21 November, 2018

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Weliamuna Controversy: Now Chandra Jayaratne Goes Silent

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.

Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

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.

Related posts;

Sri Lankan Airlines: Weliamuna Inquiry Costs Rs 3.5 Million

Sri Lankan Airlines Probe: Weliamuna Yet To Disclose Fee Breakdown

Absolute Conflict Of Interest: Maithri’s Investigator Weliamuna Must Go

The Assault On Weliamuna

Wiliamuna Controversy: Jayaratne Sees Nothing Wrong

Weliamuna Inquiry Costs Three Supreme Court Judges’ Combined Annual Salaries

Weliamuna Out Of Order: Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri

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Latest comments

  • 5
    5

    Its getting curiouser and curiouser!

    Thanks CT for the relentless pursuit of the truth in the sordid affair.

    • 4
      2

      Chandra Jayaratne is a hypocrite.

      He was a Commissioner of the Public Enterprise Reform Commission and a director of Lankem during the CBK regime.

      Lankem and Chandra Jayaratne publicly opposed the sale of Kotagala Plantations through George Steuarts Management to a Malysian Company.

      Privatizations were suspended after this.

      Shortly thereafter Lankem of which Chandra Jayarane was a director, who had earlier raised objections to the legality of the sale to the malaysian companye purchased Kotagala Plantations from the Malaysian Company and PERC refused to take any action.

      The partner in the law firm retained by PERC to investigate the affair was also a director of Lankem .

      Chandra Jayaratne throughout the period was a Commissioner of PERC andalso a director of Lankem Ceylon.

      When the scandal broke in the media Chandra Jayaratne like he is doing now sought to defend his actions but was forced to resign.

      This was extensively covered in the media (pre internet days) and the Island editor at the time (I belive it was Gamini Weerakoone) wrote an appropriate editorial.A little resarch in the newspaper archives of the Sunday Leader and the Island of 1996 will reveal all.

  • 9
    3

    I am putting forward a thought for all those who are uncomfortable with the inquiry cost and the criticisms at the commission of inquiry. In general terms any professional has a value for their time unless they commit to volunteer their time on a specific task. Being part of a volunteer organization and carrying out tasks on behalf of such organization on a volunteer basis is expected of any professional. If there are charges associated with the volunteer organization, they should hire an outside professional to carry out the task to avoid conflict of interest. However the boards for some reason if felt that a member can do a better job or at a better cost the board has the power to pay a member to complete the task.

    In the case of Srilankan airlines, The GOSL asked Weliamuna to head the inquiry and Weliamuna has all the rights to charge the Government for his and his team’s time. Exceptuinally good lawyers are always busy and make money and has not a lot of time to volunteer. But mediocre lawyers have more time to volunteer to get publicity. So it is the public (via the government) who has to decide whether to pay and hire an extremely good lawyer proficient in the matter to do a good job or to hire a no cost lawyer who may not do a good job and ultimately the culprits may walk free. I am of the opinion that if the government is to carry out a good job they should get the best job done by paying where the stakes are high. Teaching a lesson to these culprits may save many more millions in the future. Having said that the professional should give a fief breakdown of the charges to help substantiate the cost for audit purposes. Also the government should consider legislating stringent penalties with totally independent justice system. I hope I am not out of line with the good intent of many readers.

    • 5
      1

      This is not about inquiry cost. Two dais ago Jayaratne defended Weliamuna in a CT article without disclosing he himself a part of this inquiry board. What a hypocrite CJ is! Thanks CT for exposing these “monks”

  • 16
    3

    What does it matter if CJ was involved and also if he was paid.

    Are we saying that all acting in the public interest should do so free of charge”???

    This is nonsense.

    • 0
      2

      Jagath,
      Is Waliamuna from Hambantota too? Interesting .. Why don’t we get more leaders from Polonnaruwa or Anuradhapura areas?

      “” Jayasuriya Chrishantha Weliamuna was only ten when he saw dead bodies floating in rivers near his village of Walasmulla in the Hambantota District of Sri Lanka. “”

    • 0
      1

      I think Transparency International is a NGO – usually funded by some INGO – in that case operatives of NGO looked after by INGO – they are being paid by INGO – therefore the operatives are suppose to provide their services free of charge – may be there are few items which cannot be charged to INGO – which they can claim from the Client – It is possible Mr Weli had already charged his parent INGO for the inquiry he conducted at Sri Lanka Air – If so he must not charge Government again – it is better Mr Weli become more transparent and honest and revel all details of this episode – Until then these allegations cannot be considered as nonsense

      If the ministry handed over the inquiry to a professional body then the operatives can charge a professional fee – then there is no argument – but here the situation is different – Please also remember NGO/INGO s working in this country are manned not by real professionals or genuine guys

  • 4
    4

    Chandra Jayaratne, WHY HAVE YOU SHOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT?
    Watch your step and course the middle path or else you will too have to change your surname to JARA-RATNE.

