Anura Kumara asks questions on Avant Garde; raises key issues in parliament

Anura Kumara asks questions on Avant Garde; raises key issues in parliament

Written by Tharushan Fernando

04 Nov, 2015 | 9:11 pm

Chief  Opposition Whip parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake  made startling revelations on Avant Garde, in parliament.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated:

It could be witnessed over the recent past that there was interference from political figures on matters of officials investigating acts of corruption and fraud. This could be clearly seen in the investigation process over the floating armoury and vessels of Avant Garde.

He went on to question as to what  they were doing with these weapons? He added:

Many of these, as the honourable members know, all of these lethal weapons have serial numbers and if they were bought, legally, by the government of Sri Lanka, it is all recorded in books, serial numbers included.

He  added:

I am raising the question as to whether, the weapons that are now found from time to time in different ships – as to whether the serial numbers of those weapons – match the serial numbers of weapons imported by the government of Sri Lanka?

He went on to add:

I am given to understand that those weapons are treated in the books as unserviceable or obsolete, and have been condemned and destroyed. And when you condemn as unserviceable, and you write in your books as these weapons have been destroyed. But they find themselves in the hold of a ship being sold and rented out to various unsavoury elements in Africa and beyond – and God knows if ISIS is using any of your weapons.

He further noted that the country is entitled to know the exact nature of this transaction. He said:

You can’t play hide and seek in this and if there is an offence, you apprehend the offenders, and you try them for that offence. But a feature as serious as this, certainly the country is entitled to know.Why has this issue been kept under wraps until now?

He went on to add:

With regard to people who are allowed to go scot free, we still have the spectacle of KP not being produced in court and despite a writ application being filed by the Hon. Vijitha Herath, so far, the government or the authorities, the Attorney General’s Department, doesn’t seem to know whether he has committed any offence or not. When such is the state of affairs, we have over 200 Tamil political prisoners, and I repeat Tamil political prisoners, who are imprisoned for over 20 years, some of them for over 20 years, for offences they are charged  -if they are convicted won’t stretch for even 7 years. And ministers are quick to say that there are no political prisoners in this country.

He further said:

We have raised it in this house, the quantity of gold so recovered at the end of the war and this is not even 1/10th. So where is the balance gold taken from our people? Because we have information. The former president was able to give it to the rightful owners and that these were all neatly packetted, in cellophane bags, with names of owners written.

 

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