21 June, 2024

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Sri Lanka Loses Billions, As Frontline Ministers, MPs Use Duty Free Vehicle Permits To Enrich Their Personal Coffers

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.malik-samarawickrama-entry

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.

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Latest comments

  • 28
    4

    How could this government ever justify putting up VAT, while complaining about debts incurred by the former government, while abusing parliamentary privileges for MPs tax payer paid and imported vehicles? It is sacrilege and a slap on the law abiding voters’ face, total disrespec for the citizens, abuse of power, and down right corruption.Our hearts bleed for the ever suffering countryfolks of ours. Had this been happening in UK or France, these abusers would have lost their positions and ended up in jail, where they rightfully belong.

  • 24
    2

    Shame on this regime. They are no better than the previous one. We have so much to do for the people in this country, and these selfish clowns are ripping us off, by buying unnecessary luxury cars, that are sometimes too big for our small roads. This is why this country will continue to stay a third world country. The idiots who call themselves Sri Lankan leaders, are greedy, and only think of themselves and their inner circle. The people in this country do not matter to them. The high cost of living, and people struggling to make ends meet, do not matter to them. They should have been given a couple of medium range vehicles and asked to manage.
    We could have done so much with the billions they ripped off from us. One damn scam after another.

    It seems we are cursed with dishonest politicians in all parties.

  • 17
    1

    RE: Sri Lanka Loses Billions, As Frontline Ministers, MPs Use Duty Free Vehicle Permits To Enrich Their Personal Coffers

    Fleecing the masses, Sri Lanka style, by the ELECTED POLITICIANS.

    The People have got REPRESENTATION, All right, but fleeced.

    The “President” Gon Sirisena Gamarala, and “Prime Minister” Dimwit Ranil Nuwara-rala, are in cahoots with the ELECTED POLITICIANS to fleece the populace. These are Santhosams to the ELECTED POLITICIANS.

    It has been three scores and 8 years, and the populace are still being fleeced.

    The former President was given a forced retirement after fleecing for 10 years.

    Merry-go round, fleecing the populace.

    Imports :$20 Billion.
    Exports: $10 Bullion
    Remittances form Sri Lankans Abroad: $7 Billion
    Deficit: $3 million.

    • 3
      0

      Correction:

      Deficit: $3 million.

      CORRECTED:

      Deficit: $3 Billion, not 3 million

  • 16
    2

    The Billions of Rupees has been used by all members of Cabinet and non Cabinet ministers for DUTY FREE Permitted Vehicles for NOT ALL Official purposed, but for the their Family daily traveling and enjoyment of sons and daughters of schooling of cost TAX payers which that having Gasoline the Cost of Govt. of Sri lanka.

    This New Political Package & Perks was an introduce by UNP-JRJ that time misused daily life since 1977 that UNP came power by five sixth of majority in Parliament seats.
    Until 1977 to 1994 JRJ & R.Prempala & Wijetunge of UNP regime has extend to the additional perks to the members of Provincial Council and Members of Parliaments.
    That is new cancer has spread through out the era of Neo-Liberal capitalism system was accommodated by “Liberal Democracy” led by UNP ideology of democracy 1977.

    That was unconditionally contiutinition policies of “UNP Liberalism” since until now by 1994 the CBK-Federalist leadership of SLFP regime and MR ruling Alliance 2005 to 2015 ,then “Good Governances” and “Rule of law” has double perks of Brand New cars from EU and Japanese Market by MS-President ,CBK of Neo-Federalist and Old UNP leader of Ranil W, has enlarged and enrich Political Corruptions without listen to Public VOICE.
    New Vehicle Market an open on DUTY FREE PERMITTED for the EU and Japanese business enterprises. They (EU & Japanese & Indian )Enjoy cost of our Foreign currencies, no relationship with ‘Human Rights’ of Hard earning of millions of US Dollars Foreign countries at they works in oversees several years without their closed families.
    In fact I have no doubt EU Parliament will never rise “Human Rights” Issues of Tax been misused by UNP regime? MS & CBK?

    Well, corruptions, perks of duty free permitted has No idea for EU Parliamentarians!!!!!!!! They(EU Elites) only knows about that “war crimes”.

    Even today People has gone many hardships of their daily life since 2015 January 9th the current Old UNP leader regime led by Ranil W.. has double amount allocation funding Duty FREE Cars for members of Parliaments that perks were given keep majority in Chamber.

    While NOT a single taken any action by MS of New UNP leader-PRESIDENT and CBK Neo-Federalist of SLFP that keep silent of DUTY FREE PERMITTED is become most Lucrative Business to CAR MARKET AND SALES in Sri lanka.?

