20 May, 2019

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Weliamuna Inquiry Costs Three Supreme Court Judges’ Combined Annual Salaries

“The money spent for Sri Lankan airlines is very large. If we are looking at it comparatively, it will come to more than the salaries of three Supreme Court Judges for an entire year.” a judge told Colombo Telegraph.

The first government-commissioned inquiry into the previous government’s corruption and malpractices, the Weliamuna inquiry has cost taxpayers Rs 3.5 million.

Weliamuna

Weliamuna

“What is the exact use for which this amount of money was spent? It is just a report as a propaganda exercise. From what I can see after reading this so called committee report or Weliamuna report, it merely repeats a lot of what had already been said. Nothing flows in law from it. To do anything from the legal viewpoint which will pass the test of the law, criminal investigations need to done all over again, using state funds again. The government must stop engaging in these trivial and political exercises. This is quite apart from Weliamuna or whoever who had agreed to engage in these inquiries. This sum of money is very large. If we are looking at it comparatively, it will come to more than the combined salaries of three Supreme Court judges for an entire year. What is the character of the work done by them and what is the kind of work done here? Also I do not agree about this talk that, as a professional, it is justified that he is paid such a big sum of money. He is supposed to be a human rights lawyer, right? Then he must be known as just another lawyer doing work for big bucks, like these commercial lawyers” said the Judge, who requested anonymity.

The judge also said “a SC judge’s monthly salary is Rs. 130,000 and this so called investigation costs 3 SC judges annual salaries.”

As reported, Weliamuna speaking to Colombo Telegraph confirmed that he along with his team comprising three other members U.H. Palihakkara, B.A.W. Abeywardane and M.K. Bandara were paid Rs 3.5 million. At that time Colombo Telegraph did request for a breakdown from the chairman of Transparency International Sri Lanka, Weliamuna but he was not in a position to do so. A subsequent email was sent to him seeking this information. Weliamuna has not responded to that question as yet. We asked Weliamuna once again and requested him to furnish at least the amount he did receive as his fee but he is yet to respond to that question as well.

A rural human rights activist, Gunasena Lukuge said; “As a leftist activist who has been voluntarily participating in street protests against the Rajapaksa government to bring that corruption to an end, I am shocked at this disclosure. It was only through Colombo Telegraph that I realized that J.C. Weliamuna and the others with him had been paid such a sum of money. Why is CT being blamed for this. It is a matter of public interest as public funds are spent. Who are these others? He should give the breakdown as he is the Chairman of Transparency International Sri Lanka. If they preach transparency, then, they must also practice it. Any simple person should understand that. The government must also, reveal all these details. They cannot simply talk of the corruption of the previous government and leave it that. It is this lack of responsibility that we saw in the Central Bank bond issue also. If this government is fighting corruption as they say, they must be transparent about the way they do it. Otherwise, we do not believe them.”

“I’ve read Chandra Jayaratne‘s and Professor Rohan Samarajiva‘s responses to this Weliamuna controversy. Both Jayaratne and Samarajiva are corporate types who would probably be appalled at doing anything for free! But civil society does not – or SHOULD NOT – operate like that. I’m sorry but I feel very strongly about this.” Lokuge further said.

When contacted the secretary to the ministry of Aviation L. P. Jayampathy said he was not working their now, and we should contact the new secretary Swaranapala. Colombo Telegraph has been unable to reach the new secretary for a comment.

Meanwhile yesterday, the Asian Human Right Commission said; “People have a right to expect that the government will be accountable and transparent and that such committees and commissions will act within a framework of law. All expenditures into such activities should be made available to the people through lawful channels. It is the right of the citizens as well as the media to expect such transparency. Dealing with corruption in the Sri Lankan context is a colossal task. Such task also requires to be carried out with absolute transparency.”

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Latest comments

  • 17
    3

    This sounds more and more like a bloody witch hunt. It is fair to ask for the break down. But, the argument goes into nonsense. Isn’t it true that the Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines earned 3.5 million rupees in a few months? I am happy for the Goverbnment to release the costs of all Commissions over last 10 years. I don’t know why the Government cannot jump on this and release all cost data.

    • 12
      5

      This is really cheap act CT., wonder how much you’ve got from Rajapakasas for this handy work?

      Have you heard Desmond de Silva a QC in London charged GBP600,000 for few days of work for making a plan for Rajapaksas for the war crimes?

