The Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has announced his resignation last night. He said the exact reason for Wijeweera’s resignation has not yet been revealed, but the minister said that Wijeweera might have resigned due to ongoing investigations to determine the reasons for the considerable loss that had been reported in the Customs Department in the recent past.
Director General of Customs had allegedly involved in multi-million rupee scams under Rajapaksa regime, was appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to the Special Presidential Task Force for the recovery of illegally acquired state assets. The other members are; former Solicitor General Bimba Tillakaratne PC, H.M.L.T. Mudalige, H. Amaratunga, C.A.H.M. Wijeratna, Senior Assistant Secretary to the Justice Ministry A.K.D.D. Arandara, L.S. Pathinayake, Director General of the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, Commissioner General of Inland Revenue Department Kalyani Dahanayake, D.G.N. Jayawardena, C.A. Premashantha, Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda PC and senior lawyer J.C. Weliamuna.
The Presidential Task Force is empowered to “investigate, identify, trace, seize and transfer to Sri Lanka, state assets and revenue which are due to the government that have been illegally or unlawfully acquired or procured by Sri Lankan nationals and other persons acting on behalf of Sri Lankan nationals or otherwise, and are being concealed or kept outside the territory of Sri Lanka by such persons and others acting on their behalf, and take effective steps to cause their seizure and transfer or return to Sri Lanka to be confiscated and vested in the General Treasury.”
The recovery of stolen state assets was a major slogan in the election platform of President Maithripala Sirisena at the last Presidential poll. “Wijeweera has no moral right to stay on as a member of the Special Presidential Task Force for the recovery of illegally acquired state asset” a good governance activist told Colombo Telegraph.