23 September, 2018

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Yahapalana MPs Now Boldly Advertise Duty Free Vehicles For Sale In The Open Market

Ruling United National Party party member, member of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and committee member on Public Finance and current Galle District MP Wijepala Hettiarachchi has got caught red handed advertising his brand new Toyota Land Cruiser to be sold in the open market, where he used his tax concessionary terms extended to members of parliament to import duty free vehicles.

Wijepala Hettiarachchi MP

Wijepala Hettiarachchi MP

According to the Sri Lanka Customs import papers the actual cost of the imported vehicle is stated as Rs 9.2 million even though MP Hettiarachchi has advertised to sell it for Rs 39.5 million.

Unlike others he has even used the print media and websites to boldly advertise the vehicle for sale in the open market.

A whopping sum of Rs 33,457,500.00 is the total loss to the government as the stated amount in the customs import papers that has been waived off for this purpose.

According to Sri Lanka’s pioneering MP Monitoring Website (Manthri.lk) Wijeyapala has only participated 40 times in parliament.

Readers can compare the Engine Number and the Chassis Number of the vehicle in the advert (for sale of Toyota Land Cruiser imported on MP permit) with the same information provided in the import declaration presented for Customs purposes and the tax-waiver granted for this vehicle

The relevant Customs Declaration presented for this vehicle is re-produced below:

mp-wijepala-hettiarachchis-duty-free-vehicle-for-salemp-wijepala-hettiarachchis-duty-free-vehicle

mp-wijepala-hettiarachchis-duty-free-jeep-for-saleMeanwhile in a letter addressed to the Director General of Customs, lawyer and rights activist Nagananda Kodituwakku in a letter dated November 10, 2016 accused the Director General of intentionally violating the Constitutional rights conferred in all citizens in terms of Article 14A (1) (b) of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Right to Information Act No 12 of 2016 and also the provisions of Section 6 Paragraph XLVII of Volume II of the Establishment Code – to obtain the said information helped with the office of the Director General of Customs.

Kodituwakku accused the Director General of Customs that he had not only violated the public trust placed in his office, but had abused his office to protect the interest of dishonest politicians, while also helping them in unjust enrichment by defrauding the government revenue.

At least 77 MPs in Parliament have used their duty free permits to purchase luxury vehicles in 2016 alone, which has resulted in the country losing billions of rupees in revenue.

Most of the vehicles that have been imported have been Toyota Land Cruisers, Hummers, BMW’s and Mercedes Benz. In July, Kodituwakku told the Supreme Court that the MPs instantly make as much as Rs. 25 million for each permit they sold, which they receive free of charge from the government.

After coming to power, the Maithripala Sirisena – Ranil Wickremesinghe led administration, having appraised the colossal losses sustained under the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, in its first budget presented in the parliament on November 20, 2015 declared that government had incurred a heavy loss of over 40 billion rupees on tax free car permits, therefore the administration proposed to abolish all such permits altogether including the permits issued to MPs which was openly abused by them.

However, few months later, the same Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake who presented the initial fiscal policy statement made a U turn and made an order (published in the Gazette (No 1965/2 of 02nd May 2016) under Sec 3C of Excise (Special Provisions) Act exempting levies on motor vehicles imported by MPs with CIF value up to US $ 62,500/. However, as required by the law to protect the government revenue, there was no condition whatsoever imposed against the abuse of such permits, allowing MPs to sell their permits in the open market. (Janaka Ranaweera and Kumudu Goonaratne)

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Latest comments

  • 31
    19

    Not land Cruisers, but a Ford Mustang was sold by Namal Rajapakse during the last regime and no one uttered a word. This is Yahapalanaya indeed! Nothing could be done by the politicians now, it’s all out in the newspapers and social media the next day ! So, all politicians, BEWARE !

    • 24
      4

      True but two wrongs do not make one right. If Namal Rajapakse did that why not punish him. There is a legal method. But these guys are scared to touch any of the Rajapakses even the murderers!

