7 July, 2022

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Weliamuna Out Of Order: Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri

Spokesperson for the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) and a key figure in President Maithripala Sirisena’s election campaign, democracy and good governance advocate Dr Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that it was unethical for J.C. Weliamuna to accept money for conducting investigations into corruption allegations at Sri Lankan Airlines.

DR. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri

DR. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri

Dewasiri, speaking to Colombo Telegraph, 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.

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

Weliamuna is yet to respond to questions put to him by Colombo Telegraph regarding amounts and the breakdown of services for which money was paid.

Dewasiri’s contention is that if the issue was about exposing corruption and other wrongdoing, it is unethical for an activist to profit from such an exercise.

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

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Latest comments

  • 7
    13

    By itself Weliamuna a lawyer charging for his services is fine.

    But Weliamuna is no ordinary man. As an activist for high princiles he should have been happy to expose the corruption free of charge. When he charges for it, it is like making money from his principles. It does not sit well in my mind.

    • 0
      1

      Did the Minister Ranatunge negotiate a payment before the inquiry and if so what was the amount agreed upon.?

  • 6
    8

    All these rule of law, good governance and human right activists engage in these pursuits for money. These have become parrallel industries. The likes of Weliamunas and Pakiyasothies are shining examples of these characters. How much does Pakiyasothy get paid for his position and how much this guy Weliamuna gets for his position as Chairperson of Transparency International?

    These are bodies created by the West and used as weapons to entrench their neo-liberal stranglehold on non-Western countries like Sri Lanka.

    The right thing to do is to ban all these agencies and NGOs from functioning in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka can do well without these Western agencies and NGOs funded and run by interested groups and governments in the West.

    A good lawyer will make his money from a solid legal practice. It is those lawyers who can’t earn their living from legal practice (we call them lawyers without briefs) who get engaged in these types of organisations. A lawyer with a solid legal practice will have no time for these activities.

    • 13
      1

      Naga, please note that… Chairmen n Directors of any non profit organizations do not earn salaries or allowances.

      They too have families to look after. So what is wrong in render their services n earn their living.

      As far as I know, as an attorney practicing in Colombo courts, Weliamuna is a senior lawyer, who has about 4 or 5 argument cases either before Supreme Court or in the Court of Appeal. So.. Pl do remember, weliamuna is not a lawyer “without briefs”.

      He has done n is doing so much of pro-borno cases. Weliamuna gives his free services n advise to those who need. In this instance, his client is a commercial – profit earning (though running at loss now, it was) organization and he or any person do not need to do free services.

      I only see the sheer jealousy of you guys here.

      Learn to appreciate the good work done..
      Learn to appreciate Weliamuna’s fearless n courageous qualities shown during the need of the hour..

      Those who have complexes come with this kind of poor work.

      • 0
        6

        Does not the government has auditors dept, to carry out an investigation. If it is private sector, you have auditing firms, did you call tenders?
        Did you select the weliamuna in atransparent manner. This is all bull shit man. This is I scratch you, now you scratch me. We could see this human right NGO maffia if there is no money in it! Pay Weliamuna 3m, Govt bought his silence,

        Mahinda did these openly, They do it while preaching gon palane!

  • 6
    0

    “… if the issue was about exposing corruption and other wrongdoing, it is unethical for an activist to profit from such an exercise.”

    Why the hypothetical? No time?

    And any argument in support of this pronouncement or just ex cathedra?

    Remarkable use of words here – ” activist”, “unethical”, “profit from” :
    Does every prosecutor, judge or bribery commissioner who receives a salary or fee, unethically “profit from such an exercise” if they were also activists of some kind or other?

    Or for that matter: does a progressively active professor who gets over four times the salary of a full time school teacher unethically profit from his “exercise”?

    Pray that Nimal recovers fully and soon from recent injuries to body, mind and anatta.

    • 1
      2

      Earlier we saw so many people loyal to MR/Gota. Now another similar set is loyal YahaPalanaya leaders. Core question raised here was NOT about paying a fee, it was a request for Information of payments by the Gov.. If Waliamuna is not believing this is Citizen’s Right, why we he was shouting about it before and after the election?

  • 3
    6

    It certainly would have set an extremely good example (and precedent) if Weliamuna and assistants conducted the investigation ‘pro bono’.

    At the very least he should have responded to CT’s request for information – even now, before his credibility is shot.

