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New NYSC Chairman accuses his predecessor and Namal of misusing its funds

2015 Mar 21

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Newly appointed National Youth Services Council (NYSC) Chairman Eranda Weliange yesterday accused former NYSC Chairman Lalith Piyum Perera and Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa of allegedly misusing public funds amounting to Rs. 600 million allocated to it last year and in addition plunging the Council into Rs.150 million in debt.

Addressing the media at the NYSC in Maharagama, he said that no internal audit had been conducted for ten years.

He said the total expenditure of the Council last year had been Rs. 750 million though it had not carried out youth development activities usually conducted by it annually, the National Sports Festival, the Youth Awards Ceremony, the Youth Services Volleyball Tournament and the Short Film Festival which would have cost about Rs. 55 million.

"It is really a mystery as to how the Rs. 750 million was spent, Weliange said, noting that the NYSC had been used during the last presidential election as a centre for activities conducted by ‘Nil Balakaya’ led by the elder son of the former President.

He accused the Rajapksa regime of having appointed two working directors to the council in contravention of the NYSC Act.

There were no posts called working directors under the Act, but the government had spent over Rs. 150,000 a month on each director and the council had to work according to their guidance, he claimed.

Weliange also accused former NYSC Director (Operations) Ajith Naragala of allegedly misusing his powers at the council during the last regime.

All foreign tours had been given to friends of the former working directors and chairman instead of the youth in rural areas, he alleged.

According to an investigation carried out last Monday (16), a financial fraud amounting to Rs. 50 million had been revealed, Weliange said.

He said the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) would carry out an investgation in that regard.

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