A closer look at the  Grand Sanasa Heist – over 500 depositors left in the lurch

A closer look at the Grand Sanasa Heist – over 500 depositors left in the lurch

A closer look at the Grand Sanasa Heist – over 500 depositors left in the lurch

Written by Tharushan Fernando

24 Aug, 2016 | 9:21 pm

When the provincial council system was introduced to the country, those elected to a council were given a name that was from the colloquial Sinhala language.

These provincial representatives were commonly called, “Pala Babas” which simply translates to provincial babies.

The validity of continuing to call provincial council representatives by this name in the current political context was confirmed by the events that transpired inside a meeting room of the Western Provincial Council on Tuesday.

This is because the chief minister of the province and the former subject minister of the western provincial council acted as though they were infants who are completely unaware of the large scale financial fraud that has taken place at the Maharagama-Wattegedara Sanasa Society, which was established through co-operatives declaration that is in effect in the province.

Due to a scam, more than 500 external depositors who are non members of Sanasa society are unable to recover nearly Rs.700 million. It is an arduous task to comprehend the scale of the financial fraud that has been committed to the external depositors and members of the society mainly due to the disappearance of the documents and digital records pertaining to the functions of the society.

Incidentally, statements made by the Chief Minister shows that he has a close connection to the board of directors who are responsible for the fraud. However, prior to this meeting, the chief minister appeared at the council session and his presence raises the question whether he in fact appeared on behalf of the Sakvithi-style face of Wattegedara.

If a debate on a corrupt activity committed by a society registered with the provincial councils cooperatives department is not allowed within the provincial council, is it a sign that these attempts to seek justice will not be tolerated?

The Cooperatives Department of the Western Province had not carried out an audit on the Wattegedara Sanasa for over a decade.

Shouldn’t persons who were directly and indirectly involved in the swindling of the public money be exposed to the nation through a proper investigative committee and not by those who perform Sakvithi-style acts ? 

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