The Sunday Leader

Rajapaksa – LTTE Deal In 2005 Back In The Limelight

  • Probe called by the UNP

by Nirmala Kannangara

The government’s decision to initiate an investigation into the alleged siphoning of millions of rupees from state coffers to be given to the LTTE by the Rajapaksas before and after the 2005 presidential election has been hailed by all quarters of the country.

According to the Minister of Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilake, once the investigation is concluded, the entire country will come to know how the Rajapaksas, who boasted of being patriots, had allegedly strengthened the LTTE by funding them with billions of taxpayers’ money. Following a request made recently by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and a group of UNP backbenchers from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to initiate an investigation into the alleged money transactions, which led to the defeat of the then Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe, the government is to make a request to further investigate the matter as to how the Rajapaksa regime had allegedly given money to the LTTE.

The secret transaction was first exposed by campaign manager of former Presidnet Mahinda Rajapaksa during the 2005 Presidential election, the late MP Sripathy Suriyarachchi. He revealed details into this alleged multi-million-rupee transaction in Parliament on July 26, 2007. He was followed by former MP Tiran Alles, who also came out openly on how he had allegedly got Emil Kanthan, who was one of his business partners to support the Rajapaksa’s 2005 presidential election campaign. Alles revealed this after his residence came under a bomb attack. However, soon after the SLFP dissident Suriyarachchi exposed the Rajapaksa-LTTE deal, he was killed in an allegedly freak accident on February 9, 2008 while on his way back to Colombo from Anuradhapura.

According to Suriyarachchi, after obtaining nominations as the presidential candidate, the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had allegedly made a request from some of his loyalists to get the LTTE support to boycott the election in the Northern Province as his opponent UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe had a good response in the North. Hence, Suriyarachchi and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa together with the former Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara and former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunge had allegedly met LTTE front liner Emil Kanthan, who was closely known to Tiran Alles at the latter’s office in Rosmead Place, to find out as to how the LTTE could support Rajapaksa win the 2005 presidential election.

As a result, UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe was defeated by Mahinda Rajapaksa with a slim margin of 186,000 votes. According to the statement made by Suriyarachchi, when Emil Kanthan had allegedly agreed to prevent the Tamils from voting to support the Rajapaksa campaign, Basil Rajapaksa had allegedly wanted Emil Kanthan to ask any favour in return to which Emil Kanthan had told that his organization needed Rs.180 million to purchase boats. Basil Rajapaksa had allegedly promptly agreed to provide the money.

Hence, the first ‘installment’ of Rs.180 million was allegedly piled in several suitcases and handed over to Emil Kanthan before the elections promising to seal the deal after Rajapkasa victory. The rest of the money had allegedly been siphoned to the LTTE through Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) through two construction companies in the North that were allegedly owned by LTTE loyalists. Meanwhile, according to a former audit officer attached to the Auditor General’s Department, who wished to remain anonymous, he was a member of the audit team that carried out the RADA audits in 2007. The officer said how they had found out many financial discrepancies that had taken place at RADA when releasing funds to the two construction companies to build 1,200 houses for those who had lost houses due to the tsunami and the war. Sources also claimed how shocking it was to hear the former Acting Auditor General informing the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in July this year that the Auditor General’s Department had not carried out any audits at RADA.

“When this case came up, the CID wanted the Auditor General’s Department to submit the government audit reports to them to find out the scams that had taken place after the 2005 presidential election. To our utter surprise, the former acting auditor general had said that the department had not carried out any audits in order to cover up the Rajapaksa,” sources said. The sources said that it was not true and that if a proper investigation is carried out, the CID will be able to take all the RADA audit files where audit queries, answers sent for the queries and the final audit report could be found. “When a statement is made that no government audits had been done at RADA, it could result in many questions. Either the former acting auditor general may have destroyed those files, which is illegal or may have hidden them somewhere,” sources claimed. According to sources, although there are details that payments had been made to two construction companies, there was no proper evidence as to what purpose those payments had been made.

“All our attempts to get details into most of the payments were averted as the RADA management did not corporate with us. As a final attempt, we wanted to visit this project and see how many houses have been built and gather an idea as to how much it would have cost as construction expenses. When we made a request to go to the north to physically check the developments, we were stopped claiming that the Ministry of Defence does not allow anyone to travel beyond Omanthai checkpoint and prevented us from carrying out our duty,” sources said. Sources further said that RADA knew that if the government audit officers were allowed to travel to the north, it would have revealed that not a single house had been built although the tax payers’ money had been siphoned off to an unknown party. Meanwhile, a former officer attached to RADA, on grounds of anonymity said that the institution was formed soon after the 2004 December tsunami in order to construct houses for those who lost their houses to the tidal waves. “The housing project to build houses in the north was called – Jayalanka Housing Project and two companies B&K Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd. in Vavuniya and Everest Civil Engineering Services, Vavuniya were offered the contract to build the houses,” sources added. Sources further said as to how the RADA staff was surprised when these two construction companies, which were allegedly owned by the LTTE, were selected when they were not even registered under the Institution of Construction Training and Development (ICTAD), which is mandatory when giving contracts to projects valued over Rs. 100 million. “For this project, there wasn’t a cabinet procurement committee approval nor was the ICTAD registration as these two companies were alleged to have got incorporated a few weeks after Rajapaksa was sworn in as the President in 2005. We were also told the reason why this contract was offered to these bogus construction companies because their quotations were the cheapest. I can vaguely remember that both these two companies is said to have quoted the same price for a housing unit and B&K Holdings and Everest Civil Engineering Services were given the task to construct 400 housing units each while another 400 housing units were to be constructed in an unidentified location in the Northern Province,” sources said.

