US denies Lankan Minister’s allegation of Ambassador offering bribe

Monday, 8 December 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The United States has denied a claim made by a Sri Lankan Government Minister that he was offered a bribe by the former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison to pursue a hidden US political agenda in Sri Lanka. Rehabilitation Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon had told a political gathering that US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele J. Sison had offered him inducements to pursue a covert US political agenda in Sri Lanka. “The allegations by Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon are baseless. They reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of our engagement with senior Government officials and our policy towards Sri Lanka as well as the US political and economic system,” a statement by the US Embassy said. The Minister, speaking at a political rally in Aranwela has claimed that Ambassador Sison offered his two children US scholarships, green cards and a house to live in US in return for his cooperation to pursue the US agenda. Weerakoon had said that it is how foreign agents buying the Government politicians and charged that Sison and the US Government were “pumping money” to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the upcoming presidential election. Ambassador Sison, who is appointed as the Deputy Representative of the United States in the Security Council of the United Nations and left Sri Lanka Friday, said that within the past week she met President Mahinda Rajapaksa, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris and other senior Government officials and that they have extended their wishes to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.