Good governance activist Chandra Jayaratne has declined to say whether or not he was involved in the inquiry into allegations of corruption and malpractices by Sri Lankan Airline during the previous regime, an investigation conducted by a team headed by J.C. Weliamuna.
Responding to Jayaratne’s defence of Weliamuna’s refusal to disclose the breakdown of services and amounts for the same that cost the tax payer Rs 3.5 million, a reader of the above mentioned defence claimed that Jayaratne had in fact participated in the inquiry.
This is the comment: A glaring omission is the fact that Mr Jayaratne played an active part in the Weliamuna inquiry at SriLankan Airlines. Even though his name is may not be mentioned in the report all those summoned before the commission were questioned by Mr Jayaratne who was sitting with the panel members Palihakkara and Bandara. So how can Mr Jayaratne postulate on this subject after being an active part of the coterie. Good governance my foot ! To the young buck who is wishing for a Fulbright, dream on, parts of the report that you contributed has so many conjectures, that will need to be explained at a later date…and Fulbrights will be enlightened
When Colombo Telegraph asked Jayaratne whether this was indeed true, he responded, ‘In terms of my value commitments, I remain committed to consider supporting third party good governance initiatives, where I can support such initiatives, especially if I have the requisite competency and those engaged in such initiatives can benefit from my experience and expertise. Such support will be extended without any professional fees or benefits and I will retain strictest confidentiality at all times.’
The question was not about charging professional fees and it was not about general principles of engagement in initiatives that seek to bring about good governance. It was a simple and direct question. By citing ‘strictest confidentiality’ Jayaratne has avoided answering the question. Neither has he refuted the allegation.
Meanwhile contrary to claims by many commentators on this subject, Weliamuna even while he was working on this assignment traveled to the USA with Mangala Samaraweera, appeared in courts and continued his private consultations.
Dr. Nirmal Ranith Dewasiri, speaking to Colombo Telegraph, yesterday, while conceding that he was unaware that Weliamuna was the Chiarperson of Transparency International Sri Lanka, said that as a strong critic of the previous regime it is unethical or him (Weliamuna) to accept a fee for his role in this investigation.