General Sarath Fonseka said post war he vetoed a multi-million dollar proposal to purchase further large quantities of artillery shells from China to the value of 300 million US dollars by Lanka Logistics & Technologies Limited, a state owned limited liability company operating under the Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order.
Fonseka, now the presidential candidate for the main opposition United National Front, attributed his refusal to comply with this purchase as one of the many reasons why he finally fell foul with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. “This would have definitely annoyed them and was the cause of the ensuing and ever widening rift between me, the Defence Secretary and the President,” Fonseka said.
Recalling the incident, the General said that in his capacity as Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, days after the war was won in May this year, a report had been submitted to him by a Technical Evaluation Committee recommending the further purchase of artillery shells from China
“This evaluation had been done before the war ended – but when the report came to me for approval I vetoed the purchase as by then the war was over,” the General asserted, adding that the Defence Secretary had insisted the purchase must go through Lanka Logistics.
“I refused to allow the multi-million dollar purchase as there was simply no requirement anymore for such a massive quantity of artillery shells,” Fonseka said, adding “it would have simply been a colossal waste of money.”
The Board of Directors of Lanka Logistics consists of Chairman Nimal Perera and Directors Lalith R. de Silva, Wasantha Ekanayake, Leisha Chandrasena and Sudharshan Senaratne. Asked who the members of the Technical Evaluation Committee were General Fonseka said he couldn’t recall the names for this particular purchase. “There were many such committees for various different arms purchases,” he said, asserting, however, that they were all officers appointed by him in his capacity as Commander of the Army. from sunday leader