The Presidential Secretariat has written to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) requesting that an inquiry be conducted into a Facebook post by a Divisional Secretary in the Puttalam District, levelling bribery allegations against a Media Director of the Presidential Secretariat.

In his Facebook post, the Divisional Secretary claimed he had received a call from a person claiming to be a media director at the president’s office asking for the number of a person who resided within his DS area.

The person had recently been awarded Rs. 5 million in compensation after the government acquired his land.

The media director, though, had informed the Divisional Secretary that they had received a petition against the awarding of the compensation and asked that they withhold the compensation until an inquiry was completed.

The matter had troubled the Divisional Secretary, who had asked the caller to send him a copy of the petition.

Though he had the contact details of the person to whom compensation had been awarded, he had not given them to the official from the president’s office.

However, he soon called the person who had been awarded compensation for his land and made inquiries.

He was told that the person had visited the Presidential Secretariat regarding the compensation for his land and had met with the said official.

The Divisional Secretary then gave the person the number of the media director and asked him to call the man to find out what he wanted.

The person who had been awarded the compensation called back after some time and told the Divisional Secretary that “He (media director) is asking me for a cut of the compensation money.”

The Divisional Secretary had told the person that the government had awarded him compensation for his land based on a thorough assessment and that he should not give a cent of that money to anyone.

The Divisional Secretary concluded his post by saying, “The President’s Media Directors have developed to the level of using Divisional Secretaries as pawns to ask for bribes.”

While the Presidential Secretariat wants an inquiry into the media director who is accused of asking for a bribe, the Divisional Secretary, who made the Facebook post too, is likely to be in hot water for sharing the matter publicly on social media instead of lodging an official complaint with the relevant authorities, a senior official said.

“This is not how things are done. There is a process to follow, and putting this on social media is petty and immature,” he said.




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