Wednesday, December 9, 2009

‘Fonseka bought arms through relations cos’ - Real Face of Mr. Clean

By Sandun A. Jayasekera

The Government levelled fresh allegations against General Sarath Fonseka yesterday asserting that his relatons were involved in weapons purchasing for the Sri Lankan security forces. Addressing the government news briefing at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday, Power and Energy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said General Fonseka had purchased military hardware through a wcompany held by his relations.“What is interesting is that the Hicorp International Inc. has started to deal with the Sri Lanka Army days after General Fonseka assumed duties as commander of the Sri Lanka Army, which is highly suspicious,” said Mr. Aluthgamage.

“The Army Commander has the authority to make emergency purchases to the value of Rs. 25 million at a time outside of the tender procedure. General Fonseka has exploited this facility to make purchases through his son in law,” he said.

“Let us for the moment assume that these purchases are above board. But is it ethical for an Army Commander to buy weapons through his son in law?” asked Mr. Aluthgamage.

He said the Defence Ministry will immediately launch an investigation, in addition to initiating an inquiry by the Bribery Commission and the CID. He said the disclosure was not intended to sling mud but to expose those who had slung mud at President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was not aware of the purchases. However, Mr. Aluthgamage conceded that there had been irregularities and corruption in the defence establishment during the humanitarian operation.

Mr. Aluthgamage said that General Fonseka had decided to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa with malicious intent and due to envy.

“The UNP is already on the retreat as the erosion of the party has begun with S.B.Dissanayaka. A large number of UNP stalwarts are to follow Dissanayaka shortly. The fate of one of the biggest and oldest political parties in the country would be extremely pathetic after this election,” he said.

FACT BOX

* Minister Aluthgamage challenges General Fonseka to prove the allegations were wrong and sue him.

* President Rajapaksa as Defence Minister will take action to bring to book those involved in shady deals.

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