    This blatant & naked corruptions has not taken into accounts by any of ‘Anti -Corruption Movement’, ‘The Movement of Social justice’ ,and ‘The movement and the power of Citizen’ has totally ignored by the DUTY FREE PERMITTED is become social Cancer to Tax Payers of hardly of Earning and Living their day to day living life after end of WAR in 2009 May 19th and New Change by 2015 January 9Th that “Rainbow Revolution” led by MS and their political gang!!!!!

    All DUTY FREE LEADRES in Parliaments of 225 Members are Enjoy their daily life by DUTY FREE Entitlements not to that bother of Public Money and by ignoring masses of people hardships.

    The irrespective of political differences, party lines and ideologies , Ethnic differences of Separatism agendas by set beside all differences all members of under the cover of Parliament privileges, now they are enjoy and benefit out of buying and selling DUTY FREE Cars are now become their Political entitlements and privileges of lucrative business safeguard by New “Rule OF Law”.

    More or less that DUTY FREE CARS become Part and parcel of “Good Governance” and “Rule of law” of New unexpected changes of 2015 January 9th that mandate now shifted to have been including “DUTY FREE CARS” for the New political agenda after being power by MS leadership. That in New Change.

    The misused and Tax Payers money has been accepts that Norms by Current ruling alliances in core leadership of MS, CBK and UNP-Old leader Ranil W…as defector head of Govt. of Island.

    This is the Tragedy and consequence of “Rainbow revolution” how is that people become powerless since 2015 January 9th?

    Indeed truth is that “Rainbow”…RRRRRR…. become a Counter Revolution by overnight.

  • 13
    1

    It is no point of complaining. Who ever you elect from that 225, they are from the same gang of thieves. They support each other and keep the subordinates happy because they want to “lead their.

    Only a voter education and voter action would work. that again has to be a calculated effort. for example, voter franchise is not useful in Sri lanka once elected, the leader appoints losers back to the parliament.

    NGOs working along these avenues are for they themselves or for their financing country’s interests.

    • 4
      0

      How come you didn’t turn this conversation into LTTE, Tamils, Muslims or Budhists monks who are in jail ?

  • 18
    1

    What civilized developed countries give MPs duty free cars?

    • 4
      0

      shami

      Q. “What civilized developed countries give MPs duty free cars?”

      A. Only uncivilized and still developing countries occupied by Paradeshis, Paras, with low IQ give MPs duty free cars.

  • 15
    0

    “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.”

    How can the President do that! Those who live in glass houses can’t throw stones!!

  • 15
    0

    Well done sir. The laws are applied selectively when it come to MP’s. There is no clause inserted in the CR of duty free vehicles imported by MP’s barring transfer; this applies only to the common man. Shame “yahapalanaya”.

  • 13
    0

    If the practice of giving permits to MPs and Ministers to import duty free vehicles is bad governance, the sale of the imported vehicles to third parties is criminal act. When comes to salary hikes, perks and other privileges the Government and Opposition parties are in the same boat! They are birds of the same feather.

  • 14
    0

    Is Sri Lanka governed by a parliamentary system or by a Company of Rogues engaged in the Duty Free Car business? Why not officially change the name of the parliament as `Car Gilina Kompany”?Bloody parasites sucking the blood of the nation!

  • 14
    1

    Bravo Mir. Kodituwakku! Keep up you courageous struggle against corruption, and for justice for the working people of Sri Lanka.
    We, the people of Lanka are with you.

    Politicians should be given funds to buy only a Suzuki Alto, which is all that this DEBT ridden country can afford, so they can reduce the size of their over inflated egos. They want massive SUVs because they have massive EGOS!
    Financial crimes, overseas jaunts, and luxury lifestyles of Sri lanka politicians and their cronies is the cause of the massive debt crisis in Sri Lanka today.

    We, the people are been cheated and looted by the so called leaders under the Ranil Wickramasinghe Jarapalanaya govt. that is also protecting Mahinda Jarapassa and his family and cronies! If the billions waster by politicians and looted and held in off shore bank accounts are traced and returned to Lanka, the county would not be in a massive debt trap to China and IMF.

    People of Sri Lanka should refuse to pay taxes as long as corrupt politicians and their cronies like Mahendran and Perpetual Treasuries who are a CASTE of leaches are looting the country.

  • 15
    1

    Why are very wealthy, educated individuals also stooping to these low levels ? There are thousands of schools all over Sri Lanka without drinking water or toilet facilities . Do these “politicians” have no conscience at all ?

  • 15
    1

    No point in telling the President. He approves all these.

