PA wants commission of inquiry on arms deal with Israel

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 August 2003, 21:15 GMT]
Sri Lanka's main opposition Peoples Alliance Friday requested the ruling United National Front government to appoint a panel of Supreme Court judges to conduct an investigation into the alleged fraud related to the purchase of weaponry to high-speed attack crafts of the Sri Lanka Navy, political sources said.

PA media spokesman and parliamentarian, Dr.Sarath Amunugama, addressing a press conference Friday at the office of the Leader of the Opposition, said that the corruption in other sectors has now crept into the defence sector of the country.

The Defence Minister, Mr.Tilak Marapone, and the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Daya Sandagiri, had gone to Israel and signed an agreement to purchase weaponry to high-speed attack crafts. The deal with Israel had created opposition in the UNF cabinet and some ministers had vehemently objected to this purchase from Israel, Dr.Amunugama said.

The Defence Ministry could have purchased the weaponry directly from the United States of America. The U.S. government had earlier shown much interest in the supply of weaponry to the Sri Lanka Army, but later it disassociated itself after Sri Lanka's deal with Israel, the PA spokesman said.


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