Sri Lankan businessman named in Pandora newspapers denies wrongdoing

ECONOMYNEXT – Businessman Thirukumar Nadesan, one of two Sri Lankans named in the Pandora Newspaper briefing, wrote to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declaring his innocence and calling for an impartial investigation.

“It is commonly accepted that all persons whose names have been [divulged in the Pandora papers] are somehow guilty of wrongdoing.

“I assure Your Excellency that my wife and I are totally innocent and are not guilty of any reprehensible act”, declared Nadesan in a letter addressed to the president and with a copy to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday (06).

Nadesan’s wife, former Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa, is closely linked to the president and prime minister, and the husband and wife duo are known, albeit low-key, members of the powerful ruling family.

Nadesan and Nirupama Rajapaksa were named in Pandora Newspapers, a series of documents that exposed the offshore secret affairs of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers and heads of state. The investigation, conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), reveals the secret finances of more than 300 other public officials such as ministers, judges, mayors and military generals in more than 90 countries.

President Rajapaksa has already ordered an investigation. On Wednesday morning, he instructed the director general of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Bribery or Corruption to investigate the case and submit a report within a month.

Related: Sri Lankan President Orders Immediate Investigation into Pandora Papers Exposure

Nadesan, however, requested that an independent investigator, preferably a retired appeals judge, conduct the investigation so that his and his wife’s name be cleared.

“I am making this request to Your Excellency because my wife and I have suffered from heartache and heartache. We have been presumed guilty, the presumption of innocence overturned, ”he wrote.

The ICIJ’s findings include 11.9 million cases of companies hired by wealthy clients to set up offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. According to international media reports, this is the world’s largest offshore data breach to reveal the financial secrets of rich and powerful people.

Related: Members of Sri Lanka’s President and Prime Minister’s Ruling Family in Pandora Newspapers

The revelations sparked much controversy in Sri Lanka.

Main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) on Tuesday (05) called for an investigation into the results.

Related: Government, opp MPs Swap Charges in Sri Lankan Parliament Following Pandora Papers Briefing

(Colombo / Oct06 / 2021)

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