  • 7
    1

    State sponsored and approved corruption. Put all bloody MPs in jail for approving national squandering project for themselves. Unethical,immoral and corrupt. Time Army take over this administration and knock out these vermin (makuno) off their seats. We need a disciplined military style regime until these parasites are re-educated in how to administer a country.

  • 7
    2

    Ranil’s call for stronger parliament is for committing bigger crimes. When he cannot curb present draining of funds how can he curb fraud when people are made more weaker with a stronger parliament? The present governance system has been circumvented by their likes to commit such crimes. Sri Lankan Parliament has become the forum to commit crimes.

  • 8
    0

    Way to go, Nagananda!

    However, urging “the President to initiate legal action against all dishonest MPs and Cabinet of Ministers” will not succeed, as HE is as guilty as all the others that have “misused the office to confer benefits or favours for themselves or others causing tremendous revenue loss to the government”.

    Like someone said earlier, “you can take the gamarala out of the village, but you can’t take the village out of the gamarala”!

  • 3
    0

    Ministers and MP get vehicles DUTY-FREE. Whereas the average citizen ends up paying 120% Taxes when buying vehicles. If a Luxury vehicles is imported the burden is even higher.

    These ministers/MPs and such PRIVILEGED folks get paid by the people (at least their monthly salaries and allowances), yet they get benefits such as these. They take our monies for their daily livelihood and still do not pay taxes when importing vehicles.

    On the other hand, the people pay their taxes to the state and still the state grabs more from them when they import a vehicle. What kind of justice is prevailing in this country!!!!

    Yet during every budget, the Finance Minister claims to have given a lot of relief to the people.

    This country has been ruled this way from the day the British left our shores. and no change is imminent in the near future.

  • 8
    0

    We need more proactive lawyers like Nagananda Kodituwakku. Shame on all 3 organs of the state.

  • 5
    0

    The politicians of Sri Lanka will not change their attitude – and their thinking, that the public office – electoral representation is only for their own benefits and does – maneuver everything to suck out maximum from the other taxpayers as well as from working class and peasant an voters indirectly through taxation – but billions drained out for the importation of Supra – Luxury vehicle that has no any maximum limit as well.
    What real Bloody blood sucking Parasites are these crooks!

    They should stop the Electronic Media advertisement – asking the rest of the Citizen to pay their tax regularly or change it to say

    “Please Pay Your Taxes Regularly so that YOUR REPRESENTATIVES CAN IMPORT A SUPER LUXURY VEHICLE FOR THEIR FAMILY TO SHOW UP and ENJOY LIVE LAVISHLY TRAVELLING – Please support their life time dreams”

    So that it will be Justified of your stage speeches – the COUNTRY is with heavy foreign debts and the economy is in shambles!

  • 7
    0

    The politicians say that they need a hardy and comfortable vehicle to travel to their electorate and work in their electorate.

    Malik Samarawickrama is a list MP, and has no electorate.

    He is a very rich man.

    He is making money in every which way just like Ravi Karunanayake, Kirriella , Vajira and Arjuna Mahendran,RW etc.

    Malik is also involved in the Bond scam.

    Oh God please curse these vermin

  • 6
    0

    Peoples working middle east who bring billions of foreign exchange to Sri lanka not allowed to bring cycle to there use. But there are RATA WIRIUWO.

  • 1
    0

    The COPE sits in Judgement;Recently,it was the BOND scam.
    But will the COPE sit in Judgement over the Car Permit issue?
    MPP of all hues are a set of………..!

  • 1
    1

    I believe CT has got things mixed-up. Govt. has issued duty free permits to MPs. The names mentioned in this article says that they have imported luxury vehicles using their duty free permits during the month of October. That is it. CT does not say these MPs have sold their permits or vehicles. They have just used a privilege given to all MPs.
    It does not say that these MPs have sold their permits or the vehicles. What is wrong in it. I do not understand. Then does the heading justify the news item on these MPs.
    Then connecting this news item with what Nagananda has complained earlier with the names of those who have sold their permits is to create a wrong impression that these MPs too have sold their Permits/ vehicles. If they have done so, CT should reveal the details. Otherwise, if they have not done so, it is not wrong, and very unfair on the part of CT. This amounts to creating a wrong impression in the minds of the reading public on these MPs.

  • 4
    0

    I watched Dinesh Gunewardene MP of the MEP who calls himself a socialist and speaks against privilege class, justifying duty free permits for parliamentarians and the right to sell because that is means of finding the funds for their election campaign.

    His true colours is shown. He is not a socialist or anti-privilege class person as he try to show himself as for political advantage, but he is a true privilege class person when it come to him!

