23 September, 2018

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MP Tax-Free Permit Scam: Activist Demands Unqualified Apology From CIABOC Or Face Contempt Charge

Public Interest Rights Activist, Nagananda Kodituwakku demands the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) to tender an unqualified apology to the Chief Justice for deceiving the Supreme Court by making a manifestly falsified submission to the Court that the CIABO has already commenced a credible investigation into the activist’s complaint made in August 2016 on MP permit abuse.When the matter was taken up for support on 15th June 2017, activist Kodituwakku asserted that the undertaking given to Court by the CIBOC was a diabolical lie uttered to deceive the Supreme Court and the people and he made a serious accusation against the CIABOC that it simply cannot carryout its functions as required by law in cases where the Executive President, the Cabinet of Ministers and the MPs are involved.   

In the written notice served on CIABOC dated 21st June 2017, after the Supreme Court declined to issue notice the activists challenges that the undertaking given to Court was simply a ploy to suppress the day light robbery of public funds committed by the corrupt MPs and the Cabinet of Ministers who had sold their tax-free car permits.

In his submission made to the Court on 15th June 2017, he drew the attention of the Court to the letter he was served with by the former Director General, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe wherein she informed him that ‘although the government had incurred a loss due to the abuse of MP tax-free car permits it had been incurred due to the implementation of the government policy and therefore the CIABOC would not inquire into the abuse of tax-free permits issued to MPs’. The Court also heard that the former Director General, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, deliberately declined to inquire in to activist’s complaint compelling him to charge her for ‘Corruption’ and when the government was determined remove her from the office for different reasons, the corruption charges leveled against her by the activist Nagananda was used to justify her removal from office of the Director General of CIABOC.

In the activist’s hard-hitting letter addressed to the Chairman of the CIABOC the activist asserts that the undertaking given to Court by the CIABOC that it has already commenced a credible investigation was manifestly false and that the former Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe had earlier at a press briefing had threatened and intimidated the activist with a criminal prosecution under Section 21 of the CIABOC Act for making a false allegation.

In the submission made to the Court the activist submitted to the Court that since the CIABOC fatally failed to act as required by law on activist’s complaint, private companies and individuals who are prohibited to enjoy this tax exemption had imported over 100 Land Cruiser Jeeps on these MP tax-free permits. The Supreme Court also heard with attention drawn to the relevant documentary evidence that the total failure of the CIABOC has opened the floodgates for corrupt MPs and Ministers to abuse the MP tax-free permits with no respect or regard to the Rule of Law. And even the Executive President M Sirisena, has taken the advantage and imported a Land Cruiser Jeep on 14th Oct 2016 claiming himself to be an MP for Polonnaruwa District and the former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, (now a Kurunegala District MP) too has imported a similar vehicle on 19th Sep 2016 on a MP tax-free permit, defrauding the payment of fiscal levies of Rs  33,457,500.00 for each vehicle.   

In this backdrop the activist Nagananda claims that this totally deplorable conduct on the part of the CIABOC has patently proved that although on paper it is an independent body created by law to combat bribery and Corruption, in practice it is completely an impotent statutory body that does not enjoy any independence at all, particularly when it comes to matters involving corrupt MPs, Ministers and the Executive President.

Setting out examples of the dismal failure of the CIABOC and reason for not to accept its undertaking to conduct a credible investigation, the activist submitted to the Court that when President Mahinda Rajapaksa was determined to remove the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, he used the CIABOC as a tool. On 26th of July 2013, the then Director General of CIABOC Luckshme Jayawickrama, brought three charges before the Chief Magistrate Court, Colombo (copies enclosed) against the Chief Justice on which the Chief Justice was unjustly impeached. Once the duty entrusted on the CIABOC was duly accomplished, the Attorney General later made an application to the Court on behalf of the CIABOC, seeking permission to withdraw all the charges. And the Court exonerated the Chief Justice from the unsubstantiated criminal charges leveled against her.

In the demand sent to the CIABOC the activist also claims that CIABOC was created by law for a purpose; that is to combat bribery and corruption against any person who violates the law, guaranteeing the Commissioners total independence to perform the public office for ‘public good’ with due respect and regard to the public trust doctrine without violating the integrity and the public confidence placed in it. However, the conduct of the extant Commissioners and the Director General of the CIABOC has proved, beyond any doubt, about their inability to deal with high profile major fraud inquiries. And that the CIABOC has fatally failed to realize the expectations of people and blatantly violated the people’s trust placed in the CIABOC.

