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“The Anti Corruption Committee Secretariat (ACCS) is scheduled to get many files regarding the yahapalana (good governance) Government soon. These include those pertaining to the import of vehicles and pharmaceuticals. Although the people want the ACCS, the Govt does not,” – Sunil Handunnetti
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP and Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises, Sunil Handunnetti speaks to our sister paper Rivira with regard to the current political situation in the country.

Q : It has been mentioned that the Anti Corruption Committee Secretariat (ACCS) is to abolished and a separate one is to be appointed.

The ACCS possesses files related to many large scale corruptions and frauds. Another few have been sent to the Attorney General’s Department (AGD), yet even after this, relevant actions have not been taken. There is a big sieving machine at the AGD. The relevant files are forwarded for further action only after sieving using the said machine. Only small scale matters fall from the sieve. Files pertaining to relief being provided in the form of political deals and those in relation to the royal family get left behind. This is an amazing sieve. The ACCS is scheduled to get many files regarding the yahapalana (good governance) Government soon. These include those pertaining to the import of vehicles and pharmaceuticals. Although the people want the ACCS, the Government does not.

Q : Government factions state that the role of the ACCS is to monitor the people’s complaints and hand them over to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. Is there any truth to this?

If that is the case, have the complaints received from the people concluded? If such is the case, the Government must present to the public the statistics pertaining to such. Paying salaries to the staff of the ACCS and continuing to maintain the committee too constitutes corruption.

Q : The Government which states that the country is being squeezed by debt, is allocating millions to import vehicles for MPs and Ministers.

This is nothing unusual. They become elected to enjoy luxury. These kinds of Governments are elected by the media and the people. It is not like the people in a country where 43% of the population don’t earn a cent a day, didn’t know that the rulers wouldn’t do so. Those who were in power too did the same. Although the faces changed, these people are the same old characters.

Q : Many Ministers say that without luxury vehicles, they cannot serve the people.

There is a group in this country that uses normal vehicles and fulfills their responsibilities to the country and the people. That is the JVP. When we held ministerial posts, we didn’t use luxury vehicles. Instead of choosing us who did such, it is the people whom the people elected who are behaving like this. There is no pointing in shouting now, calling for the stable door to be shut, now that the horse has bolted the stable. One

Q : Aren’t you directly making allegations against the people?

Who else am I to tell this to? The current conduct of the people and the media is as if this Government came down from the skies. These activities that you see now are common to any capitalist Government. The vehicle used by the Minister of the previous Government, is rejected by the Minister of the incumbent Government. They even spend millions and completely refurbish official rooms. This is what happened always. The people and the media know this, yet they change the sides of the roti (a flour based food). They know that no matter what fraud or corruption they engage in, there is a group that votes for them in the country. Why can’t they do politics like the JVP does? Back then, we handed over 39 vehicles used by S.B. Dissanayake (present Minister) to the Government. Bullet proof vehicles too were included in this stock. Our comrade Anura Kumara Dissanayake (current Leader of the JVP and Chief Opposition Whip) used only one vehicle and did the work of nine Ministers.