State lottery money used for election campaign

ElectionsSri Lanka’s former rulers, the Rajapakse regime has used 375 million rupees from the state lottery board to fund the presidential election campaign, National Lottery Board said.

“We have started an audit at the National lottery board,” Shyamala Perera, newly appointed Chairperson of National Lottery Board told reporters at a press briefing held in Colombo.

“When we were investigating as per the request from the Ministry, we identified unusual expenditure stating from November 2014 to January 2015 the three months, targeting election campaign,”

The former Sri Lankan President in November 2014 signed a proclamation declaring his intention to hold a Presidential Election seeking another term.

However, the Presidential candidate of the New Democratic Front, Maithripala Sirisena defeated Rajapakse and got elected as the next President by obtaining a total of 6,217,162 votes (51.28 percent) in the Presidential election held on 8th January 2015.

Lottery Board complains,90 percent of the funds of 400 million rupees that has been allocated as promotion expenditure were spent on political work and presidential election campaign.

“There were video walls carried throughout the Island for the election campaign from these fund. We are the ones who complained about this to the commissioner,” Perera said.

She said about 67 million rupees had been used from the Lottery Board to fund the video walls.

“These payments were made within 40 days, when we have years of debt to be cleared,” Perera said.

The Rajapakse regime also had taken funds to establish about 150 hording around the Island that carries the former presidents image which election commissioner ordered to cover during the presidential election period.

“Apart from that the money has been taken for musical shows, food and tournaments like marathon organized by Calton Sports Network,”

“We are paying 0.25 million for D A Rajpakse memorial lighting and also paid for food at a cricket match held in Tangalle,”

“We have paid these but these payment are not related to the Lottery Board,”

“We are planning to submit this to the Corruption and Investigation Commission by next week,”Perera declared. (LBO)

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