14 August, 2022


Yahapalanaya Follows Rajapaksa’s Footsteps In Abusing Tax-Free Permits For MPs, Loses Over 6 Billion Rupees In Revenue

The country has lost over Rs. 6 billion in tax revenue, due to various MPs abusing the tax free vehicle permits provided to them by the Yahapalanaya government, which has gone back on its initial pledge, and is now following the footsteps of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa where tax-free permits for MPs were also abused.

X2 - PermitThis was revealed on Friday by public interest litigation activist and lawyer Nagananda Kodituwakku in Supreme Court, when his Fundamental Rights Application (SCFR/214/2016) case was taken up. According to Kodituwakku, the MPs were selling the tax-free permits in the open market for a hefty price of over Rs. 25 million, which was both illegal and unethical.

Producing the evidence of vehicles already imported under the new MP permit scheme, Kodituwakku revealed the covert and manifestly illegal process that allow MPs to sell these permits to vehicle importers (with no restriction whatsoever imposed against selling of these permits) and how they misappropriate tax revenue chargeable on the vehicles with the vehicle importers, which in some cases is over 60 million rupees as tax on such luxury vehicles are charged at the rate 300%.

During the FR case, Kodituwakku also reminded how Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake who during his budget speech in November 2015 had condemned the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime for adopting an illegal car permit schemes that caused colossal revenue loss to the government and pledged the people to abolish such schemes altogether.

According to Kodituwakku due to similar actions adopted by the current government, who are also issuing such permits to MPs, the government has loss over Rs. 6 billion rupees in revenue, which also goes on to display that MPs pay no regard whatsoever to respect their Constitutional Oath that they have subscribed to, with a pledge to respect and honour the Constitution, the Rule of Law and the sovereignty in the people that they purely on trust.

Kodituwakku informed that court that the Section 3C of the Excise (Special Provisions) Act, No 13 of 1989, which regulate such imports to impose stringent conditions against the abuse such tax exemptions, which include prior approval shall be obtained before the disposal of any such vehicle and to pay the all levies payment of which exempted at the time of importation. Therefore the activist submits to the court that all permits issued with no such conditions imposed violates the primary law under which they have been issued, making such permits manifestly unlawful for wanting of statutory authenticity and as such a mere nullity. The activist further submits that the issuance of these permits has been permitted by MS-MR administration ‘having no regard whatsoever to the economic benefit to the country’ which is compulsory under the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No 3 of 2003, which requires that the government should ensure any fiscal policy it adopts to have regard to the financial impact of such decisions on future generations.

Therefore, Kodituwakku requested the Supreme Court to exercise the judicial power of the people it exercises purely on trust, to protect the democratic rights of the people and to deal with the wrongdoers decisively and appropriately and to become a symbol of hope for the people of Sri Lanka who have completely lost their confidence in the corrupt politicians who talk morality in public but practice completely the opposite whilst blatantly abusing the people’s legislative and executive powers.

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  • 6

    NK is doing a good job exposing corruption and sleaze. Unfortunately he needs real evidence to substantiate the claim that a named MP or Government servant has in fact sold their permit to a motor importer or anyone else, that they have pocketed the proceeds, and that whoever bought the permit were waived import duties. Anyone who has evidence or parts of evidence should contact NK and help him in his patriotic mission

    • 9


      Selling the permit is within the current law in SL.

      In March this year, I was at a friend’s car sale to discuss the possibility of bringing my 4 year old car to SL, which I had bought brand new, as a personal import because I cannot afford the current prices of an equivalent, even a used vehicle about the same age. I had been thinking of early retirement & returning to SL next year but buying a similar vehicle in SL would take a sizable chunk off my pension savings & if I sold my car in UK now, I would only get less than a third of what I paid for due to normal depreciation. Unfortunately, I was advised that it would still be very expensive as I will have to pay taxes applicable to a brand new car of the same model, even though mine is 4 years old, depreciation will not be taken into account when calculating the import duty payable under the new regulations.

      While I was there, I came to know that 2 Govt. MPs had arranged to sell their permits & my friend had agreed to meet one MP at a Bank nearby for the purchase of the permit. My friend paid the MP Rs20m for the permit & the broker was paid Rs50,000. My friend suggested we go out for a drink after closing up but had to wait for the second MP who was due to come at 7 pm. The MP duly arrived with his entourage in 2 cars & my friend paid him Rs20m in cash & the relevant documents including letters to the Bank for the opening of LC & the subsequent transfer of the vehicle. The broker in this case was also paid Rs50k for facilitating the deal. My friend is a businessman & has to adapt to prevailing situations for survival & there was no objection to my presence as it was a perfectly legal transaction. If anyone needs proof, just follow up on the permits issued to Politicians & trace the ownership of the vehicle from the RMV.