      Also so many other PR and Law firms are paid for lobbying for Rajapaksas who are just pariahs for the International community and wonder where were you guys then?

      [Edited out].

      • 7
        2

        CT , please be mindful of your long term reputation , these types of cheap propaganda will lead your professional web site next to Booruwansa’s type web sites. what is this endless attack on JCW , what is your final goal ? what do you really expect to gain after this mud slinging campaign ? guilty parties want to destroy JCW credibility and his reputation , if they succeed , it’ll be very easy to undermine his findings , don’t you think , with or without your knowledge , all these witch hunting will end up helping them ? CT you guys have been doing an excellent job since it’s inception , but with these types of less important /unwarranted nit picking will take you no where , only Mafia family and his goons will appreciate and admire this sort of gutter investigative journalism.

        PS: please don’t censor my comments , i never use filth or derogative language to express my feelings.

        • 3
          1

          Dear CT Editors ,

          who owns Marriott Hotel in Dubai , Steel cooperation and Lanka Hospitals in SL , who is this proxy man [Edited out] Lokuwithana bloke ? what is the special relationship he is said to be having with the Mafia family ? apparently kaduwela police has already prepared the B report on these serious frauds against MR , owing to that report MR said to be preparing to go to jail ! then what about Gota’s unprecedented FR case against his imminent arrest ?following the Supreme Court’s interim order that prevents the arrest of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa,he is above the law again ! what are the possible ramifications on his case as well as other cases ? can Johnny and other criminals sue the government now based on Gota’s favourable judgement ? can any one challenge and appeal against the bizarre judgement of the supreme court ? why the case was heard only with two judges instead of mandatory 3 ? who are these judges of Eva W and Abrew ? what are their back grounds ? who is making $ 450 Million a month on Avan guard ? who tried to bribe Rajitha S with $ 20 Million on Avan Guard issue ? what is the national ID number of Shiranthi Rajapakse ? why did she use series of number two s as her iD number when opening her “siriliya ” NGO account ? why no news emanating from Wele suda now ? why it got halted all over sudden ? why did Bbasil return to SL ? was there an imminent arrest order from Interpol ? these are just few burning issues which came to my mind , why don’t you guys spend some time and effort on these hot topics than spending on a non issue like JCW Rs 3.5 M ?

          • 0
            0

            Correction ,

            sorry , it has to be Rs not $ ( Rs 450 M and Rs 20 M )

    • 3
      8

      Whether Gov release the invoice or not, or Weliamuna come forward or NOT, this voice through the free media has done its’ job… Thank you CT and others.. .. This is a step forward and clear sign that country is moving in the right direction. I hope that all the next independent inquiry commissions ( and other Gov bodies) will take a note about this incident and act appropriately in the future.

    • 2
      3

      Ayyo CT, just forget it, Weliamuna is “apemniha” (our man) Remember our boss Rajapaksa said in an inimitably candid statement of his idea of governance – it boils down to “ape minihava beraganna oney” https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/cjs-husband-was-our-man-we-quietly-covered-it-up-but-unp-wanted-impeach-cj-mr/

    • 3
      0

      Meanwhile speaking to Colombo Telegraph, a Finance Ministry official said; I’m talking purely because this issue of integrity is extremely important, more so in this yahapalanaya times. These justifications were seen also when there was a dispute over Mr Jayantha Dhanapala‘s sitting on the Board of Dialog, a company blocking free expression in Sri Lanka while at the same time, advocating free expression as head of the Friday Forum. At that time, these very people saw nothing wrong with it and hammered Colombo Telegraph for exposing it, saying that the Rajapaksas were behind it. This terrible ambivalence is what has taken away the moral authority associated with the so-called civil society. Unfortunately elitists who preach good governance in Colombo cannot recognise this. The pro-people activists who brought Sirisena to power however do recognise this and are disturbed by it.” “An individual has all the right to openly campaign for a political party to come into power and thereafter accept a financially beneficial payment for doing a job of work for that party. But this ‘committee’ was set up by the relevant Minister informally and not in the same way as for example, President Sirisena appointed Commissioners to an anti-corruption Commission which is under a particular law and subject to proper regulation. Even so, there is nothing to prevent an individual from accepting such an informal political position. But after doing so, he or she cannot continue as the head of a civil society organisation pretending to be impartial and non-political. This is where the conflict arises. This is where the integrity of that particular civil society organisation is damaged. It is a question of integrity, pure and simple. These matters cannot simply be covered under a blanket of saying that ‘so and so is under attack’ or that the Rajapaksas have paid for these ‘attacks.’” a Finance Ministry official told Colombo Telegraph on the condition of anonymity. He is barred from officially talking to the media. “And the other question is basic. Why is Mr Weliamuna refusing to disclose the exact payment that was paid if there is nothing to hide? ‘” the ministry official further said. I completely AGREE

