Making counter allegations against investor Anton Deshapriya, who had recently accused a state minister of soliciting a bribe, the United National Party (UNP) yesterday called for a thorough investigation on the investor.
UNP Spokesman and Minister, Harin Fernando told a media briefing that there was an invisible hand behind this episode.
“Some mischievous elements appear to have urged this investor to make allegations against the ministers. This is a move to sling mud at the government and as such we call for investigations both locally and in Italy with the support of Interpol,” he said.
State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe who made counter allegation against Mr. Deshapriya said he had received death threats from the investor and that he had received the last death threat over the phone on October 17, the day he had a news conference at the ministry.
He revealed that this businessman, living in Italy, had defaulted several banks and that his name was included in the CRIB. The state minister who appeared to be emotionally shaken up said he was going through a difficult time after the allegations were made by Mr. Deshapriya with family member’s relatives and friends calling him to inquire about what was happening.
“I could not even talk to my mother for some time after the reports published in the media,” he said and added that he would propose re-introducing criminal defamation laws to stop people making false allegations.
Deputy Minister of Law and Order, Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said he too was threatened by the same person some time ago. Mr. Bandara showed pictures of the so called office of this investor in Sri Lanka and some of his photographs.
Mr. Senasinghe is likely to file complaints with the FCID and the CID and also call for an investigation by Interpol as well. (Yohan Perera)
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana