Sri Lanka state lottery agency busts ad budget on ex-President’s campaign: official

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s state-run National Lotteries Board had busted almost all of its corporation promotions budget last year on the re-election campaign of ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, an official said.

Shyamala Perera, Chairperson appointed by Sri Lanka’s new administration said initial investigations had revealed that 375 million rupees out a 400 million rupee promotion budget had been spent on video walls and hoarding for ex-President Rajapaksa.

"We will take the evidence and complain to the anti-corruption agency," Perera told reporters in Colombo.She said she felt sorry for some of the employees who had been forced to follow orders from the top and get involved in questionable deals.

Most of the funds had been spent in November and December 2014 and January 2015, she said.  Some of the election propaganda activities were also brought to the notice of the elections commissioner, she said.

On January 06 payments had been released ahead of other longstanding bills, she said.The election was held on January 08.

About 67 million rupees was spent on hi-tech video wall and 150 million rupees on hoardings, Perera said.

Most of them had pictures of ex-President Rajapaksa with the words National Lotteries Board in small letters, she said.

Other money had been given to the Carlton Sports Network, a controversial sports channel that is believed to be a connected to one of the sons of President Rajapaksa which operated with blatant privileges from the state.





Money had also been released to pay for food at cricket matches in Tangalle, the home district of President Rajapaksa, Perera said.



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