Crippling islandwide strike imminent


Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Trade Unions yesterday issued a veiled threat, meant to reach the Government hierarchy of harnessing key economic services of energy, water supply and ports to launch a major crippling islandwide strike of proportions that will bring the country to a grinding halt "if President Sirisena reneges on assurances given to CPC TUs at the last meeting with him."

It's been two years since some of the investigations were referred to the AG's Department for further action. There are several cases awaiting the AG's instructions. One such file is on the establishment of a Bank of Ceylon branch in Seychelles and the transfer of funds to companies in that country. There are also several cases against the Rajapaksas and one directly involving the former President's Chief of Staff, Gamini Senarath.

Another case awaiting the AG's instructions pertains to allegations against businessman Nishantha Lokuvithana and his relationship with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in deals ranging between Rs. 48 million and Rs 190 million.

The FCID is basically 'hatching eggs' consuming time handling small cases, according to him. He added that they have no clue about cases such as the one involving former Sri Lankan envoy to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, apart from seeing him on Facebook, with no sign of a breakthrough in that case. He said there were several other cases which could be investigated provided the AG's Department gives the FCID orders to do so.

He said that by when the FCID officials return to other branches such as the CID and the Bribery Commission they hope that these cases could be taken up without further delay.

Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development, Sagala Ratnayaka, was not available for comment.However, senior lawyers commenting on the move to dismantle the FCID said that if the files are moved to other departments of the Police, there would be practical difficulties resulting in further delays in the investigation process.

The Sapugaskanda enhancement project will be financed by the winner of the bid who will also be expected to bring in the technology for its upgrading.

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