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Controversy Over Firearms Issued To RALL

  • Investigation into Rakna Lanka continues

By Nirmala Kannangara

Some of the firearms found at BMICH alleged to have belonged to Rakna Lanka and The police after obtaining a court order, Tuesday January 20 this year, opened an armory belonging to Rakna Lanka at BMICH

After the revelation that the controversial Rakna Arakshka Lanka Limited (RALL) – a government owned security company, a brain child of the former Defence Secretary Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa – had obtained firearms without following related legal process, questions have been raised as to who had given the orders to purchase the weapons and the purposes of such orders.

Former Additional Secretary of Ministry of Defence Damayanthi Jayaratne, when she was interrogated by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry for Fraud and Corruption (PRECIFAC) last week, has disclosed that although the Ministry of Defence had issued 3,473 firearms to Rakna Lanka, only 89 weapons had been issued following required legal procedure.

Established in February 2007, Rakna Arakshaka Lanka was earlier registered in October 2006 as Pramuka Arakshaka Lanka as a limited company under the then Companies Act No. 17 of 1982 to provide inland security. Rakna Lanka currently employs nearly 3,000 retired service personnel.

Rakna Lanka was established with a Cabinet approval as a government-owned business undertaking, and the Rajapaksa government had invested Rs. 5 million in establishing the company. Retired service personnel in the Sri Lanka Army, Navy, and Air Force had been recruited to Rakna Arakshaka Lanka. It had been providing security to many government institutions and private institutions for many years under the patronage of the former Defence Secretary.

Although a Chairman and a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) had been managing Rakna Arakshaka Lanka, the Ministry Secretary as the Chief Accounting Officer was accountable for any misdeed or fraud that had taken place at this security firm. Hence,Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the then much powerful Defence Secretary is liable for all the malpractices that had taken place at Rakna Arakshaka Lanka during the Rajapaksa regime.Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was earlier accused of releasing 500 Rakna Lanka employees for presidential election campaign. He was further accused of deploying 150 Civil Defence Force employees at Rakna Lanka to substitute the said 500 employees temporarily and of misusing public funds for the presidential election campaign. However, according to the statement the Additional Secretary made to the PRECIFAC last week, Rajapaksa is accused of providing illegal arms to his brain child Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited.

Since the former government officials are nw spilling the beans about Rajapaksa’s alleged involvement in illegal arm supplies and are under constant interrogation, the former Defence Secretary also has openly told the PRECIFAC last week that he regrets having finished the 30-year-long war as it was the reason he is subjected to rigorous interrogation by the PRECIFAC, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and the Financial Criminal Investigation Division (FCID). He had further said that none of these commissions that are questioning him would be there today had he not finished the war.“If Rajapaksa believes that they would still be in power and could carry out any illegal activity if the war was not defeated, that was where the Rajapaksa’s have gone wrong. Had they failed to end the war in 2009, they would have been defeated at the 2010 presidential election. Ending the war is not the issue here. Had Rajapaksa refrained from engaging in politics as a public servant and not misused his power and not engaged in malpractices, frauds, and corruptions, neither the PRECIFAC nor the FCID and the CID would have questioned him. How many former ministry secretaries have been left alone by these three commissions because of their clean records,” a reliable source from Rakna Lanka who wished to remain anonymous told The Sunday Leader.

“Over 500 employees attached to Rakna Arakshaka Lanka had been assigned to the 2015 Presidential Election campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa. These employees had been placed at government and private institutions as security personnel, To substitute them, the former Defence Secretary had taken about 150 Civil Defence Force personnel temporarily.

This is illegal. It is a violation of election laws to release employees attached to a government institution for election work and also to get the Civil Defence Force personnel to carry out the work of Rakna Lanka. Didn’t Rajapaksa know that these are not only violation of election laws, but also an offence being the Defence Secretary?” sources queried.

The sources also said that Rakna Arakshaka Lanka had spent nearly Rs. 6 million on these 500 employees during the election campaign in addition to paying their monthly remunerations.“Notwithstanding off-the-book payments, we know that the Civil Defence Force personnel were paid an allowance of Rs. 500 each for a day, which cost this institution another staggering Rs. 266,000,” the sources said.They further said that Rakna Arakshaka Lanka employees were deployed in Kotte, Kolonnawa, Maharagama, Dehiwela and other areas in and around Colombo suburbs. The Civil Defence Force personnel had dressed up in Rakna Arakshaka Lanka uniforms, which is highly irregular, they added.“Former Chairman and the CEO of Rakna Arakshaka Lanka were Retired Major Generals. They didn’t know that it is an offence to wear another uniform whilst in service. Since this institution was under the Defence Secretary, who was so powerful at that time, they allowed laws to be violated openly,” sources claimed.

 

2 Comments for “Controversy Over Firearms Issued To RALL”

  1. Don

    This is as if Rajapkase has issued illegal arms to a Terrorist Organization and not for a Government organization. They are trying their level best to get him in, even with a concocted allegation. They have forgotten that they are playing with the armed forces of this country which can be a dangerous game.

  2. VIP T.Ruth

    This Gota piece of Sh.t in our history, thinks he is the brain behind defeating LTTE. If not for Field Marshall SARATH Fonseka and heroic soldiers we will be still fighting LTTE. Gota got a brain of an insignificant insect but possesses a humongous appetite for luxury life. He could not afford the luxury, so he started illegal activities including mining gems, treasure hunting and bogus projects such as RAKNA Lanka. Gota is a hoodlum, he must be tried under international law not under the Sri Lankan judiciary system.

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