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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

10 Allegations Against Rajapaksa re State Finances

10 Allegations of money laundering, embezzlement, fraud and mishandling of state funds by the Rajapaksa administration supported by verified media sources.

1. Tsunami Aid Fraud: Rs. 83 Million
Rs. 83 Million of Tsunami aid meant for rehabilitation that Rajapaksa transferred to three private bank accounts in 2005.

2. The missing Rs. 26 Billion from the Colombo Katunayake Expressway.
There are strong allegations that an extra Rs. 26 Billion worth of Chinese funds was allocated for the construction of Colombo- Katunayake expressway. If these funds were used solely for the expressway, it will have to cost Rs. 1.8 Billion per kilometer making this project the most expensive highway ever built anyway in the world.
Comparing it to another Chinese- funded project, a 50km highway in Kenya that had only cost Rs. 972m per km, Mangala Samaraweera, Foreign Minister told reporters:Clearly someone or other has earned Rs 1 Billion per km on the Katunayake Expressway”. 

3. Rs. 700 Billion  withdrawn from the national economy 
Minister Ranawaka accused Rajapaksa and his immediate family, who controlled nearly 70 per cent of the national budget, of siphoning off 700 billion rupees(US$5.38 billion) from the national economy. The new government of President Maithripala Sirisena took power on a pledge to investigate allegations of corruption under Rajapaksa.

4.Cost of Rs. 195Billion ($1.5 Billion)  Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port an investment with little to no profit. 
Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port in Hambantota, for which the Chinese provided almost 85% of the total cost of the $307m first stage,  after completion in 2010, the landmark project had only received six ships in 2011 and 18 ships in 2012. The cost of the second stage is now estimated at an additional $1.1bn.

5. Mattala Rajapaksa airport’s Operational loss of Rs. 2750 million and the Chinese loan of 27.1 Billion($209m) used to build it.
Mattala Rajapaksa International airport. Built with the help of a $209m Chinese loan, the airport incurred an operational loss of Rs 2,750m during last year alone.

6. Inviting Rs.182 Billion ($1.4bn) of blacklisted Chinese investment into the country
The $1.4bn Colombo Port City project also came under heavy criticism with regard to alleged financial misappropriations in the deal, after another UNP MP, Harsha De Silva, revealed one of project’s major investors – the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) – had been blacklisted by the World Bank due to corruption charges. Letting an internationally blacklisted company invest in a key infrastructure project in the heart of Colombo is a very financially irresponsible act by a national administration.

7. The embezzled foreign reserves: Rs. 1300B  ($10 Billion+)
( Including the $2.064 in 3 Dubai bank accounts of parliamentary members that have been traced.) Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters “We have information that more than $10 billion, more than our country’s foreign reserves, is kept outside the country by those closely related to the last government,”
Describing the accounts found in Dubai, Minister Senaratne said: “One person from a leading family held $1.064 billion. Another account under a parliament member’s name had over $500 million and a secretary to a very important person had over $500 million jointly with another person, who is very famous for corruption.”

8. Rs. 30.4 million owed to the Sri Lanka Air Force
Sri Lankan government now owes more than  Rs.30.485 million to Sri Lanka Air Force and questions have been raised as to who is going to foot this bill, whether it will be recovered from those who used the commercial flights or from the country’s rate payer.
151 air travels between the 1st December and 9th January by using airplanes that belong to Sri Lanka Air Force, reports have revealed.Out of these air travels, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Shiranthi Rajapaksa have been given free rides under OPS privileges. But the 30 Million owed by Namal for his 25 flights, and  other gov. officials who used SLA flights [Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s  (10 trips), UPFA secretary Susil Premjayanth (4 trips), Dayasiri Jayasekara’s (1), Sarath Manamendra ( 1), Dinesh Gunawardhana (1) and Tissa Vitharana (1).]  has not yet been paid.

9. The Seized Car fleet worth a minimum  estimate of Rs. 100Million
” Sri Lankan police say they have seized more than 50 state-owned vehicles not returned after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was toppled in elections.” (-BBC)

10. Rs. 4.3 Billion lost in the wrongfully invested Greece Junk Bonds  
Sri Lanka’s central bank invested in what was termed as Greece “junk bonds” in the aftermath of the euro crisis. It said Sri Lanka invested in those bonds against normal procedures and regulations which resulted in the country incurring the country a loss of  Rs. 4. 3 billion.

State funds lost, mishandled  just in these 10 allegations total to  an estimate of: 2,518 billion Sri Lankan Rupees.

*(P.S these are only 10 randomly picked allegations of corruption on the Rajapaksa administration. There are numerous other allegations that could significantly change the total)
Governments of India, The Seychelles and US financial intelligence agencies have pledged their support towards investigating and tracing the offshore bank accounts of the Rajapaksa administration. However this is an extremely difficult task. Past investigations on offshore finances of fallen regimes (eg. in West Africa) can only predict that the chances of these funds returning to Sri Lanka are very minimal.
To this day 1.78 Million Sri Lankans, almost 10% of the country’s population  live below the poverty line. (i.e. on a daily budget of below 200 Rupees. )
Related facts:

Sri Lanka's National Education Budget = approx. 149.8 Billion
Sri Lanka's total island-wide Healthcare Budget = approx. 440.7 Billion

Sri Lanka’s annual national education budget is only 5.9% of the above estimated total of misused state funds in these 10 allegations. 
Sri Lanka’s annual national healthcare budget  is only 17.5% of the above estimated total mishandled state funds in the 10 allegations.

by thisuriwanniarachchi


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