    You can not blow hot and cold with the same breath.
    YOUR AMBITIONS AND IDEALS MAY BE IMPECCABLE BUT YOU NEED TO ADMIT THAT YOU GOT YOUR ETHICAL COMPASS MESSED UP IN THIS INSTANCE.

    Its a vicious society out there & there is only one opportunity. You have just blown it, the respect others had for your intergrity.

    • 6
      0

      Ever heard this – Poverty is the reward of honest fools.

  • 3
    6

    Both Jayaratne and Weliamuna are Fulbright scholars. Both have been active with Transparency International honing good governance. Jayaratne appears to have provided BOI with expert advice pro bona. Jayaratne is a man of unquestionable integrity. He is simply incorruptible. Weliamuna should return the fees and work pro bona for good governance if he truly believes in the lofty ideals of Transparency International. Lastly after having criticized the previous administration mercilessly Weliamuna could not have acted impartially in a BOI relating to the misdeeds of his adversaries.

    • 3
      2

      The problem with Ranil & co is that they appoint their friends and supporters for any inquiry on people opposed to them. And when an independent body gives a ruling against them they say it is unfair. I think the NGOs have spoiled them. They are backed by NGOs.

  • 5
    6

    I think enough is enough! A majority of the readers other than MR supporters feel it is a witch hunt! However, CT has devoted several write ups against Weliamuna which is unjustifiable! Professional fees fees cannot be challenged. There would have been an understanding with government before setting out on the inquiry! Why can’t the government give a statement? One possibility is that the government sees Weli as a threat in future politics, forgetting his contribution to YAHAPALANAYA! We did see what happened to Sarath Fonseka! Anyway RRRRRR would want weli 6 feet under! Anyway future investigations by his is out with this hue and cry! [Edited out]

    • 0
      0

      Easy to spread conspiracy theories. talk the fact Mr/Mrs Gaje. Has CT challenged his professional fees? where?

    • 1
      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/

  • 5
    2

    I really cannot imagine the low depth CT have gone in here with continous articles againt Weliamuna commission and folks.. just imagine whtat O/L failed [Edited out] who managed the Airline used to earn at least a million a day with kickbacks and this is the man who claimed he got a 4.5Million Rolex watch as a gift on his Birthday.

    CT., knowning or unknowingly you are heading to another Weerawansa managed so called News website and I take this an opportunity to thank you for the unbiased and investigative journalism you carried and its sad but I dont feel like opening this site.

    • 1
      2

      Go away Mati akka. Now you have Daily Noose. Don’t come here.

  • 4
    2

    I do not think this is a lot of money. Colombo Telegraph gets weirder and weirder. First that thing about Jayantha Dhanapala, then Saravanamuttu, now Weliamunne- is someone still giving orders for witch hunts?

    • 1
      0

      Why did Dhanapala resign then? Poor fellow he lost 7 million a year after the resignation.
      Saravanamuttu is a white collar criminal, who is robing donor money. It’s a fact. Ask Saravanamuttu to publish his own so called “forensic investigation” on CPA corruptions.

  • 6
    1

    We, the tax payers, are not interested in the 3.5 million spent on the investigation but in the billions being investigated!!

  • 5
    0

    The only mistake Weliamuna made was not stating publicly, that he will only investigate for a professional fee. I think this is necessary so that the likes of CT can understand what professional fees are.

    Millions and billions have been robbed or misappropriated or wasted, and there is not a hum of protest but there is such a hue and cry when the investigator forwards his bill of 3.5 million, this is a joke!

    3.5 million rupees is not even a drop in the ocean of all what has been pillaged.

  • 2
    1

    CT should look into why Jayaratne wants to keep it a secret that he participated in the inquiry although not officially appointed to the panel. FOr the sake of transparency the public has a right to know how much he was paid. He protested that the panel that inquired into the bond trades were “UNP lawyers”. Now he remains silent.

    Weliamuna is open about his political affiliations. All Jayaratne’s deals are under the table. He accepts payment in kind.

    HOw does someone acquire a reputation for being incorruptible by simply talking about good governance? As far as scholarship goes- Jayaratne worked to sell cigarettes for CTC- then became an accountant. He started his career distributing cigarettes to “kades” His English writing skills amply demonstrate his lack of scholarship.Weliamuna is a lawyer. CT should check with Fulbright before THEY start to protest.

  • 6
    5

    If a law firm or an accounting firm was asked to do this job it would have been a similar cost.

    Please stop this nonsense.

    Don’t expect people to do free work .

    • 1
      2

      Idiot, this is not about the cost. Read properly without your UNP or NGO glasses.

