12/27/2009

why didn't so much money bring prosperity to tsunami victims of Sri Lanka?



(December 27, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Transparency International of Sri Lanka says that out of 2.2 billion dollars received for relief of the victims of December 26, 2004 tsunami, 603.4 million dollars was spent on projects unrelated to the disaster whille another half a billion dollars was missing.
"There is no precise evidence to explain the missing sum of 471.9 million dollars," said the Transparency International statement issued in Colombo adding an "audit should be done by the government to explain the utilisation of the money received and the challenges faced," the group said.

The death of 31,000 people have become the birth of a new wealth for a bunch of swindlers not related to the victims.Both Sri Lankan public as well as the international philanthropers have a right to know how the aid money was spent as the nation marked the fifth anniversary of the tsunami.


An initial government audit in 2005 found that less than 13 percent of the aid had been spent, but there has been no formal examination since, Transparency International said. Many thousands of tsunami victims still live in temporary camps, IDP camps or half-built houses while the managers of the funds, the project managers and the politicians live in luxury houses.

In 2005,the Criminal Investigation Department sought permission from the courts to investigate the accounts alleging that there was a breach of trust concerning nearly 83 million Sri Lankan rupees (approx 820,000 US dollars).Sri Lankan media had alleged that money transfered by international donors to the Prime Minister's national relief fund was credited to the privately run "Helping Hambantota" fund. The lawyers of the Prime Minister told the Supreme Court that the Cabinet of Ministers were informed of the monies in ‘Helping Hambantota’ fund, which is monitored by Secretary to the PM, Lalith Weeratunga.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Sarath Silva (see photo) ordered Criminal Investigation Department to temporarily halt the investigation after considering a petition by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse.

The Prime Minister then is the President now and the Secretary to the PM is the Secretary to the President now. Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva retired and some of his court rulings have been challenged legally.
 

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