Even criminals can fund political campaigns-Sujeewa

Even criminals can fund political campaigns-Sujeewa

Anyone including criminals can fund political campaigns of candidates, State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe yesterday (8) said. He said this at a press briefing held at his residence in Chelsea Gardens, Colombo 3, in reply to a journalist’s query as to whether even a criminal could fund his political campaign.

The State Minister answered in the affirmative.  

“Yes. Definitely. How would I know who funded? Are you going to ask me to check their bio data whenever someone gives me money? How can you know when you’re running a political campaign? Keeping accounts is not what is important. What is important is doing the campaign,” he added.

Senasinghe also said that owing to this issue, in the future, politicians might actually keep accounts as to who donates money to their campaigns.  Furthermore, Senasinghe claimed that at the time he received money from W.M. Mendis and Company, he had no idea that the Mendis distillery and liquor manufacturers had any connection to the primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL). He added that only he and a few others who are new to politics are being unfairly targeted for receiving funds, whilst all others who dealt with the PTL have been ignored.

“The B Report submitted to the Court does not say that I or the other politicians whose names have been revealed have committed a crime. Mendis distillery has paid their suppliers since 2015. They have paid lawyers, and the media for advertisements, and so on. Then all of these people have taken illegal funds. But there is no law that says so. The Supreme Court has investigated the Mendis distillery, and has allowed them to function as a legal business once more. I even asked why only my name was revealed when there were so many others mentioned in that report.”  

In reply to a query by a journalist on whether he would be willing to donate the funds that he received through the Mendis distillery, he said that he was willing to donate the funds upon request.

(Ceylon Today)

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