Recently, a confession has been made by former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa that a bribe was obtained, in an interview with 'Ravaya' newspaper. According to his view, receiving a fish tank as a gift spending hundred thousands of rupees by a businessman named Pathirana is not a wrongdoing.
"The most famous person to have pet fish business is Mr. Pathirana. Not only for me, he delivered these beautiful fish tanks to the Temple Trees, other secretaries, and many other places. He delivered one to my ministry and said that he will build a tank for me too."
Pathirana, who built a fish tank for hundred thousands of rupees and had it filled with sharks, continued its maintenance for free of charge.
"Covered by the heat of war and marginalization, I was told that observing these fish for a while would calm me down. The huge glass was delivered by the owner of Asoka Glass Factory. None of them was received upon my request."
Asoka Glass Factory is the company that undertook a contract of millions of rupees in delivering glass windows and mirrors for Water's Edge garden, Independent Square Shopping Mall and many other projects, under the direct supervision of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
"Think about it, there're people who love this country. They took it to build a fish tank and put fish in it. These are not killer sharks. The same species of sharks were put on the Water's Edge fish tank too. He took care of the maintenance too."
The fish tank built for hundred thousands of rupees for the personal observation of the former Defence Secretary is a souvenir sent by a supplier who undertook a project under his direct supervision.
The Bribery Act on State Officials denotes that sending or receiving souvenirs of kind is a punishable offence, accountable for a minimum period of seven years in prison.
The Bribery Act Authority No. 26
(a) Anyone who who provides some sort of gratification to a public servant attached to an office/institution of a State Department, while either is in any form of deal with the government, or,
(b) Anyone who provides some sort of gratification to a public servant attached to an office/institution of a State Department, prior or subsequent to a period of one year for either to engage in any form of deal with the government , or,
(c) Anyone who accepts or requests a form of gratification that is condemned to be guilty for obtainment by a public servant by the clause,
is found guilty.
According to the above statement, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa publicly admits before Ravaya newspaper that he illegally obtained a bribe.
Is it the fate laughing at us, that the fierce soldiers of yesterday swum in the pools of scarlet red blood in the battlefield, without being fed with even a single sprat, while the former Defence Secretary logs into aquariums of hundred thousands of rupees just to calm down stress by watching sharks?