. BTW, when is the next night races, pal?

  • 6
    2

    I think, Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu did more than that.

    CT found only some.

  • 10
    2

    Many are criticizing CT for exposing this, saying that Government corruption is greater.

    These are the same people who said ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’ and so on when human rights issues at Hiroshima were compared with Nandikanal.

    One would have thought that either ALL human rights are respected or none. Either ALL corruption is exposed or none. One cannot pick and choose.

  • 5
    2

    How much of Pasiokothy’s alternative Polices have the UNP Christian Faction adopted so far.?.

    Because they are the ones who are going to implement them to take our inhabitants to prosperity, peace and harmony.

    One important thing is Pasiokothy must have a very liberal Policy on Booze.

    Perhaps it is zero Tax on Red Label, Bacardi, and London Dry .

    Elite , the Anglicans, and the Vellalas will drink to that.

    But what about our Dalit inhabitants who are the great majority?.

    Pasiokothy’s Homeland Policy with TNA Police and the Land Bank may bring out a few more Toasts from the Elite the Anglicans and the Vellalas.

    But there is nothing there for the Dalits to celebrate, unless Pasiokothy has recommended to make our Dalit drinks Kassippu and Adulterated Toddy, freely available without the cops, both TNA and the Srilnkan, pulling them up and trying to squeeze out a few Rupees from them…

  • 1
    6

    Like the CPA bought drinks on an un-allowed grant, CT printed a non-audited report, unethical in journalism.

    CT loosing focus. Most of the funders (donor) reserve the right to audit the recipient’s books. All what CT had to do was send the bills to the donor and wait for comments. CPA’s past year report should be available to anybody wants to view. CT should have asked for copy. They should have talked it over bottle of beer. CT should not have exposed it like sibling rivalry, a silly behavior, laughable at.

    What is happening is Royal government is easily turning the victims into prey and predator themselves. What they are saying is when the entire NATO is fighting against ISIS, Turkey is asking protection for it from ISIS from NATO, but not defending Kobani because it wants Kurtis and ISIS to fight within them. Is it CT the latest victim of falling to Royal Government’s tricks of buy out to attack its own brethren, or CPA new Lankan NGO?

    I do not have faith on CPA’s sincerity, so do not go that side (Somebody wrote CPA is part of UNP’s opposition party- I have the same feeling). But discrediting their services can be a hasty deed when it is in serious need of the country.

  • 1
    1

    Poor Srilankans, you all are surrounded by the real terrorists by sea, sky and land.

    Sea – OffshoreFracking ( Poisoning sea foods, cause earth quake and more )

    Land – Monsanto ( Reason for the kidney disease )

    Sky – GEO Engineering ( Reason for the drought, fish rain, red rain & etc )

    If you don’t wake up by now, face the END!

    Bill Gates ‘Evil Gates’ is close friend of MR? Why? Research, if you don’t find then again research, research, research!

    WakeUp

  • 4
    5

    CT, your expose is pointless and counterproductive to your ideals. The CPA is doing an excellent job and should be allowed to continue its brave campaign against the REAL thieves of public money that is the Rajapaksa brothers and their worshippers in politics and government.

    The CPA is not wasting the people’s money unlike the present government politicians do.
    . I would kindly ask you to concentrate on exposing the Rajapaksa’s corruption and leave one of the bravest and effective anti-regime outfits operating in Sri Lanka today. The CPA’s brave souls do need a drink occasionally to do the dangerous work they do. In my eyes the CPA has done nowt wrong. Long live the brave CPA! Please support them and don’ damage them.

  • 0
    4

    CT is behaving as if it caught a real big-fish, pushing some Hotel
    bills. These are subject to Audit in the normal course of events
    and any discrepancy is to be answered then and not when disgruntled
    whistle-blowers get active.

    CT of course will carry a lot of material about the Regime from
    writers and commentators, but is watching the white-van in doing
    their own write-ups I guess.

