Weerawansa blames  officials after ordering illegal release of 40 state vehicles

… leads to loss of nearly Rs. 100 million


by Zacki Jabbar

Former Minister of Construction Engineering Services and Housing Wimal Weerawansa, remanded for abusing 40 vehicles belonging to the State Engineering Corporation had shifted the blame to officials, Power and Renewable Energy Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera said yesterday.

He told the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing in Colombo that Weerawansa had in his statement to the Financial Crimes Investigation Division ( FCID) admitted to ordering the release of 40 State Engineering Corporation (SEC), vehicles to his stooges, but blamed officials  saying that they should know how to do their job. "He has asked the FCID if he is to blame for officials not knowing the law."

The Deputy Minister said that some of the 40 vehicles had been given to Weerwansa’s close relations such as his sister, nephews and brother in law, leading to the SEC losing a total of nearly Rs. 100 million.

Some were talking nonsense by calling the arrest and remand of Weerawansa political revenge, he noted. "Weerawansa was arrested after statements had been recorded from 30 witnesses and following proper legal procedure. Are they asking us to ignore abuse of state property?"

Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that when he was the Minister in charge of the SEC it recorded profits. "The Corporation started making losses and went into over draft mode after Weerawansa took over as Minister."

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