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Malik clarifies alleged sums received in his account


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UNP strongman, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama yesterday revealed the recent attempts by certain sections of social media and an electronic media channel in particular to discredit him over an application received at the Board of Investment (BoI) to establish a manufacturing plant and the alleged foreign remittance received in his account but stopped by the Central bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).

Requesting the Speaker to take necessary steps to prevent Members of Parliament being insulted and defamed by the irresponsible media, coming out with fake news preventing a decent persons from entering the Parliament said: “While I was in Germany, about 10 days ago, I was made to understand that a Director of Ceylon High Speed Railway Limited, a Company who had sent a proposal to the Board of Investment (BOI), to produce and export high speed trains, has accused the State Minister and myself of requesting for a commission of $ 25 million to have the project proposal approved. This is a totally false allegation. In fact, I have never met this party, nor have I spoken to them or even seen the colour of them.”

According to Minister Samarawickrama, an effective but straight process is followed at the BoI and the Single Window Investment Approval Committee to approve the investment proposals submitted received.

“Since the BoI officials have given a detailed description of how the proposals are evaluated and approved. At no stage do the Ministers get involved in the approval process. However, I have requested and received a report of this proposal from BoI, which I would like to table. I would like to highlight some elements of the proposal submitted, so that Members of this House can see for themselves whether the proposal should be approved or not. Again, last week, the same media institutions alleged that a sum of Rs. 150 million had been received to be credited to my bank account and the CBSL had frozen the funds. This is a totally false allegation. I have checked with the Central Bank and I am informed that no such funds had been received to be credited to anyone of the Cabinet Minister’s Accounts,” he added.

Taking the matters to the attention of the law enforcement agencies, the Minister informed the Parliament that he has written to the DIG – CID to investigate into this matter at his earliest convenience and take necessary action against any Cabinet Minister, if such funds have been received.

“I am tabling the letter I have sent to the DIG. Speaker, is this the media freedom that we wanted? This is nothing but freedom of the wild ass. I request you to kindly take necessary steps to prevent Members of Parliament being insulted and defamed by the irresponsible media, coming out with fake news. If not, no decent person will want to enter Parliament,” said the disheartened Minister Samarawickrama. (AH)


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