Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Eran Wickremaratne has questioned the purpose of an anti-corruption act that fails to punish the corrupt.
He asked the government to act upon the massive acts of corruption such as the CBSL bond scam, irregularities in expressways construction, building of a palatial house in Malwana etc.
If the accused are guilty, the losses should be recovered from them, or if they are not, they should be cleared of the accusations without insulting them any further, he noted.
Wickremaratne was addressing the media at the office of the opposition leader in Colombo.
Parliament is due to debate the anti-corruption bill on June 21.
The SJB MP told journalists that said that during the last general elections, the SLPP led by the Rajapaksas made accusations against the present president Ranil Wckremesinghe on bond scam as the government at that time was led by UNP led Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The main promise of the Rajapaksa government during the last general election was to bring to the book those responsible for the central bank bond scam.
Rajapaksas went around the country and said that the country lost billions of rupees due to the bond scam by a United National National Party led government.
“The government should prosecute such accused or else the government should declare that they are innocent of such accusations without adding black marks to them,” said the MP.
The JVP has filed corruption cases against a SLPP Parliamentarian on the Krish project which was being built in Colombo Fort.
Another corruption deal called Hello-Coast was also alleged.
Also, there was a case about a bungalow in Malwana by a member of the Rajapaksa family.
A lot of corruption allegations were made on the awarding of the contract for the construction of expressways.
“Allowing time to pass these as mere accusations led to the loss of people’s trust in the government. If those who have been accused of corruption and theft are not found guilty of those crimes, they should be exonerated and set free without further damaging their image.”
With regard to the anti-corruption bill, he said the Supreme Court has declared that 24 of its clauses should be amended, he said.
“The government has not taken any action regarding such accusations, even if the new anti-corruption bill is passed, there are reasonable doubts if the government will take measures to combat corruption in the country.”
He said the government brings this draft to fulfill the promises given to the IMF.
An MP who smuggled gold and mobile phones through the airport’s VIP lounge was released after he paid 10% of the fine imposed on a citizen who brought in a similar quantity of gold.
Two persons were fined differently for the same offence, and there is a reasonable doubt that there is a vicious hand behind it.
In this context, he questioned if the anti-corruption act proposed by the government would be used to catch thieves.
As per its provisions, a person convicted of large-scale corruption is sentenced to a maximum of 4 years in prison. At the same time, provisions have been included to send the complainant to prison for a maximum period of 10 years if the allegation cannot be proven.
Wickramaratne expressed dismay the Rajapaksas had not dealt with officials who are their cronies and relatives, although they were fined for corruption in overseas judiciaries.