Local News from Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said he did not issue directives in Minister Duminda Dissanayake for an exorbitant amount of leasing out the controversial agriculture building.
Wickramasinghe testified yesterday before the Presidential Inquiry Commission(PCoI) to investigate misappropriations and corruption in state-owned enterprises. Wickramasinghe said he did not give directions to the Ministry of Agriculture to buy the said building when the Ministry moved its premises.
The PCoI is investigating accusations of signing a lease contract with D.P. leveled against the government. Jayasinghe Group of Companies for the occupation of a personal building for the Ministry of Agriculture in the sum of Rs. 1.3 billion.
The Prime Minister further said he was solely accountable for the United National Party (UNP) members as their leader under the coalition government, while President Maithripala Sirisena was in charge of the leaders of the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP).
In an previous occasion, Dissanayake testifying before the PCoI, however, said that he did not peruse the lease contract and that the Prime Minister and his office took all the necessary steps to procure the building. He went on to say that the choice made in 2016 to change the Ministry of Agriculture was due to the Prime Minister and Parliament’s constant requests and that he had no say in the matter.
“The Prime Minister submitted the cabinet document in which he referred to the building’s floor area, lease, and all other appropriate data. The Cabinet endorsed this, and I was just applying that choice as I have a duty to fulfill their desires. I don’t have any response to you when you ask me about floor space and other difficult elements. What am I allowed to tell?”Before the PCoI Dissanayake said.