Why is AGs Dept lethargic? - Harin

Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando questioned why the Attorney General’s Department cannot act swiftly on the 87 cases of mega scale fraud and corruption as they did on the Treasury Bond issue.

“What we hear is that Police inquiries have been completed on 87 cases. However, the judicial system has failed because they say they have too many cases at hand. But the Presidential Commission has been very quick to act. Even though it was a bond scam, it has been publicly shaming a person about a rental income or rental agreement and a phone bill issue. Therefore, we feel that this has been a vindictive journey,” the Minister told the Sunday Observer, yesterday.

Minister Fernando said this is a victory not for the Opposition, Government or anybody else but civil society who actually had a voice and wanted justice. They have won it. Similarly, they wanted justice from the previous Government as well. They also accuse us of not bringing the culprits to justice. We see a situation of wheels within wheels in this Government. So we want to make sure that justice prevails followed by correct decisions. We want to expose any conspiracy against the Government, he said. Asked about his request made to appoint a Presidential Commission to probe the alleged acts of fraud and corruption committed by the former Government, Minister Fernando said it is being discussed by the President and the Prime Minister.

The President assured that he is in no way trying to delay anything because he wanted the perpetrators to be brought to book since the day he assumed office.

Therefore, he said the delay is not from his side. These particular matters are in the hands of certain other Ministers and have to be dealt with.

He said as young Ministers and MPs in the Government, they will discuss among themselves within the coming weeks and take the right decision. The country has to leap forward. We promised to deal with corruption when we formed the Government in 2015. Unfortunately, I think we have failed on that track because we accused a lot of people and a lot of cases that have been dealt with.

But they have not been brought to justice. So in front of the people, we look like failures because we have not been able to deal with these persons. That is serious and a concern for us all.

The significance of the National Unity Government is that we live by example. However, whether this inquiry is going to prove guilt or not, we have kept to our word until the inquiry is done. Former Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake has set an example that makes things easier for the Government, Opposition and those who are doing the inquiry, without using his political power.

Who wouldn’t like that? The international community would love how the freedom of justice works in Sri Lanka, the Minister said.

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