Dilith Jayaweera, a powerful Sri Lankan businessman with close connections to the government, on Tuesday said he was honest and that neither he nor his group of companies has ever got a contract from the government through political influence.
“We have not got a single contract from the government through influence. Anything that we got was through a normal process,” he told a stormy media briefing at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, called to proclaim his innocence over allegations that he was part of a ‘mafia’ that led to the resignations of two chairpersons of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
Reporters pitched into him after he said that sections of the media had created an anti-government perception. Mr Jayaweera responded to all the questions including allegations that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had intervened on his behalf to stop an investigation by the SEC.
He was asked repeatedly whether such a call was made. “What is the proof that you have that Mr Rajapaksa didn’t call Dr Karunaratne?” one reporter asked, to which he responded, “Yes the call was made.”
He explained that the call was made in his and Triad Joint Managing Director Varuni Amunugama’s presence to the SEC chairperson. “We were discussing various issues and I mentioned how I would like to meet Dr Karunaratne. Immediately Mr Rajapaksa said ‘I know him well’ and called the SEC Chairman and requested that he (Karunaratne) meet us,” he said. – Ends –
Thursday, May 23 2013
Last update:05:09:54 AM GMT