    • 1
      0

      Jagath Fernando,

      If an audit firm, say EY or KPMG, on their own accord is pre-occupied with and continue to write and give public talks about the existing corruption in an institution, say at the Central Bank, over many years, do you honestly believe such a firm to be able to conduct “an impartial enquiry” into the corrupt conduct by the officials of the Central Bank, for a fee or not, more so for a fee? Do not you see the existence of “perceived conflict of intererst” in such a situation?

      Isn’t that what had happened here? Weliamuna the defender of good governance and giving constant commentaries about corrupt conduct of Air Lanka for many years, later getting himself a lucarative contract to do just that for a fee?

      • 0
        0

        Hold the board of directors responsible without looking for scapegoats.

        • 0
          0

          “Hold the board of directors responsible without looking for scapegoats.”
          Exactly the point. Weliamuna derelicted in his duty by letting the Board and the Auditors (both filed with mates) and instead going after MR’s brother in law purely for the political advantage of the master who gave him the job – Ranil.

  • 3
    0

    After reading through every article on this Weliamuna Vs CT episode I am like Alice in Wonderland…..

  • 11
    1

    Airlanka is a large commercial organisation and any professional services rendered on tge inquiry of its activities and management has to be paid for. The fees charged is not at all excessive when you see the volume of work done and there us no need to pursue thus question further. Chandra J is another respected professional and with his wide experience and expertise in management he may have assisted the Board of Inquiry and what is wrong about it?

    In my opinion, CT should cease further articles on this subject and the witch hunt.

    • 0
      5

      DCN, so why didn’t Jayaratne disclose the conflict of interest before defending Weliamuna ? When CT published something related your friends – it is a “Witch hunt” What pathetic fellow you are.

      • 4
        0

        Pdcn

        Weliamune nor Chandra J are my friends. There was no conflict of interest for him to disclose when he was trying to defend Weliamune.

    • 3
      0

      “CT should cease further articles on this subject and the witch hunt.” and that is what we call press freedom and freedom expression under Yaha..ya.

  • 1
    2

    Both Jayaratne and Weliamuna are Fulbright scholars. Both have been active with Transparency International honing good governance. Jayaratne appears to have provided BOI with expert advice pro bona. Jayaratne is a man of unquestionable integrity. He is simply incorruptible.

    DOES PERSONS OF SUCH LOFTY IDEALS CHARGE PROFESSIONAL FEES?/
    WELIAMUNA, THEREBY ACCEPTING A PROFESSIONAL FEE HAS DRAGGED CHANDRA JAYARATNE ALONG WITH HIM INTO THE CESS-PIT.

    ON PAPER, WELIAMUNA BEING A MAN OF SUCH STANDING, IT IS it is unethical For him to accept a fee for his role in this investigation.
    In addition, Weliamuna even while working on this assignment traveled to the USA with Mangala Samaraweera, appeared in courts and continued his private consultations.

    Not only Weliamuna has sullied his reputation but that of Chandra Jayarathne as well.
    It just take only one instant to tarnish the integrity of such persons for a lifetime.

    So it now appears the TISL / Friday Forum / CPA / FMM are all a hog wash.

    • 2
      0

      “Both Jayaratne and Weliamuna are Fulbright scholars.”
      Fullbright scholarships, contrary to what some may believe, are not won by fully bright students. They are organised ny influential people – be it politicians, senior public servants or influential clergymen – for the benefit of their kiths and kins or the clan members.
      All what it does is to brainwash you to accept the wetern ideology as the gospel and preserve the interest of scholarship givers in the native countries. Both Weliamuna and Chandra Jayaratne are performing well in this front, thank you.

  • 3
    1

    The issue here what pro Weliamuna and Jayaratne commentators don’t understand is that Jayaratne was initially in full support of Weliamuna without disclosing his involvement in the pane. I appreciate Jayaratne providing his service for free but not Weliamuna who seemed to have pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes pretending to be providing a voluntary service.
    Welaimuna has now given a whole new definition to the word ‘Transparency’that even Collins or Webster officials will have to amend in their dictionaries, especially as he is the Chairman of ‘Transparency Inerntional’

  • 3
    2

    It seems that CT is running out of billion Rupee swindles so now foucusing on saving a few bucks for the goverment so that el cheopos can bungle the billion $ swindles or eors can be bought over for a few Rupees.Sad to CT trying yo save crooks with cheaper investigators.

  • 0
    0

    It would be better to investigate whether Weliamuna had charged their parent INGO for this fact finding mission

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
    0

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT MONEY BUT TRANSPARENCY.

    By the way it was not Jayaratne who started his career selling CTC cigarettes to ‘kades ‘. L Silva mixed up Jayaratne with the duty free magnate who is the new CEO of SLA. I shall let the reader figure out the connection of the so called duty free scandal at SLA, highlighted in Weliamuna Report and the role played by vested interests. Wheels within wheels. Watch out for breaking news!!!

  • 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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