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Harsha takes the fight to Kotte

Sep 15, 2011 5:35:55 PM - www.ft.lk

Says SJKMC highly corrupt; UNP Mayor’s first act will be to establish Right-to-Information procedure

UNP National List MP and the party’s chief spokesman on economic affairs as well as the newly appointed head of the campaign committee of the Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday fired the opening salvo at the UPFA Kotte campaign charging that the previously UPFA controlled council was utterly corrupt.  He said that huge amounts of rate payer’s money were being misappropriated and that the administration had not even prepared a proper set of accounts.  

Presenting the Auditor General’s report for the year 2009, the most recent submitted to Parliament, he said that the accounts were so weak that the AG could not express an opinion on the financial statements even with qualification, let alone agree with the accounts as a true and fair representation of its financial status. Dr. de Silva stated that the situation was so bad that transactions totalling a massive Rs. 576 million could not be satisfactorily vouched for in audit due to non-rendition of required information. He pointed out there were numerous cases of malpractices highlighted by the AG from misuse of vehicles and fuel by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to serious flooding problems concerning thousands of residents due to approving unauthorised land fillings completely disregarding Government orders not to do so.  
The highly vocal critic of the government and a strong voice against corruption in both the public and private sectors, Dr. de Silva vouched that under a UNP administered SJKMC the first act would be to establish a Right-to-Information procedure so that the citizens of Kotte could at anytime find out what was happening with their money.  He said that it was the UNP that attempted to bring in such laws in Parliament on several occasions but it was the ruling UPFA that stopped it every time.
He dismissed the UPFA Colombo mayoral candidate’s promise of a similar procedure as a cruel joke and said that the regime would never allow citizens to find out the insider land dealings that were taking place in Colombo.
Dr. de Silva made these points at the opening of the party’s main campaign office for the Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council election at 504, Kotte Road, Pitakotte from where he will lead the municipal election campaign supported by MP Wijedasa Rajapakse along with Western Provincial Councilors Shiral Lakthilaka, Nimal R. Peiris and Manju Arangala. National Organiser Ravi Karunanayake also participated in the simple ceremony attended by the candidates.

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