Colombo Telegraph

Former Army Commander Saves Crony From Book Purchase Scandal

Former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, presently Chief of Defence Staff, has saved one of his favourite officers after a Court of Inquiry found him guilty of corruption.

Major General Lal Perera

Colombo Telegraph is able to reveal today that the Security Forces Commander for East, Major General Lal Perera was saved by Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya.

The Army Commander for the East was absolved and Jayasuriya succeeded in getting a Court of Inquiry to placed the blame on subordinate officers.

It is learnt that a military court had earlier found many discrepancies in a matter involving Maj. Gen. Perera and the purchase of books for a library at the Security Forces Headquarters (East) at Welikanda.

Maj. General Perera has allegedly manipulated the tender process to purchase books. On 05.11.2011 authorisation had been given to purchase books to the tune of Rs. 915, 000.

It is alleged that after initially obtaining quotations from renowned publishers in Colombo, the senior military officer had ordered his subordinates to make a purchase from a local bookstore in Polonnaruwa for Rs. 560,000. Later another batch of books worth Rs. 355,000 had been purchased from the same source. The Colombo Telegraph is in possession of documents which confirm some of the hand written quotations obtained by Maj. Gen. Perera were not from the would be suppliers.

Once the discrepancy was discovered by the auditors, Maj. General Perera is alleged to have forged a quotation from the local bookstore long after the items had been apparently purchased. There is a further allegation that receipts and delivery notes had also been forged by subordinates to indicate that the books had been purchased from the originally named more renowned publishers.

After the initial military court pointed out these acts of misconduct Maj. Gen. Perera is said to have influenced senior officials at Army headquarters to change the verdict of a report by the then Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya.

Subsequently in February 2013, Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya had issued a report in to the matter absolving Maj. Gen. Perera of all wrong doing in the matter but making an observation that some of his subordinates had not followed due process as per the Financial Regulations of the government.

Senior ranks are perturbed that some top officials have been protecting corrupt personnel.

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