After violating all laid down norms for recruitment to the Sri Lanka Navy, the son of former President Yoshitha Kanishka Rajapaksa received a 13th month course sponsored and paid for by Ukrinmarsh, the Ukranian Government’s “State Self-Supporting Foreign Trade and Investment Firm.” This was followed by other courses including one to become a Doctor of philosophy.
It was all arranged by Udayanga Weeratunga, former Sri Lanka Ambassador to Russia and first cousin of Rajapaksa. This clearly shows that Weeratunga, who stands accused by the Ukranian Government of selling weapons to pro Russian separatist rebels was operating hand in glove with the former President and his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary.
After the new government came to power, the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera appointed a three member Board of Inquiry to probe Yoshitha Rajapaksa. This came on the directions of the Ministry of Defence in January this year.
The Board was chaired by Rear Admiral D.W.B. Wettawa and comprised Commodore U.S.R. Perera and Commodore M.M.V.B. Medegoda. Their report reveals some shocking details:
- The qualification requirement for the 45th Intake of Officer Cadets, to which Cadet Y.K. Rajapaksa, (NRX 2431) belongs, was to have six credit passes for GCE (OL) in one sitting including English, Mathematics, Science and Sinhala in addition to GCE (AL) two passes. This is what had been advertised. Going through his personal file, it became apparent he has NOT obtained a credit pass for Sinhala in the same sitting. Certificates for both AL and OL are not available in his file.
- The Board did not come through any material evidence to substantiate whether the Navy took a decision to accept the GCE (OL) examination results in consequent years (2003/2004) produced by Cadet Y.K. Rajapaksa. Therefore, the Board cannot make a conclusive statement on his enlistment. It is possible this could have been considered as a special case.
- When Cadet Rajapaksa was undergoing training at the Naval Maritime Academy, three senior Navy sailors have been assigned to provide security for him. This is in addition to security provided for the training area by the Presidential Security Division (PSD).
Navy sources told Colombo Telegraph these special arrangements and other privileges including the selection of Lt. Rajapaksa for special prizes were given by one time Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda.
- Cadet Rajapaksa was not sent on a scholarship to the Britannia Royal Naval College. This slot has been obtained on payment basis exclusively for Cadet Rajapaksa.
- He has later been attached to the Royal Navy for two more courses in sea training.
- Thereafter, Rajapaksa who was then a Midshipman (after joining as Sub Lieutenant) was again attached to the International Sub (Executive)Course at the Maritime Warfare College, HMS Collingwood in Hampshire.
After Rajapaksa reached the rank of Sub Lieutenant, has been selected by his uncle Udayanga Weeratunga to follow a Master’s Diploma in the National University of Defence Academy in Ukraine from 29th October 2009 to 31st August 2010. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary ordered that he be paid his daily foreign allowance, travel and telephone expenses. This was whilst the course was paid for by Ukrinmarsh with whom Weeratunga had close connections. The invitation to young Rajapaksa from Ukrinmarsh came in his own name. Therefore no selection process was held. After finishing that course, he was selected to follow a course in doctor of philosophy.
At the passing out parade in Trincomalee Cadet Rajapaksa was titled “Midshipman of the Year” and was awarded the “Sword of Honour.” This was arranged by former Navy Commander Admiral Karannagoda.
On the directions of the Ministry of Defence Rajapaksa was attached to the Presidential Security Division. After work at Navy Headquarters, he reported to Temple Trees to work for the PSD. He was issued a special identity card for this purpose. The transfer to the PSD has now been stopped.