15 December, 2017

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Sins Worth 100 Million: Media Secretary Nimal Bopage’s Past Comes Back To Haunt Him

Controversial Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Nimal Bopage is facing a fresh crisis over his alleged involvement in a corruption case amounting to Rs. 100 million, with both the COPE and the FCID receiving fresh complaints requesting them to carry out investigations against Bopage.

Nimal BopageBased on the documents received by the Colombo Telegraph, Bopage was found guilty by COPE for multiple charges of corruption when he was the Chairman of the National Human Resource Development Council (NHRDC) during former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime.

However, soon after Rajapaksa’s fall in January last year, a frantic Bopage in his attempt to save himself and avoid arrest, switched camps and joined the Yahapalanaya regime following the change of governments, sources close to former Minister Dullas Alahapperuma under whose purview NHRDC fell told the Colombo Telegraph.

These corruption charges against Bopage had been investigated at length by COPE of the previous Parliament and had referred the matter to the Attorney General on November 18, 2014 for necessary actions. The Attorney General too had found sufficient evidence to indict Bopage on the Rs. 100 million worth corruption charges. Subsequently, on the advice of the Attorney General, the NHRDC lodged a complaint with the Narahenpita Police on March 10, 2016 in an effort to initiate a legal case against Bopage, but in a strange turn of events, Bopage was appointed to the powerful position of Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media by President Maithripala Sirisena two months later.

All investigations by COPE on these corruption charges against Bopage have been supported by the Auditor General whose reports too have highlighted Bopage’s wrongdoings when he was heading NHRDC. It is learnt that Bopage at no point cooperated with any of these investigations against him.

According to the COPE report to the AG, even the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption had commenced investigations against Bopage, but they did not make any headway in the investigations as they could not contact Bopage. But, a few months later, Bopage appeared from nowhere to take up the position of Secretary to Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media with the blessings of Sirisena, who incidentally came to power promising to bring in good governance and put an end to corruption, and nepotism.

Multiple projects that Bopage had commenced as the Chairman of NHRDC has either failed or were non-starters, COPE reportedly told the Attorney General. Approximately Rs. 5 million has been channeled for media advertisements alone through a private company of which the postal address was the same as that of Bopage’s private residence.

Some of the allegations mentioned in the COPE report to the AG are as follows:

– When the Committee observed that out of the total recurrent expenditure of Rs. 30,247,869 only a sum of Rs. 19,182,148 had been spent on the human resources development which is the primary objective of the council, while a sum of Rs. 9,939,546 or 52% had been spent on the electronic and print media publicity, the CAO/AO (representing officer of NHRDC) admitted their shortcomings and stated that the matter had been rectified in the following year.

– Strengthening of the students who fail in all subjects of GCE (O/L) examinations – It was observed by the committee that an amount of Rs. 12,979,803 had been ‘spent’ on this project although there is no record to show that such a project took place.

– Rs. 2,218,153 has been spent on another failed or non-existing project called “From Unemployment to Employment.”

– Newspaper advertisements had been published on a singing competition and Rs. 3,082,453 had been spent but no such event had taken place.

– The committee observed that the council had entered into a memorandum of understanding with a private company for the preparation and maintenance of a database of the unemployed in Sri Lanka and questioned as to why that task was given to a private company. The CAO said that it had been done without obtaining the approval of the Board of Directors of the Council during the period of former Chairman (Bopage).

– The committee had also highlighted how instead of handing over the advertisements directly to the electronic and print media for advertising purposes, a sum of Rs. 4,937,720 had been paid to private company without following the procurement guidelines. Incidentally the address of the private company is the same as the private residence of Bopage’s.

Apart from the large scale corruption charges facing Bopage during his tenure as Chairman of the NHRDC, Bopage is also accused of being involved various other cases of corruption, and abuse of power. He was also severely criticized for misusing vehicles and other resources when he previously held senior administrative positions. When Piyasena Gamage last year assumed duties as the Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training, he immediately removed Bopage from the position as the Chairman of the Vocational Training Authority due to Bopage’s questionable past.Nimal BopageNimal Bopage corruption 5Nimal Bopage corruption 7Nimal Bopage 8Nimal Bopage corruption 4Nimal Bopage corruption 6Nimal Bopage corruptionNimal Bopage corruption 3Nimal Bopage corruption 1Nimal Bopage corruption 2

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  • 18
    0

    It is very disappointing that President chose to appoint a corrupt official as Secretary to Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media. On whose advise did the President act? If he acted on his own then it is down right hypocrisy and breach of promise to usher bring in good governance and put an end to corruption, and nepotism. President Sirisena should annul the appointment since charges of corruption is too many. I was a public servant 40 years ago, but such frauds were unheard of those days. No public servant however high he may be will be able to channel about Rs. 5 million for media advertisements alone through a private company of which the postal address was the same as that of Bopage’s private residence. All this took place because the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself was setting a bad example to others. He spent government funds like a drunken sailor. The morning breakfast at temple trees cost Rs.100,000 per day. His trip to USA and other countries cost millions to the tax payers. He appointed his cronies to high places knowing well they are crooks.

