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Sajith, Mahindananda showdown in Parliament

09 Dec 2023 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      


  • Aluthgamage claims 19 employees worked at Premadasa’s wife’s salon while receiving salaries from the State Engineering  Corporation

By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana   

Another episode of the verbal battle between MP  Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa was  witnessed in Parliament yesterday, with both coming up with fresh  allegations.  

The battle broke out when Mr. Premadasa raised a privilege  issue on the remarks made by MP Aluthgamage the other day on  malpractices that are said to have taken place at State Engineering  Corporation and misusing the Central Cultural Fund. 

 Mr. Aluthgamage  alleged that a sum of Rs 10 billion has been misused during the tenure  of Mr. Premadasa as the minister in charge of housing and cultural  affairs.   

Both parties came out with fresh allegations during yesterday’s cross-talk in the House,   Mr. Aluthgamage said some employees of State Engineering  Corporation have accepted that they were placed at the salon owned by  Mr. Premadasa’s wife. He said H. P. Nandana Kumara, S. K. Hapuarachchi,  P. G. Sanjeya, H. P. U. M. Caldera Suranjith Ratnapriya G. Densil, S. P.  S. Dissanayake had mentioned during the audit query that they were  placed at the salon though they were recruited by the State Engineering  Corporation. “State Engineering Corporation had paid salaries for 19  employees though they had worked at the salon,” the MP said.   
Also, Mr. Aluthgamage alleged that rent has not been paid  for the building where the salon belonging to Mr. Premadasa’s wife is  located.  

Mr. Premadasa who responded said the internal audit report  that the MP quoted is not legally valid. “The audit report has been  prepared by an acting internal auditor who has been appointed with the  recommendation of the SLPP union in the State Engineering Corporation. “This man is not qualified to be an internal auditor as he has failed  one subject at GCE Advanced level examination while he has failed the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) accountancy examination. The minimum accepted qualification in accordance with the state service  norms is a bachelor’s degree,” he said.  

Later Mr. Premadasa told journalists that allegations  with regard to the salon after it had been proven that the internal  audit carried out by the State Engineering Corporation was not legal.