Central Cultural Fund (CCF) funds in excess of Rs.11 billion have been misused from 2016 to 2019 under the Good Governance Government led by then President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, it was revealed yesterday.
The three-member committee appointed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to probe irregularities and financial misappropriations in the CCF handed over its final report to the Premier yesterday (28).
According to the report an amount of Rs. 400 million has been illegally withdrawn from the fixed deposit of the Fund during the last Presidential Election period. In addition, money of the CCF dollar account has also been misused between 2016 and 2019.
The 142-page report also reveals that CCF has opened 25 current accounts without the consent of the Treasury.
Also it has been revealed by the committee that documents pertaining to some financial transactions including the purchase of equipment have been prepared subsequently to the transaction, which is a breach of financial regulations. A Director Board Meeting had been called on November 15, 2019, the day before the last Presidential election to obtain the board’s approval for such expenditures done throughout 2019. Only five members had participated in this meeting and this committee recommends to verify the validity of this unusual meeting.
Retired High Court Judge Gamini Sarath Edirisinghe, former Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Jayaratne and senior lawyer Harigupta Rohanadheera were the members of this committee.