Central Bank to get Rs 157.5m CSN funds; Govt to take over land linked to Basil

Central Bank to get Rs 157.5m CSN funds; Govt to take over land linked to Basil

August 10, 2016   06:37 pm

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The Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court today approved a request to transfer to the Central Bank a sum of Rs. 157.5 million illegally invested with the Carleton Sports Network (CSN), co-cabinet spokesman Dr Rajitha Senaratne said.

Addressing the cabinet briefing today (10), he said that the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) submitted a report to the court and according to that the funds were sent from Sri Lanka to a Singaporean company which in turn directed it back here as a foreign investment.

The minister of health said that the money had been placed in two separate fixed deposit accounts in Sri Lanka and later transferred to another private bank and deposited under the name of a trading company. However, that company has informed the court that it has nothing to do with the money in question, Dr Senaratne said. 

Therefore a request was made to transfer this sum of Rs. 157.5 million to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the court granted this request today, he said.

He stated that this is possibly the largest sum of illegal money transferred to the central bank and that the government warmly accepts this “stolen money” in order to use it for the people of the country. 

In addition to this, he said that the cabinet of ministers also decided for the government to take over a property of around 18 acres in Kaduwela, allegedly linked to former minister Basil Rajapaksa, which has no claims for ownership. It will be used to establish a new police training academy, he said. 

The cabinet spokesman added that another property in Brown Hill, Matara which has been tied to Basil Rajapaksa and “apparently has no owner” will be taken over by the government to build a tourism training center.

“This is why they are now going on Pada Yatra (protest marches) to somehow try and save these,” he said. 

Responding to a question regarding failed development projects, he said that the government does not have a “magic wand” to suddenly transform projects such as Mattala airport and Hambantota Port into profitable ventures and that they cannot be removed and placed somewhere else.

Now that the money has been spent we have to somehow place it on our shoulders and fix this, he said, adding that it is for this reason that discussions have been held with China to develop the harbour and Mattala as the second phase. 

He said that not only the losses incurred in the past even the present losses have to be taken into consideration as these projects cannot even bring in the maintenance costs.   

Dr Senaratne said that during discussion the Chinese government had agreed to uplift these projects with the help of private companies to take them forward as viable projects. 

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