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Sri Lanka Foreign Minister unravels Gota's rent scam

By Our Political Correspondent

Nov 30, 2016 19:36 PM GMT+0530 | 9 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament Wednesday that former defence secretary's son had illegally occupied a house rented for a consulate in Los Angeles and caused millions of rupees in losses to the state.

The minister said the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's only son  Daminda Manoj Rajapaksa occupied the rented premises even after the fall of his uncle Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January 2015 presidential election.

"This house had been rented even after our government came to power, but when we got to know about it in July 2015 we stopped it," the minister said during the committee stage discussion on the votes of his ministry.

He said Sri Lankan tax payers had to bear the cost of Daminda Rajapaksa's water, electricity, gas, cable TV and telephone bills in addition to rent which amounted to 27.69 million rupees for 21 months.

The younger Rajapaksa had no official position with the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, but he had also been provided with two Sri Lankan soldiers for his security.

The opposition JVP wanted the minister to recover the payments from officials who had authorised the payments and Samaraweera said an investigation was underway in to the abuse of state resources during the final years of the Rajapaksa regime.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, a lieutenant colonel in the army,  secured a discharge from the military in 1991 and lived in Los Angeles and obtained US citizenship. However, he returned in 2005 for his brother's presidential election campaign and went onto become one of the most feared defence secretaries.

"White-vanned" became a verb  during his tenure because a large number of people were kidnapped in ubiquitous white painted vans and in most cases the victims were killed for being either political rivals or suspected Tamil rebels or their supporters. He is also accused of orchestrating the killing of prominent anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickramatunga, a charge he has publicly denied.

He currently faces  charges of causing a loss of 11.4 billion rupees to the state by illegally allowing a private company to operate floating armouries. He also faces allegations of siphoning off millions of dollars from a controversial MiG aircraft purchase deal. (COLOMBO, Nov 30, 2016)


 

9 Comments

  1. Rohan Perera December 02, 04:01 AM

    Dear Godaya,Contrary to what you say, this writer appears to be a supporter of Gota and the Rajapaksa clan. Otherwise the writer should have mentioned how and why Gota claimed he was mentally ill and got himself discharged from the army in 1991.
    .
    He was a coward who became brave by sending other people to their deaths after his brother won the presidency. We should be happy that a petrol pump attendent in LA became Secretary Defence in Sri Lanka, but my disgust over attempts of this website to ignore the past of Gota.

  2. Mike December 01, 07:39 AM

    It is good to point of such issues and not let it happen in future. This should be same for all who are in power as well. Not only for those lost the powers. In the same time, there are so many issues at foreign consulate offices in many countries. No proper courtesy no proper seating arrangements.
    .
    Treating to the people who comes to get services as robbers.Foreign labor brings a big chunk of foreign currencies to the country and its one of major contribution. They imposed very high service fee for a single chop they made on the paper we bring in. There are no proper formats, no proper letter headings, most of the time chop will be added on top of photo copies and taking a very high fee. To the same matter other country consulate offices provide more appropriate documents in proper manner. Most of the ambassadors lives with big families in their official residencies. Enjoying all the benefits from head to toe.
    .
    Paying minimum 2-3 million rupees per month as rent. Try to introduce proper foreign consulate office adherence and services rather than looking for other people's mistakes .

  3. Siribaddana Sisira December 01, 06:44 AM

    This is a complete lie he was provided with security during the war

  4. rajasinghe December 01, 05:44 AM

    These blood suckers have not finished sucking blood from poor people who are footing the bills of rajapakse clan.These people should be given Arabic punishments.

  5. Roshan December 01, 05:45 AM

    Family if same breed and parasites...we have to pay for theae thakkady deshapremis expenses.

  6. Al December 01, 03:01 AM

    I do not get involved in these things. But it break my hart to see what they are trying to do to Sec Gotabaya Rajapaksha.In the history of Srilanka this person nearly gave his life for his country. Fought for the country with distinction.
    .
    Now it is saved these people who was hiding before going after him with nothing proven.May be we need to ask our self how much it would have cost and still costing Srilanka in human life and weaponry, loss economy if the war is still going on now. What a ungrateful people we are. Stop this attacks on him and make sure he and his family is taken care for the rest of there life by the state. That is what a grateful country should be doing.A neutral Srilankan.

  7. Kamal December 01, 01:37 AM

    This government has done nothing except blaming previous government. Betrayers like Mangala should be jailed for life for damages done to country, he is not suitable to be in cabinet.

  8. Godaya December 01, 12:46 PM

    Gota is enemy 2 in the LTTEs list, just behind his brother Mahinda who gave leadership to the campaign that decimated LTTE surprising the West. The writer certainly aligns with them, painting him in the worst possible light.
    .
    Gota was coordinating all military and security during the war. Lets look at some facts.- Gotas family has severe threat form global LTTE. Its normal to provide security to VIP families at states expense.- Not sure if Gotas son is eligible for a house at states expense, but its worthy to remind that late JVP leaders family is still maintained by the state.- White van abductions were the invention of UNP when they tried to suppress JVP insurrection during 1989-1990.
    .
    Thousands of Sri Lankan youth were killed and burned by the road side.- Gota was feared by terrorists since he effectively countered many threats to Sri Lanka. But he is dearly beloved by Sri Lankans, so much so, he is asked to give leadership after Mahinda.

  9. C Pinto November 30, 10:08 AM

    The foreign minister is starting more acquisitions fearing a Gota comeback. If he new it over a year ago why did he wait till now.
    .
    How about all the current minister's who sold car permits causing billions in losses to the government and continuing stealing. FCID must investigate the current MPS AND STOP FUTURE THEFTS FIRST.

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