Several frontline Ministers of the Yahapalanaya Government and Parliamentarians has once again utilized the Duty Free Permits granted to them to enrich their personal coffers, which has resulted in the country losing millions of rupees in revenue.
Ministers Malik Samarawickrama, Lakshman Kirella and D. M. Swaminathan, along with Parliamentarians M. S. Thowfeek and Nalaka Prasad Kolonne have imported luxury vehicles using their duty free permits during the month of October.
Meanwhile, Rights Activist Nagananda Kodituwakku has said that the country has been defrauded at least 7 billion rupees in tax revenue due to the abuse of the tax-free car permits given to the MPs.
In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, Kodituwakku has also once again challenged the credibility and integrity of the former Director General of the CIABOC, Dilruksh Wickramasinghe and has once again accused her of abusing office of the Director General of CIABOC to confer benefits and favours to MPs.
The activist said that from the citizens viewpoint, this is a very important case about the betrayal of their sovereign rights by all three organs of the government that exercise people’s sovereign rights purely on the trust placed in them (Article 4 of the Constitution), misuse or overstep of which tantamount to the breakdown of the rule of law and blatant disregard of the norm of representative democracy.
The activist also draws the attention of the President Sirisena to observe that the absence of accountability process in the exercise of people’s sovereign rights by the organs of the government has already come under scrutiny by the United Nations Human Rights Council, compelling the Government of Sri Lanka to concede that the people have no trust and confidence in the administration of justice system, persuading it to co-sponsor the Resolution (A/HRC/RES/30/1) passed on 01st Oct 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Providing the information inside out about this scam involving the MPs and Cabinet of Ministers, (including an up to date schedule of vehicles imported tax-free) the activist urges the President Sirisena to discharge the office as per his Constitutional Oath and in terms of Article 33 (1)(c) of the Constitution, ensuring proper functioning of the CIABOC, by appointing an independent person with high degree of integrity to the office of the Director General of the CIABOC with clear mandate given to initiate Criminal proceedings in terms of Section 70 of the Bribery Act against all individuals holding office as MPs and the Cabinet of Ministers, including the former Director General of CIABOC Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe for abusing the office held for public good but misused the office to confer benefits or favours for themselves or others causing tremendous revenue loss to the government.
Kodituwakku also urges the President to initiate legal action against all dishonest MPs and Cabinet of Ministers to recover the entirety of the statutory levies defrauded concerning the sale of tax-free car permits to those who are not entitled to use this privilege.