Nimal Siripala reappointed as Ports Minister


Nimal Siripala de Silva was reappointed as the Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Services by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, after he was acquitted of bribery charges levelled against him during a recent Parliament sittings by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.

He was sworn in as a minister after the Presidential Committee appointed to investigate allegations of bribery against him had acquitted him of the charges.

Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday (2), at the weekly Cabinet media briefing that the committee report to investigate the allegations was submitted to Cabinet on 1 August. He said the committee report said all the verbal and written evidence demonstrated that the committee members unanimously decided that it is not possible to conclude de Silva or any other Cabinet Minister involved in the construction of the new terminal building at Bandaranaike International Airport demanded a bribe from Japan’s Taisei Company. On the request of the former minister, President Wickremesinghe recently appointed a three-member committee to investigate the allegations on 22 July.

Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena, a retired High Court Judge, chaired the committee. Other members of the committee were retired Senior Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police S.M. Wickremasinghe and retired Special Grade Officer of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) S.M.G.K. Perera.

The panel investigated the matter raised by the Opposition Leader, which was based on a news item published in social, print, and electronic media accusing a Cabinet Minister of demanding a bribe from Japan’s Taisei Company.

On 31 July, the committee report on the incident was handed over to Presidential Secretary Saman Ekanayake. The committee members determined that the former minister is not guilty of the charges levelled against him. 

Nimal Siripala de Silva resigned as Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Services until the investigation was completed.

By Thameenah Razeek