    • 5
      0

      It will be too late when those who supported Yahapalanaya desert them,

      • 6
        0

        What is Ayahapalana Sira doing with all the corrupt clown in town?!

        Sirisena should be impeached for aiding and abetting corruption and corrupt individuals and for promoting IMMUNITY and IMPUNITY for financial crime in the gigantic Cabinet of Clowns and the Diyawenna Parliament of corrupt and criminal morons.

    • 5
      0

      unhappiness over Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse’s visit BY ZAHRATULHAYAT MAT ARIF – 2 SEPTEMBER 2016 @ 11:47 AM Facebook 831 Twitter Share 831 KUALA LUMPUR: More than 50 people from Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and politicians converged at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) today to vent out their frustration over the visit of former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse into the country. Rajapakse was here to attend the International Conference of Asia Pacific Parliament Members Union (ICAPPMU) in PWTC, which is being held from Thursdays until Sunday. The group, saying they were insulted by Rajapakse’s visit, marched towards PWTC from the MIC headquarters nearby at 8.30am. They were also heard chanting ‘Rajapakse get lost’ and stomping on the former president’s poster. Sungkai DAP state assemblyman A. Sevanesan said it was very insensitive to allow someone who has allegedly conducted ethnic cleansing of the Tamils in Sri Lanka into Malaysia where there are many Tamil people. “The government and police should chase him away, bring him back to his own country because this is very sensitive issue that touches the Indian community in the country. “I don’t know how the government can allow this ‘world-class criminal’ to enter this country,” he added. There is a large Tamil community in Sri Lanka and many Indian Tamils accuse Rajapakse of atrocities against the community during the 2009 conflict in the island nation. Heavy police presence saw at the PWTC including Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) as the group was also trying to barge into the building. This protest has also caused traffic congestion.

      Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/09/170191/indian-ngos-show-unhappiness-over-sri-lankas-rajapakses-visit

  • 10
    0

    He is just not only a thief hora nayakayek.

  • 12
    0

    Controversial Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Nimal Bopage,

    The complaint is too long for Rs. 100 million. Do you think it could run into billions?

    “Based on the documents received by the Colombo Telegraph, Bopage was found guilty by COPE for multiple charges of corruption when he was the Chairman of the National Human Resource Development Council (NHRDC) during former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime.”

    So, you too wee a crony of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Can Mahinda Rajapaksa save you?

    This is what happens when you team up with crooks and thieves. When they are caught, you are caught too.

    Why not fess up, and move on… either to the jail or to freedom..

  • 12
    0

    These criminals have fleeced this country, and cheated the Sri Lankan people, and has cost us too much.
    They should be thrown in jail and held responsible for these crimes. While the poor people in this country struggle to pay their bills, these greedy officials continue their extravagant lifestyles and live their lives with ill gotten gains. This is why our country can never prosper – those we put in responsible positions are milking this country and taking advantage of us.

  • 9
    0

    The buck always stops at the Attorney General’s Dept. these days. Why?

  • 8
    0

    A deal might be struck between siri and ranil.If siri can help in getting mahendran off the hook from COPE,then ranil could help in getting Bopage off the hook with COPE.grrrr.grrr.grrr nothing the poor citizens can do other than to grin and bear up while they play our arses,mahinda/gota/siri/ranil public ltd.

  • 9
    1

    MS are you corrupt too???? if not, why are the thieves being given plum positions

  • 4
    0

    This is a shocking exposure of a corrupt individual being appointed to a post requiring a person of unquestionable integrity and behaviour.

    In the fifties all public servants performed their duties according to the PSC Rules, Manual of Procedure, Financial Regulations and Administrative Regulations.

    All were combined into the Establishments Code in the eighties.

    Any public servant punished by a fine of Rs.50 or more by a Court of Law, faced dismissal.
    All public servants were required to perform their duties with efficiency, diligence and fidelity to earn each annual increment of salary.

    Now, a rogue like Nimal Bopage is able to be appointed to a high post.

    If the President believes in a righteous regime, he should take note of this exposure, and even temporarily suspend this person from his duties, pending investigation by the Auditor General, Attorney General and the FCID.

    CT, congratulations on this report.
    Do carry on regardless, of threats & intimidation.

  • 3
    0

    If the COPE, AG and Police too received a complaint, isn’t there a single sitting in that Legislature, including the present COPE Chairman to raise a question and elicit an answer from the Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media? I presume this must be one of those eleven Secretaries who has been named to be dismissed immediately by Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya in a letter addressed to both the President and the Prime Minister. This was revealed by this Professor at a TV presentation called “SATANA” when he was questioned as regards a public announcement he made in relation to a dismissal of six Ministers and eleven Secretaries if he had the necessary power and authority. As this Prof: explained, do not ridicule or disgrace the concept of “Yahapalana”; but try hard to get it into the system and correct these types of “Balupalanaya” by the authorities.

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