1 May 2023 09:37 am – 3      – 1795

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Almost a week after Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s controversial statement in Parliament indicating a bribe of a massive US dollar 250 million, deposited at a UK bank over the X-Press Pearl disaster, investigators and parties interested in justice who probed and examined the claim have been directed to nowhere but the conclusion that the so-called account holder is a fake and the whole drama is a distractor.

Though Minister Rajapakshe said on April 25 that one ‘Chamara Gunasekara’ who holds an account in a UK bank had been paid to prevent Sri Lankan government from securing damages for the inestimable disaster caused to Sri Lankan seas, such a name had not been revealed in any investigations.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probes had not revealed any information related to a UK bank, the sum of money alleged to have been deposited or the account holder under the name Gunasekara. The CID is seeking expert assistance from the Central Bank to locate information about the bank and the controversial account. Investigators also have a suspicion that this was a distraction, a tactic used by those who allegedly acted to deny the damages for Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, environmental activists alleged that the person mentioned was a fake and that such a huge transaction with a UK bank was legally impossible.

Environmentalist Nayanaka Ranwella told Daily Mirror, that there was no listing of a person by the name Chamara Gunasekara among the Sri Lankans and social service professionals residing in the UK over the last 20–30 years. He also said that it would be impossible to carry out such a transaction in the said UK bank, complying with the country’s law.

While making the controversial statement in the parliament, Justice Minister Rajapakshe had distanced himself from the responsibility for the claim and used it as an evidence.

“I am revealing this on information I have received and cannot be responsible for these revelations. I do not know whether this information could be used as evidence. The Ministry of Defence and the police should conduct investigations in this regard,” the Minister had stated.(Prageeth Sampath Karunathilaka)

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