MR Defends Himself Against Allegations

February 09, 2015

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa refuted several allegations against him, including that he has ordered a private plane with public money.

In a media release, Rajapaksa today gave his explanations on allegations including the expenses allocated for the Presidential Secretariat and the vehicles that are being found at various places.

Rajapaksa said that the new government stated that it had stopped an order for a new airplane ordered for a sum of US $ 16 million. However, it is a gift of a special compartment given by Airbus Company when new aircraft are bought, and the price tag is only symbolic, Rajapaksa said further.

He also gave his version on the funds allocated for the Presidential Secretariat. Although it was claimed by certain people that the funds allocated for the Secretariat was reduced from Rs 100, 000 million to Rs 2,720 million, the actual amount allocated was only Rs. 9,590 million, Rajapaksa said. Even that was not entirely the expenses of the President. There were 25 government institutions falling under the Presidential Secretariat, he said and the expenses for former presidents and widows of former presidents also fall under the Secretariat. The Secretariat itself was allocated only Rs 3,750 million, out of which Rs. 1,000 million was for welfare programs island-wide. The rest is Rs 2,750 million, roughly the amount said to be allocated for the president by this government, Rajapaksa said.

Rajapaksa also said that the various places where the vehicles were found are actually registered vehicle yards of the Presidential Secretariat. He added that the Presidential Houses that the new government is claiming he has built for his own luxury living were actually built during the tenure of President R Premadasa.

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