Megapolis and Western Development Ministry today said though there was a concerted effort by certain interested parties to link Ministry Consultant Vidya Amarapala to the so-called black money scandal ‘Panama Papers’ he had never been involved in such illegal transactions and added, Mr. Amarapala had decided to resign from his post to facilitate any possible inquiry.
The attention of the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry has been drawn to the listing of the name of Ministry consultant Vidya Amarapala in the Panama Papers exposure. Panama is considered a haven for high-end tax dodgers in the world. The tax evaders and holders of slush fund accounts have used company ‘Mossack Fonseca’ as a front to stash away their ill-gotten lucre. However, the list exposed by some websites in Sri Lanka that includes Mr. Amarapala’s name does not have any link to Mossack Fonseca or Panama Papares. It was a list of names of Sri Lankans published in 2013 who had allegedly held accounts or had companies in Singapore.
Mr. Amarapala was the Chairman of the CEB between 2010 and 2011, a time during which public concerns had been drawn to financial scandals involving the CEB which was even raised in Parliament. Mr. Amarapala has served as an executive at the IWS Holdings Ltd. owned by Mr. Arthur Senanayaka between 2003 to 2010. He has maintained this particular account while serving as a Director of the Sovereign Capital Corporation (SCC) belonging to Mr. Senanayaka, and that company had never been involved or charged for any wrong-doing up to now. It has also invested in Sri Lanka through the BOI.
However, it was a fact that the consensual government has received a mandate from the public to save the country from corruption, mismanagement and maintain the rule of law and promote the concept of good governance. Therefore, this government is committed to adhere to that principle and honour the trust reposed on it at any cost. Therefore, it is quite pertinent that we must not only refrain totally from corruption, mismanagement and any other misdeeds but behave in a manner no one could level an accusing finger at us.
Mr. Amarapala has decided to keep away from all his responsibilities and functions of this ministry and to tender his resignation papers to Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka with the hope that it will be easier if the Ministry decides to conduct any investigation into the issue.
Minister Ranawaka's Secretary has been directed to lodge a complaint to the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) to inquire whether the SCC had been involved in a financial fraud in any way during the period 2003 - 2010 when Mr. Amarapala was serving there. (SAJ)