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UNP MP claims he was offered USD$2.8 million to crossover to Rajapaksa

A lawmaker from Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP claimed that he was offered USD$2.8 million to cross over and support political rival Mahinda Rajapaksa, in the idst of a polticial crisis which has left southern parties vying for control of parliament.

State Minister Ranga Bandara made the claim at a meeting this morning and reportedly stated that he would go to the bribery commission.

"A proxy for Rajapaksa called me today and offered 500 million rupees to support the new prime minister and they also offered a cabinet portfolio," Bandara told Reuters.

In recent days other parliamentarians have claimed bribes were being traded, with Sri Lanka’s current State Minister of Defence and UNP parliamentarian Ruwan Wijewardene alleged that there were offers to party leaders of Rs. 500 million and offers to ministers of Rs. 300 million to cross over to support Maithripala Sirisena and his newly appointed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

 

"There are dealers going around and trying to buy MPs as if it is a marketplace. This is a shame to the dignity of the MPs," Rauff Hakeem, another parliamentarian also told Reuters

Rajapaksa's legislators hit back at the claims, with Mahindananda Aluthgamage stating, "We did not offer money to anybody, we don't have money to offer to anybody". 

"If someone offered him money he can go to police and lodge a complaint," he added.

See more from Reuter here.