Polls ads on SLRC : Rs.102 m loss claim based on forged documents – Fmr. SLRC Director

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The documents claiming that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had caused over Rs.102 million in losses to the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) over unpaid advertisements during the 2015 Presidential election used by the Bribery Commission to file charges against the former President was provided by him using forged documents, the Corporation’s former Director Sanath Daluwatte said giving evidence before the Presidential Commission probing political victimisation yesterday (22).

He told the Commission that the Bribery Commission officers and the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya had pressured him to prepare the forged documents, adding that three months after the advertisements were published and payments were settled, the Bribery Commission had obtained these forged documents from him.

Presenting the annual accounts reports to the Commission, Daluwatte said that there is no record in any of the audit reports that Rajapaksa’s advertisements had caused any loss to the Rupavahini Corporation nor does any audit report indicate that there is any outstanding arrears.

He said Rajapaksa’s advertisements were brought to Rupavahini by a promotions officer of the advertising company ‘Media factory’ and that the price was decided by the Rupavahini Corporation Chairman and Board of Directors and it was decided based on that year’s ratings.

The former Marketing Director pointed out that based on an agreement reached between the Media Factory and the Rupavahini Corporation, the Media Factory had paid Rs. 44,512,704 and Rs. 3.2 million to Rupavahini. He admitted that he had prepared the forged documents indicating that over Rs. 144 million was due to the Rupavahini Corporation due to being pressured to do so by the Bribery Commission.

Daluwatte also told the Presidential Commission that former Rupavahini Chairman Ravi Jayawardena who worked according to the directives of the UNP affiliated Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya and the JVP affiliated unions, former late Minister Wijepala Mendis’ Son-In-Law- Late Sirimalwatte had exerted political pressure on him to forge the documents.

Testifying before the Presidential Commission, Daluwatte said that the Media Factory advertising firm had published advertisements under several packages and the prices were determined based on the popularity ratings of Rupavahini and popular programmes.

Former Supreme Court Judge Upali Abeyratne, former Appeal Court Judge Chandra Ekanayake and former IGP Chandra Fernando also testified before the three member Presidential Commission.

Attorney Senarath Jayasundara represented the plaintiff.

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