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/wiliamuna-controversy-jayaratne-sees-nothing-wrong/

    • 4
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      yes! yes! yes! , witch hunt! witch hunt! witch hunt! This lawyer is in our side, so stop this Colombo Telegraph!

    • 5
      1

      My friend, CT is right here, when a chairman of Transparency International work a government for money, no body will believe them in future. If not CT we wouldn’t be able to find out that Mr Weli works govt for money.

      People don’t shoot the messenger.

      • 1
        2

        That is exactly what CT is doing … shooting down the messenger.

  • 14
    6

    Quite right.

    Gotha did not cost so much.He even got a supreme court judge to work for free and provide home service.The man came over to temple trrrs to help MR with coup plans.

    So certainly we can do woth cheap judges and cheap investigators.

    Quality cost money. Why not pay the judges more so that we dont have monkeys on the job? like the one we had before?

    • 10
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      well said Simon, this country does not know what ‘quality’ is. It equates a professional’s wage structure to a government servant’s salary. There are many in the private sector earning millions a month as salary, who haven’t passed their ‘O’ Levels, but the University professors who get only a fraction of that, do not question the disparity.

      What the writer so foolishly is trying to do is to create a case where there is none.

      How much more stupid can one get?

      • 2
        0

        “”What the writer so foolishly is trying to do is to create a case where there is none. How much more stupid can one get? “”

        :)))))

        with partition- School dropout Churchill gave professors like your race the power to rule- away from Madras Presidency.

        the race/language partition: The other School drop out Sirima did the rest of ground breaking which you are experiencing.

        Remember Shrub/Bush and where he finally passed- Harvard.
        The rich always has power and to distribute wealth is not a birth right- you would not let your servant sit at your table as it is sinhalaya??.

        The jest of it is `Buruvas rule` that is the fist word of your cosmopolitan language.

      • 2
        5

        A well orchestrated campaign to shoot the messenger , and our herd is running with it .

        • 1
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          Freedom of Information should have been addressed to the government-Not welimunai.

          Ministry of Justice, who are responsible for this aspect of the legislation. Not how much salary a judge gets.

          the act is applicable only to `public entities` even though some of them are run as charities or public+private.
          even charities are private so they don’t need to disclose
          and can sue you for harassment etc.in the UK.

          The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is a UK independent supervisory authority reporting directly to the UK Parliament. The Commissioner enforces and oversees the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI).

    • 3
      0

      The new find of CT: “Such task also requires to be carried out with absolute transparency.” !! It is CT that suggested that Tenders should be called for C.O.I !!

      Lets finish this subject for once: Say the Inquirer got Rs. 1.5 million and the other
      two got one million each. So What? At the rate CT is bent on “Transparency” vis-a-vis
      Weliamuna, there is a hidden agenda, well “greased”.

      There are more than 1500 complaints with the Bribery Com. Lets go into these as free
      media. No amount of mud-slingong on COI will resolve the Country being taken in the
      right direction.

  • 3
    4

    Sirisena inauguration the entire ceremony cost less than Rs.10,000 including the cost of electricity.

    With this kind of money the Yaha..ya team could have installed the next 340 Presidents like him.:-)

  • 8
    1

    How many Supreme Court Judges salary will this cover and what benefit did the govt or people of Sri Lanka get?

    “Whilst the fee to be charged from the Government of Sri Lanka by Beltway and Nelson Mullins is still not clear, the total amount to be given to the other PR/lobbying agencies (arranged for by Vass Gunawardena) works out to US$ 1,380,000 or more than Rs. 179.4 million for one year. This amount is without the payment the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), which has now chosen Liberty International Group LLC from August 2014 for one year. This agency will receive an annual fee of US$ 760,000 (or over Rs. 99 million) from the CBSL. The grand total Sri Lanka will pay for PR/lobbying firms in the US will thus be a staggering US$ 2,140,000 or over Rs. 278.2 million. These funds could have easily gone to equip poor schools or launch income generating projects which could have lowered unemployment if only the Government appointed competent people to its embassy in Washington and adopted a more prudent foreign policy approach with the US.

