Sri Lanka’s Good Governance Champion, President Maithripala Sirisena is embroiled in an alleged bribery scandal amounting to millions of dollars involving an Australian Company at the time he was a cabinet minister.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Federal Police is currently carrying out investigations involving the iconic Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC) where it is reported that the company’s overseas staff allegedly bribed officials to secure a US $ 2.3 million aid funded sewerage project in Sri Lanka in 2011.
“Company emails also reveal Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and his adviser allegedly demanded political ‘donation’ to be paid by SMEC when Mr. Sirisena was a cabinet minister.” the Newspaper said.
Based on the investigations, the emails show a plot to skim the money off a World Bank-funded dam project in 2009. According to the Newspaper, if the company had made the ‘donation’ Sirisena was to approve the awarding of the dam contract to SMEC, which was worth US $ 1.8 million.
SMEC’s Sri Lankan manager, who was recently sacked, wrote in emails to two Australian colleagues that he wanted to “inform the minister/coordinating secretary” of the size of an alleged kickback to be paid and that he needed to “prioritise” certain payments to unnamed parties “since the signing of the contract would depend” on it, the Sydney Morning Herald said.