President calls for immediate report on Modara harbour deal

Thursday, 3 March 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Chamodi Gunawardana

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday directed the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development to submit a detailed report regarding an alleged fraud where the Modara fisheries harbour was leased to a private company for 25 years in 2014.

The Fisheries Minister at the time was Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. The President made the directive after considering newspaper articles published regarding the incident. A special inspection group has visited the harbour to collect accurate details about the deal.  

Joint Opposition MP Kanchana Wijesekera on Monday alleged Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had leased the land of the harbour to a private company without getting Cabinet approval during his tenure as Fisheries Minister. He claimed it was a one of the ‘mega deals’ allegedly carried out by Dr. Senaratne where the land was undervalued to just one tenth of its value. 

Meanwhile a group of Joint Opposition members yesterday lodged a complaint at the Police Commission regarding the alleged fraud.

MP Kanchana Wijesekera told DailyFT that they have requested the Police Commission to conduct an independent investigation about the deal.

MPs Ramesh Pathirana, Mohan Silva, Shehan Semasinghe and Indika Anuruddha had visited the Commission to lodge the complaint, Wijesekera said.