SLFP planning legal action against FCID

Thursday, 7 May 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Chamodi Gunawardana The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday announced plans to take legal action against the Cabinet Subcommittee of the Police Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) on allegations of procedural impropriety. Addressing a press conference yesterday, SLFP National Organiser Susil Premajayantha said: “This Subcommittee is headed by the Prime Minister and a few other Ministers along with him. What is wrong about this situation is that this Subcommittee has been given the authority to decide where the arrested parties should be sent. Therefore we would like to ask the Prime Minister how they can judge and decide the fate of the politicians who are arrested by the FCID.” Taking care to emphasise the fact that the SLFP was not levelling criticism against the FCID, Premajayantha stated that the SLFP was opposed to the FCID’s policy of “punishing” arrested politicians by remanding them instead of adhering to standard procedures and recording full statements from such accused parties prior to remanding them. “A good example of this practice is with the detention of the former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. When we look at Rajapaksa’s B report it is evident to us that he hasn’t done anything wrong and that there are no details mentioned about misappropriation of State funds,” Premajayantha opined. Premajayantha went on to claim that the ‘Yahapalana’ Government had failed to discover real thieves who were involved in financial fraud. “The Government has avoided taking action against many culprits because most of them are inside the Government. The Central Bank Bond issue is a recent example of this. Furthermore, it is those people who worked towards shutting down Laksathosa within three months who have been appointed as Ministers today under the present regime,” Premajayantha alleged. Touching on concessions proposed by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake targeting rural development projects, Premajayantha contended that such packages had not been implemented. “The Finance Minister has promised in the Interim Budget that the Government would provide a concession package of Rs. 10,000,000 within 100 days to each Parliamentarian to fund rural development projects. This money has not been given and as a result development projects are at a halt,” he explained. Shifting to the topic of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, Premajayantha stated that the SLFP would be presenting proposals in relation to the First Past the Post system that would be suitable for both majority and minority parties to Parliament on 13 May. Meanwhile, commenting on yesterday’s meeting held between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Premajayantha quipped that the United National Party (UNP) was feeling apprehensive over the meeting while adding that the interaction was only the start of continued cooperation.