      • 7
        12

        What proof has Ranjan Fernando to conclude that the Rajapakses have murdered?

        Let Fernando show the proof of such murder, i.e. where, using what weapon etc. If he does not have evidence he should apologize to the Rajapakses for making such diabolical accusations.

        Coming to conclusions without proof only demonstrates that Ranjan Fernando is a nut case who cannot be taken seriously.

        Ranjan Fernando is the guy who concluded few months ago that the Mahavansa is a myth and that there is a fascist conspiracy taking place in Buddhist temples. However, he failed to apologize to the Buddist monks for casting aspersions on the Sasana.

      • 3
        1

        “They are coming for you, Namal”

    • 0
      0

      If you are so sure, please instigate legal action, by your own argument,rule of law is in place.Only bark no bite !!

    • 6
      1

      My question is simple. Are these actions justifiable? We all know how the previous regime functioned. That is why they were licked out and replaced with this lot. So what is the point in quoting nefarious activities committed by the previous regime to justify similar or worst activities of the present regime?

  • 27
    0

    Yahapalana MPs Now Boldly Advertise Duty Free Vehicles For Sale In The Open Market

    This shows how educated they are, and they want to earn a quick buck by any crooked means. Main motive of the MPs is earning only and not service to the voters.
    Long live the so called Yahapalanaya deceiving the mass.

    • 6
      2

      Govinda

      “Long live the so called Yahapalanaya deceiving the mass.”

      Q. Who is the head of Yajapalanaya. Good Governance, elected by 62 lakhs of voters?

      A. President Maitripala Srisena.

      Q. Who?

      A. Sorry, Turncoat, Traitor, Gona*, Mala-Perathaya** Sirisena.

      *Gona: In colloquial Sinhala, Whore

      **Mala-Perathaya: Who eats off dead people.See CT picture below.

      Mahinda Rahapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and cronies have bribed, given Santhosams, to Sirisena, so that those who were dead, killed by them, will nor be punished by Yahaalabaya. and Sirisena Mala-Petethaya is eating off their Agonies, as complained the Avatars of the dead.

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Maithripala-photo-via-his-Media-Director–768×576.jpg

  • 13
    1

    STOP THIS CRAP DUTY FREE DUTY FREE DUTY FREE. NAGANANDA NAGANANDA NAGANANDA. DONT YOU KNOW SINCE THE PAST 25 YEARS DUTY FREE PERMITS ARE ABUSED.

  • 20
    3

    Did you say LKR 34.5 % Million.pure unadulterated profit. Bloody Oath it is…

    Convert it into USD , It is F******* Three Hundred Thousand Dollars.

    Yahapalana suckers even in the Diaspora would be struggling to accumulate this much of dosh in their Pension Fund after the normal 30 year working life span.

    And this gentleman collects it as payment for 14 months service to Yahapalanaya.

    I have empathy for the hard working inhabitants who are in the PAYE Tax bracket.

    Poor buggers have to now fork out that 34. 5 Mil also, to help Galleon Ravi balance the Yahapalana budget.

    Wonder whether Aloysious is back in town..

    • 15
      1

      Daylight robbery of public money!

      What does that yahapalana professor sya to this? Kate pittu!

      • 10
        1

        srinath.gunaratnam

        “Daylight robbery of public money!”

        So is Rathana’s imported brand new Toyota Land Cruiser.

        Is it okay for a saffron clad politicians to rob the people? Sorry I must have missed your typing condemning him.

        Somaasss, lal loos, max morons … too are keeping a deafening silence.

        • 2
          0

          Native Vedda

          “Is it okay for a saffron clad politicians to rob the people? Sorry I must have missed your typing condemning him. “

          Because one needs a saffron cladding to attain Nirvanna in this world?

          Is this Sinhala Buddhism? Just curious. Some go after boys, to attain Nirvanna.

