A sum of Rs. 250 million obtained by those who were in power at the time, purportedly to build the main bus stand in the town to coincide with ‘Deyata Kirula’ exhibition in Ampara during the previous regime, is still unaccounted for, says minister Daya Gamage.
He was speaking at the opening of the newly-built bus stand at Ampara town and other development projects today, graced by prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Minister Gamage also said that a Rs. 110 million contract secured legally by Daya Group, which he chaired at the time, was cancelled and given to two cronies of the then regime, but only part of the work was done at a cost of more than Rs. 100 million.
The present administration has to shoulder the burden of such frauds and misuses of money, he said, noting that as a result he found it difficult to obtain funding to build a new bus stand.
He said he came to know about some money left in a World Bank project, and when the Australian ambassador came to Ampara, he made a request, and with support by minister Faizer Mustafa and the secretary to his ministry, was able to secure that money.
Even thereafter, many hurdles came in the way, but he said he was able to see that the bus stand was built.
Furthermore, he was given a mud-hole when he requested a land to build a garment factory, said Mr. Gamage, adding that he managed to construct the building and open the factory to generate a large number of job opportunities.
The minister went onto say that since the children of Ampara did not know the history of their area, the foundation was laid today to build a museum.
That task, as well as the improvement of the weekly fair in Ampara and opening an export market for mangoes, mushrooms, cinnamon and other products would be completed within next year, Mr. Gamage added.
A large gathering including minister P. Harrison, deputy ministers Dr. Anoma Gamage and Ashok Abeysinghe was present on these occasions.