    • 2
      0

      Moda Punchi {Edited out} Kiyavapan {Edited out] before you comment. Its not about only fucking hotel bills. No research, no worshops, double billing etc. [Edited out]

  • 4
    2

    LOL, busted!
    And so soon after the fat lady bit the dust. Looks like all these loud mouthed anti Lankans are being exposed one by one – the rest better watch out, karma’s coming for you! :D

  • 0
    0

    I once spoke to a Canadian donor about what happens to the funds they give to many NGOs in our country. He told me that at least they get a Statement of accounts from them but in Africa that is the last time they hear of that NGO. But surely is it not this government of ours from the T0P,its ministers and the chiefs of its agencies to be investigated. If you try you may not continue to exist. CPA may be let alone even if there is some discrepancy it will be negligible compared to what the government is doing. I think more than a Million of Tax payer’s money was spent in trying to bid to bring the Commonwealth Games to Sri Lanka. A plane load of people went to a far away country including the big man’s son and the Governor of the Central Bank,who when we lost the bid said in spite of it ,it was a good exercise. I don’t think CPA spends our taxpayer’s money.

  • 1
    1

    No whistleblowers in govt.ministries?? No Tehelka type reporting in Lanka,no secret cam of Rajapakses?? No video cam kicking Jackson Anthony Nonis?? No multi billion fraud a la Chinese funds?? No skimming off the top by Cabba? No property titles collected by cabal & backers last 9 years??$ accounts a la Marcos style? No details of cabal money managers business??

  • 3
    1

    Very good.

    Everybody knew this but no one presented evidence until now.

    NGOs are fraud houses. They are above the law.

  • 2
    3

    This article is absolute rubbish. I know Dr Saravanamuttu and I KNOW he would never EVER have done this or be part of anything of this nature. Absolute rubbish. You should not be publishing things about the few people left in Sri Lanka who are actually putting the welfare of the country above even their own safety. DISGUSTING!!!

    • 3
      0

      Aney darling! Soooo sweet!!

    • 1
      0

      Didn’t he ever shout you a Cocktail even with his own money at the Galle Face Hotel Long Bar…..

    • 0
      0

      Now,now,now no suicides please!

  • 0
    0

    who cares about what happens to wealthy donors of other countries.t is upto them to see what their money is spent on.If they don’t care why should we.these are countries where housewives pour milk down the drain and i you open the fridge you find it full with stuff bought at supermarkets and soon thrown away as stale in their rubbish bins.

    Our poor srilankans are having a hand to mouth existence while the president and his massive corterage want even extra cabins fitted for their airplane travel which even leaders of wealthy countries don’t do.

    Let us not lose our focus here and concentrate on the corruption and waste in srilanka which is hitting the poor taxpayers and people of srilanka and just forget what the bloody foreign taxpayers of wealthy countries are forking out for their NGO’s.Their problem not ours.

  • 1
    0

    In Western countries, alcohol is always served with meals when entertaining guests and even at governmental functions if meals are included for participants. In the UK they drink whisky before dinner, wine with dinner and brandy after dinner. In Russia there are people who drink vodka even at breakfast. Alcoholic beverages are considered part of the meal in France, Italy and Spain etc. So I don’t understand why there is all this fuss about consumption of alcohol.

    Even I need to take a couple of shots of arrack every evening to get the aches out of my joints after a hard day’s work.

  • 0
    0

    This kind of billing is normal in the corporate world. Most multi national company’s are compelled to adhere to ethics guideline and don’t reimburse for alcohol and cocktails. This is not a big issue, otherwise would hotels be so irresponsible to issue different descriptions based on the original bill amount?

  • 1
    0

    We have to view this whole story in a different way.

    Corruption; Corruption; Corruption. every where and had spread to the very core of the society. Look at some of the names that are mentioned. All well known “social activists” and presented themselves as “Gentlemen” to the world at large. Some of them are “living abroad” still with the “assistance” of these “Donors”. Then think of these “Donors”. Who are they? Very “massive organizations” like EU,UNESCO etc. With this exposure, these “Donors” are also for their “Complicity” and “open door policy” of financing these “Unscrupulous” men and women who should be “Internationally” branded as “ROUGHS” and declared “UNTOUCHABLES”. Can we call them “EDUCATED or PROFESSIONALS” They are nothing but “BASTARDS”.

    No wonder that the world is suffering with “incurable cancer” that had spread to all parts of the “Body”

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