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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Economic Crimes in Sri Lanka: Divisional Secretary transferred due to taking stand against corruption

The Divisional Secretary Udapalatha in Gampola who had taken steps to prevent State Minister of Justice and Prison Affairs engaging in corrupt activities in the Kandy District has been transferred with immediate effect by the District Secretary Kandy.

Divisional Secretary (DS) Ms. A.D. Jayaratne by letter dated December 22, 2023, addressed to the District Secretary Kandy and copying the same to the President’s Secretary and Secretary Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government has requested to initiate an urgent investigation against the corrupt activities carried out by the Kandy District MP, Anuradha Jayaratne.

Immediately after receiving the said letter, on the instructions of the Senior Additional Secretary to the President (Policy Implementation and Monitoring Division) B.G.G. Milinda, Additional Secretary to the President Faleel A. Mubarak had instructed Secretary Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government Pradeep Yasaratne to initiate an inquiry regarding the matter highlighted by the DS.

Instead of implementing the said Presidential Secretariat directives, Yasaratne by letter (Ref. HA/02/30/02/04/51) dated January 26, 2024 has instructed the District Secretary Kandy Chandana Tennakoon to transfer the DS to the Ministry pool with immediate effect.

“Ms. Jayaratne is a straight forward officer who cannot be swayed by anyone when discharging her duties. She has even been harassed by the OIC Gampola on many occasions alleged to be on the instructions of the State Minister. It is interesting to note how the District Secretary who remained silent when an investigation against State Minister Anuradha Jayaratne was requested over more than one month, was quick enough to take action to transfer the DS the same day (January 26), he got instructions from the Ministry Secretary. This shows how the Ministry Secretary has vehemently ignored the Presidential Secretariat orders and how the District Secretary was ready to remove this officer who has become a threat to all corrupt activities of the State Minister,” a higher official at the District Secretariat Kandy said on strict condition of anonymity.

When contacted District Secretary Kandy Chandana Tennakoon to find out why he failed to take immediate action to initiate an inquiry requested by the DS Udapalatha for more than one month and despite the Presidential Secretariat’s request as well, transferred her to the Ministry pool, Tennakoon said that he cannot make any comment.

“When there is an ongoing inquiry, I cannot make any comment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ministry Secretary Pradeep Yasaratne when contacted said that he was at a meeting and was unable to comment on this subject.

“After this meeting, I will be attending the independence day programme meeting. Call me in the afternoon. If I am free I will talk to you,” Yasaratne said.

President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake was at a meeting when contacted for a comment.

State Minister Jayaratne was not contactable. Although a message was sent, he did not respond.

01.02.24

DM

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