    The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) in a statement last Wednesday confirmed the revelations in these columns that it has now hired Liberty International Group LLC from August this year. This is after it had ended the contract with Thompson Advisory Group (TAG), to whom it paid millions. Here are excerpts from that statement:”

    The above is part of the article from ST Aug. 24, 2014.

    • 3
      1

      Can the Central Bank give us a complete breakdown of its payments to the other PR/lobbying agencies (US$ 1,380,000 or more than Rs. 179.4 million for one year)? That too excluding the payments to Beltway and Nelson Mullins
      Leelaratne

      • 1
        0

        CT will not raise this question – because someone down south has not demanded
        it off them!!

  • 15
    3

    It should be possible for any person to charge any price for his/her work and it is up to the employing person / institution to accept the service at that price or not.

    A person’s income, wealth and his illnesses are private information and Transparency principles are not about one’s private affairs. And I do not think CT or any other T has the right to force anyone to reveal how much money they earn. Tax authorities and other such bodies are specially empowered to demand such information and then bound by severe secrecy provisions.

    In demanding that Weliamune reveals his fee details, CT is setting out on a dangerous: the path of Orwell’s 1984. Whether you talk of democracy, transparency, civil society or whatever, you cannot forget the distinction between private and public.

    Unless Weliamune was also the government decision maker about how much money he should be paid, CT is barking up the wrong tree.

    Weliamune was soft when he responded to CT even about the total amount they received: he should have asked CT to direct their inquiry elsewhere.

    “‘A judge’s” views do not carry any weight – we know by now that there are judges and judges – what kind of judge was this one? a Sarath C or a Mohan P?

    Three times the salary of judges, 30 times the salary of teachers, 300 times the income of a rural leftist peasant – these are just mud slinging devices without rational weight.

    And if CT could not contact the new Secretary, they should have tried again; And again. Without rushing to print before getting their answer. What is the hurry about?

    If you smell a rat in public matters, do your investigation properly and fully.

    Media power should not be used to bring pseudo moral pressure upon private affairs: however public a person Weliamune is, whatever his connection with Transparency is, the fee he manages to obtain from his clients is not my business.

    • 4
      1

      RipVan W,
      The good news is that recently in the UK law was passed for even charities which do not come under public act obliging them now to disclose information under the freedom of information act- as it is they and not supposed to have anything to hide.

      This is one way of stopping the legal jams and cost incurred to taxpayers.

    • 3
      0

      RipVan W – Well said. CT appears to be very unusal in its action to say the least. Lets hope it will maintain its credibility in the new freedom of the media?

  • 12
    1

    The relentless pursuing of this issue by CT only makes me to think if the journalist who pushes this issue has been misusing the kind of freedom of press/information that voters liberated. The journalist who has been good at using weasel words like ‘readers want to know’ inflict even readers as well in this questionable crusade, and he/she has more cases to answer…went on to say The amount paid was more than the annual salary of three supreme court judges, said a judge, who is the judge?. Why it should be so vague?. If she/he has any personal vendetta against Mr Weli, please don’t try taking CT readers for a ride. Weli has openly declared the amount they received, the issue now comes down to details that he alone cannot provide. It is almost as if violating someone’s privacy. The Tax office able to find the split so what is this fuss, flocking a non-issue.

    If equally divided the amount Rs 3.5M paid, the amount paid per person in the US$ term is about $156 per day. An average lawyer in western countries who would not have even stepped on to High/supreme court charges some $900 per hour. They charges in minute basis, just a 10minutes discussion about an issue over the phone, nothing legal about it, costs $156. Are we fooling ourselves with what has been paid for this assignment, what about the risk factor, do anyone speak about it. It is real now or later when MR’s elks come back to power. We saw a supreme court judge withdrawn himself from FC case of Gota, why?.

    The guys have done an excellent job, within the time given, exposing things that were not known to the public before, which requires further investigation. On the other hand, doesn’t surprise me the efforts being taken by the criminals either; they know if they let go this process, it will be not only damaging but pay back all that money they amassed; A fraction investing at this stage is not a bad idea. They do everything in their disposal to stop this, even if it means a human right activist becomes a casualty and has to bat for them. But people who made it possible to arrive at least to this far, should not loose focus.

