Sri Lanka to probe if Rajapaksa government tried to bribe US lawmakers
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
It seems the Rajapaksha government had paid huge sums to USA to get its support for wars against Tamils which led to war crimes committed by the military. Reports suggested that the Rajapaksha government had paid huge sums to US Congressmen to support Colombo on war crimes against Tamils, in the name of fighting the LTTE.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera informed the parliament on March 05 that Sri Lanka’s new government under President Sirisena will probe claims that the previous Rajapaksa regime attempted to pay off US Congressmen to win their support over the country’s human rights issues.
It has been the practice of global rulers and leader sot bribe the US lawmakers to support specific causes in the US parliament. Each country funds its own lobbyists officially to get things done in their favor. After all, it is argues, laws are made by men and also broken by the same people and US lawmakers try to promote the interests of the nations or leaders from whom they accept bribes. .
Janatha Viumukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned the government over collection of funds during Mahinda Rajapkasa regime through institutions based in the US to pay off Congressmen to back Sri Lanka on the human rights issue at the UNHRC.
Responding to the question, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said according to the documents in the hands of his ministry, funds had been collected. He further said that it was not clear if the money was given to the Congressmen or if they had taken the money and not done what was expected of them.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe later intervened and said that such raising of funds to pay off the Congressmen was a violation of US laws. He pointed out that if institutions based in the US had paid Congressmen, the Congressmen need to declare for what the money was accepted.
He said he will instruct Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to launch a probe into the allegations. The previous Rajapaksa government had hired American public relations firms to win over US policymakers on human rights accusations against Sri Lanka after the US government moved three successive resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council since 2012.
The new government, which took over following Rajapaksa’s defeat in January 8 polls, has however cancelled the contracts with US firms, as Sri Lanka and the US are now working together to address the human rights concerns.
Needless to state the corruption is base of democracy many nations follow.