Rs 11 bn. misappropriated at CCF under Yahapalana Govt., investigation reveals Rs 400 mn went missing during presidential election
Posted on July 28th, 2020

By Upali de Saram Courtesy The Island

A three-member committee appointed to probe the alleged financial malpractice at the Central Cultural Fund has found that over Rs. 11 billion was misappropriated during the three-year period from 2016 to 2019.

The committee handed over its report to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (28). 

The report has revealed an unauthorised removal of Rs. 400 million from the Fund during the presidential election in 2019.

As per the committee report a loss of Rs 2,608 million has resulted from an unauthorised withdrawal of fixed deposits of the CCF and, thereby losing interest.

Another loss of Rs 48 million has been caused due to the encashment of travellers cheques.

It has been found that Rs 2,266 million that should have been handed over to the Archaeological Trust was used for other purposes. 

The CCF has suffered another loss of eight million rupees due to the handing over of assets of the Ape Gama Project, says the report, adding that there was an additional loss of Rs 2,316 million due to donations and awards given in violation of financial regulations.

A loss of Rs 3,060 million has been caused by recruitments in excess of the approved cadre.

The sum total of the loss and misappropriation of funds is about Rs 11,059 million, the report said.

The committee was appointed to probe the activities of the Central Cultural Fund during the period from 2016 to 2019. It was appointed by the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Buddha Sasana, Culture and Religious Affairs.

Former High Court Judge Gamini Sarath Edirisinghe chaired the Committee and Gotabhaya Jayaratne and Harigupta Rohanadheera were other members of the committee. It was tasked to probe whether the funds of the Central Cultural Fund had been used legally and whether revenue generation had taken place properly.

The committee conducted investigations to ascertain whether the expenditure of the Fund had been in compliance with the regulations and what the losses are at present.

The Central Cultural Fund has power to receive funds from donor institutions and agencies in Sri Lanka and abroad and utilise them for heritage conservation and management activities.

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