Harsha De Silva faces threats over Visa issuing investigation

Harsha De Silva

Dr. Harsha De Silva, Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance, revealed in the Parliament of Sri Lanka on Friday (June 7) that he is facing undue threats related to a million-dollar visa issuing process.

Dr. De Silva announced plans to present a comprehensive report on the visa issue to Parliament in the coming week.

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa voiced concerns about the threats against Dr. De Silva during his investigation into the VFS deal, alleging that state MPs targeted him, creating a precarious situation.

Dr. De Silva mentioned that while he hadn’t received explicit death threats, he sensed “invisible forces” at work. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena asked if Dr. De Silva had experienced specific threats. Dr. De Silva confirmed the threats were indirect but deeply troubling, appealing for understanding of the stress and pressure he faced.

“They haven’t explicitly threatened to kill me, but if you were in my shoes, you would understand the gravity of the situation,” he said.

Other MPs weighed in on the matter. Mujibur Rahuman noted that direct threats weren’t necessary to recognize the seriousness of the situation. Shehan Semasinghe, State Finance Minister, urged caution within Dr. De Silva’s own camp, suggesting internal dynamics might contribute to the threats.

“We trust that the Speaker will ensure your safety. However, be wary of your own camp. Many issues seem to stem from parties linked to the Samagi Jana Balawega on social media. They might be trying to threaten you because they fear that you might switch sides and support the President. It was MP Nalaka Godahewa who advised former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the economy, and governance. It’s no secret. They’ve now joined your side. Is Nalaka Godaheva threatening Harsha, or is it someone else seeking to join the economic council? It’s not us increasing Harsha’s pressure, but the Samagi Jana Balavega,” he said.

Dr. Susil Premajayantha, Leader of the House, highlighted the importance of the finance committee, especially during economic challenges, emphasizing the need for adequate resources regardless of political affiliations.

In a poignant moment, Dr. De Silva expressed embarrassment over the stalled visa issue discussions and offered to step down if necessary, prioritizing his well-being.

Following these revelations, Public Security Minister Tiran Alles instructed IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon to have the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigate the alleged threats against Dr. Harsha De Silva.