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* Colombo District Secretariat fire could be to cover up financial fraud - Minister
Sat, Feb 16, 2013, 12:19 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of State Administration and Home Affairs John Seneviratne told local media the fire at the Colombo District Secretariat (Kachcheri) last November is suspected of being set by some individuals to cover up a financial shortage.

Speaking to Sinhala daily The Divaina, the Minister said that the investigations are now focused on the suspected financial issue.

The Minister said that investigations have been launched to identify if any employee related to finances worked late on the day of the fire which broke out in the late evening.

The fire that occurred on November 26 in the colonial building caused millions of rupees loss to the government.

The fire destroyed the office of the District Secretary (Government Agent) Kamal Padmasiri, office of the Additional District Secretary, planning, accounts, administrative divisions and the record room (a part) and the armory, resulting in the destruction of documents including land deeds, payment files of staff members, and copies of old documents.

The Government Analyst's after investigations concluded that an accelerant had been used to initiate the fire in the right side of the upper floor of the Kachcheri building.

Based on the Government Analyst's report, the police had concluded that the fire was an act of sabotage and launched investigations to identify the motive for the act. However, no suspects have been arrested yet.

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