26 May, 2019

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UN Corruption Files Sri Lanka: Can The UN Getaway With A Fraud Of Over US $ 1.5 Million?

By Colombo Telegraph

In July 2012, Colombo Telegraph exposed how a leaked UN email suggests that UN money went to LTTE. Another leaked UN email suggests that the FAO Representative, Patrick Evans and the Assistant FAO Representative (Administration), Dihan Hettige was fully aware of the LTTE connections in this US $ 1.5 million fraud.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon| Photo -Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters

The FAO in Sri Lanka purchased project deliveries for the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka to a value exceeding US$ 1.5 million from three ‘Ghost’ companies Dev Traders, A. F. Associates and YCO Farm. These ‘Ghost’ companies could not be found at their given registered addresses. Two FAO staff members Niranjala Gunaraj, Finance Assistant and Thevarajah Vaigunthan, National Project Officer both attached to the FAO Emergency Unit collected the payments on behalf of these three companies.

The Colombo Telegraph had earlier reported how Dihan Hettige was aware of the LTTE connections of Thevarajah Vaigunthan, National Project Officer of the FAO Emergency Unit. Dihan Hettige said he had sufficient information to believe that Thevarajah Vaigunthan is directly connected to the LTTE with his capabilities of operating in the LTTE controlled areas easily. He also said that he was aware of the ‘Ghost’ company’s connections to the LTTE and thus their reluctance to reveal their true identities.

On 11 November 2008, Dihan Hettige wrote “I have checked the records with the police station in the area (Cinnamon Gardens Police) and the Bureau of National Intelligence as agreed. He was probably used in Colombo as an informant of the activities carried out at I/NGO level in Colombo and the requests/responses government of Sri Lanka initiated

The Colombo Telegraph reported that Niranjala Gunaraj, another UN FAO staffer had been involved but, FAO maintained that only one individual associated with the organization was found to be responsible.

Dihan Hettige further wrote “I believe this actions are supported by Ms. Niranjala Gunaraj, Finance Assistant as well by prioritizing the payments for these organizations clearly making a difference in order”. The Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that Niranjala Gunaraj, whom Dihan Hettige believed supported the corruption process and prioritized the payments for these ‘Ghost’ companies, continues to be employed by the organization, discharging the same duties.

A part of the money released to Dev Traders was channeled through Account No.0550255103 maintained with Hatton National Bank. Coincidently the husband of Niranjala Gunaraj, Finance Assistant who collected payments on behalf these ‘Ghost’ companies is an employee of Hatton National Bank.

How did the organization disregarded the credible information provided by Dihan Hettige in the capacity of Assistant FAO Representative (Administration)? On what basis were these details rejected by the organization in clearing Niranjala Gunaraj’s involvement in this fraud?

We also exposed how Dihan Hettige encouraged FAO Headquarters to bury this incident saying that if an investigation is sensed by Theverajah Vaigunthan or the connected individuals, they might disappear suddenly. Dihan Hettige presumed FAO might not be able to operate in the uncleared areas, thereafter also not ruling out the danger of being exposed to the Government of Sri Lanka.

We wrote to Patrick Evans and Dihan Hettige, asking what happened to the inquiry findings but they have so far failed to send us the investigation report.

Instead of making the inquiry report public Patrick Evans maintains “The issue has been thoroughly investigated and addressed in a proper manner.” Quoting The Rome-based UN FAO headquarters spokesperson The Italian Insider wrote; “corrective action was taken” as soon as the problem was brought to light. “FAO stressed that the core problem was not that money was diverted or that FAO did not perform, rather, it was that ‘the way FAO was performing was not correct’. We certainly acknowledge that misconduct took place and regret that improper behavior by one individual in the procurement of agriculture inputs went undetected, and have taken steps to ensure that such a situation can never repeat itself’.

We beg to differ. Bank details showcasing transfers of monies from these ‘Ghost’ companies prove millions of rupees were transferred to employee’s personnel accounts. The Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that staff members believed to be involved and responsible for this fraud both in the country office and the field continues to be employees of the organization. There has been no conceivable change in their working capacities.

