Alleged Corruption at High
Places in Sri Lanka
I am annexing a copy of a news report carried in the Asian Tribune
of December 16, 2004, wherein they have detailed properties acquired
by one Harendra Kolith Balapatabendi in Melbourne, Australia valued
at Australian Dollars 4.2 Million. Mr. H.K Balapatabendi is a son of
Mr. Kusumsiri Balapatabendi, former Secretary to the Preident of Sri
Lanka, and High Commissioner designate to Australia. Mr. H.K. Balapatabendi
had emigrated to Australia around 1997/1998 but accumulated this vast
sum of money, and was able to make payment for the seven high priced
properties in cash. The Asian Tribune has indicated the money so invested
in properties in Melbourne are likely linked to the lucrative arms deals
the Balapatabendis' were involved in, back in Sri Lanka.
This story raises many issues where persons closely associated with
the ruling regime, whether it was the PA or the UNP, were able to engage
in questionable business dealings and make enormous profits at the expense
of both the tax payer and deprived masses of Sri Lanka. It is indeed
a crying shame that decision makers overlook issues of CONFLICT OF INTEREST
in doing business with the state, and get away without any questions
being asked. The impropriety does not end there, but enables such officials
to be selected as diplomats to represent the country in foreign lands.
The report also speaks of Mr. Chandrananda de Silva, former Secretary
to the Ministry of Defence, who too naturally had a big hand in the
awarding of arms contracts being selected as the High Commissioner designate
We expatriate Sri Lankans are totally dismayed by the lack of integrity
and proper standards in the selection of individuals for high office.
In our experience, most often, Sri Lanka has been better served by Career
Diplomats who are professionally equipped to play an important role
to safeguard Sri Lanka's interests in the capitals of the world. We
certainly would find it difficult to cooperate with Sri Lankan officials
with a murky record whose integrities have been questionable, even though
our hearts are fully committed to our motherland. Comments made by a
friend in Australia too is submitted herewith for your information.
Subject: Re: Alleged Corruption at High Places in Sri Lanka
MATTER OF CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE
For the attention of our 'LEADERS' to whom this msg is copied
We are perplexed to hear that such men who have led the nation astray
are being considered to be appointed to foreign postings. Is it to recognise
the capablity to rob the nation? Ex-pats should query this situation
. Our 'Ledaers' should open their eyse to this specific issue and answer
how an average 'lawyer' was able to make his son a dollar millionire.
Pls probe into the spectacular progress made by Balapatabendi family
and infor the nation where 1/3 of the population is mal-nourished.