      I thought it was my patriotic duty to return to my country of birth with my hard earned life savings but considering the sleaze & corruption in SL, I have changed my mind. I don’t want to pay my taxes to fund the luxury life style of yob politicians & their fat cat cronies. I can retire in reasonable comfort elsewhere even if I may be considered a third class citizen.

    • 1

      Oh what a circus, Oh what a shame!
      Don’t Cry For Me Sri Lanka…

      By Capt Elmo Jayawardena (circulated by email)

      No this is not Argentina that has gone to town, but good old Sri Lanka, my beloved home land. Only thing missing is a flamboyant Evita to come and sing the haunting ‘Don’t cry for me’ to complete the carnival. The day has dawned again for the political leaders to gather and discuss who should represent the swans, bells, elephants, betel leaves, weighing scales and such symbols and we the minions like fools await the dawn of reckoning on 17th August. Man! I am even scared to write the who’s who of this situation as things change like monsoon skies and many a modern day Humpty Dumpty gets toppled from the wall. But there is a difference, all the King’s men in this fairy tale are putting all the Humpty Dumpties together again.

      Let us ponder a while about this mega comedy called politics. Where is the corruption that was spoken of in the loudest decibels and flashed in brilliant neon before the January regime change? What happened to the billions that were supposed to have been stashed overseas and who drove away the flashy Lamborghinis? What about those who did not settle debts to the Air Force for joy rides in helicopters? This report was called for and that inquiry got completed, they came, they saw and nothing was conquered, and everything slid out like drain water. COPE findings and Weliamuna conclusions, man! Didn’t we really ‘go around the mulberry bush’ to cleanse the country? Sannasgala interviews with hopes eternal and sastharakarayas barbecued for wrong predictions and all that rigmarole of change, what happened? A hundred days was ear-marked to incubate a ‘born again’ new Sri Lanka. Where did it all end? Oh what a circus, oh what a shame?

      17th of August will come and they will all go back to the parliament, the same seasoned ‘so called’ saviours of our motherland. And they will start playing marbles again. A few changes, just so fools like us can grin and keep our mouths shut. We kept silent yesterday and will stay silent tomorrow too. The ‘clear as crystal’ parody is that the common man’s inconceivable passivity of surrender and acceptance of the political muck that is thrown at us makes us all guilty of the total ruination of this country. And so the powers that be will rape Mother Lanka again and have another election and continue the sacrilege. Oh no! It is not one party, it is all of them who call themselves the leaders of this country who we elect repeatedly to rule us.

      There has to be some who wear the motley garb of honesty. But the numbers are small, too small to make a difference, and even among them, most turn a blind eye and stay glued to power, perhaps knowing that ‘rock-solid’ principles and un-dentable integrity is a poor compensation to the prominence and pomp of being in power, however tainted such maybe.

      There lies the dilemma for the common man, how to escape this dreadful political paradigm of parasitical leadership that is lacerating our God-gifted paradise. Is there a solution? I wish, I do really wish, but sadly I can only write to share my frustration at the forthcoming election hoping to reach some audience and silently whisper ‘Cry the beloved country.’

      Let us go back and see what good governance is?

      Let’s look at the perennial white elephant Mattala Airport. Four-lane highway to bring and take out passengers, but no passengers. Runway strength and length to land the heaviest and the largest modern skybirds, but no planes. Fancy appearance and fancier electronics with instrument landing systems, but some fool forgot to have a taxiway for the jets to enter the runway without doing a 180- turn at the end. That is unbelievably stupid as whoever made that decision sure did not know anything about international aerodromes. I am not even mentioning runway alignment and cross winds, that is trivia relative to the ‘no taxiway’ construction. I read in the papers someone advising COPE that the airport earned a lot of money from over-flying traffic as Airlines flew the route because Mattala was there to land in case of emergency. Tomorrow you set fire to Mattala, the planes will still fly the same route without batting an eye-lid. That I know for sure for I have been in that sky for a very long time flying very heavy aeroplanes all over the world.

