YAHAPALANA AS A PUPPET REGIME Part 13 (B)
Posted on October 16th, 2019

KAMALIKA PIERIS

APPOINTMENTS (1)

A top official suspended for misappropriations of Rs 203,000,000 at Inland Revenue Department by manipulating eight files had been reinstated on a directive of Public Service Commission, reported the media. COPE was investigating this.

APPOINTMENTS (2)

The Home affairs Ministry had selected 103 Grama Niladharis who had passed the exam for promotion to super grade in Aug 2017, and were promoted in 2018  but  the promotions have so far not been effected, media reported in August  2019.

STATE VEHICLES (1)

Weerawansa observed in May 2016 that Cabinet had approved Rs 600 million to import a bullet proof vehicle for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe but only allocated Rs 150 million for disaster relief.

STATE VEHICLES (2)

The media wanted to know in June 2018 why lawmakers continued to receive massive duty free concessions to import super luxury vehicles at a time vast majority of people were struggling to make ends meet.

STATE VEHICLES (3)

Yahapalana government submitted a supplementary estimate, in October 2019, seeking parliamentary approval for 21.4 billion rupees including Rs 101,000,000 for the payment of the luxury tax on two security vehicles imported for President Sirisena. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake asked the government to explain why two more security vehicles had been acquired for the President when a presidential election had been announced.

SRI LANKAN AIRWAYS

The Mahinda Rajapaksa government was planning to buy four and rent five planes but Yahapalana cancelled that arrangement and paid USD 98 million to those companies as termination fee, said Derana news of 18.7.18

DEFORESTATION

Deforestation has continued during Yahapalana rule. Derana news of 21.2.17 showed deforestation going on in protected forests.

 Large swathes of Ritigala nature reserve have been destroyed,  cut and burned supported by a influential politicians supported by government officers and officers of the Forest Department , reported the media in September 2018. This has been going on for the past 100 days. The forestry office nearby by had been shut down and officers had left the area, the media said.

SALAWA EXPLOSION

When the Salawa army camp’s armoury at Kosgama exploded in June 2016, Mahinda Rajapaksa said that in during his time these installations were guarded day and night checked at least twice a day and expired ordnance is regularly destroyed. There are precautions also for accidents such as electricity leaks. The central armory was at Salawa since 1990 despite protests. During the war we took special precautions to ensure the security of this installation, and the items were in the process of being relocated.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that the explosion was due to a failure to take necessary security measures. Gotabhaya said he had increased security measures at Salawa. He had moved some of the heavy weapons and their ammunition to Diyatalawa and Maduru oya camps. He decided to build two armories at Oyamaduwa in Anuradhapura and Palugaswewa in Rambewa. Both were old farms belonging to the Livestock Department. While we were doing the preliminary work we lost the election.” The   Yahapalana government did not carry out the plan. If they had done so, both Kosgama and Veyangoda armories could have been shut down many months ago.

COW ELEPHANTS

A wildlife conservation alarm has been raised with Wildlife officials suspecting a possible human hand in the deaths of up to seven cow elephants, found dead in succession over the past week in the Habarana forests. This is the location of a herd which is a popular tourist attraction. Three dead female elephants have been found in the Thunbikulam reserve in Habarana. Four dead elephants were found   the day before in the same reserve. Another dead elephant was discovered the day after. Two dead female elephants were found in the reservoir. The officials said they believed all the animals were from a single herd, and they were females with their ages ranging between 25 and 35 years.

All the dead elephants are females that had either been pregnant or had delivered calves. Poisoning is suspected as a possible cause. Local people reject speculation that the villagers are to blame for the elephant deaths. Meanwhile, the body of a tusker had been found in Moragahawewa in Puttalam. The animal, around 7 feet tall and 15 years old, Veterinarian said he believed it had had died of poisoning. One of the tusks had been removed.

REPLACING PLAQUE

A Kalutara District official of the National Housing Development Authority told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating corruption in the current administration that they were instructed by HQ that the plaque at Navodya Village, Bulathsinhala should be replaced by a larger one. The original plaque had cost around Rs. 43 000 and the subsequent one over Rs. 227 000. (Continued)

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