Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa (MP) states that Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa being questioned by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) constitutes an act of political revenge. Namal is being grilled in relation to the infamous Krrish deal. Let us see what the Krrish deal involving commission being taken is.
India’s Krrish Group signed an agreement to start a US Dollars 650 million worth hotel business on a land near Transworks House in Colombo Fort (presently the temporary vehicle park of the Hilton Colombo Hotel). Currently, the FCID is inquiring into whether a commission of Rs 450 million was obtained during the deal. The names of three politicians and several business folk have come up in relation to being connected to this deal.
This land comes to the ownership of the Krrish company through the Urban Development Authority (UDA). The agreement in relation to this was prepared by the law firm Namal Rajapaksa Associates, owned by Namal Rajapaksa. It was then Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa who had advised the Krrish company to do so. In a short message service text sent by Namal Rajapaksa to Nalaka Godahewa it states that Rs 450 million (US Dollars 3.5 million) should be obtained from the Krrish company to give the initial approval for the project.
The Krrish company places this amount of US Dollars 3.5 million in a bank account belonging to Namal Rajapaksa in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) bank in Singapore.
The UDA in the agreement signed with the Krrish company in 2012 states that according to the agreement signed by the UDA, Rs 450 million is owed to the UDA. The Krrish company states that they have paid all the money. Due to this issue, the hotel project comes to a standstill at a halfway point and the UDA imposes a fine of Rs 550 million on the Krrish company.
It is in 2013 that the said deal comes to light. There was a suspicion then that the reason why the security forces were hounding Journalist Mandana Abeywickrema was because of the documents pertaining to the Krrish deal.
In the meantime, acting on the instructions of Namal Rajapaksa, Nalaka Godahewa pays back Rs 400 million to the Krrish company. Presently, the FCID are continuing investigations into the receipt pertaining to the Rs 450 million received by Namal Rajapaksa to his account in Singapore and the text message sent by Namal Rajapaksa to Nalaka Godahewa.
What is evidently clear through the act of Nalaka Godahewa giving back Rs 400 million to the Krrish company is that the said amount was a commission received and obtained for a particular business.
( Speech by Advisor to the Anti-Corruption Front, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon Speaking at a press conference held recently at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Maradana on 20th March 2016)