    • 5
      0

      If that is the ideal yard stick to be applied, then all those MP’S and other politicians who contest elections that they are there to serve the people, they should set an example by not taking a salary or pension.
      The same should apply to all those religious leaders who don robes in Orange,White and Yellow and live in luxury pretending that they are living in abstinence and poverty.
      Then those who work in public service will be prepared to work as volunteers. lawyers and doctors would not take fees,market vendors would sell vegetables free of charge and fishermen would bring in the catch and let people take free and there woul be no bus fares or train fares to pay and everything would be ideal as in paradise and corruption, nepotism and crony capitalism all would end.

      • 2
        2

        Uthungan – Those analogies of yours are stretching it to the point of being ridiculous!

        I didn’t say he SHOULD have worked for free. I said it would have been a good EXAMPLE and PRECEDENT.

        What do you have to say about the non-response to CT’s request for information being ignored?

        Don’t get me wrong, I am an admirer of Weliamuna’s and remember his courageous stands against MR’s regime during the time of the last administration.

        • 2
          1

          “I didn’t say he SHOULD have worked for free”‘
          Then what does pro bono’ mean?
          You say you are an admirer of Weliamuna,he is my friend too?

          • 0
            1

            Unguthan – Pro Bono is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service.

            If you don’t know the difference between “should have” and “would have”…. what can I say?!!!

            Good to hear you have a courageous friend.

  • 8
    1

    You sound more like a bankrupt activist. With educationists like you around, no wonder so many of our graduates are unemployable. I lost all regard for you after watching you speak on TV recently. You are just another agitator !

    There is absolutely no necessity for Weliamuna to work for free. What our highly corrupt judges earn for warming the chairs for a fews hours a day, is irrelevant. Speak to corporate sector to understand how much it would cost just to retain a lawyer.

    • 6
      0

      Point of view

      You have well articulated your view. Able to understand why MR’s ilk’s trying hard to tarnish Welliamuna’s character, they will use every avenue available, no matter how trivial it can be to get them off the hook, but not this Dr’s stance. When the learned Nimal says “it is unethical for an activist to profit from such an exercise.” I doubt if he understands the whole issue. If Profit is the amount that one gets over and above the cost of an investment/Assignment/Work, does he know how much was the cost of those three gentlemen for the six weeks work?. Maybe he knows more than others do.

      If this Dr believes someone charging for his professional work is unethical, I think his view of the world is different than mine. In this day and age, does he know even a well reputed charity doesn’t pass on the full amount of the donation it receives to the affected ones. He might say they are stealing, but the fact is organizations should run their businesses in a profitable manner if they were to be commercially viable, if not they have to rely on government subsidies, which in other way robbing the public.

  • 18
    0

    Nirmal Dewasiri must concentrate on his Acadamic Affairs in the Colombo University. My daughter was admitted to his faculty last week and unfortunately she is refusing to continue her studies at the faculty of Arts due to the terrible ragging she and the rest of the first years are faced currently. Incidentally, it is the senior students of Nirmal’s that are supposed to be leading the ragging in the Arts faculty right now. I was made to understand that some new students have complained to the University Lecturers including Nirmal but for un-konow reason Lecturers are pretending that all under control. Nirmal , you must first discipline your students before venturing in to discipline politicians in this country.

    • 11
      0

      Academics are a privilegded lot.

      They teach less than 4 hours a week. Do very little research. Tax free income.

      During Sat and Sundays teach Masters and external students to get extra income.

      Pick up kids from school at 1-30 pm and a no stress at all. Collect the duty free car permit and sell it every five years.

      They have enough time time to engage in politics or tuition.

      Finally no accountability even if their graduates cannot find employment!!!

      • 0
        6

        I am fascinated by Jagath Fernando’s knowledge about our work.

        • 4
          0

          Mr. Dewasiri

          Please get your priorities right , and pay more attention to your own job . Sri Lankan Universities are an absolute disgrace , and your colleagues and you are dabbling in politics rather than earning your keep .

        • 1
          0

          I would be fascinated to see your response to his comments?

    • 4
      2

      Kumarage, you better lodge this complain to anura kumara of jvp, instead of dr nirmal r devasiri.

