The origin of corruption is when someone thinks power is for him, his family and his henchmen says former Chief Justice Sarath N. de Silva. He pointed out that the power the President has to release prisoners is a very corrupt one.
The former Chief Justice made these observations participating at the launching of ‘Voice against Corruption’ and its website. Former Auditor General S. Mayadunne opened the website.
The Anunayake of Siyam Chapter of Kotte Ven. Dr. Iththapane Dhammalankara Thero, Deputy Auditor General M.D.A. Harold and a large crowd were present.
Speaking at the occasion former Chief Justice Sarath N. de Silva said, “Substandard oil was imported without following any tender process. A tender was called but it was opened only after 20 days. Then suppliers won’t be able to supply oil, for it takes 15 to 20 days for them to make arrangements to supply. Had there been a tender board such happenings would not have taken place.
Minister Champika Ranawaka said there were profits from electricity. However, he himself said later that the loss by the Ceylon Electricity Board is Rs.120 million a day. It is said this loss is due to breaking down of Norochcholai power station. The cost of Norochcholai power station is US$400 million. I say with responsibility that the technology used in Norochcholai power station is 20 years old. As such, it got overheated and burnt. Better machinery could have been bought for the same amount.
No tender was called to construct Hanbantota harbour. There are harbours in Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee. There is also a harbour at Oluwila where a single ship has not docked. Ours is the only country that got the sea into the land. Other countries reclaim land from the sea. Since ten years I’ve known there was a rock there. It is known to everybody. A year has passed since the hourbour has been completed but not a single ship has arrived there.
There should be at least a depth of 35 feet to get the harbour registered at the international naval institute. The depth in Hambantota harbor is about 20 feet. Without this registration Lloyds will not insure ships arriving in the harbor. This is why ships do not come.
Now, US$45 million is to be spent to blast this rock. Blasting won’t be enough. It has to be lifted from the sea bed. When all this is over the rock would be up but the country will be down below. This kind of national disasters would not occur if the UN agreements were not violated.
This is a country full of resources. However, fraud, corruption and waste have become a cancer to the Nation.”
The convener of ‘Voice against Corruption’ Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi addressing the gathering said, “We live in a society that opposes bribery and corruption. However, there is fraud, corruption and waste all around us. Public money is defrauded and wasted.
It is stated in ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ that the first act that would be presented to Parliament would be one that would prevent fraud, corruption, waste and tender irregularities. What’s the situation today?
There is mass scale corruption in large scale projects in our country. The Ministers have been unofficially called names that are connected with fraud and corruption. It is under such an environment that ‘Voice against Corruption’ is launched.
The first victory of our ‘voice against corruption’ is that the government has decided to appoint an Auditor General, the post that had been vacant for a year.
There is a standpoint against fraud and corruption but it has no power. Hence, our aim is to give power to the standpoint against fraud and corruption. Also, there is an exception to the web site. Many websites report but ours reveal.”
Former Parliamentarian Wasanth Samarasinghe too addressed the gathering.