WPC: Another Rs 15m on new chamber door? | Sunday Observer

WPC: Another Rs 15m on new chamber door?

The Western Provincial Council (WPC) that was embroiled in controversy due to the ordering of super luxury chairs for its members has again come to the limelight with JVP councillor Lakshman Nipunarachchi claiming that a thumping Rs. 15 million has been spent on the new chamber door.

Nipunarachchi told the Sunday Observer that although the information that he received was unofficial, it was through a very reliable source.

The Sunday Observer learns that the door - gold plated, with carvings from the Kotte era, similar to the door through which the Speaker enters Parliament - has already been fixed at the Council premises. The Chief Minister of the Council, Isura Devapriya refused to comment on the matter claiming he was not aware of it.

“I have posed a question to the Council as per the standing orders as a matter of urgency and the Chief Minister was required to provide an answer immediately,” Western Province Councilor Lakshman Nipunarachchi said.

However, a deaf ear was turned to his request and the officials concerned had requested time till the next session to provide an explanation. He was not able to confirm the true cost of the controversial door, but he said the door was manufactured in Sri Lanka.

“In other words, they are trying to build another parliament in this country. The people of this country should decide how viable it is to spend such enormous amounts of money on such matters,” Nipunarachchi said.

Western Province Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara has asked for a report regarding the purchase and its findings are still pending, though a preliminary report was handed over. Nanayakkara said that he has to record statements from several other parties before making it public.

Speaking about the report on the purchase of luxury chairs, Nipunarachchi said there is a conflict of interest as the Chairman of the Tender Committee which approved the purchasing of these chairs is also the Chief Secretary who called for an inquiry into the case. Nipunarachchi maintains that he has no personal grudge against Chief Secretary Pradeep Yasarathne, but he questioned the procedure that was followed to purchase furniture at such an exorbitant price.

Governor Nanayakkara said he was fully aware of what was happening and will take steps to publish the findings soon, but nothing has been done so far regarding the matter.