Attempts by The Sunday Leader to get a comment from Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake about the alleged conspiracy in 2005 that resulted in Wickremesinghe’s defeat at the 2005 presidential election failed.

 

9 Comments for “Rajapaksa – LTTE Deal In 2005 Back In The Limelight”

  1. Just Society

    If this is true and accurate, one could surmise that VP was the architect of his own demise. Hard to believe that VP engineered win for Rajapakse at his behest ( who within few years got it all back but then put it all into his family estate in Matara). Could all these be true?

    Nirmala has a lot work to do!

    “… the entire country will come to know how the Rajapaksas, who boasted of being patriots, had allegedly strengthened the LTTE by funding them with billions of taxpayers’ money.” If it had happened, then he did not loose it, as is known now; and it might have been the smartest investment from his point of view.

  2. Don

    It is abundantly clear the Jarapaksa clan stooped to gutter level to gain power by hook or by crook. Not surprisingly this caliber of clan continued to plunder the country, murder opponents, get rid of people who where a threat to their criminalities ( CJ dismissal), allowed all around them also to do every mayhem knowing that the godfather will protect them with absolute power given by a bunch of uneducated thug MPs, police was made a private thug group not to investigate crimes and planned to govern the country for generations. They were shunned by almost every country, CHOGM was a disaster, unbelievable debts on the country was piled up most of them vanished to their pockets.
    certainly the country has now been saved by this cancer! Make them pay for every crime they have done.

    • Gonponil

      Yeah…We had 3 or 4 Presidents before MR and none could get rid of the LTTE.
      Current prime minister Ponil W. was no match for the Norwegians. They not only trained LTTE but passed on heavy machinery to LTTE while the ceasefire agreement was being enforced- only on the Sri lanka side now we learn.

      You people now tal like LTTE was not there. Either way please investigate how Premadasa gave weapons to LTTE.

      Remember we live in Sri lanka we do not forget. Keep at it Yahalparuwan will be chased without their clothes.

      MR saved the country an we will always be grateful for that. I lost family to suicide bombers so I can relate. People like you who are the LTTE are not happy.

      Let’s make Ponil pay for Batalanda – those were crimes and I donot understand how he is the Prime minister and not in Jail!

  3. TONY

    MR MADE A STATEMENT IN PARLIAMENT ABOUT TWO DAYS BACK THAT HE BUILT HOUSES IN THE NORTH TO HOUSE THE DISPLACED TAMILS. WHO IS TELLING WHAT

  4. champa

    What ever it’s done is done, mahind finish the war, we are so fortunate, if ranil won 2005 election, name of the sri lanka is no more in the map

  5. E. P. Ellepola

    Had MR given money to LTTE mean it is very brave strategy because by doing so he had an idea to come to the power and destroy them. If he dint’t do so like Premadasa then it is wrong,
    Since he defeated the LTTE any Montessori student can understand nobody can blame him. Now how much of money and lives of the people are saving? That is the reality.

  6. daggy

    If this is true and accurate, one could surmise that VP was the architect of his own demise. Hard to believe that VP engineered win for Rajapakse at his behest..

    Rajapakshes may have stooped to gutter levels to get power so was the Yahapalanaya who were lying through their teeth.
    But would velupillai have struck a deal to destroy himself?

    Nirmala kannagara is empty on real news or suffering from menopause symptoms with cheap journalism is a lackey of Yahapalanaya..
    Whatever that took place between MR & Velu ended once and for all on the banks of Nandikadal.
    Whatever MR & Company gave the LTTe & VP were worth it.

    Ponil was no match for the Norwegians because he was in the pocket of the then Norwegian Prime Minister Bondevik who had given a mandate to the Ambassador of Norway in Sri Lanka to get the eelam established.
    How was Ranil appointed as Vice President to some democratic organisation established & funded by Norway?
    This was Bondeviks way of rewarding Ranil.

  7. chimpa

    If Former President Rajapakse has bribed or not he was the only one who was abletodefeat LTTE. All other leaders did nothing to defeat them, that means they have taken bribe from LTTE.

  8. Kingsley

    The ABSOLUTE GREED FOR POWER- Initially paid the enemy (LTTE) to get in to power……having tasted power, wanted absolute power…. hence bought MP’s to vote for 2/3 majority…… with absolute power, plundered the country, created lawlessness to hide criminality, murders, built fantasy things like Mattala and then…….. wanted not only LIFE LONG ABSOLUTE but also power for the whole generation of criminal family….. and called for elections…….. and Lanka was saved from this cancer.
    In the end the absolute GREED for power meant that even the 2 terms could not be completed….. and now all criminality is being exposed.

    But after the war if he ruled like a true statesman…… history would have recorded him in golden letters!!

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