EXPOSÉ: “Over 60 MPs fattened by foreign funds”- Speaker

EXPOSÉ: “Over 60 MPs fattened by foreign funds”- Speaker

Written by Staff Writer

18 Jun, 2019 | 8:59 pm

Colombo (News1st) – For a number of years, News1st has made revelations regarding foreign intervention in Sri Lankan affairs. The debate that took place in Parliament today further confirmed our stance. During the debate today it was revealed that the Speaker of Parliament has an advisor who is being paid his salaries from an American organization.

MP Dinesh Gunawardene questioned Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as to how Prasad Kariyawasam was appointed as his foreign affairs advisor when such a position does not exist in Parliament. Gunawardene claimed that Kariywasam was an individual who is being paid by the US Government adding that they have serious concerns that in addition to advising the speaker, whether Kariyawasam also acts to gather critical intelligence for other nations.

The speaker in response stated that Mr Kariyawasam was a former Foreign Secretary and that he had helped many members of parliament on how to work with other nations and even to get scholarships through a USAID affiliated company, which was carrying out a program on strengthening parliamentary democracy. The speaker also stated that the parliament does not pay for the services of Prasad Kariyawasam. The Speaker also revealed that around 60 to 70 MPs had utilized money from the US-funded program to strengthen parliamentary democracy to travel overseas.

Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa joining the debate stated that parliament is and should remain an independent organization, adding that if Kariyawasam was paid through Parliament, there would not be any misconceptions about Parliament being influenced by other nations.

MP Wimal Weerawansa speaking at the occasion alleged that Prasad Kariywasam was the person responsible for pressuring the former defence secretary to sign the ACSA agreement adding that Kariywasam’s good friend Maheshini Colonne was the individual responsible for pressuring the government to sign the SOFA agreement with the United States.

The leader of the NFF stated that Kariwasam was not being paid by the American Government to further Sri Lanka’s interests adding that the speaker has given refuge to “American serpents” inside the Parliament.

Development Alternatives Inc.

 

In January 2017 News1st  began reporting on attempts by a US organization to implement their agenda in Sri Lanka under the guise of Good Governance reforms. The company which was tasked with implementing a $13m program to strengthen democratic governance and accountability was Development Alternatives Incorporated commonly known as DAI. We also reported that the project was finalised by a parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya during a visit to Washington in September 2016.

DAI is active in a number of regions across the world as well as in countries including Georgia, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia and Kenya. Several journalists and civil society activists around the world have criticized this US-based company over the years.

Eva Golinger, a Venezuelan-American attorney and journalist claims that the DAI is a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) front organization for their covert actions. Golinger says that the USAID arrived at a multimillion-dollar project with DAI in the year 2002 and that it funded anti-Hugo Chavez groups in an attempt to topple the existing system of governance in Venezuela. She goes onto say that all references in this article to DAI in Venezuela are thoroughly documented in her book “The Chavez Code: Cracking U.S. Intervention in Venezuela”

In such a backdrop when Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was questioned about the selection of DAI, back in 2017, he stated that the selected had been made by the US Government and USAID.

Describing their work under the governance sector, DAI notes that it functions primarily with Legislative Strengthening, Decentralization and Local Government Management, Institutional and Policy Reform Public Administration, Civil Service Reform, and Human Resources Management, Voice and Accountability, Law and Justice, Public Financial Management and Health Governance. The main piece of legislation introduced by the Government that fits this mould was the 19th amendment to the constitution. However, instead of decentralizing power the 19th amendment gave rise to a power struggle between the Executive and the Legislature.

It has been revealed that large sums of money were allocated through this program to set up offices for the formulation of the 19th amendment to the constitution. This, in turn, could possibly be seen as the intervention of a foreign nation in order to bring about instability in the country. It is not surprising that DAI is the company that the USA turns to when it decides to implement programs in war-torn countries or politically unstable countries.

It is of grave concern that the members of the legislature have become pawns in the grand scheme being implemented by foreign nations to destabilize the country. Whose interests do agreements such as ASCA, SOFA and MCC serve?

It is no secret that the USA began to focus its attention on Sri Lanka heavily after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa began moving away from the policies of the Non- Aligned Movement and began cosying up with China. These actions have resulted in Sri Lanka becoming a battleground for the vested interests of global superpowers who are in a constant tug of war to establish dominance.

BUT the most important question is, what will happen to the people of this country because of these actions?

 

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