MPs’ duty free car permit racket SC to be moved against several state institutions
Posted on October 16th, 2016

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kotituwakku yesterday told The Island that the Supreme Court would soon be moved against the Commissioner General of Motor Traffic for illegal transfer of duty free vehicle permits issued to members of parliament to new owners who had absolutely no right to benefit from tax exemption. Kodituwakku said that the SC would also be moved against the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and the Finance Ministry.

Duty free permits issued to members of parliament had been used to import 70 vehicles to the country so far with almost all going for Toyota Land Cruisers, former head of the Customs Revenue Task Force Kotituwakku said, adding that so far 20 elected representatives had transferred vehicles to new owners on the same day they were first registered.

According to data released by the Department of Motor Traffic to Kodituwakku in accordance with the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the following members had transferred the ownership of vehicles, Maharoof Imran (UNP), Priyal Nishantha de Silva (UPFA)

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Palitha Kumara Thevarapperuma (UNP), Mohan Lal Grero (UNP), Kanchana Wijesekara (UPFA), Sujeewa Senasinghe (UNP), Nishantha Muthuhettigamage (UPFA), Wimalaweera Disanayake (UPFA), Romesh

Pathirana (UPFA), Sarath Nishantha Perera (UPFA), Wasantha Aluvihare (UNP), Wasantha Senanayake (UNP) Janaka Bandara Tennekoon (UPFA), Buddika Pathirana (UNP) Sivapragasam Sivamohan (TNA),Chamal Rajapaksa (UPFA) Sarath Chandrasiri Muthukumarana (UPFA), Sisira Kumara Jayakody (UPFA) and Sivaghanam Shritharan (TNA)

The former head of the Customs Revenue Task Force and public litigation activist alleged the state had been deprived of revenue to the tune of Rs. 33,459,250 on each of those vehicles. According to him, they had only been charged Rs 1,750 each by the Customs as data entry frees.

He alleged that those MPs had sold their duty free vehicle import permit for Rs 25 million each.

Responding to a query, Kodituwakku pointed out that those who had transferred ownership of duty free vehicle permit included members of the two major political parties as well as the breakaway UPFA faction, the Joint Opposition.

The attorney-at-law emphasized that the duty free vehicle permits had been issued to members in March 2016 though cabinet decision for the same was taken several weeks later.

Kodituwakku said that he had brought the corrupt practice of transferring vehicle permits issued to members of parliament to CIABOC in Dec 2015 though no action was taken.

According to Kodituwakku, permits for the importation of motor vehicles had been issued by Vajira Narampanawa, the then Secretary to Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Ministry to all 225 elected and appointed members of parliament.

Kodituwakku also made available a letter dated Oct 5, 2016 sent to President Maithripala Sirisena requesting his immediate intervention to stop abuse of duty free vehicle permits. Kodituakku has queried why the government allowed such corrupt practices after having campaigned on anti-corruption platform at two national level elections in 2015.

In his latter to President Sirisena, Kodituwakku has said that the absence of accountability process in Sri Lanka had already come under scrutiny by the United Nations Human Rights Council, compelling the Government of Sri Lanka to concede that the people had no trust and confidence in the administration of justice and persuading it to co-sponsor the Resolution (A/HRC/RES/30/1) passed on 01st Oct 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. Kodituwakku said: “It is regretted to mention that the Government of Sri Lanka has been forced into this embarrassing position and disrepute, due to the failures of this nature (as depicted in this complaint) by those who hold high public offices at the expense of the general public. By the foregoing, you will also observe, how the lawmakers of Sri Lanka have become lawbreakers and how their deceitful actions of this nature are being shielded by the ignorance and inaction of the CIABOC, plainly betraying the trust placed in it by the people of Sri Lanka.”

One Response to “MPs’ duty free car permit racket SC to be moved against several state institutions”

  1. Nimal Says:

    Why O why does our country allow these politician rascals to bleed a poor country like ours with extravagance and privileges that they don’t deserve. Colonials did us a favor by getting rid of the criminal ruling class that decimated our lives over centuries and they did that favor because they too suffered from the suppressive church.There again they used the religion going around to hoodwink the people that included the king who rightfully got rid of them and it’s their people who came as traders and so called colonists and gave us 2 centuries of a good life. The trouble is we are not sincere and honest enough to admit this. I am just like the colonists coming back to this country and be of some real help to my people though I could live the good life in the country of the colonialists, because we have the sense of charity embedded by absorbing their culture throughout our lives.
    Our politicians must get to politics to serve the country and not themselves and if they want to make money then they must get in to business like us and smell the coffee. Their arrogance, extravagance is causing much resentment among the small taxpayers who are mainly from the ethnic background where they must be wishing that they may want to have more power and say in the country that might lead to subjugation by the Indian types. More I move and observe in the island there are people in large numbers who are Sinhalese but looks like dark Tamils who must have found it convenient to become Sinhalese because of the privileges given by the new colonials to the Sinhalese. It seems there are Kovils in every part of the island that is supposed to be Sinhala areas. We must strive hard to bring social cohesion by economic development like in Singapore without rubbing the main religion on the lives of the people and the state which is highly DEVISIVE.However the politician rascals who divide and rule and behave dress like clowns will be long gone to the green pastures of the West while leaving us patriots with an unbearable mess. May be, this is another way for Western countries to control us, our resources etc. Secular countries like Iraq,Lybya and Syria is in a deliberate mess created by them. Yesterday I was sad to see the beautiful gorgeous wife of Syria’s Assad on the internet, looks so modern and gorgeous and how come West is after them and trying to destroy that once secular country? I would have thought that the western countries would build on what likes of Assad.I love the life styles of the Western countries that is deliberately denied to the third world which of concern. Therefore we must go after the corrupt that is undermining our future and the well being.I will never hero worship our scoundrels and have bit hope on our red brothers and RW,some may not like this but the truth is bitter.RW with the right attire gives confidence to move forward in this challenging world ahead, only way one could judge a person remotely.

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