      Just for comparison, San Francisco International has many runways and the longest is 3,600 meters in length and 45 meters wide. Mattala is 3,500 meters long and 60 meters wide. Wider than SFO and only short by 100 meters – but brilliantly designed taxi-way – my foot!

      Now let’s get back to a simple argument, kindergarten style.

      Someone built Mattala and another closed it and the cost was borne by the coffers of the motherland. Well! One of them has to be wrong, either the builder or the ‘shut it down’ man. But looks like no one is at fault? The reason is simple, in politics “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” So the Mattala saga continues, maybe the regimes will change and we get back to square one and Mattala will strive again. But I still like to know who built that stupid taxiway in a modern airport for aeroplanes to do 180- turns to line up for takeoff.

      Take another angle.

      Remember ‘Mathata Thitha’ that came with trumpets blaring during the opening rounds of the Mahinda Chinthanaya? We dreamt of bars being closed and padlocked and moonshiners getting skinned alive in their kassippu dens. Bacchus was to be wiped out of the shores of Mother Lanka for sober ‘non-alcoholic’ serenity to reign. Well! What happened was the exact opposite. According to statistics the liquor sales have currently multiplied and they have even added ethanol to boost the market. Now we have a new theme song from Yahapalanaya. ‘No alcohol in the budget and a clean booze-less land in the year 2020.’ Newspapers have full page advertisements and speeches are made at jam-packed auditoriums. Wish that energy was spent on telling the proletariat who’s contesting the election under which symbol and who has allegiance to whom and who is going to rule us and ruin us again in the next 6 years. It is great to curb alcohol, but then what about drugs? What about mega corruption? What about all the promises that were made to create a better Lanka?

      I read in the newspapers that some people refuse to give nomination to a prominent politician stating that he is associated with drugs and some others are promoting him saying he has a valuable vote base. I do not know the truth or the exaggeration or the lie in all this. However, if such be the argument why keep “Wele Suda” behind bars? He must have been a brilliant organizer to bribe the IGP himself to run drugs. I am sure he would be a worthy ‘team-mate’ to carry a baton and run a lap for some political party in the 17 August race? Man! We sure are a wonderfully democratic country, definitely a land like no-other.

      I did hear a PhD politician in green pleading on TV for people to forget the parties and think of the country. He did sound genuine, but then we have heard them before. Nevertheless let us give him respect and ponder on what he said. Think of the country, that is the need of the day. Think of those poor servicemen who died to give us peace after 30 long horrendous years. Think of those who lost limb and sight and became invalids to make this country war-free. After all that struggle, where are we heading? Party politics and corruption and that brush can paint with all colours in the competition. No I must correct myself as so far the leader of the JVP has been an honest politician. Sure there will be others too, if one can find them.

      I see a faint hope of citizenry objections by committed people waking up to protest the political ruination we face. It is a start. That is how changes come about, the collective voice of the common man, the ‘power of one’ moving slow like a weed-clogged wave to gather momentum and come across the Diyawanna Oya and wipe them all out. January 8th showed how the mighty can fall. Hundred days showed how another mighty can change.

      6.2 million People did not vote for the reigning President. They cast their vote for Good Governance, to rid the country of a corrupt regime. To right the scales of justice to punish the powers that took the law into their own hands and rode rough-shod over the masses. To give the right place to the right man and eradicate nepotism. They all voted to resurrect their motherland from ruin. Many were the promises of the SWAN and people believed. More were the hopes of the common man where his faith in the new face multiplied at the onset of a new era after the 8th of January. What happened? Let’s make it simple without any fancy rhetoric – NOTHING HAPPENED. And the sastharakaraya was dead right, MR won. MS won and RW won and they all won – sadly it is the country that lost.

      Capt Elmo Jayawardena

  • 13

    Just goes to show the false morality of Maithri and Ranil and their crooked hangers-on, who really don’t give a shit for us the voters or for the country at large. It’s all to do with power and ego and the accumulation of ill-gotten wealth for them.

    We need more Naganandas (and even Ranjan Ramanayakes) to enlighten us to the rackets and to what is really going on behind the pretense of the Yahapalanaya farce.

  • 12

    Working people of Sri Lanka should NOT pay Taxes.

    We will not pay taxes because our hard earned monies are used to keep corrupt politicians and the corrupt government in luxury life style – politicians are a corrupt blood sucking caste who live high life in Diyawenna Parliament on the tax monies collected from poor people and families struggling to make ends meet.