    • 1
      1

      “The relentless pursuing of this issue by CT only makes me to think if the journalist who pushes this issue has been misusing the kind of freedom of press/information that voters liberated”.
      How much more it takes these foolish journalists to understand this simple truth? Now that Rajapaksas are ousted your mission is accomplished. Now keep your mouths shut and let the Yaha…ya team run the country. Give them few more years if you want to see a paradise on earth emerging right in front of your eyes…

    • 1
      1

      “An average lawyer in western countries who would not have even stepped on to High/supreme court charges some $900 per hour”.
      If a stupid lawyer is worth $900 p.h for their work, how much do you reckon is MR and GR’s time is worth for saving billions of dollars in future wasteful war efforts?

      And what value do you put to them saving an unknown number of future lives – civilians, ltte carders and soldiers combined?.

  • 2
    2

    A glaring omission is the fact that Mr Jayaratne played an active part in the Weliamunr 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

    • 0
      2

      Mr jayaratne is a prominent corporate executive, not like you who was [Edited out]

      • 2
        0

        Asking Jayaratne for an opinion on fairness of the fee paid is like “hora-ge amma-gen pena ahanawa wagei”. (ASKING THIEVES MOTHER FOR A CLUE ON WHO THE THE THIEF COULD BE).PA

  • 5
    0

    This is an absolute witch hunt none other than by CT!
    All what they intend is to neutralise the man to a level of burnout so that he will not take part in any such investigations in future and prevent government associating him. I am absolutely certain that this is the work of RRR RRR, WW, DG AND THE BUT SUCKERS OF RRR, But why should CT go all out to to screw the guy??? The wheels within wheels can explain most things. Why can’t the government being so called transparent give the explanation? Could it be a Fonseka situation? After winning, trying to destroy an architect of victory!

  • 9
    0

    This is becoming obviously a witch hunt against WeLiamun. It is surprising CT is pursuing this so vigorously.

  • 0
    5

    This issue would have been put to rest if Weliamuna provided the information CT has asked.

    Why doesn’t he provide this information and put this issue to rest?

    Can someone, pl. tell us the possible reason/s?

    • 6
      0

      Nimal… Just tell why should Weliamuna reveal
      his fees for the professional services rendered?

      Weliamuna need not to reveal it to anybody except to the Incone tax department… That s a professional fee charged for the services done.. As professional.. We need to give the maximum services to our client n fees is a matter for the parties involved. Every Tom, Dick n Harry cannot ask for the fee break down, a professional charged.

      Not even a Secretary of a Ministry give you his pay slip… Mind you.. They are top government officials.

      • 0
        0

        Who appointed Weliamuna as the investigator? Is it the state? Then how can what is paid for it becomes a private matter. I am sure when Weliamuna accepted this payment he wouldn’t have thought it as an underhand affair. His refusal to reveal what the payment was has now becoming an issue of his integrity, no? Even now it is not too late for someone to give the information what has been asked for and lay the matter to rest.

    • 3
      0

      Nimal, I am sure you have enough grey matter to understand that some of this rather secretive and classified information from Srilankan airlines inner circle must have been obtained by sweetening with cash some of the inner circle of employees. Let’s concentrate on the action to be taken on these revelations rather the cost of the investigation, which to me is a meagre sum in comparison to the massive misappropriation of public wealth that went on in that state owned business!

      • 0
        0

        Who appointed Weliamuna as the investigator? Is it the state? Then how can what is paid for it becomes a private matter. I am sure when Weliamuna accepted this payment he wouldn’t have thought it as an underhand affair. His refusal to reveal what the payment was has now becoming an issue of his integrity, no? Even now it is not too late for someone to give the information what has been asked for and lay the matter to rest.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out] Our audit shows that you are using multiple names, please use one – CT

  • 4
    0

    CT IS SUPPORTING AND PROTECTING CORRUPTION AND/ OR CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS THAT THEY WANT TO PROTECT IN THE GUISE OF TRANSPARENCY

  • 3
    1

    Rs 3.5 million is a reasonable fee for a assignment of this nature.

    What is required is to spend about Rs 10 mn and get a proper financial investigation done as to how Sti Lankan lost Rs 29 billion in 2014.

    Please don’t compare supreme court judges salaries with private sector professional payments. Most lawyers end up in the judiciary when they cannot succeed in the private bar and we all know that.