    • 1
      0

      KA Sumanasekera

      Your usually on-the-job self-appointed ‘nemesis’ is MIA in these matters I see ! :)

  • 17
    0

    I thinki we are missing the point here.Yes,this is daylight robbery but what has all this exposure brought about?Just sweet balls!!Will these MPs be booted out at the next elections?Never.Infact they will be elected with even greater majorities.So if the voter is delighted to vote for such an MP who are we to challenges and criticize?Such is the situation in Paradise Isle!Remember the Constitution boldly proclaims that ” Sovereignty lies with the people”Ahem!!
    Having said that a sustained campaign may educate the gullible idiot of a voter who is obviously not fit to vote.But this should be a grass roots based campaign and not limited to websites.Where are our loquacious NGO wallahs?They keep exposing issues like this to earn top dollar but never come up with any irradicative measures for to do will result in the the problem been solved and the fund flow stopping.So like vultures they like these problems to persist.

    • 1
      0

      Corrupt king raja –

      ‘Such is the situation in Paradise Isle!’ !It is so in Trumpland too !

    • 2
      0

      But what does the voter do when MPs rejected by the people are brought in through the back door.

  • 22
    0

    Time to start a movement not to pay taxes.

    These beggars are like leeches who live on poor man taxes should be taught a lesson.

    Imagine halff the beggars cannot pass their ALs and earn a cool Rs 30 m profit after 1 year.

    This include rogue MPs like monk Ratana as well.

    • 2
      0

      …and our Finance Minister?!

  • 7
    0

    Where is that “independent”, “cultured”, “balanced” “anti-corrupt” vociferous spokes personnel of yahapalanaya? Must have gone deaf for time being.

  • 5
    0

    So Handsome Wije has participated 40 times in Parliament! How about the duration of his attendance? How many minutes? How many hours in the Parliamentary canteen feasting on subsidised food and drink?
    These are the guys who will never go overseas to greener pastures!
    So Wije has a good horoscope ah?

  • 5
    0

    But Finance Minister is worried that they will have travl by carts, if the goverment don’t issue free car permits. Has Finance Minister also got a permit? I don’t want to see him coming to Parliament by a cart.

    Siri

  • 3
    0

    No point grumbling. Request both MS/RW to take all the money they need from the treasury without any restrictions. Will collect it after the next elections including theirs and their kith & kins properties back to the treasury.

  • 4
    0

    Being a parliamentarian could be regarded as profession of prostitution. Even prostitutes are appointed as members. No ethics.They all do the same job. Can anyone challenge that parliament has not heard of sexist remarks within the parliament? Trousers, squeezing, peeing etc etc.?

  • 4
    0

    The list of Perethayas in this yamapalanaya government keeps expanding. Only yesterday the Athureliya perethaya was exposed. Today Wijepala Hettiarachichi perethaya.

    Our beloved Sri Lanka Buddhist nation is so full of mala perethayas.

  • 3
    0

    Silence of the not so joint opposition on this matter is deafening. Where is Gammanpila Weerawanse and Bandula who said a family could live for a month with an income of Rs.2500. With 2500 can buy 40 loaves of bread.

  • 3
    0

    Silence of the not so joint opposition is deafening. Where is Bandula Weerawanse and Kalu kodi Gammanpila.” Me hamuduruwantath Bedanna.”

    • 2
      0

      Shows the IQ of our MPs. They do not understand that Vehicle Permits are meant for their Use when Serving the Public.

      Democracy means, Government FOR the People, not FOR filling up their own Pockets.

      Education Minister, please Give Civics an important place in our Children’s Curriculum!

  • 2
    0

    These and so many other corrupt practices are as a result of standards created and set by JRJ with his Presidential system of government. Remember the blank affidavit and undated letters of resignation. At a lecture (delivered in sinhala to be conveyed to the general public as the English speaking audience was part of the system) )Heating a iron rod on one side and applying excreta on the other. No human being will touch either side one for fear of being burnt (vilibhiya) and the other for shame (vili ladjawa) The MPs have lost both.