According to the ‘Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service’ the United Nations and the specialized agencies embody the highest aspirations of the peoples of the world. International civil servants should share the vision of their organizations. It is loyalty to this vision that ensures the integrity and international outlook of international civil servants; it guarantees that they will place the interests of their organization above their own and use its resources in a responsible manner.

The concept of integrity enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations embraces all aspects of behavior of an international civil servant, including such qualities as honesty, truthfulness, impartiality and incorruptibility. These qualities are as basic as those of competence and efficiency, also enshrined in the Charter.

Where is the so called accountability?  Can the organization getaway with a fraud of over US $ 1.5 million by blaming the improper behavior by one individual?

We ask the UN FAO to publish the investigation report.

Related posts;

UN Corruption Files: UN Knew Its Money Went To The LTTE But Hushed Up

UN Corruption Files: UN Paid US$ 1.6 Million To “Ghost” Companies In Sri Lanka

UN Corruption Files: UN Replied

USD 1.6 Million UN Corruption Files: UN In A Cover-Up Game

The Buck Of Corruption Floats Up

USD 1.6 Million UN Corruption Files:FAO Says ‘We Certainly Acknowledge That Misconduct Took Place’ – The Italian Insider

UN Ethics Office Failed To Protect Whistleblower

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    As great as this article is, there is nothing here that is ‘new’. The fact aide organisations scratch the backs of rebels, and corrupt political leaders, in exchange for having their backs scratched, is nothing new. Conflict keeps these people employed, and sustaining conflict is therefore as important to these organisations as helping those then affected by conflict.

    Re: Dihan Hettige encouraged FAO Headquarters to bury this incident saying that if an investigation is sensed by Theverajah Vaigunthan or the connected individuals, they might disappear suddenly. Dihan Hettige presumed FAO might not be able to operate in the uncleared areas, thereafter also not ruling out the danger of being exposed to the Government of Sri Lanka.

    Goes to show the mentality within the organisation doesn’t it? Hiding behind a twisted definition of ‘neutrality’, these organisations are only ever interested in short-term help for victims, and long-term job security for themselves!

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      Makes me wonder whose backs were scratched by MR in UN to hide the killings that took place in Mullivaikal and UN(actually few individuals) refuse to investigate this and allow MR to escape from prosecution, those backs being scratched by MR have their wallets thick..

      • 0
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        Jegath, the UN gives Vito power to China, Russia, UK, US and France. The UN has no backbone as long as such corrupt Governments are in charge of making decisions on behalf of the whole of the UN. The UN is as much a farce as they come.

      • 0
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        Jegath:

        Tamils had a really humiliating even after this much of help. Even UN had given money to win the war.

        On the other hand, Tamils left markd all over the word in every way that they are

      • 0
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        Jegath:

        Tamils had a really humiliating even after this much of help. Even UN had given money to win the war.

        On the other hand, Tamils left marks all over the word in every way that they are DISHONEST AND NOT TRUST WORTHY. Tamils behave really primitive. See, how they behave in Tamilnadu.

  • 0
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    Solution for One Billion Hungry People in the World

  • 0
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    GoSL see who has helped the LTTE?

    Suprising to see a coincident where husband of UNFAO Niranjala Gunaraj, is an employee of Hatton National Bank.

    Did this Bank route money to LTTE?

    May be the husband-wife duo acted as agents?

  • 0
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    Can the newly appointed Director General of UNFAO inquire into this USD 1.5million corruption in Sri Lanka and the people of the world know the organizations stand?

  • 0
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    UN should investigate the fund that went to “Tsunami Relief” in Hambontota..

    • 0
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      Your replies are clearly aiming to decieve and deflect the issue at hand which is “the fraud comnmited by the internatioanal terrorist group LTTE ( since wiped out by the Sri Lankan Government and its armed forces with the help of friendly nations including India) over funds belonging to FAO and NOT Mahinda Rajapakse. The latter is the one who gave leadership to the crushing defeat of the LTTE.

