Sri Lanka: Despicable “Authoritarian” Trio

( January 23, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) There is strong opposition within government ranks that the Malik Samarawickrama, R. Paskaralingam and Charitha Ratwatte trio are taking all decisions in an authoritarian manner with regard to development work, ‘Sathhanda’ a Colombo based weekly newspaper reports.

Political sources say a group of UNP ministers, backed by their SLFP colleagues, allege the trio have relegated the subject ministers into ‘ministers without portfolios.’

Furthermore, the subject ministers have to face various corruption accusations due to their decisions.

The ministers have reached agreement to take a collective decision if the president and the prime minister did not intervene immediately.

JO’s complaint prove their point

They note the joint opposition’s complaint to be bribery commission on December 18 proves their point.

The complaint says it was prime minister’s adviser Ratwatte who has ordered SriLankan Airlines to pay a first compensation installment of 104 million US dollars to Aer Cap over the cancellation of the purchase of three A-30 airbus aircraft.

That has been done without even consulting the attorney general.

Also, Ratwatte has intervened in the wet-leasing of three SriLankan aircraft to a Pakistani airline and sent an email to its chairman on 03 October 2016 to follow the prime minister’s instructions.

The JO complaint also attaches the copy of a letter sent on 11 October 2016 by the secretary to the state enterprise development ministry to the SriLankan chairman, asking him to show cause over non-compliance with tender and other procedures, followed by another on 27 December 2016 which notes his failure to respond to the previous letter.

Also attached is a letter dated 28 December 2016 responding to the ministry secretary and a letter issued by the president as a cabinet decision.

Another letter by the ministry secretary questions SriLankan’s disregard for cabinet decisions and not getting the ministry involved in the related agreements.

The JO wants an investigation into allegations that a 10 million dollar irregularity had taken place in this matter.

Government sources say it will be bad for the government that ministers themselves are providing the opposition with documentary evidence of the trio’s authoritarian conduct.

State enterprise development minister Kabir Hashim has admitted the existence of a mafia within SriLankan Airlines, whose CEO is Charitha Ratwatte’s brother Suren Ratwatte.


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