Written by Staff Writer
04 Jun, 2015 | 2:01 pm
Former Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says accusations made over the purchase of MiG aircraft is a part of a long-standing attempts to sully his name and to cast doubt on his integrity.
Issuing a communique the former secretary of defence says that this is a also a project to try and tarnish the war victory as well. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that since the change of government, interest in the MiG purchase has been revived by political opponents and this is an opportune moment to explain to the public what this issue is about.
The former secretary of defence, in the communique, has drawn attention to media reports citing a discovery of a secret bank account in the name of Bellimissa Holdings Limited which had been opened in the British Virgin Islands just before the deal.
Gotabhaya Rajapksa states that when the previous government decided in 2006 to purchase four MiG-27 aircraft and to get the three existing MiG-27 planes and one MiG-23 overhauled, UKRINMASH the manufacturers of MiG planes in Ukraine were directly approached.
He goes on to state that in the letter of offer sent by UKRINMASH to the Ministry of Defence on the 6th of February 2006 , it was specifically stated that the offer was being made in conjunction with a financier providing financing to the manufacturer and that the beneficiary of the letter of credit will be the financier.
Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that D.A.Peregudov, a Director of UKRINMASH has written to the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry explaining that UKRINMASH is a fully state-owned enterprise and that according to Ukranian Law , the establishment does not have the right to trade on credit terms.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa goes on to say that when the contract was signed on uly 26, 2006 for the supply of the 4 MiG-27 aircraft and the overhaul of 4 other MiG aircraft, there were three signatories, the Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force as the buyer, UKRINMASH as the seller and Bellimissa Holdings Limited as the designated party which was to receive the payment.
He adds that when a state-owned enterprise in a foreign country enters into a legally binding contract for the supply aircraft, the buyer has to make the payment as the seller specifies.
He goes on to say that there was nothing secret about the payment being made to Bellimissa Holdings Limited because they too were a signatory in the legal contract.
He notes that the MiG aircraft were directly purchased from the manufacturers in Ukraine, the payment was made, the aircraft was delivered and they were used in the war which was won and that those aircraft are still in service.
Former Defense Secretary calls upon the people of Sri Lanka not to be misled by the propaganda of Interested parties who are trying to turn a lie into a truth by constantly repeating the lie.
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