A group of depositors today denounced statements made by former Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala, and said that the ‘rich and powerful have ensured that they stand above the law’.
” We deposited our hard earned money. I am 96 now and our lives have been ruined by this swindler. We earned our money through blood sweat and tears and we havent got anything back. We only want our money back and to live and die peacefully” Mala Perera a 96 year old depositor told the media.
” This is not black money, this is our hard earned money. I am a government servant and struggled for 35 years to make this money and I invested it in Golden Key. I am 71 now and my life is completely lost as a result of the actions of this rogue” M. Nanayakkara said.
The depositors asked as to why no steps have been taken yet to arrest Sicille Kotelawala, the wife of Chairman Lalith Kotelawala despite repeated court orders to that effect.
” Why has she not been arrested yet?. She was a director of the company and is currently living on the funds that they swindled from us. The British High Commission wrote to us saying that the government of Sri Lanka has not requested extradition” the depositors said.
Speaking further, they said that Lalith Kotelawala was a scammer, and had used various methods to hide his assets and still be in control of them.
” There is a fund called CIESOT which Lalith Kothelawala initially declared as one of his assets. They first agreed to give the assets amounting 6 billion to the fund. Then suddenly they got agitated and said the fund was for the employees of Ceylinco Insurance which is a blatant lie” Dushani Hapugoda Chairman of one of the associations said.
” Ceylinco Insurnace itself had written in 2011 to the SEC and said that this was not owed to the employees. Now they have all changed their tune. These are rich and powerful people, and they even had the power to ensure that the former Chief Justice who was to give an order on CIESOT stepped down from the case.
Mohan Pieris who was sitting as Chief Justice at the time stepped down from hearing the case in July last year, after what he termed a ” scurrilous letter” being circulated.
The three judge bench headed by Pieris was on the verge of giving an order on the controversial fund CIESOT. The move eventually resulted in a protracted legal battle on the fund.
Earlier, the Golden Key Task Force informed the Supreme Court that they would complete the repayment of the depositors by February 2015.
” What is required is a presidential commission to investigate what happened to over 45 billion rupees that Lalith Kotelawala and his cohorts swindled. Thats what needs to be investigated. Not one person has been held liable for this crime” Hapugoda said.
When questioned by journalists as to the role played by the Golden Key Depositors, during the illegal impeachment of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, Hapugoda said that they called for her resignation on sound reasoning related to the case.
” We only want justice. We want our money back and these rouges have not been made to pay for it yet. They have to pay the money. The law should be equal and for 7 years we have been in ruins” the depositors said.