    All our hard earned monies are spent on and by corrupt and criminal politician for their SUPER LUXURY lifestyles.

    NO MORE TAXES from Ayahapalanaya crooks! Ravi K needs to be put behind bars.

    • 9

      Kalu – and what’s more these goons who pretend to be our representatives should be made to pay taxes just like the rest of us. And those duty-free permits should be cancelled as well!

      No more free massages and 5 star meals for a pittance. Why should these bozos be treated any differently to the rest of us? Give them each a suitable salary and let them fend for themselves!

    • 0

      Tax payers have no choice: whether they like it or not the crooks thieves and extortioners headed by the Ra-Siri combine will take the taxes by force.

  • 4

    This is a test case of bribery at the highest level. It has proved without any
    reasonable doubt the inherent dishonest nature of the Politicians.May their tribe increase so that the saturation may burst at it’s seams and totally annihilate the species.”Every prospect pleases except the (politician) is vile.”
    God Bless.

  • 5

    May all these shameless blood sucking rogues [Edited out]

  • 6

    “Yahapalanaya Follows Rajapaksa’s Footsteps In Abusing Tax-Free Permits For MPs..”

    Quite certainly. Because the same rogues have found a place in the Maithripala Sirisena government. This is all against what Msithri promised at his election campaign to oust Rajapakse.

    What more can we ordinary citizens expect. They have all deceived the voters all the time. All want to make money in a totally unfair and easy way. As a country we are doomed.

    Again main problems is Sri Lankans are all corrupt, and we may write comments in the Colombo Telegraph as if we are all angels bringing a feeling we commentators should really take over and shall do a honest job. But do you think that is a good idea? No never. The moment we get elected to Parliament we will immediately change to the very people we criticized and grab the golden opportunity and start stealing ourselves!

    Sorry to say we have a attitude problem and that cannot be solved easily as these are learnt as school children from attending good schools. Actually there is no one to teach the present school children good habits as we all are corrupt lack these qualities to pass on to young children. The only option is to hand over our country to Britain once again to rule for one hundred years and then we may get back the good qualities we once learnt from our colonial masters.

    • 1

      How come, we address them as SIR’s-are they our masters or servants.

  • 3

    Way to go Nagananda!

    We have had University Students staging Protest March,Trade unions staging protest March,Joint opposition staging Protests for the removal of CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran etc etc.

    The time has now become for the People to march together against Tax-Free Permits for MPP!

  • 3

    The important thing is President and prime minister are silent and they allow these things go on.

    In another four years they come ask for votes.

    then the journalists will be ready to write for them.

  • 4

    CRACKING down on tax evasion has been a core piece of President Sirisena’s agenda before he took office, according to manifesto and public speeches. His administration’s campaign to that end has been selectively a slow success. According to this filing no one has led this until public interest attorney has taken them to task. Audit department has been reluctant to achieve its objectives and MP’s keep on profiting at the expense of public.
    Law makers have led breaking the law and enjoying life as Masters of a system while general public is suffering to gap in earnings. Only legal action like this will knock a hole in the once-impregnable illegal practice of MP’s, if only our courts act fairly. Tax dodging by our representative should be brought to justice. Thanks

    • 1

      Ananda, why the media is not highlighting this as headlines?. Are they for the public or the self-interested MP’s ??

  • 0

    The yahapalanaya mob are the pits. Absolute disgrace. MR and his rogues must be rolling on the ground laughing at the voters.

    What a corrupt country Sri Lanka is.

    By the way how come the Ministry of Parliamentary Reform and Mass Media given the authority to deal with the importation of gas guzzling, highly polluting super luxury vehicle to Sri Lanka. One would assume that their job was to do with reforming the parliament and dealing with mass media. WTF – importation of cars. Didn’t Ranil promise to build houses for the recent flood victims prior to importation of luxury vehicles. What a scumbag this Ranil is.

    • 1

      MR and his rogues must be rolling on the ground laughing at the voters.

      What do you think… these men have not the least respect and dignified life.. they have all alone been playing with majority fools of the country deceivin them for their political survivial.
      Rajakashes have been most abusive politicians of the day. Genuine politics is thousands of miles away from them.

  • 0

    Better to have them inside the tent pissing out
    (Original attributed to Lyndon B Johnson 36th President of US)

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