The activist Nagananda Kodituwakku charged that the CIABOC had intentionally deceived the Supreme Court with manifestly falsified submission that it had already initiated a credible investigation into activist’s complaint and cautions the CIABOC that unless an unqualified apology is tendered to the Chief Justice for deceiving the Supreme Court, it will be charged for contempt, seeking for an order against all three Commissioners and the Director General for punishment in terms Article 105 (3) of the Constitution.

Lawyer Kodituwakku has also sent the copies of the letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Switzerland and the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, since they have already expressed their concerns about the state of administration of justice in Sri Lanka. The government has already conceded these serious charges and has co-sponsored a resolution passed against the government of Sri Lanka by the UN Human Rights Council, which dictates that the people have no confidence in the Judiciary, which lack accountability.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    0

    It is to be hoped that his Lordship will view this matter with an open mind and demand an apology from the former DG of CIABOC, and take further action he may think fit.
    The honour of our country- the Democratic Socialist Republic – internationally, is at stake.
    The trust placed by citizens of Sri Lanka on the apex “justice dispensing body” must not be shattered.
    p.s
    What the (Dis)Honourable Minister of Justice and his fellow parliamentarians will do is quite another matter.

  • 6
    1

    So President Bodhi Sira is in it tooooo………Wonder why he put himself as MP for Pollonnaruwa in the application ?……..Did he also sell the Car Permit just like the Poodle Club Baby , and pocket 35 Million of Tax Money?…….. ……. Yahapalanaya seems serious when it comes to looking after Tax Revenue…….

    • 3
      0

      Leave aside the Tax component. How do most of these nincompoops including the Gramasevaka account for the basic cost of the car, is my question.

  • 6
    0

    SL is fast becoming a failed state (if not already) with rampant corruption, an ineffective police force & judiciary system & sheer abuse of power by those who are entrusted with it. If not for activists like Mr Kodithwakku, there would be no resistance from the general public who have come to accept all these atrocities as normal, or worse, live in denial.

    Mr Kodithuwakku is a lone voice against the unfair advantage & corruption relating to car permits, therefore, should be supported by all those who dream of a fairer society in Sri Lanka, no matter how distant it may be. Recently CT highlighted a scandal involving a prominent car distributor in SL which caused the Govt. to lose billions in lost revenue, which, at the end of the day, has to be propped up by the public in the form of stealth & other form of taxation to fill the coffers. This car distributor is not alone, therefore, SL needs a strong voice to keep all these scandals in the public eye, otherwise, it just gets shoved under the carpet or may even never come to light.

  • 5
    0

    Kodituwakku,

    The European Union is supposed to monitor good governance in SL. Send them a copy also.

  • 8
    0

    President is a bloody beggar.

  • 7
    0

    Our country has the stupidest people and the most corrupt politicians which is a deadly combination.

  • 6
    0

    Lankans know that the car-permits was a bribe. It worked because the SLFP (MR),JO, JVP, TNA are keeping quiet.
    Thanks you Nagananda Kodituwakku for taking the matter in public interest. The complicity of Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) here will be washed in public.
    Judgements are based on prosecution. The prosecution can present a case in such a way that a predetermined judgement results. This happens in US.
    We need just a few more Naganandas.

  • 3
    0

    Can anyone educate me on President getting a duty free vehicle on the basis of being an MP of the Polonnaruwa District, when in fact he can no longer be an MP once he is sworn in as the President. [Quoting from the article: “And even the Executive President M Sirisena, has taken the advantage and imported a Land Cruiser Jeep on 14th Oct 2016 claiming himself to be an MP for Polonnaruwa District ….”].

    • 3
      0

      I suppose, technically, he is entitled to a duty free vehicle as an MP & also several more vehicles as the President. If the rumors are correct, as Presidential transport, he had ordered a couple of Maybachs, a custom built car from Mercedes with a starting price tag of over £500k but obviously its not suited for driving around in his electorate, hence the luxury 4×4.

      European leaders travel in Mercedes S Class or BMW 7 Series (apart from Macron who goes about in a Citroen DS & the British PMs have always used Jaguar), in keeping up with the status as the country’s leader but the President of a tiny third world country has to out do them all with a fleet of luxury limos..

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