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POSTED AT 01:54 PM 17-08-2017

Illegally acquired assets worth over US $30 m seized : Mangala

Result of corruption probes against Rajapaksa’s family and close relatives:

As a result of fraud and corruption probes against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s family and close relatives, illegally acquired assets worth over US $30 million have been taken into the custody of Courts or the Government so far, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in a statement yesterday.

He also noted in the statement that the time was ripe for Kurunegala district MP Rajapaksa, the only President to have vacated office after been defeated by the public due to his corrupt rule, to think how unbefitting it is for a President who ruled the country for two terms to continue in his devious ways with the ulterior motive of exacting revenge on the people who brought his downfall.

The minister questioned whether Rajapaksa who issued a statement noting that the ‘manner in which the Government privatised the Hambantota Port has shocked the nation’ had forgotten that during his rule, state assets were sold outright to foreigners.

The minister also questioned what Rajapaksa had to say about leasing a terminal of the Colombo Port in a 85%-15% agreement to China in 2014. The minister said if the Rajapaksa agreement to lease the Hambantota port had prevailed, the Ports Authority would have had to invest an amount exceeding 350 million dollars to improve the port while paying for the loan obtained to construct it.

He also said the Ports Authority is currently spending Rs. 9000 million on the Hambantota Port annually, which would rise to Rs. 17,360 million by 2019. Minister Samaraweera also states that Rajapaksa’s attempt to define Hambantota Port development to be a privatisation and a selling of the country’s resources, goes to show Rajapaksa’s political hypocrisy.

The statement also said that “when Rajapaksa left, he inherited a land burdened by ethnic and religious unrest, volumes of national debt and human rights violations.” Fianance Minister Samaraweera also points out Sri Lanka will be facing a large debt crisis in 2019, owing to the unmanaged debt raising of previous government. According to the minister, the debt crisis will occur following a series of sovereign bonds maturing on in 2019 for which Sri Lanka must pay 4200 US dollars.

Minister Samaraweera points out that Rajapaksa is acting against his own people and his country by alarming the public with spreading false fears on constitutional reforsm and other development projects carried out by the government.

Minister Samaraweera expresses his confidence that people of the country will not be deceived by Rajapaksa’s well staged dramas as a cover up to his corruptions, scams and crimes happened during his regime.