Colombo Telegraph is in a position to reveal that the Tourism Ministry is planning to hold two mass Chinese weddings in Colombo this year, in partnership with a dubious company owned by the brother of Felix Srimal Rodrigo, the controversial “Senior” Advisor to Tourism Development and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga.
Green Leaves Leisure (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary of Green Leaves Group, owned by Felix Rodrigo’s brother Harindra Rodrigo is at the centre of the multi-million-rupee wedding deal. The mass weddings featuring 100 Chinese couples will take place as an initiative by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau coming under the Tourism Development and Christian Affairs Ministry of which Rodrigo is an Advisor.
Colombo Telegraph exclusively revealed how Felix Rodrigo made an attempt to siphon Rs. 6 million from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) to his brother’s dubious company following a similar event in December, 2017.
The event “The Royal Wedding Ceremony of Sri Lanka” (RWCS 2017) in which 100 Chinese couples got married in Sri Lanka was handled by the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau (SLTPB). Following the event, Rodrigo managed to send a directive to Udaya Nanayakkara, former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau to pay Rs. 6 million to his brother’s company for “hosting” the event.
When Udaya Nanayakkara flatly refused to make this suspicious payment, he was immediately sacked by the Minister. Although Nanaykkara was sacked, his bold intervention prevented the SLTPB from paying Rs. 6 million to the Rodrigo company.
Sources from the Tourism Ministry said with Nanayakkara out of the institution this year, the Rodrigo brothers will conveniently cut the wedding deal. Even though it is not exactly clear as to how much Rodrigo is planning to pay his brother this year, they said the ministry had confirmed its plans to hold two mass Chinese weddings in September and November.
The Prime Minister’s office, Colombo Telegraph learns, has initiated an inquiry into Felix Rodrigo following complaints lodged by multiple parties. A spokesman from the Prime Minister’s Office said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would soon summon Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga to discuss the controversy surrounding his “senior” advisor Rodrigo. (By Thilini Karunarathne)