  • 2
    0

    Now keep aside of what has been paid to weliamuna for a while. Why don’t we think of the rogues exposed? They are still using their unethical pepper in the company! Who is there to look into those details and prosecute the culprits or at least suspend them until further inquiry. Why don’t anyone have the guts to come out and take action against them? For a fact head of security chandrawansha is currently on a Europe tour with the family enjoying the company benefits and having a great time, head of hr Pradeep the womanizer is still remaining as a puppet showing his attitude to staff as if he is the only educated person in the country. Mr Sunil Peris acts as a executive director human resources however Pradeep is falsifying and fooling Sunil big time according to sources. The interns absorbed in to the hr department are promoted as executives overnight simply because of the friendships he has with their parents or any other pleasurable gains. Where is action? Where is yahapalanaya?

    We are losing faith on the government… Are you all sleeping? Look around how these rogues play in the company at least now.

  • 12
    1

    Hypocrites… Since when charging a professional fee is unethical? What is CT upto with this… I smell a rat there…

  • 8
    0

    Dr. Devasiri’s stand reminds me of a puritanical individuals. A good investigation of any kind is hard labour and it deserves a fee commensurate to skills involved. Perhaps Dr. Devasiri wants to say that as a contributor of “Yahapalanaya” or good governance he should have done pro-bono although he is entitled to a fee.

    However, the more serious issue is that even Seniors who are in the bench being of the opinion that the report has no value for money, (The last of the related posts in the above article) implying that Rs 3.5 Million was spent for nothing. That questions the professional integrity of Weliamuna & Co and it brings in the bigger question what most so called members of the legal profession do in cities out of Colombo, NOT GIVING VALUE FOR MONIES CHARGED. Cases are ridiculously postponed. Straight forward divorce of a childless couple takes five years. WHERE ARE WE HEADING AS A NATION?

  • 5
    0

    I do not know why this story is draging like this. Who will do services for free of charge these days…

  • 3
    0

    It is not exposing corruption, it is an assignment that given to him by a party. The assignment is spent resources for it. The report is a depth analysis. So he should pay a fee or allowance for that.

  • 7
    0

    I am a professional in the field of engineering.Also I campaign for good governance to the extent my personal commitments allow me.
    I don’t believe that I should be barred (or considered of being unethical due to conflict of interest) if I accept a paid assignment in the field of my excellence as long as it does not conflict with the interests of good governance.

    I believe , same should apply to Mr Weliamuna too.

    The way this writer of CT, persues and percieves this very particular case of Sri Lankan Air and Weliamuna I feel that those concerned must look into the conduct of this man too, wheather this particular writer or/and any other of CT is being paid illicitly by culprits of Sri Lankan. This is the bitter truth about media personnel in Sri Lanka as well as the entite world.

    I have no any personal acquaitance with any paty of this particular issue therefore no conflict of interest in expressing my view.

    JPS Weerasinge
    C Eng, MIE

  • 0
    3

    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 is 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

    The way this particular writer of CT pursues and perciebes this case I STRONGLY BELIEVE SOMEONE OF YOU COLOMBOTELAGRAPH HAVE BEEN BRIBED BY CULPRITS OF THIS CASE.

  • 1
    4

    1.not only mr weliauna,hon minister Arjuna ranatunga also responsible and answerable to the public on what basis as has evaluated weliamuna report a sum of rupees 3.5m.
    2.hon minister has to tel us on what basis he has selected MR weliamuna assigned to head of that comity,

    • 2
      0

      “hon minister has to tel us on what basis he has selected MR weliamuna assigned to head of that comity”

      Are you an attorney at law? I am deeply disturbed by the standard of your writing. Could some one enlighten me on the standard of English among Srilankan lawyers?

      • 0
        0

        Except the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, the working language is Sinhalese and Tamil. So for most lawyers English proficiency is nit necessary.

        Lawyers who function at the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are therefore usually from the time before “mother-tongue” education became the law, or they are from English-speaking families, often from Colombo-based families.

        But even in Supreme Court judgements one can occasionally be “deeply disturbed by the standard of writing.”

  • 1
    0

    Why can’t any of you understand the reality? He found the rogues for gods sake. Investigate later on weliamuna, now arrest and prosecute the rogues. That is needed now for this country as these rogues are still entertaining public money for their own pleasure. Focus on the rogues first. Hope you all will agree at least now. Think of the country now, stop them from wasting our money FIRST.

  • 3
    0

    For the report Weliamuna has been paid 3.5 million, the report pinpoints corruption and waste much more than 3.5 billion. On which a man with sensible mind should focus attention. This series of articles which relentlessly persues 3.5 million may be a red herring paid much more than 3.5 million by Sri Lankan Culprits. Be cautious this is the bitter truth about the journalism in Sri Lanka.