      You seem to be confused which has been a behaviour observed among some of the Tamil diaspora after the crushing defeat of the LTTE even after all these fraudlently seized funds and the massive contributions from the Tamil diaspora a good part of which we now understand has been forcibly collected from innocent Tamils threatning harm to their friends and relatives in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    why the hell FAO Higher Authority understand that Dihan, Patrick, Niranjala are well known thieves who are squeezing and steeling FAO Money behind the UNO shouldn’t they put out quickly from these possitions.

    Further more this unique team is well known inside FAO whenever a new staff were recruited give them a hard time and send them home. If they are highly professional and Firmed with the duties

    PATRICK IS the leader to do this

    there are enough corruptions behind FAO

    isn’t this showing us that UNO is developing and encouraging corruptions in the third world countries

    why can’t they get rid off these Jackasses

  • 0
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    First I applaud CT for running this article; you’d never see anything like this on tamilnet.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg; if a comprehensive investigation of the myriad sources of LTTE financing was conducted, there would be a LOT of Red faces. The Norwegians, in particular, would not find it easy to explain how much money they funneled into LTTE’s various front organizations. Given the disparity in financial resources, it is no small feat that GOSL prevailed in the war.

    • 0
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      @ American Lanka Lover

      Your postings are fabulous and to the point. Wherever you are and whoever you may be, just keep contributing. Thank You.

  • 0
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    It is better to findout what actions have been taken to the collegaues got money in to their account. I am sure most of the cuprits still wrok in the organization and continue to play their dirty games. I really wonder why the Country Director of FAO Sri Lanka is hesitant to take actions against the culprits.

    What actions have been taken to A. Sivanandan and C.R.Moses who got money illegaly into their abnk account. I am pretty sure both still working for FAO

    Prasath

  • 0
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    CT WHY DONT YOU KEEP PUSHING THIS MATTER AND HI LIGHTING IT AT ALL INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL MEDIA FORUM UNTIL YOU GET THE WHOLE SORDID MATTER EXPOSED. THERE ARE MORE WORMS IN THIS ‘CAN’ THAN WHAT THE EYE CAN SEE. INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM MUST ENSURE THAT ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THIS FRAUD ARE EXPOSED WHATEVER LEVELS AND OFFICE THEY HOLD. THE UN, THE FAO, THE GOSL, THE HNB, AND ALL INDIVIDUALS MEN AND WOMEN.THERE CAN BE WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS AND IT WOULD BE A GREAT JOB IF YOU EXPOSE THE WHOLE LOT OF FRAUDSTERS. GOOD JOB UPTO NOW, PLEASE DONT STOP HERE.

  • 0
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    UN is a highly corrupted organisation and Bankimoon scratches only backsides of Westerners hiding all killings done by them in Afganistan,Iraq,Libiya and now Siriya.These corrupt UN has helped mass murderers LTTE and US too tyried to pin Sri Lanka for eliminating LTTE as they wanted unrest in these countrues for them to sell arms etc.
    Navipillai the corrupt Raciast Tamil should start investigating these corruptions insted of trying to harass innocent Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    Money given by UN undoubtedly helped the tamil terrorist to commit more horrendous was crimes against Sinhalese. Somebody at UN should pay for those war crimes, best person to be held accountable is non other than is chief of UNHRC. Sinhala people should file a war crime law suite against Pillay in Colombo High Courts, so that when she comes to Colombo later this month, police could arrest her. Then she will know that, Sri Lanka is really serious about punishing war criminals.

  • 0
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    Corruption transcends country loyalties.The British White after being kicked out of the Islands have found a way to use our greed to try to ruin this country and all other ex ex colonies. still we darkies will fall prostate at a white face.If we do not learn to trust our own people then we deserve what we get.

  • 0
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    UN and LTTE are one body .

  • 0
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    If you dig deeper and deeper, the world could learn even the connection between [Edited out] and the field level executioners named Thevarajah Vaigunthan and Niranjala Gunaraj of the UN Sri Lanka Office. The LTTE knew how to exploits the emotion of any Tamil locally and globally .. My problem is that the world still do not realize the larger picture of the remaining clusters of the LTTE, disguise as diaspora. To tarnish the image of Sri Lanka and to convince the Global Community, they have capabilities to use boatloads of Tamils knocking the immigration back doors of developed countries saying that they have been discriminated by the Majority in Sri Lanka.

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