President wanted me to be fearless - Minsters expected a puppet - Thushan Gunawardena

Saturday, 18 September 2021 - 22:30

Thushan Gunawardena, the Executive Director of the Consumer Affairs Authority exposed several major corruption issues pertaining to Lanka Sathosa and the Consumer Affairs Ministry that are currently taking place during an exclusive interview.

Responding to a query Thushan Gunawardena said that he was happy that he did not take membership of `Viyathmaga`.

He was selected after applying for the call for professionals to join the high posts in the country to serve the motherland.

Work with integrity 
He stated that when they were given the position by the President, they were asked to work with integrity, doing what is right and to work fearlessly.

However he stated that when he inquired into the spending or made notes saying that these funds cannot be used for political purposes on various payments, the subject minister and the state minister had felt that he was opposing them and their plans even though he was recommended to the post from the current government.

He said that there were attempts to oust him because of these initiatives.

There were more than 700 files that had not been looked into since 2013, he said. 

Garlic scandal
After receiving a tip off that the books of accounts were being altered, he stated that he sent a team to Sathosa and asked them to take photos of the books before it was altered.

He further stated that when he called the CID as the Executive Director of the Consumer Affairs Authority to report the ongoing fraud he was asked to come and lodge a complaint physically, to which he had replied stating that there was no time for make complaints and the matter had to be inquired urgently as a matter of priority.

Millions had been accepted in cash by selling 56,000 kilos of Garlic wholesale to traders that had been purchased for retail sale through the outlets. These were done without any paper trail according to him.

However, exposing these matters have resulted in him falling on to the wrong side of the politicians including threats on his life. 

Saying corruption is a deep rooted matter in institutions like Lanka Sathosa, he said there are major corruptions that are taking place.

Opposed to signing of several agreements for flour, milk powder and cement
He stated that he was opposed to signing of several agreements pertaining to Flour, Milk and Cement since they were unfavourable to the people.

"We are still holding fort, not giving up, but we are being bombarded"

Claws of corruption have taken hold of these transactions and institutions and it is difficult to operate in a corrupt free environment.

He stated that he was opposed to signing of several agreements pertaining to Flour, Milk and Cement since they were unfavourable to the people.

In closing he stated that all directors need to work with their heads held high and not as slaves.

However he was not optimistic of completing his tenure, since there are personal threats to his life, and the journey ahead is extremely uncertain.

He said that he will write a detailed letter to the President regarding all information known to him when he leaves. 

However, he stated that the best course of action is to further support the President to eradicate corruption and the corrupt practises.

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