  • 1
    0

    In my opinion no one should work for nothing excepting those who have taken a vow of poverty. It could be argued what amount is reasonable as charges for such services rendered. That amount could also be evaluated depending on the “input” “output”, analyses. In this particular instance, I opt to go with the the “input” and “output” analysis. While reading through the report, I was more than thankful for bringing to our notice the “Himalayan” type of corruption, swindling of public wealth, nepotism, sex exploitations, mismanagement by will and power, etc, etc, through this report, that would never have known to us ordinary folks who are the real stake holders of this outfit. Just recently, I have seen how the “Union of Pilots” (Pilots Guild) has acted to oust the entire set of officials who were the “boot licking” block of the corrupted management. If one were to read carefully the report, the frustrations of the pilots as regards the operational aspects were alarming. The compromising of safety standards with that of favours extended to incompetent new entrants to the fold of operational crew was alarming and should never ever have been tolerated by any standards. It is suffice to say, it was a “miracle” that the flight operations continued without a major disaster to this day. It is brought to light that in one instance, a ground engineer who was handling the aircraft on ground merely got run over by the lack of competency of the operating pilot who ignored all operational procedures.

    Apart from a glimpse of the above I have highlighted, how on earth could we have learned the “willful and blatant disregard” shown in the management aspects of this huge National Investment? In that context, the amount spent on these findings handed over to us, through the report to the general public is money well spent. Yet the question that remains is: What the authorities are doing with the findings? Will this report be added to the archives OR taken up for immediate study by the Legal Authorities and proceed to punish those who have openly violated at will, all norms of management? As at present, I notice a fast developing “FRUSTRATION” among almost all employees for the “DEEP SILENCE” observed by the authorities. This “BUBBLE” is blowing and could “BURST” at any time. It is a “TIME BOMB”. If that “BURSTS”; the effects will be much more than the Rs. 3.5 million spent on the investigation.

  • 1
    0

    Hi Douglas I completely agree with your comment. Indeed almost all the employees are frustrated by looking how these rogues are still playing their act of course by using public money by going on foreign trips etc. recently a two year no pay scheme has been introduced for all staff who have a service period of 5 years or more. Frustrated efficient effective employees will take this opportunity and leave for other airlines and other industries. The airline will be left with a bunch of losers. Talk about the efficiency of the airline then, imagine the employee productivity then. This is a drain of expert skills for the country for the airline.

  • 5
    0

    I disagree. Weliamuna has been appointed to head a commission and he, and the other commissioners should be recompensed for their labour.

  • 0
    0

    ONLY NOW “WAMA” KNOWS THAT “WALLA” IS MAIN MAN IN TRANSEPARENCY INTERNATIONAL?
    HA HA HA LA LA LA

  • 4
    0

    Dear Nirmal,

    I do not agree with you. He has been given a professional task, appointed not that he had taken that upon him. There are many which we do free but the commissions, appointments etc have their structure. The fee is very small when considered for a day payment. All professionals do.

    He has taken an assignment as much as others in BOI, Cenral bank, Foreign service, Ministries etc. Supreme court judges get a salary. lawyers have theirs. He was given an assignment which entitles and also has a fee strcuture.

    I do not think he is the current Head of TI. If there is a conflict then it is that of TI.

    It is important that someone does the job right, and that is more important than to have it free or paid.
    When people do paid job, with BIAS, Weli has no issue at all.

    • 0
      1

      Appoint me too
      Why not me? Only weliamuda!
      Oops, I did not work to topple the govt. Now its their turn.

  • 5
    0

    Mr.Weliamuna may be the chairperson of transparency international Sri Lanka
    but the services provided by him is professional and has nothing to do with transparency.
    He was hired by the Hon Minister to investigate the happenings of the national carrier Air Lanka and submit his report. This damning report has exposed the situation of Air Lanka.
    I hope this controversy stops going any further and that action will be taken
    against those named in the report.
    Nothing comes free and money is involved even to dispose the dead.

  • 3
    0

    Nirmal,do you think that you are in Oder. No men,you too out of Oder .

    • 0
      2

      I do not use “out of order” in my telephone conversation with CT. They are CT words.

