Prosecuting Former SriLankan Airlines CEO Kapila Chandrasena and his wife for the alleged Airbus fraud would not be sufficient as there was evidence of political patronage for it, a UNP MP said today.
UNP MP Mujibur Rahaman told a press conference that there was evidence to suggest political backing for the fraud.
“The claim made by Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara is a vital piece of evidence of political backing for the deal,” he said.
“Mr Nanayakkara claimed that he questioned at a Cabinet meeting during the previous government of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the aircraft deal and that the latter had assured that it was not necessary.
“The aircraft purchasing deal was signed at the official residence of former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa during that time. Also, Mr Chandrasena was held the CEO post of the SLT while being the CEO of the national carrier for a brief period.
“This is an indication of a close association of Mr Chandrasena to Politicians,” the MP said.
MP Rahaman said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa should see that a proper investigation would be carried out.
He said former President Maithripala Sirisena had done one correct thing by removing Mr Chandrasena from the CEO post after the 52-day government was over in 2018.
Asked as to why the UNP-led Yahapalana Government paid compensation to Airbus, which had engaged in frauds, he said that was done to cancel the aircraft purchase deal.
“The SriLankan Airlines would have suffered more losses if we did not cancel the deal,” he said. (Yohan Perera)