  • 2
    0

    The 25 million profit made by MPs (if the duty free vehicles have been sold) should be subject to income tax. It is unethical for politicians to abuse their privileges like this while the public are subject to all types of direct and indirect taxes including massive customs duties levied on basic vehicles e.g. motor cycles, small cars etc. The UNP, SLFP, JO (not the JVP) are all guilty of this crime and the public are already disgusted with the state of affairs on waste of public finances. Please remember that the public are silently watching this and they will be the ultimate decision makers of the future of this country when the time is ripe.

  • 1
    0

    I have made up mind to be a politician with a top party and shall be donating
    at least ten million to get the membership.
    Failing which, I shall become a monk (which is easier) and create racial trouble to become prominent citing elements against Buddism.
    One way or another I am sure to hit the jackpot within a short period.
    So people be on the look out for a new politician or a monk.

  • 1
    0

    Inland Revenue Dept should collect income tax/capital gains tax from the MPs who sell vehicles at a profit.If no action taken a Citizen should take Commissioner General of Inland Revenue to Courts. Piyathilake

  • 1
    0

    who you going to vote next time , JVP perhaps, we need to give Trump treatment in sri lanka , get rid of all crook

  • 0
    0

    How about government issuing Parliamentarians with official vehicles (brand new imported by the government at the beginning of the term) for 5 years and give them the opportunity to buy them at the market value or government stores to auction them to the public at market value on completion of the 5 year term.

  • 0
    0

    If elected representatives MP’s of the citizens (with whom ultimate sovereignty lies – not with parliament) of Sri Lanka, which sovereignty the MP’s as the elected representatives claim and exercise; cannot abide by the Rule of Law and Government AR’s/FR’s of then why should the public/citizens at large follow the rule of Law. Therefore, I would deem that they (citizens) are also privileged
    (1)To claim duty free cars (are the doctors/engineers doing the same thing) and advertise and sell it and keep the money so gained to look after their kith and kin and also give donations to others in the community for funerals and weddings!
    (2)Do not pay capital gains tax on any item (not limited to cars, even land and property) and keep it for their future generations in the family
    (3)If MP’s claim they have right to sell and keep the proceeds, then they should be back taxed (IRD should be doing this if they (MP’s ) had done in the past too. those should be included as wealth accrued and taxed.
    (4)Only exception is if they have receipts for expenses of “repairs and maintenance” – sure that is also borne by the poor tax payer, because the MP;s are not serving but “lording” over after being elected by them.
    (5)next time include in the ballot paper whether they will travel by public transport or Benz or BMW, so that the people will have a choice to elect whom they feel is the best for them!

  • 0
    0

    If elected representatives (MP’s) of the citizens (with whom ultimate sovereignty lies – not with parliament directly) of Sri Lanka, which sovereignty the MP’s as the elected representatives claim and exercise; cannot abide by the Rule of Law and Government AR’s/FR’s of then why should the public/citizens at large follow the rule of Law. Therefore, I would deem that they (citizens) are also privileged
    (1)To claim duty free cars (are the doctors/engineers doing the same thing) and advertise and sell it and keep the money so gained to look after their kith and kin and also give donations to others in the community for funerals and weddings!
    (2)Do not pay capital gains tax on any item (not limited to cars, even land and property) and keep it for their future generations in the family
    (3)If MP’s claim they have right to sell and keep the proceeds, then they should be back taxed (IRD should be doing this if they (MP’s ) had done in the past too. those should be included as wealth accrued and taxed.
    (4)Only exception is if they have receipts for expenses of “repairs and maintenance” – sure that is also borne by the poor tax payer, because the MP;s are not serving but “lording” over after being elected by them.
    (5)next time include in the ballot paper whether they will travel by public transport or Benz or BMW, so that the people will have a choice to elect whom they feel is the best for them!

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