Written by Staff Writer
13 Oct, 2018 | 10:47 pm
Colombo (News1st): Representatives of the company that claimed Government officials demanded kickbacks to approve the implementation of a High-Speed Train project, reiterated their claim today (October 13).
The project manager of Ceylon High-Speed Railway Corporation Pvt Ltd Nicholas Shrimal said that they initially submitted their investment proposal in October 2016 and since then they were directed to the single window investment approval committee at the prime ministers’ office on multiple occasions. He added that the Director General of the Committee (Paskaralingam) himself has gotten involved.
According to Nicholas Shrimal, the main concern had been as to where the project was financed from, subsequently, it has come to a point where Duminda Ariyasinghe, the Chairman of the BOI, started to handle this project. Ariyasinghe and Mahinda Ramanayaka had travelled to Italy to discuss the project with the investors, Shrimal alleged that the duo had instructed the investors to acts according to their instructions in order to get the project approved.
He added that Duminda Ariyasinghe had got the director general involved and met with the investors directly, through the Chamber of Commerce in Milan where they have exchanged business cards and had instructed the investors to reach out to a private 3rd party to get in touch with him. It was through this 3rd party, the agent, that the request for a 10% cut came in.
Shrimal stated that the company informed in writing that a 10% commission will not be granted.
Earlier, there were reports that linked the issue to Minister Malik Samarawickrama – however making a statement in Parliament he has since denied those allegations.
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