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Feb 05, 2017

Irregular payment to road constructor placed on hold Featured

In the face of stiff opposition by the cabinet, the president has placed on hold an attempt by highways minister Lakshman Kiriela to approve Rs. 400 to a road constructor as additional payment for 11 highways.

Also, the payment has been referred to the attorney general for advice.

The contractor, R&J Contractors owned by Jagath Hemantha, is accused of being a money launderer for the Rajapaksas and the contracts it had secured during the previous regime are reportedly highly suspicious.

Also, it has now come to light that the contract for the 11 highways in question had been given on personal friendship without following the tender procedure.

This matter was raised by Rajitha Senaratne at the cabinet meeting last week, where a new tender for R&J too, was suspended.

According to the cabinet paper, a very high 33 per cent advance payment for the entire project valuation was to be paid to the contractor, which Sarath Amunugama too, disapproved.

Dayasiri Jayasekara alleged 10 per cent of the contractor’s income was credited to the bank account of the son of a VIP politician.

Responding to all these accusations, Kiriella only said he had no personal connection with the contractor, and said ministers of the SLFP were leveling the accusations as they were the contractor’s enemies now.

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