The Sunday Leader

FCID To Probe Dulles?

by Nirmala Kannangara

Former Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Dulles Alahapperuma is accused of carrying out a skilled sector development project in Matara last year which is alleged to have targeted the 2015 presidential election  spending a colossal amount of public money.

Although it was the practice to hold the skilled sector examination throughout the year in every district to evaluate their skills and give away the certificates, the decision taken by the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) on the directive of Minister Alahapperuma in the Matara District on December 14, 2014 has raised eyebrows of amongst NAITA staff members.

“Applications are called for from skilled workers to send their details certified by the area grama niladari and the Divisional Secretary. Once we receive the certified applications, we hold practical examinations on a selected date to evaluate their skills and give a recognised certificate, which is accepted in any institution, from the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission. These practical examinations were generally held in centers in districts where the applicants live. But due to the decision taken by Minister Alhapperuma to hold all the practical examinations at Sanath Jayasooriya and Mahinda Wijesekera Stadiums in Matara, NAITA had to spend a colossal amount of money for the apprentice appraisers on food and lodging,” sources from NAITA said on condition of anonymity.

According to the sources, Rs.1.061 million had been spent by NAITA for 286 officers and evaluators on hotel charges including all three meals for December 13 and 14, 2014.

According to a detailed report that this newspaper is in possession, Rs. 210,479 had been spent on the dancing troops, for their transportation and food and lodging. In addition, for 57officers and evaluators, the food and lodging bill for the Matara Rest House was Rs.92,540 while the bill for 94 officials and evaluators for Polhena Rest Garden Hotel was Rs.310,800. The bill for the Pearl Cliff for 24 officials and evaluators was Rs.77,100, and the Sanaya Mansion Hotel bill for 45 packs was Rs.136,840, for Solis Tourist Resort (Pvt) Ltd bill was Rs.41,400 for 17 officials and evaluators, Mayura Beach Resort bill for 66 was Rs.111,120 and Rs.81,000 as an advance payment for those who take part in recognised prior learning (RPL) certificate distribution ceremony which come to a total of Rs.1.061 million.

“Had these practical exams held in the respective districts, we could have saved several millions of rupees,” the sources alleged. Sources further said that NAITA has over paid the evaluators a sum amounting to Rs.434,500. Although the standard daily payment for an evaluator is Rs.3,000, NAITA had paid Rs.7,500 each electrician and masonry evaluator and Rs.5, 000 for each beauty culture and plumbing evaluator. “Although, the time frame to evaluate an electrical technician is estimated as two and a half hours, it was revealed that an evaluator had taken 14 to 16 electrical technicians a day. Meanwhile without any approvals, NAITA had purchased 1,900 T-shirts to be given for the applicants, and for the officials who took part in the project. However, there are no records to show that the T-shirts had been distributed. Although 150 T-shirts had been obtained for the evaluators, only 116 evaluators have taken part in this project,” sources claimed.

He further stated that the carpentry goods bought for the evaluation purposes at the skilled sector development project held in Kurunegala were not used for the Matara project although they were in good condition. “Rs.72.9 million had been spent to purchase goods for the practical examinations which can be used over and over again, but they have not been handed over to the stores,” sources added.

Meanwhile in a letter dated August 5, 2015, NAITA Chairman Dr. H.L. Obeysekera has made a request to the Commissioner Investigation of Financial Crimes Investigation Division to investigate the financial crimes taken place at the Skilled Sector Development Project held in Matara because the misappropriation of funds was significant and the total expenditure has exceeded Rs.100 million.

“The reason why this project was held in Matara and NAITA has over paid the evaluators was to get their vote for Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last January presidential election. Since this has been referred to the FCID, it is now up to them to bring the culprits to book and to recover the money from those who were involved in misappropriation of State funds,” sources said.

7 Comments for “FCID To Probe Dulles?”

  1. srilankan

    What crimes these fellows have committed and which the general public are not aware of ? It is the poor peoples’ monies that they have squandered.We are waiting
    to see the culprits being punished-not mere jail but the gaiiows.

  2. mr dulles you are one of the strong supporter of mr Rajapaska . you wilding government money and corruption is above the high. the influence of government you did lot of mockery. violation of democratic, and law of the land. the time has come face the corruption in the court case.

  3. sunil

    Don’t let this fellow of the Hook,he is a depath naya,duel citizen,we know where
    he lives in theUS,he has taken bags full of US currency illegally
    he should face the law and Justice must be done to bring back the mn ey

  4. Dulles MC (Master Crook ) as all other swindlers in Parliament shared the loot with MR , IC ( International Crook ). All these crooks must be locked up & the key thrown away if our Mother country is to prosper. I am a Canadian, my body is in Canada but my Heart is always in SL.

  5. aswin welikala

    What jail term ? They will be given cabinet portfolios by Yahapalanaya

  6. Cobra

    The man who spoke as if he never did any wrong and there was nothing against him has finally got to pay his dues!!!

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