    Even a low level bank AGM earns Rs 1 million per month today and a Srilankan stewardess earns Rs 500,000 per month with allowances.

  • 2
    4

    Poor Welimuna couldn’t get any juicy Government briefs for nearly 10 years.

    So is it unfair for the Yahapalana ” Queen” to give his mate Welimuna a gig to make some serious money to catch up?.

    LKR 3.3 seems a lot for our great majority of the inhabitant population.

    But we ought to remember the stake holders in this Yahapalanay are not peasants….Right.

    For example Mr Suren Surendran and his mates in the UNP London branch must be worth many Trillions if you convert their assets to LKR.

    And I didn’t even include the ex Tiger, LTTE assets and the Diaspora..

    So Welimuna’s 3.3 Mil must be small change for them.

    In fact just imagine when the new Aircraft contracts are revised and renegotiated, the size of the commissions the UNP local and overseas will collect from Rolls Royce alone ?..

    Wonder whether Welimuna will be on that revision / renegotiation committee too?.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out] Our audit shows that you are using multiple names, please use one – CT

  • 2
    1

    “”They cannot simply talk of the corruption of the previous government and leave it that. It is this lack of responsibility that we saw in the Central Bank bond issue also. If this government is fighting corruption as they say, they must be transparent about the way they do it. Otherwise, we do not believe them.”””

    The stark truth is no country in the world is addressing corruption just doing enough to keep the immediate threatening person off their backs- Xi is doing that right now;just the plums as it would boomerang.Play in a team the captain defends his players mistake too at first sight- good relations.

    Have they followed contracting procedures??
    Are there government prescribed fees for legal hours consumed assistance stationary clerical services etc drawn up in the contract to offer services?? I don’t think so.

    fighting it is a gamble for corruption eats the very gamekeeper to become poacher when he sees hereditary wealth.See the number of DPL passports??

    There wont be offshore accounts, large auditing, tax consultants etc if all these were in place.

    Only the prevailing authority can decide how much to check and whom.
    All are thieves democracy or socialist or communist.
    Lankans are a Shape shape shape society.

  • 4
    0

    Very disappointed with the CT for the levels it is going to slander one man who is not a politician or public servant. Before this it was some obscure pilot called druvi de silva about whom many such author-less articles appeared in the CT. Before that it was another pilot called Jayakody who no one knew! What is the CT up to ?

    As to the supreme court , we all agree that it is an emperor without clothes. Just because a country must have a supreme court we just go through the motions of respecting an institution which is intellectually and spiritually dead for about 25 years now.

    Look at the list of Chief Justices in recent times-Sarath Silva, Nihal Jayasinghe, Asoke Silva,and finally Mohan Pieris. Forget about the law and learning. But are these chaps even gentleman ? Will you leave your daughter with them for a few minutes or lend them 1000 rupees ?

    One chap got caught in the dead of night naked with a young girl. The other chap after retirement worked for MR, in a job where he did nothing but got a good salary from the government ! The third guy went as a ambassador to UK which was a disaster for the sri lankan community there as he was totally incompetent and an embarrassment and all he was interested was getting benefits for his children from MR. Then finally we had Mohan Pieris who was a shameless and absolute prostitute willing to indulge in any form of bondage that MR demanded .

    Today it is well known that most of the supreme court judges are below average.The clerks in the office have more integrity and ability.

    At least Weliamuna was able to produce a report in 3 weeks. I dont know how valid his reasoning is in this report but he produced a report. The law profession is very mediocre now. Just like our parliament. So dont expect objective and fair assessment from a lawyer. The same as the three lawyers in the Mahendran case.

    But CT by concentrating so much on one lawyer who is a little better than the others is being unfair by him.