      • 1
        0

        Thanks a million Nirmal for clarifying this , i was bit surprised to see you using such language , what does this say about CT’s intentions ? CT i have told you many a times , don’t think we the readers are fools , we can smell a rat !

        • 0
          0

          What is wrong ?? Out Of Order = If something someone says or does is out of order, it is unpleasant or not suitable and it is likely to upset or offend people:
          His behaviour in the meeting was out of order.
          http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/out-of-order?q=Out+Of+Order

          Out of order = not suitable

          Normal says; 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.

          unethical = not suitable = Out of order

      • 0
        0

        What is wrong ?? Out Of Order = If something someone says or does is out of order, it is unpleasant or not suitable and it is likely to upset or offend people:
        His behaviour in the meeting was out of order.
        http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/out-of-order?q=Out+Of+Order

        Out of order = not suitable

        Normal says; 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.

        unethical = not suitable = Out of order

        • 0
          0

          UNP Sira ,

          more you defend more you reveal about your true intentions , it’s really funny how you tried to cover up your culpability by giving the definition of the word “out of order” and the using of the appropriate matching pseudonym to attack me , i just wonder why did Nirmal have to clear the air about the specific word , had it been the same tone and the triviality , he wouldn’t have clarified it in the first place . all i can say is , your fly is open !

  • 1
    2

    Here we are talking about the Head of the Transparency International a highly respected or not but an alleged accepted NGO who has been in relentless pursuit of the activities of the last Govenment.
    Verywell funded handsome salaries and the question remained answered is that DID WELIAMUNA NEED THIS MONEY AS PAYMENT??????????????

    mAY BE THE OTHER (02) LAWYERS IN THE PANEL IF THEY WERE NOT HIGHLY PAID TI STAFF.

    THEN COMES THE ISSUE OF “CHANDRA JAYARATNE” CREEPING INTO THIS INQUIRY TEAM. WHAT DID HE DO?

    LASTLY, WHERE IS THE INVOICE FOR THE PAYMENT AND HOW THE OTHER PARTICIPANTS PAID.

    STRAIGHT FORWARD QUESTION FOR WHICH THE CITIZEN NEED TO HAVE ANSWERS AS THE MONEY CAME FROM THE GOVERNMENT COFFERS.

    finally, an acreage can not be ACEEDED to the Chinese on a long lease at the Port City BUT the Chinese purchases the WALDORF HOTEL IN NEW YORK…………. WOW… that is a reala real estate.

  • 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 a free media. No amount of mud-slingong on COI will resolve the Country being taken in the right direction.

  • 0
    3

    Please let us know, how many hours weliamuda worked for this report, the quality ofmthe work and the hourly rate?

  • 1
    0

    I cannot fully agree with Nirmal on this matter. The report says, “Dewasiri’s contention is that if the issue was about exposing corruption and other wrongdoing, it is unethical for an activist to profit from such an exercise.” This is hypothetical!

    Most definitely if Weliammuna has “profited” from the exercise, it is wrong. If he could have undertaken the task without a fee, of course it is admirable. It is not correct to say, however, that his or the committee’s task was to “expose corruption.” That is done in political platforms (or media) not in official or professional inquiries.

    Whatever, no social activist, in my opinion, could undertake all the tasks without fees voluntarily. Moreover, under the prevailing system, there cannot be a proper binding agreement between the two parties without a proper fee for a professional task. The question is whether the fee charged or given is proper and reasonable. To me it appears excessive.

    The best way for Sri Lanka is to have standard (range of) fees for these type of assignments. The local World Bank or UN rates might be a guideline. As far as I know, those are not exorbitant. Those also go along with other local rates.

  • 3
    0

    Jagath Fernando thanks for the update, these Professors are not divine or rocket scientists. Just ordinary human beings with same emotional levels but we try to assume them as divine and so refined after listening to their speeches.

  • 4
    0

    Typical Sri Lankan mentality including CT.
    The lions tail is up and everyone want to finger in the exposed area. This is the downfall of our society. Not only finger but want to sniff it too and shove it up again. We do not see our own faults but take extra effort to know what others do.
    I repaired my house on contract basis and when I asked the Basunnai for the breakdown he came down on me like a ton of bricks but thankfully minus of any “choice” Sinhala vocabulary.
    I plead with CT, please stop this vengeful pursuance. There are much more important issues that can be reported so that the voters / public will be kept a breast of what is happening in the country
    Weliamuna matter is now extremely and utterly boring .

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