One hundred three-wheelers given through Japanese financial assistance to the Fisheries Corporation following the 2004 tsunami, had been taken away by former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa for distribution to political cronies in Hambantota.
Corporation sources say JVP’s Chandrasena Wijesinghe, the fisheries minister of the then probationary government, kept these three-wheelers undstributed until that regime collapsed.
After Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected president in 2005, fisheries minister of his admnistration Felix Perera fixed the three-wheelers with freezer facilities at a cost of nearly Rs. 200,000 each. Following a written request by Shiranthi to Perera, those facilties were dismantled and the vehicles taken to Hambantota.
When asked by the newspaper, the ex-fisheries minister confirmed it, saying she took the three-wheelers saying they would be distributed to those in Hambantota who lost their three-wheelers to the tsunami.
Shantha Abeysiri Gunawardena - Sathhanda