Minister of State for Ports and Aviation Mr. Premalal Jayasekara launched a strong attack against Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.Sri Lanka Latest News
Speaking at a press conference on the 22nd, Mr. Premalal Jayasekara said that there has been a lot of fraud and corruption in the port as well as in the Sri Lankan Airlines.
The Minister said that he informed the Presidential Secretariat in this regard and informed that if this situation is not corrected within a month, he will resign from the position of State Minister.
State Minister Premalal Jayasekara’s comments at the press conference are given below.
I was appointed as the Minister of State in this Ministry by the President last September. It has been about 11 months since I got this ministry. From the day we got the ministry, we have tried at various times to turn this ministry into a ministry that is responsible for the country and provides a lot of income to the country. Getting the support of the Minister of State is a responsibility and duty of the Minister.
Therefore, we brought in investors on various occasions and started the work. Even that got interrupted from time to time. Officials do what the Minister says and do not give a damn about the Minister of State. All this happens by coming together as a team. Therefore, we discussed with trade unions on various occasions.
They told us their problems. At least the officials are not working to solve them, he said. They are still keeping the officials who have expired for 15, 20 years. Therefore, I am making this press statement at the point where I cannot tolerate it.
This company has to pay 80 lakhs within these 11 months. I don’t think it’s paid yet. Looking at the economic situation of this country today, the country has suffered a big setback. In such a case, I said to give us a small place, under the ministry. My office is W.T.C. 80 lakhs have been paid so far. I have submitted in writing to the Ministry Secretary to transfer this office to another place. Because I don’t want to spend so much money with the situation in the country. But it still didn’t get a place. They say there is no space. But there is plenty of room. Other officers have been posted in the places where there is space.
We knowingly pay unnecessary allowances to the higher officials of the Ministry of Ports. It is not a good thing with the situation of the country. Also, the port secretariat has been transferred to two places since April. A lot of government money is being misused through that. Also things like valuable documents are misplaced. That’s a big problem. Therefore, we have informed that it must be dealt with.
Besides, there are officers who have been in the same place for about 15 years. Senior officials like accountants. There will be no transfers. All these thefts happen when they are in the same place. As the Minister of State, I say with responsibility that the port part of ports and aviation services is extremely corrupt. I am ready to present the facts with all the evidence. Because we came here hoping to serve the people, not to waste the money of this country. As never before in history, even the ambassadors have complained that there are problems in the country and they have asked for a commission.
Not only us, there are many other young ministers and state ministers. They have problems too. But there is no such problem. Because no matter where you go to work, nothing will be done. So, in this situation, it is better to leave this position and continue working at my loss than to hold the position of minister in this ministry. Because when I was the Deputy Minister of Electricity, I was able to do a lot of work. He was the Minister of State for Rural Industries. Worked at that time. Was in Mahaweli before. However, this is the situation that arose. Even though there were many problems, we got ministries that could work.
Minister Dilum Amunugama is on the other side. He has the ability to work. There are many other such ministers. If they have gazetted any duty, they have got the opportunity to correct that part. Now I have gazetted Oluwil port. It is not operating today, it is closed. Palali Airport has no schedule so far. KKS has stopped working without an investor.
When we come to KKS to find investors and talk to them, sometimes they also drop the bucket. It is stopped through officials. But to stop it through officials, it is implemented from a higher place. In such a situation, it is impossible to imagine where this country will go in the future.
I especially remind that investors can be brought to this country. Investors who can do big development are willing to come to the country. But they turn back too soon. Because while doing the basic work needed to provide the facilities they need and start the projects, they are being unnecessarily influenced to get some direction from them. Not one or two, but the leaders in those institutions. I know that 13 acres were given in Colombo port in recent days. It is undervalued.
So you need to get a job from us. Otherwise, this is a crime. There are other ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers like me. They should be given the opportunity to work. I am holding this press conference in the worst possible place. Why not let him fulfill that role even after being gazetted and given the position of Minister of State? We request His Excellency the President to take action in this regard very soon.
I also informed the President’s office. He said on several occasions that we are not given the opportunity to work, I don’t want to waste government money by sitting around, you should look into it and take action in this regard, or I will resign. Officials do not work when the minister gives instructions. That’s what happens.
In Sri Lanka, at the airport, at the port, tomorrow, other vacancies are being recruited. In Sri Lankan recruitment, it has been said that if there is a freckle, no if a tooth is slightly broken, no if there is a freckle. Must look good.
Then those who were hired earlier are working in SriLankan Airlines. We have seen many people who have scars and cannot see their faces. So how does this change the law? In giving these jobs, application forms are taken from everyone and marks are cut at the end. It goes to a separate program. A program is being implemented to conduct an examination and admit only those who are deemed to have low marks.
In the past, the kitchen at the harbor went to repair. He said it would cost about 80 lakh rupees. It has been put aside to grow food, so now it has been decided to build a new kitchen. A lot of things like this happen inside. The port is now getting destroyed more and more. The inside has now become a complete den of thieves. If the top is doing this, then the people below have reached the point of saying whatever they do.
I don’t want to anger these officers suddenly. I will wait for a little while to do some work. If not, I will disclose the information of all the officials dealing with the minister and all the things done in the next press conference. I have them all. I don’t hit at once. Going gradually. Wait a minute. I will give within a month.
Now if those issues are resolved, won’t you reveal it?
I will definitely provide all the information. Solved or not I will reveal it. Because you can’t travel like this in this country. You can’t be silent all the time. It is not possible to be called the minister.
Do you suspect that he took money from Japan?
It could happen with the news I get.
You are the state minister of that ministry. Do you also have doubts about the fact that he took the money?
Some doubts have arisen. A thief is a thief. No matter what position you are in. I reminded the President twice. He also reminded the President’s Secretary. There is a small problem with the current situation of the country, it is not possible to change only one ministerial position. It was said from there that if they want to change, all the ministries should be changed. So he said to be patient. More than a year now. The President takes some action. Because there are many complaints from state ministers. We did politics and came here not to blame people. If you can’t do that service, it’s really useless to be here. I have been a Member of Parliament continuously for 21 years. If a state minister is still unable to work even after 12 years as a deputy minister, this position is useless.
Are you frustrated with politics?
Really disappointed. Not because of this government. Disappointed with politics. The main disappointment is the miserable struggle. This country fell because of that struggle. There is a group of brothers who pretended a struggle that doesn’t exist in this country, and pretended a crisis that doesn’t exist. Dila sent Mr. Gotabaya.