    So how come the ordinary person, a non parliamentarian has to seek elections without the required funds lacking the privilege to duty free car permit and a right to sell it? Such people have to risk their personal wealth if they aspire to enter Parliament. Then if he is a true socialist and anti-privilege class man he should fight to allow every citizen for a right to have duty free car permit and right to sell, so all would have equal chance to campaign!

    Dinesh is a humbug and he is truly loves to be a capitalist. He wants capitalism to him but socialism for others!!

    • 4
      0

      The humbug Dinesh is disgracing his late father. No respect. Their socialism does not extend beyond those votes that theycapture through false representation. Karl MARX theories do not apply to his family and the deep pockets of his national dress. Corrupt individual and cheat!

  • 3
    1

    What ever Ranil does or speak these days is a FRAUD.

    • 5
      0

      thondamannay

      “What ever Ranil does or speak these days is a FRAUD.”

      Ranil and Mahinda are close friends.

      Do you remember the quote “Tell me who you go with and I’ll tell you who you are”?

  • 3
    0

    The intention for giving duty free permits was that the elected official will then have access to funds to do his political work via selling off the duty free permit.

    The Supreme court, correctly has washed it’s hands off the issue and asked the law be introduced or changed in Parliament.

    So, Nagananda’s good intentions aside, the practice is perfectly Legal.

    The other option is to change our electoral law, where the State will give each party a Rs value for each vote obtained with a minimum cut off point set.

    The state can also give a Rs value to each elected MP similarly.

    Now, who will bell the cat, I ask ?

  • 2
    0

    Mr. Nagananda: If the Government as a “Policy” decision permitted the MPs to import “Duty Free” vehicles and DID NOT impose the condition of “NON TRANSFERABILITY” or “SALE”; what can the President or the Bribery Commission do? I don’t think even the courts can intervene. In my opinion, what the Opposition and any others who opposed this policy decision should have done was to bring a motion in Parliament to veto the whole “POLICY”. Did anyone do that? Not even the JVP. However this cannot be left to go unchecked. Look at the way they passed the VAT Bill. Even ex “MAHARAJAH” was not there to vote against it and how many other Ministers and Seniors were not there to show opposition? Now everyone speaks og the COPE Report on the Bond Scam; but how many such reports have been FORGOTTEN. That is the ROTTEN STATE of affairs with this Government.This is where the Civil society must rally together and condemn the whole lot of MPs who violated the “civic consciousness” of duty by the suffering voters. These vehicles cannot be kept in hiding in safe houses; those have to move on our roads and the PEOPLE must make a note of such movements and stage a BLOCKADE. That will send a very STRONG SIGNAL to the Government and the President. Who is going to BELL THE CAT?

    • 4
      0

      Douglas

      “Mr. Nagananda: If the Government as a “Policy” decision permitted the MPs to import “Duty Free” vehicles and DID NOT impose the condition of “NON TRANSFERABILITY” or “SALE”; what can the President or the Bribery Commission do?”

      President cannot draft every policy document and follow it up with implementation.

      It is the responsibility of the state functionaries to ensure the conditions clearly stated and vigorously implemented.

      State functionaries are not domestic servants of politicians but the guardians of state coffer who are supposed to serve in the interest of public.

  • 0
    0

    Justica & Shrikaran – of all the comments you both see the truth behind this facility. The duty-free vehicle to M.PP is a Policy matter in Governance and
    public litigation failed, as it was a Policy matter and the Bribery Commissioner
    too cannot move against such Policy.
    This Policy, in practice covers an M.Ps expenditure to reach Parliment which he off-sets from anyone who could afford to give him say Rs. 25 million out of their pockets, with no pain to the masses, is the correct view. It is not acceptable
    under so called G.G and may be reversed in the future with an alternative-

  • 3
    0

    This is highway robbery. Haven’t these people got a conscience when they drive down the road and see the poverty. Millions of Sri Lankans are struggling to make ends meet. Most of the people of this country skip meals because they are so poor. As far as these MPs are concerned
    “I am alright Jack, don’t worry about the rest”.

  • 2
    0

    There are a few of us who served as Chairmen and Directors of the JRJ administration from 1977 to 1985. We were allowed to purchase a vehicle, if the Corporation is able to afford it, pay duty, use it for official purposes but a reasonable allowance was made for private use. None were given “duty free”, except the President and prior to that the Governor General, The Chief Justice and the Speaker. JRJ also allowed a vehicle to the Opposition Leader. That was all. This rubbish of “duty free” for doctors, nurses, Parlaimentarians, etc etc is an utter disgrace. End it NOW.

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