Rs. 700 million belonged to the Land Reform Commission (LRC) has been defrauded by former Land Minister S.M. Chandrasena together with the Rajapaksas, sources said.
Rs. 700 million has been released from funds belonging to the LRC at an allocation of Rs. 20 million each for 35 organic fertiliser production pilot projects in the North Central Province under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s concept for Organic Farming.
The said money had been released to reimburse the amount paid by the Agriculture Ministry for the purchase of the products for the organic farming projects within three months, based on a Cabinet paper presented by Chandrasena on May 05, 2021, but a single rupee has not been settled for the whole of Rs. 700 million to date, according to sources.
Notably, this money has been released in the backdrop where the legal adviser to the Land Ministry himself had informed in writing that it would be ‘unlawful’ to acquire money belonging to the LRC for projects of such a nature.
Out of the estimate of Rs. 20 million each for these projects, Rs. 17 million had been allocated for the purchase of vehicles and buildings on lease, and only Rs. 900,000 had been allocated for the purchase of raw materials for the manufacture of organic manure.
The Cabinet paper was approved by Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the then Finance Minister and Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister in Charge of Organic Farming Projects and then Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had also approved the paper in writing, sources further divulged.
Money has been embezzled by releasing them to the friends and associates of Chandrasena living in the North Central Province, which is the then Land Minister’s own political jurisdiction, in the guise of implementing the organic farming projects in the area.
The severity into this most politically immoral act should be noted, as those in power are capable of openly, unlawfully and unconstitutionally embezzling money belonging to most important commissions in Sri Lanka such as the LRC, leaving the big question as to when it would be the end of such scandals we, as Sri Lankans, have been hearing all our lives.
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