By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The cabinet will decide on what action to take on General Manager Railways (GMR) R.P. Wijeysekara tomorrow according to a memo submitted by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama.
Wijesekara was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate on charges of misappropriation of public funds amounting to Rs. 10 million by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.
According to Director General of the Commission Mrs. Lakshmi Jayawickrama there is a prima facie case against Wijesekara and the date of the next hearing has been fixed for November 23.
The Commission initiated action against Wijesekara on a complaint lodged by the Organization for Protection of the Properties and the Rights of Railway Employees (OPPRRE) in 2003. Minister Welgama told the Daily Mirror that neither he nor the Secretary of the Transport Ministry had powers to take any disciplinary action against Wijesekara as the appointing authority was the cabinet.
“I submitted a cabinet memo last week and the cabinet will decide on him tomorrow,” Minister Welgama told Daily Mirror today.
The convener of the OPPRRE, Sumathipala Manawadu said the allegations of the misappropriation of public money against Wijesekara was among 7 complaints lodged with the Commission in 2005 involving corruption that had taken place at the Sri Lanka Railways.
The allegations against GMR Wijesekara involved the import of a consignment of Axel boxes, a train spare part from Australia for Sri Lanka Railways, Manawadu said.
Commenting on criticism by the OPPRRE that the railway authorities never hesitate to take immediate disciplinary action against minor employees at the slightest involvement of an offence, Minister Welgama said all other employees are under GMR and hence it does not take much time to take action against them.