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Ex-Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake Raises Privilege Issue Against Addl Solicitor-General Yasantha Kodagoda in Parliament

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By Saman Indrajith

UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake yesterday said in Parliament that his privileges had been breached by Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda, who, he said, had made a false statement before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Treasury bond scams.

Karunanayake, raising a privilege issue, said Kodagoda had misled the Commission with concocted stories to tarnish his image.

The former Finance Minister said that he was not related to Shanil Neththikumara, the individual who had allegedly threatened Anika Wijesooriya. He said he would resign if he was proved wrong.

He said ASG Kodagoda should apologise to the Bond Commission for misleading it with wrong facts. “This individual is not related to me.How can the AG’s Department officials think they know my relatives better than I,” he asked.

MP Karunanayake said Anika Wijesooriya, who testified before the Commission, had so far not lodged a complaint with any police station about alleged death threats. He said Wijesooriya had not returned to the country since Oct. 6.

“ASG Kodagoda submitted before the Commission a letter received by the Bond Commission Secretary from Wijith Wijesuriya, the elder brother of Anika Wijesooriya, without checking the accuracy of its information. The Attorney General’s Department enacted a drama. I sent a clarification to the Commission, but my letter was not submitted before the Commission,” Karunanayake said, complaining of a conspiracy behind the incident. “I was also a witness before the commission. I demand to know how the Department of the Attorney General treats two witnesses in two different manners.”

The MP said a dispute had occurred between Neththikumara and Wijith Wijessoriya following a quarrel at a nightclub. A complaint had been lodged at the Cinnamon Gardens Police over this quarrel. “When two people clash at a night club, the AG’s department linked the name of one party to the quarrel to me, levelling a baseless allegation against me,” he said.

“ASG Kodagoda’s statement before the commission on Oct. 17 was a lie. Anika Wijesooriya arrived in the country on Emirates flight No EK 349 from Bali Islands at around 1.55 am on Oct 5. She was cleared by the Department of Immigration and Emigration around 2.08 am. Thereafter, she left the country in an Emirates flight No EK 655 around 9.05 of Oct. 06 to England via Dubai. Since then she has not returned.

“ASG Kodagoda linked my name to a matter that does not come under the purview of the commission to damage my image. He has been doing so for some time. The conduct of officials of the Department of Attorney General has become a nuisance for the Commission. Chairman of the Commission has several times warned them not to turn the commission sessions into a media circus.”

Courtesy:The Island

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