By Yoshitha Perera
Secretary to former President Maithripala Sirisena, Udaya R. Seneviratne submitted the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on large-scale corruption allegations taken place in State institutions during 2015-2018 to the Attorney General’s Department and Bribery Commission, sources from the commission informed Daily Mirror.
When asked about the final process after submitting the two volumes of the report, an official attached to PCoI said it was only the Presidential Secretariat that had the authority to reveal the outcome of the report.
Former President Maithripala Sirisena appointed the PCoI to investigate into allegations of corruption and mismanagement taken place in State institutions from January 15, 2015 to December 31, 2018. Earlier, the commission officials said it had received up to 1,346 complaints and the police unit attached to the commission completed initial inquiries to 166 of them. “Of those 166 inquires, the commission has commenced recording evidence on 40 cases. However, out of them, 10 cases cannot move ahead with the commission,” they said.
On September 27 this year, the commission handed over its first volume of the report to the former President. The commission had received three extensions during its tenure.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Upali Abeyrathne chaired the commission while former High Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena, former Auditor General Pasdunkorale Arachchige Premathilake, former Ministry Secretary Lalith R. de Silva and former Deputy Inspector General of Police M.K.D. Vijaya Amarasinghe were appointed as commission members.
The commission had recorded evidence on matters relating to storing paddy at Mattala International Airport, misuse of government funds on renting out DPJ building to the Agriculture Ministry, malpractices during the distribution of textbooks, tabs and school uniform vouchers for students and financial fraud in connection with Mahapola and Suraksha insurance policy.
Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and other former line ministers who handled the subjected ministries had testified before the commission on several occasions and provided evidence on certain matters.
The commission also inquired matters pertaining to financial fraud taken place during the import of high-yielding milch cows in 2015 and the import of controversial Russian oncology medicine ‘Herticad’ to treat patients with breast cancer.
“Accepting complaints to PCoI stopped on March 19 this year and out of total complaints, almost 300 related to misappropriation at State institutions,” the official told .