  • 3
    0

    This is what was reported in the headlines of Sinhalese newspaper Silumina last week that former Chairman/ CEO and senior management of Srilankan airlines who were found fault for the massive losses suffered by Srilankan airlines over the years due to malpractices and inefficiency were trying to use certain people and media by paying huge amount of money to discredit the report submitted by Weliamuna Committee. What is more important is to act on the findings rather than to dig into the amount of money paid for the inquiry. The report apart from financial irregularities have also highlighted serious safety issues pertaining to the operation of aircraft and the present Board of Directors has yet to take action to rectify them as same key management personnel are holding on to their positions. Even after the report a very serious safety related incident has occurred and was reported in the papers recently disclosed by an employee of the airline and the airline was keeping a low profile on it. It appears to me that the airline is pushing its luck too much and sooner or later a fatal accident involving an aircraft bound to occur costing human life which will eventually bring the curtain down on the national carrier with possible criminal charges against the board and the senior management for negligence of duties. Is the airline going to wait for that to occur to take remedial action?
    Nobody will conduct an inquiry free of charge. If you want to obtain a quality report the professionals who conduct the inquiry must be paid what they ask for otherwise you will not get a good report and this is the fact. The Weliamuna Report was based on the actual reports and evidence given by the employees of the airline who had come without fear to tell and produce the documents they have. So far none has disputed the findings of the inquiry.Therefore it is advisable to focus on the findings rather than the money paid to the committee and comparing same to the salaries of the judges receive.
    There is an old saying that if you throw peanuts the monkeys will come only.

  • 4
    0

    It is laughable that CT too is participating in this diversion exercise where the revelations on the gross corrupt mismanagement of Sri Lankan airlines is left orphaned while all are discussing the legitimate cost of the investigation process. A clear case of “shoot the messenger as his message is unpalatable to the rogues”!

  • 6
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    These are professional fees. For professional work you don’t go with the lowest bidder. One has to look at the qualifications.This 3 million rupees is peanuts compared to what other countries spend for this kind of reports and investigations. Investigation of President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky cost $75 million before any impeachment proceedings were even brought by Ken Starr, special prosecutor. The lawyers charge $4,500 an hour in the U.S. No lawyer in Sri Lanka does work for free. It’s an insult to the legal profession to query about these charges. People who are hammering away on this are the small minded people with no stellar qualifications.

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    I detest the idea to call the publication about the price to the WBOI as a witch hunt. I too stand for the idea that true professional costs be paid to investigators to inquire into serious allegations levlled against Sri Lankan Airlines and its former management provided that the price paid for the service obtained has value for money.

    If the cost of WBOI and the Salary of an SC Judge is compared it is not presenting a true picture. I know of a guy who had to pay 100,000 LKR as the initial consultation and several lots of 300,000 LKR the total cost finally being 5.2 Million LKR and that is for an Appeal in the Apex Court. If those are the figures that the top notch of the bar earn and bow before the “My Lords” while their Lordships earn only a pittance that is the very nature of the revenue structure of the legal cum judicial profession and that should not be concealed and cast aspersions at the WBOI.

    But what I am indeed interested is the statement in the article quoted verbatim below.

    “What is the exact use for which this amount of money was spent? It is just a report as a propaganda exercise. From what I can see after reading this so called committee report or Weliamuna report, it merely repeats a lot of what had already been said. Nothing flows in law from it. To do anything from the legal viewpoint which will pass the test of the law, criminal investigations need to done all over again, using state funds again.”

    If this happens to be an opinion expressed by one of the My Lords then I think Weliamuna is in a pot of water which is boiled in a low flame. This means even the Seniors in the legal fraternity think that there is no value for money paid for WBOI. GOOD HEAVENS! if that happens in the country where the law is enforced to the letter like in the famous city state east of Sri Lanka, proceedings would have commenced by now to disrobe the WBOI gang of four.

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    @ Nimal … Why should Weliamuna reveal his professional fees to any one? Income tax department is there to assess same n collect tax accordingly..

    It s an agreement between a client n a professional. It’s ethically wrong if Weliamuna reveals it to a third party.

    [Edited out]

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      Who appointed Weliamuna as the investigator? Is it the state? Then how can what is paid for it becomes a private matter. I am sure when Weliamuna accepted this payment he wouldn’t have thought it as an underhand affair. His refusal to reveal what the payment was has now becoming an issue of his integrity, no? Even now it is not too late for someone to give the information what has been asked for and lay the matter to rest.

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    My friend, CT is right here, when a chairman of Transparency International work a government for money, no body will believe them in future. If not CT we wouldn’t be able to find out that Mr Weli works govt for money.

    People don’t shoot the messenger.

