By Colombo Telegraph –
“Of course Rajapaksas think the country is their fiefdom, but this dog issue was entirely a family matter; Gota got angry with Frederica Jansz because of his niece Madini Chandradasa” a source close to the Rajapksa family told Colombo Telegraph. The source who wishes to remain anonymous said when Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was criticized by a senior female member of the family last Tuesday for getting the regime a bad name Gotabaya confronted saying “so, do you want to expose Madini”
When Frederica Jansz asked; “We were told that Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe has personally offered to fly to Zurich to bring this dog for you?” Gotabaya did not even declare the relationship between his niece and the pilot but angrily replied; “Yes. So what? He is my friend – I have friends at SriLankan former Air Force officers who will do me favours – What is wrong with that?”
Gotabaya Rajapaksa went berserk when contacted by The Sunday Leader to clarify and find out if he was aware that the management at Sri Lankan Airlines had taken a decision to change a wide bodied A340 scheduled to fly to Zurich on Friday July 13, to a smaller A330. The change was to be made so that a SriLankan Airline pilot, who is dating a niece of President Mahinda Rajapaksa could personally fly the aircraft that would carry a ‘puppy dog’ for Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa from Zurich.
The Sunday Leader was told by senior airline pilots that 56 passengers would have had to be off-loaded if the aircraft was changed. The pilot concerned is Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe who currently is dating Flight Officer Madini Chandradasa, the niece of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. When asked, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, while denying that he had any knowledge that CEO Kapila Chandrasena had ordered the change of aircraft from an A340 to an A330 as Capt. Wijesinghe was not qualified to fly the bigger aircraft, admitted that Capt. Wijesinghe would indeed be ‘passengering’ on one sector so he could bring down the dog for his wife. “Yes they are bringing a puppy – it is for my wife. There is nothing wrong with that. I have every right to bring not just a dog but an elephant on SriLankan if I so wish – I am paying for the cargo. I have every right to bring anything I want. This is not the first time – before this also they brought a dog for me…what is wrong – I am paying for the cargo I have every right,” Rajapaksa said.
When it was pointed out that bringing the dog was not the issue – but a loss of revenue for the airline as an entire aircraft was to be replaced with a smaller bodied plane – resulting in the loss of 56 passengers, Rajapaksa turned abusive.
Using foul language he screamed, “If you write one bloody word I will sue the writer and your newspaper – which I have already done – I am not afraid of the bloody courts – I will sue you and shut down your f……. newspaper.” (click here for full conversation)