ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 13

MiG deal: All parties agree on select committee probe

The appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate the controversial MiG 27 deal is to go ahead without a debate with all parties supporting the proposal to probe the issue. Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera who moved a motion to appoint the Select Committee to probe the MiG 27 purchases told The Sunday Times that the government was in agreement to appoint the Select Committee without a debate and other parties too were supportive of the idea.

“We have handed over all relevant documents to the Speaker and as soon as it is included in the order paper it will be taken up in Parliament and we will nominate our members,” he said. Mr Perera citing a report in The Sunday Times said the government had proceeded to purchase four MiG 27 aircraft which had earlier been rejected by the UNP when it was in government.

“The entire transaction is suspicious because the planes have long expired their useful life span. But what is of more interest is that this was not an ordinary contract between the buyer and the seller. There was a mysterious third party involved in this transaction as the agent of the seller,”Mr. Perera said.

He said that since the transaction had been undertaken by the People’s Bank the COPE could investigate the matter and urged that pending such investigation a directive be issued to the People’s Bank to stop any further payments until the COPE investigations were finalized.

JVP MP Wimal Weerawansa said they were calling for the appointment of a Select Committee to ascertain whether the allegations made were correct and if the allegations were true corrective measures need to be taken.“Two issues should be taken into consideration. One of them, is if the allegations are false the pain of mind caused to the security forces. And the other is if the allegations are true the issue about the mandate of the people given to defeat terrorism being misused by a section to collect wealth,” he said.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.