|CBK to be quizzed over shady
Court Martial for top military
The three-member Presidential Commission investigating corrupt
arms deals has recommended that a few serving and non-serving
military officers including top brass be court martialed.
The commission findings have implicated North East Governor Rear
Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema, former Chief of Defence Staff
Admiral Daya Sandagiri, and former Navy Chief of Staff Rear
Admiral Sarath Weerasekera among others.
The interim report was handed over to President Mahinda
Rajapaksa on Friday (17) by Supreme Court Judge Shiranee
Tilikawardene, the chairperson of the commission. The other two
members are Justices Nimal Dissanayake and Nissanka Udalagama of
the Supreme Court.
Presidential sources disclosed that it was likely that former
President Chandrika Kumaratunga will be summoned as the relevant
deals were done during her tenure as Commander in Chief of armed
According to the terms of reference, the period under scrutiny
was 2000 - 2005 and an interim report had to be submitted by the
Commission three months after it came into operation. The
Commission, which was given the authority to summon military
officials, also had access to classified documents.
The report focuses mainly on the Navy even though investigations
have already commenced into the deals entered into by the other
two forces. The Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers obtained by the
Army in April 2000, when Jaffna was about to fall to the Tigers,
is also being scrutinized.
The main Navy deal probed was the consignment of 10 Fast Attack
Craft purchased from Colombo Dockyard Limited in 2004 after the
United National Front Government was dismissed in April 2004.
On delivery of the said FACs an enhanced payment has been made
while the craft lacked guns and a further sum of money was spent
to purchase 30mm cannon guns.
Admiral Sandagiri is learnt to have purchased a house to the
tune of 12.5 million rupees while his ADC is learnt to have cash
and other certificate deposits to the tune of 10 million rupees.
On hearing that the commission report was released, the ADC had
slipped out of the country, prompting the Sri Lankan government
to seek assistance from the Interpol to apprehend the suspect.