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      Khema – this exactly the point many commenters of this blog do not understand – I really do not understand why many are annoyed because CT bought up this issue – as long as CT publish articles praising yahapalanaya – everybody is happy – otherwise CT is wrong – and it is a witch hunt – Is this what everybody needs ??? – Everybody should understand perfectly when Weliamuna is the Top officer of Transparency International he should not hesitate to publish a breakdown of the charges – when there is a question about this charges – because we can say Weli is shouting against corruption to promote his opportunities to carryout these kind of fact finding missions and earn good money – On the other hand the fools in the Ministry should not waste public money on finding facts – which are already known to many – Ministry of course can hand over the case to CID – and push for putting the culprits behind bars if CID can build up a reasonable case against them and let the court decide – or else appoint a professional audit firm – not base in this country and ask them to go through books and find out who is responsible for the mistakes

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    Definitely SC judges salaries should be increased

  • 1
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    CT article writer, all concerned are pleased you made a point. Do have the grace to move on. Dont flog a dead horse.

    Owner/Editor CT: The Article is also written in such a way as to drag Weliamune down the drain. That seems to be the only purpose. He doesn’t deserve it. Give a kick in Ranil’s or Sirisena’s butt because, if it was wrong to have appointed Weliamune, and that’s your opinion CT, you should direct your criticism at those who made the appointment.

    CT please ask your Farticle writer to relax. This is a big stink already.

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      What a stink bomb from sworn sinhala buddhist only fascista!!!!

      When it involves an ancient colombo tamil who is a rajapakse or any governing party supporter like any business person.
      You go pelting stones.

      The beast of mahawamse!!

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    If you pay peanuts you will get monkeies

    As one can see form the public services before

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    Please do get carried away people. This is very simple. Is it correct for Weliamuna to get involved with a government probe when he currently holds the Chairman’s post of TISL? If that is fine the why cant he be transparent and declare what the payment was along with a breakdown. What there to hide?
    Weliamuna was clueless about where to start and where to end as he has no clue about the airline business. It was the leads he was provided with that he went on to probe.He was surely provided with a few leads by the government itself to check on a few things to begin, but where to start and where to end in the six weeks given was insufficient. Also dont forget he was out of the country on may occasions when during this six weeks. He went to the states with Mangala and his team on one of these visits. Personally I feel even Ranil W is disappointed with the report that contains a mere 136 pages where he is still to table this in parliament and more over even apprehend a single person Weliamuna has recommended. Each area under his 11 chapters of the final report should have contained more details where this final report should have taken days to read. Airline employees who came forward are just sick of this entire episode and feel let down by this entire episode.

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    Under the data protection act even of Uk Welimunai or any private entity is not liable to disclose his privacy.

    The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is a UK independent supervisory authority reporting directly to the UK Parliament. The Commissioner enforces and oversees the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI). The FOIA places duties on public authorities to respond to requests for information.

    If you would like more information about the bodies subject to the Act you should contact the Ministry of Justice, who are responsible for this aspect of the legislation.
    Data Protection Act 1998. The DPA is specifically concerned with personal data, and gives certain rights to individuals regarding their personal data. Personal data is information which identifies a living individual and is all about them.

    One of the rights that the DPA gives people is the right of ‘subject access’. The right of subject access means that an individual can make a request in writing under section 7 of the DPA to any organisation processing their personal data asking to be supplied with copies of that personal data.

    An organisation must comply with a subject access request within 40 days, this is from receipt of the request and receipt of any information required to identify the applicant, to locate the information requested and any required fee (which may be £10).

    However it is important to explain that the right of subject access only obliges organisation to provide you with copies of your personal data subject to the DPA, it does not oblige an organisation to provide copies of entire documents.

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    If one wants to engage the services of a professional, then, one has to pay him/her a professional fee. In this case, there were three legal professionals involved and they indeed had a short deadline meet, and therefore, LKR 3 Million is not at all an unreasonable fee to pay.Then again, attorney-at-law Weliamuna is only the ex-head of Transparency International Sri Lanka.

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    Professional fees is a matter for the producers of the report,report writers and fact finders to levy and that is it.A fee is agreed upon and it is paid for quality/service.People of the country should look at the contains and if found correct,steps should be taken to avoid such things in future and take steps towards correction.

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      “”Indrajith Ahangama””

      “”People of the country should look at the contains and if found correct,steps should be taken to avoid such things in future and take steps towards correction. “”

      very british new labour type nothing new until the shots hit the ceiling.

      Oh the land of associations they are yet to start learning lessons.

      It is not knowledge that is important but intelligence of the way it is used.

      In Lankan case its always Shape shape shape – pol addi.

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