A complaint was lodged with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) against Nimal Siripala de Silva, the former Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, for allegedly demanding a bribe from a Japanese company.
The complainant Attorney-at-law Senaka Perera alleged that de Silva demanded a bribe from a Japanese company Taisei.
Perera based his complaint on a Parliament debate.
“The public give their mandate to elect these people to Parliament so they can serve the people. However, these individuals have abused their privileges to benefit themselves. The CIABOC has the authority to prosecute wrongdoers who give and accept bribes. There have been allegations that the CIABOC and other institutions are only targeting certain individuals. However, this is an excellent for the CIABOC to prove they are not biased,” he said.
Noting that this is an important complaint, he said public representatives who have been charged with bribery or other unethical behaviour should not be appointed to any public institution. He said that if they are reappointed, the bribes and other illegal activities will continue.
“We urge leaders not to assign portfolios because it is unfair to the people. We hope the commission will take action on this as soon as possible,” he said.
De Silva resigned from his post after Opposition Leader MP Sajith Premadasa revealed in Parliament that a Cabinet Minister demanded a bribe from a Japanese company.
MP Premadasa went on to say that the former President was allegedly very upset that a Minister in the Cabinet had demanded a bribe.
However, de Silva said that the subject matter falls under the purview of his ministerial portfolio, despite the fact that MP Premadasa had not openly named him.
As a result of public speculation, the Minister announced his decision to resign from his ministerial portfolio.
In a letter to former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Minister requested a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegation, after which he will step down from his ministerial portfolio.
By Thameenah Razeek