By Gagani Weerakoon & Skandha Gunasekara

A full scale investigation was ordered to be held into payments amounting to millions of rupees allegedly made to the US Congressmen by the External Affairs Ministry during previous government to lobby on behalf of Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that he will order Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to conduct an immediate investigation into the incident.

He also said that it was illegal according to the US laws for Congressmen to accept or offer such payments from other countries for such purposes.

The Prime Minister said so in response to a remark made by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who said that it seemed that the previous government which won over opposition MPs by offering privileges and perks did the same with US Congressmen too.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that the investigation would reveal whether the US Congressmen had accepted any funds from the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and if so, action would be taken to inform the US government of that.

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