18 October, 2019

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Sri Lankan Airlines Probe: Weliamuna Yet To Disclose Fee Breakdown

J. C. Weliamuna, one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent good governence activists, the former Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka is yet to reveal the amount of money he received as the head of first government-commissioned inquiry into the previous government’s corruption and malpractices.

JC Weliamuna

JC Weliamuna

The Aviation Minister’s ordered probe into the Sri Lankan Airlines costs Rs 3.5 million.

Two days ago Weliamuna speaking to Colombo Telegraph confirmed that he along with his team comprising of senior lawyers U.H. Palihakkara, B.A.W. Abeywardane and M.K. Bandara were paid Rs 3.5 million including all costs for the six week long investigation.

At that time Colombo Telegraph did request for a breakdown from Lawyer Weliamuna but he was not in a position to do so. A subsequent email was sent to him seeking this information. Weliamuna did not respond yet. Yesterday we have again asked him to reveal at least the amount he received as his fee, he has not responded to-date.

“There ought to be transparency on both the framework set for the inquiry and the basis for charging – the danger is this ends with those involved profiteering without [the public gaining] adequate benefits”, a Finance Ministry official told Colombo Telegraph on the condition of anonymity.

The final ‘Weliamuna Report’ report was submitted to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the 31st March 2015 and recommended criminal investigations into the entire re-fleeting process and had noted instances where former chairman Wickramasinghe, a brother-in-law of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and airlines’ CEO, Kapila Chandrasena, should be prosecuted.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    0

    If what this committee has found is true,what has the COPE been doing and who represented the UNP in COPE?
    Why we don’t hear any word from Dew Gunasekara who was the chairman of the COPE about these findings.

  • 7
    3

    We have to appoint another commission how Weliamuna has received this much of sum without transparency. This is another loss for the country.

  • 5
    3

    Whether Weliamuna gives the break down or not, no action will taken against Raja family and not a single rupee will be recovered from them.
    This commission is a waste of 3.5 million rupees

  • 4
    2

    Passapaththa hodaganna watura kocharak ona whey the kiyala ahuwalu
    .
    Methana athiwela thiyana prassneth ewagamai

  • 6
    2

    Looks like so many are making bucks in the name of MR & family! If they prove these allegations and actions are taken, money is worth spent.

  • 7
    3

    We dont ask for the breakdown on the cost of a loaf of bread.
    We dont ask the hotelier for the breakdown on the cost of a plate of rice.
    We dont ask the lawyer for the breakdown of the cost of a lawsuit.
    We dont ask the surgeon for a breakdown on then cost of a surgery.
    It appears that ColTel is after Mr Weliamuna with a vengeance.
    What good is it going to be to anyone even if he did give a breakdown of the cost of this damning report.
    What the authorities concerned must do is to appoint without delay, a learned panel to inquire into the findings of the report and punish those responsible for the indiscipline, mismanagement, corruption, monetary losses and illegitimate activities of Sri Lankan Airlines.
    There is no point in going after the payment made for a job done.

  • 4
    3

    This must be a joke! 3.5 million for a commissioner! Is this still the MR government or didn’t we get rid of him and his practices! Why not appoint a impartial government servant like in the good old days?

  • 3
    0

    So is this ias the most grace issue at the momant in the country? Weliamunsa Rs 3.5 to pull up findings at the most currupted places in Sri Lanka. Is that a crime? When Haroon Laggart came donw a submitted a report he was USD 500,000 by Sri Lanka Cricket, the report was supposed to be a plan to improve the Domestic Cricket in Sri Lanka.Now this money was paid by SLC. They belong to US the tax payers.Did any body make a protest and did anybody question the SLC admin , the highly Currupted Secretry , President CEO? NO. So why worry on this money spent on a report to find faults and curruptions.

    We have written lot on this before regarding the fees by Senior Lawyers.
    Weliamunas report made lot of changes and People were educated. Fees were reasonable for the entire panel.We dont care how it was paid.

  • 1
    4

    Very good the GOOD GOVERNANCE PAYING 3.5 Million to WELIAMUNA the [Edited out] who tried to lie here and there to discredit MR Govt!!!
    [Edited out]

  • 5
    0

    25000 dollars is peanuts to what that fraud Sir Desmond is paid like 60,000 dollars a month.This money amongst five people for 6 weeks is not outrageous.

  • 0
    2

    This is the pay back for witch hunt.

  • 4
    0

    Rs 3.5 million is peanuts compares to previous regime pays to bogus consultants.Plus this is a bargain for six weeks four people,s work

  • 0
    0

    I hold Mr. Weliamuna in my highest esteem, especially because he took such risks for the common good of us all during the Rajapakse era. He is a brave man. There is no question.

    It is unfortunate that Mr. Weliamuna charged so much for the inquiries; inquiries he effectively demanded as the head of Transparency International. When principles bring in money, that undermines the very principles one is advancing. I am sure the government felt his charges were fair payment as many have argued in Colombo Telegraph. But accepting that payment undermined the principles for which Mr. Weliamuna so selflessly risked his life. He should have either waived his fees or, if devoting time to the inquiry would have diminished his income by being away from his usual caseload in court, he should have given someone else the chance to lead the inquiry. If indeed it is true that what he was paid is the rate of pay for his normal work, then good sense should have told him to continue with his normal work. This tiny mistake has unfortunately made people question the integrity of a great man.

    As advice to Mr. Weliamuna, I say this as a friend: “You are no ordinary man. Extraordinary men are not allowed to do that which ordinary men may. Remember. While it was lawful for any citizen to rub shoulders with former President Rajapakse when he was president, recall the angry reaction from the public when the Cardinal and the Chief Justice did that. The principle is that great men, even when they do nothing wrong, must not give grounds for suspicious speculation because that undermines the institutions for which they are the pubic face. You Mr. Weliamuna represent Transparency International and not just yourself.”

  • 0
    0

    But political will translated into political decisions cannot be justified along with partisan politicking. Politicking rubs the whole issue the wrong side up and devalues the political will and its action. Most investigations taking place don’t seem to prove such political will is being turned into impartial inquiry. Weliamuna investigation is one such bad instance. Apart from transparency and accountability issues raised by Colombo Telegraph (CT) and Amrit Muttukumaru, the very appointment of J. C. Weliamuna for investigations on SriLankan airlines smacked of “green” politics. For over three years, Weliamuna was a prominent campaigner against the Rajapaksa regime on “Platform for Freedom” with then Leader of Opposition and UNP leader Wickremesinghe and other UNP stalwarts. He was also a very conspicuous presence in most other UNP led protests. He is quite openly, “UNP in politics”. And from what Chandra Jayaratne had responded to CT on Weliamuna investigations the implied truth is, that investigation lacked expertise to handle the responsibility given. Therefore he volunteered with his expertise. It’s another aberration, for these high profile investigations are not mandated to have volunteers in the panel of investigators. If Weliamuna investigation lacked expertise, Jayaratne’s volunteerism should have been made public. Political colour and incompetency together with undisclosed volunteer investigators violates social trust, a supreme necessity in today’s political context of many uncertainties.

    Kusal Perera

    read more;
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/political-necessity-used-for-politicking-negates-independent-commissions/

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