Stymied FCID to be shuttered soon

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) will be dismantled and shuttered very shortly on the orders of the Government. Its staff will return to the Police Criminal Investigation Division and the Bribery Commission respectively, a Senior FCID official told us.

The source said the FCID was 'struggling' to conclude 62 high profile financial corruption cases.

He added that their expertise is 'not used' as expected and most of the charge files are collecting dust at the Attorney General's (AG) Department. The FCID was formed on 26 February 2015 and its tenure provisionally extended to 30 June 2017.

The FCID source said, "We have been waiting for 'too long' to hear orders from the AG's Department on serious cases that are pending. There are so many corruption charges and the files were returned to the AG's Department for further action. But there's no action coming from that end."

Fighting shy of specifying a date for the combined strike, CPC TU sources only said that the planned TU action was imminent and would be triggered by indications that promises made to them will not be honoured by President Maithripala Sirisena.

"If his promises are not honoured, we will ensure that the entire country is brought to a grinding halt within the next fortnight" Convener of the Petroleum Joint Union Alliance D.J. Rajakaruna told Ceylon Today last night.

He said:" On the last occasion we only mobilized a petroleum strike, but this time we will be mobilizing the Ceylon Electricity Board, National Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and all the key unions. This will cut off all electricity and water supplies islandwide and there will be no operations at all the ports as well" he warned.

He said that he and all the unions "will make the government understand in no uncertain terms that they mean business. The three demands include bunkering operations at the Hambantota Port to be given to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the Trincomalee Port oil tanks to be entrusted to the CPC exclusively and that the Sapugaskanda refinery refurbishment project be fast tracked.

Rajakaruna stressed that President Sirisena had assured the Unions that he will ensure that all three demands were met when he met them on the last occasion. "The President assured us then, so why is he vacillating now ? Rajakaruna asked.

Reminded that this newspaper quoted Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga as having told this newspaper that moves were in progress to award the Sapugaskanda project to one of three developers who have submitted bids for the project, Rajakaruna said, "That is true, but they are only talking. Nothing has got off the ground."

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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