The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) that is not responsible for the cabinet or the Parliament and is known as the ‘kithchen cabinet’ consisting of Malik Samarawickrema, Paskaralingam, Charitha Rathwaththe and Ranil Wickremesinghe has approved a proposal to increase the length of sky-ways being built on the Matara – Beliatta section of the Southern Highway from 6.33 km to 9.11 km and a Mercedes Benz car has been given as a bribe for someone who has mediated in increasing the length of the highway says JVP Parliamentarian and Chairman of Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) Sunil Handunneththi.
The revelation was made by Mr Handunneththi participating in a press conference held by the ‘Voice Agasint Corruption’ (VAC) in Colombo on the 30th. The Member of the Executive Committee of VAC was also present.
Speaking further Mr Handunneththi said, “On 21st November 2016 a letter is written by the Executive Project Director of China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIEC) to one R.M. Gamini, a Senior Project director. It would not be wrong to use Lakshman Kiriella instead of R.M. Gamini here. In the letter it is stated that a Mercedes Benz vehicle is imported for the project, it has arrived in Colombo Port on 21st November 2016. This means the vehicle has arrived at Colombo Harbour on the day the letter was written. In the letter, the Executive Project Director of CNTIEC requests for a duty waver for the vehicle stating it would be used for the project.
However, according to financial regulations, no duty waver could be given for a passenger transporting vehicles. We know that a Mercedes Benz car would not be used to carry concrete or iron bars. Where is this vehicle now and who uses it? Where was it registered, if it is registered at RMV in whose names was it registered?
Mr R.M Gamini should know where the vehicle is and who uses it. I would reveal only this today. We know where the vehicle is and who uses it. If the vehicle was brought for the project it should be with the project. I would like to say with responsibility that the vehicle is not with the project. It is a bribe given to lengthen the sky-ways and increase the cost by several billion. It is the people who have to pay for these bribes.”