1 October, 2022


JVP Slams Govt. Decision To Move Justice Ministry To WTC At Rs 400 Million Cost

Opposition Lawmakers pitched into the Government over its decision to move the Justice Ministry to the World Trade Centre in Colombo at an astronomical cost of Rs 400 million in Parliament on Wednesday (9), saying the decision was a crime when the country was in grave economic peril.

Vijitha Herath

JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath accused the Government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of double standards, reminding the ruling SLPP that they criticized a similar decision by the previous Government to rent a building for the Ministry of Agriculture at a whopping Rs 24 million per month.

The JVP legislator said the cost to the Treasury per month to move the Ministry of Justice would be over Rs. 10.1 million.

It will cost them Rs 2 million to transport the material from each floor of the Ministry of Justice. So that amounts to Rs 10 million for all five floors – just for transportation, Herath revealed. “Was there really no other building to move the Ministry of Justice to?” he demanded.

“Our people are going hungry. A coconut is selling at Rs 120, a kilo of rice is Rs 140. The Government itself is admitting that the country is in a precarious financial position and this has worsened because of COVID-19. So how can they justify this cost?” MP Herath charged.

Interrupting Herath’s speech to respond, Justice Minister Ali Sabry said all the Ministry had done was ask permission to move which had been granted.

Ali Sabry PC said that the rent for two years of Rs 400 million would include utilities.

“All we did was ask permission. That permission has been granted. One of two things have to happen, either we have to move or the courts have to move,” he tried to explain.

The JVP Lawmaker shot back that the decision had been made by cabinet, without tender procedures or other government procurement regulations being followed.

“Stop wasting the people’s money this way,” Vijitha Herath charged. “This is a crime.”

The JVP Member reminded the House that many citizens in the country were struggling to get Rs 5000 just to survive. Migrant workers come back home and have to pay Rs 16,000 for PCR tests and Rs 7500 per day for hotel costs during quarantine, he said.

“These are our workers. When so much money is being fleeced from them, how is it justifiable to spend this kind of money to move the ministry? This is a huge waste,” Herath said.

He also recalled that when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa first assumed office he made a proclamation that ministries would only be housed in state buildings. The President had also claimed that family members would not be appointed, Herath recalled. “All those are forgotten and broken promises,” he charged.

The JVP Legislator also revealed that the Health Ministry would also soon be moved out from its current premises. There were several ministries in the pipeline to move, he warned.

Herath also referenced another office at the World Trade Centre in Colombo that the Justice Ministry had constructed to house the International Arbitration Centre. “Interior Décor alone for this centre cost Rs 100 million and each chair was purchased at Rs 50,000. That Centre is yet to hear a single case,” he said.

Colombo Telegraph learns that the International Arbitration Centre was proposed in the 2010 budget under the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and construction work began at the World Trade Centre in Colombo in 2011. The Centre was opened in May 2015. The Centre heard its first arbitration case in 2020.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    Ali Sabry P.C. said that the Rent for two years of Rs. 400 Million would include utilities……..

    But, alas it would exclude Justice!

    • 5

      “Rent for two years of Rs. 400 Million would include utilities……..
      But, alas it would exclude Justice!” —— This is the best summary I’ve seen.

      If Mr Lowyer or his lower minions are reading this, please will they take note? Lowyer has to try to salvage what little he has of his promise as a schoolboy from Zahira College and a product of the once hallowed Sri Lanka Law College. Wonder whether these institutions are hanging their heads in shame after noting the depths plumbed by this lowyer?

      This is what wikipedia says about Mr Lowyer:
      “He is well known for appearing in court cases for the then defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was accused of corruption allegations during the Presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa.[5] He also favoured Gotabaya Rajapaksa when the latter had to deal with the issues regarding American citizenship prior to the runup to the 2019 Sri Lankan presidential election and insisted that Gotabaya isn’t an American citizen with evidence”

      So what’s wrong with lowyer getting new digs costing the desperately poor of this country, 400 million smackers (including utilities, but excluding justice)?

    • 1

      whose funds are these ?
      Is srilanka their private property ?
      Why do PINTHTHARA community stay as if they are fed with clay today ? They the buddhist monks paved the way Rajapakshes to return and save this nation. But instead what we have been experiencing is the total opposite. Why cant they open their orifices yet today ?
      Those Sanga community has proved that they are no different to the STREAT prostitutes.
      Murththettuwa CHEEWARDARIYA, and that Alle Gunawansa BP, wake up from your LONG slumber. It is you who brought these criminals to power. You guys should be stoned to the last breath… if nothing would come from you let alone today. Basta.

  • 5

    It is outrageous to spend so much of public money to house the expensive seat warmers of the Ministry of Justice.

    • 3

      Not only Ranjan’s mouth, yours too should be put some gold….. anyways, this is how they govern srilanka. Senior men, please wake up and save this nation from Rajapakshe patta pal horu. We did our job, that was educating the easy targets, but many in the country did not do enough. Let s hope let alone DIVINE forces will shape the ground situation sooner than later.

  • 2

    This is probably another USAID advisor / consultant’s project – to delay the work of the Justice department and sabotage the Bondscam and Easter Sunday inquiries among others, that will reveal how CIA, US Special Operations Forces are Peace Corps “volunteers” are gaming the system and Sri Lanka state and people.

    US puppet Moda Modi in India, who shut down the National Planing Commission so that the USAID_EU Consultancy Raj could capture policy making process and institutions is now spending billions for a new parliament boasting that Indian is the “mother of all democracies” after literally destroying that country, with de-monitization, Covid-19 policy disaster and now the Farming Laws to benefit US-EU corporations while the Covid hoax keep people in lock down, in Lanka US puppets in the Rajapakse regime are undermining the judiciary in Lanka.

  • 1

    CT: Correction requested. MP Vijith Herath is NOT a JVP MP in Parliament. He is the nominee of “NPP” (National Peoples Movement – Jathika Janabala Vegaya) and was elected from the Negambo District to Parliament. I would earnestly request you to present the speech made by NPP, MP Anurakumara Dissanayake at the Committee stage of the Budget relating to the “Sugar Scandle” of “GR Regime”. He provided authentic statistics about the “Huge” handout the Chairman of Shagirila Hotel received in compensation for the money he spent on the Presidential and General Election., through this “Sugar Deal”. So far no Minister (FM & Trade) has refuted the facts stated in that speech. Now the ordinary people have begun to discuss the contents of that speech because there is no sugar to be bought at the “Gazetted” price. It is a “Good Sign” and to me, it is a “Silver Lining in the Dark Cloud:”

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