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Allegations by ex-CAA member: CID launches probe

  • Allegations are baseless: Alagiyawanna

By Yoshitha Perera

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to direct  the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to immediately investigate the allegations raised by former Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Executive Director Thushan Gunawardena who resigned recently, The Sunday Morning learnt.

The Prime Minister’s directive came after Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardana filed a complaint with the IGP over recent statements made by the former CAA Executive Director to the media, accusing the Minister of being responsible for several major incidents of corruption involving Lanka Sathosa and the CAA that were allegedly ongoing.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning, State Minister of Co-operative Services, Marketing Development, and Consumer Protection Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that during the meeting with the Cabinet Subcommittee on Cost of Living last Friday (24), the Prime Minister had discussed the matter with the Minister of Trade and other officials.

“The allegations raised by the former (CAA Executive Director) are baseless. I must say that neither I nor Minister Gunawardana exerted any influence on him,” the State Minister stressed.

He added that the post of CAA Executive Director is appointed by the minister in charge of the subject, adding that when the relevant minister changes, the Board of Directors of the CAA or any other government institution have to be changed.

Responding to The Sunday Morning’s query, Alagiyawanna said that no decision was made so far on a replacement to fill the position.

Earlier last week, Minister of Trade Gunawardana responded to the allegations raised by the former CAA Executive Director and challenged him to prove his accusations by presenting evidence.

Gunawardana further stated that if he was proven guilty of any of the allegations, he would resign from his ministerial position and never return to politics.