Nihal Sri Ameresekere's 10th Book in a series of real case studies on corruption, fraud, economic crime, governance, and rule of law, deals with how political leaders of third world developing countries, become subservient to economically powerful giants, even covering-up colossal frauds perpetrated on a sovereign State and its impoverished people, with scant regard for the rule of law and human rights.
"In Settlement of a Fraud" (published by AuthorHouse), Ameresekere writes of discovery of fraud in the construction of the Colombo Hilton Hotel and the establishment in December 1992 by the author before the highest judiciary, a serious case of fraud, with real prospects of being successfully proven (SC Appeals 33 & 34/1992 & 1992 CLR (Commercial) @ 636), with socio-economically powerful giants and the company, with politically influential directors, unable to answer interrogatories, the promoters of the book said in a media statement. "Settlement of a Fraud discloses that successive Attorney Generals and Secretaries of Finance, at the behest of several politically elected Executive Presidents, having intriguingly required such colossal and blatant fraud to be settled, abandoning any criminal prosecution, whatsoever. For such settlement, Ameresekere discloses how he insisted and obtained in June 1995 write-offs of US $ 207 million on claims made on State Guarantees issued by the Sri Lanka Government, committing public funds, for the construction of the Colombo Hilton Hotel," it said.
Ameresekere espousing the need for proper governance, insists on several other conditions, which the Government agrees to, including to take legal action against Securities and exchange Commission (SEC) members for dereliction of statutory duty on such a major fraud in a listed company, involving public funds, notwithstanding complaints made by Ameresekere. Ironically an academically accomplished Justice Minister and later Minister of External Affairs, who had been a SEC Member at the relevant time, having initially hailed the settlement, later discovering such condition, precipitating a controversy, suspends the signed settlement, finalized by the Attorney General, with approval of the Cabinet.
"Subsequently, upon international pressures, the settlement was belatedly given effect to, with the exclusion therefrom of such condition pertaining to action by the State against SEC Members; which suspension Ameresekere states caused colossal losses to the company and the State, and its impoverished people," it said.