Sacked minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi came to parliament from remand jail yesterday to drop another bombshell charging that the government gave Rs. 200 million to the LTTE in a secret deal during the run-up to the presidential election.
Mr. Sooriyarachchi told parliament that the funds were given to the Tigers through various means even via Cabinet papers.
He made this allegation in response to some remarks made by UNP MP Palitha Ranga Bandara during the debate on the emergency.
Mr. Sooriyaarachchi and the other sacked minister Mangala Samaraweera have alleged that the funds were given to the LTTE to prevent some 700,000 Tamil people from voting at the 2005 presidential election.
The UNP has claimed that the enforced boycott in the northeast enable President Rajapaksa to win the election as most of the northeast votes would have gone to the UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Earlier in the day, Transport Minister and presidential confidant Dallas Alahapperuma said no party appeared to have benefited from the secret deal alleged to have been struck with the LTTE, in the run- up to the Presidential election.
`Some MPs have alleged that there was a secret deal with the LTTE. If it is true, who has benefited from it today,` he asked.
Meanwhile the SLFP yesterday assured parliament it would submit its proposals for the resolution of the national question by May 1.
Speaking during the debate on the emergency, SLFP General Secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena said the committee tasked with the formulation of the SLFP proposals had completed its work and would make them known by May 1.
He said the proposals were now being set out in a legal format before presenting them to the people and the international community.
The Minister gave this assurance soon after the UNP took the government to task for adopting delaying tactics in working out a solution to the crisis.
Speaking on behalf of the UNP, Chief opposition
Whip Joseph Michael Perera charged that the government was abdicating its responsibility by delaying to come up with the political proposals to solve the ethnic conflict. `The government is not interested in resolving the present crisis. Today, corruption has reached an all time high. Politicians have been allowed to indulge in corruption. As a result, the government is going to collapse,` he said.
The UNP charged again that some government ministers were involved in abducting people for ransom.
However, Minister Sirisena countered this allegation in his speech later, saying there was no such involvement.
The Minister said family members of some abducted persons had met him to discuss the issue.
`I spoke to the Defense Secretary at the time and took necessary steps to settle this matter. Certain suspects have now been arrested and remanded after investigations. We are taking steps to put a to this matter,` he said.
Mr. Sirisena said some abduction had been organised through telephone calls from London.
He said the UNP had no right to speak about corruption because corruption was rampant during its terms of office.