Deputy Ministers Harsha de Silva, Ranjan Ramanayake and Palitha Thewarapperuma has rejected the new luxury vehicles offered to them, as protests mounted against the government’s move to purchase 32 luxury vehicles at a cost of a staggering Rs. 1.1 billion.
Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment & Welfare, Ramanayake and Deputy Minister of Internal Cultural and Wayamba Development, Thewarapperuma have rejected the offer for new vehicles which was communicated to their relevant ministry secretaries.
In a letter dated April 8, 2016, Ramanayake’s Personal Secretary informed the Secretary to the Ministry of Social Empowerment & Welfare that, “the deputy minister has informed that the current vehicles available for his use is sufficient, and therefore he does not require any new vehicles.”
Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to the Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Cultural and Wayamba Development, on May 9, 2016, Thewarapperuma, said, “I hereby reject the Rs. 28 million worth Discovery 4 vehicle, which has been offered to me. I would instead advice that the monies set aside for this vehicle be used for the development of artists in the country.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva has also rejected the offer for a new luxury vehicle.
In a post on his Facebook page, Silva said, “As a Deputy Minister I am entitled for 3 vehicles (same as for a Minister). However I have only taken 2 vehicles (from Jan 2015 to date). Both these vehicles were used by the previous government (by a secretary and a coordinating secretary) and have been manufactured in 2011 and 2013. I continue to use my private vehicle. This is for the record,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Government sought parliamentary approval for Rs. 1.1 billion to purchase 32 brand new luxury vehicles for the use of several ministers, and deputy ministers.