24 June, 2021

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Interest Free Loan Scandal: BBC’s £41,000 Annual Salary Employee Was Favored By Sri Lankan Govt

By Colombo Telegraph

The BBC World Service London employee who applied for the Sri Lankan government’s RS 1.2 million ten year interest free vehicle loan, was favoured by the Government of Sri Lanka the Colombo Telegraph can exclusively reveal today.

Bandara

According to published eligibility criteria for an interest free loan offered to journalists by the Government of Sri Lanka, applicants have to be in possession of the Accreditation/Identity card issued by the Department of Government Information. BBC World Service’s producer Chandana Keerthi Bandara, however, had no valid Accreditation/Identity card issued by the Department of Government Information.  The only accreditation he possessed was one issued by the Department in 1999 for a short period while he was on a BBC assignment in Sri Lanka (See the copy of his accreditation below).

“I have no idea how he was granted this loan” said Director General, Government Information department, Dr Ariyaratne Athugala, when asked whether the applicant was favoured above other candidates. He said that the loan disbursement had been handled by the ministry. When pointed out that all BBC letters of recommendations were addressed to him, the Director General said he wasn’t aware of such letters.( See the letter below) He acknowledged, however, that if Bandara had only one old press accreditation, it was wrong decision made by whoever was responsible because criteria had not been fulfilled. Colombo Telegraph made several attempts to contact Secretary, Media Ministry, to no avail.

Colombo Telegraph investigation team can reveal that the BBC applicant Chandana Bandara only had one Accreditation/Identity card issued by the Department of Government Information, issued on July 20, 1999. All applicants were asked to produce current accreditation as well as old accreditation prior to interview. Last month when the newly appointed office bearers of the journalists welfare outfit, the Working Journalists Association met the Secretary, Media Ministry, the Vice President of the Association, Kanchan Marasingha complained that more than 30 eligible applicants had not received the loan. Responding to the complaint the Secretary asked them to appeal. The Colombo Telegraph is in a possession of a list of more than 20 rejected applicants which include some with more than 40 years of experience in journalism with valid press accreditation.

Two days ago Colombo Telegraph asked Bandara how he manged to secure a loan having just a single old accreditation document and whether he had indeed been favoured.  He has not responded.

According to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information website the objective of the loan scheme is to recognise the services rendered by media personnel towards national development and to enhance their productivity and quality of service.

According to the Ministry of Fianance and Planning website, Senior Journalists, Artists and Authors are now able to obtain a maximum amount of Rs. 1,200,000/- as an interest free loan from the state banks to purchase cars or vans. If the value of the vehicle exceeds the limit of Rs. 1,200,000/- the balance can be obtained from the relevant state bank under normal interest rates. The Treasury will grant the interest due to the state banks for the interest free loan amount of Rs.1,200,000/-.

BBCs Bandara has been receiving around Sri Lankan Rupees 8,528,200 as his annual salary (£41,000/-)

Related posts;

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Expose: BBC Sinhala Head ‘Knowingly Mislead’ The Public

BBC Editor Uses BBC Resources To Cover Up Personal Misconduct

No More Dr. Vickramabahu’s Columns

Left-Right Collusion: Socialist Bahu Called Capitalist Ranil And Urged Not To Expose BBC Misconduct

BBC Pussyfooting On “Takes” From SL Govt’

‘BBC World Service Journalist’s Interest-Free Loan Application ‘On The Waiting List’ Says Sri Lankan Government

Applying And Receiving An Interest-Free Motor Vehicle Loan Will Damage BBC’s Credibility Says The Former Head

‘It Is A Shame And Very Disappointing, BBC Should Investigate Its Journalists’ – Says Dr Saravanamuttu

Exclusive: Investigate Your Journalists! – Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe To BBC’s Lord Chris Patten

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    All Sri Lankans are crooks or wannabe crooks except the presidant and his suns.

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    Sold his soul for money. Now this man will use the media to praise the family.

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    Bit of a joke this one. A life long communist, now trying or wants to show off as a rich man but wants to do it on the back of the tax paid by “”Peeditha Panthiya”. “I am alright jack, I have made 8Million ruppees per year, and now my Viplawakaarie Revolution is over”. But why is the SLK Govt in bed with this guy who had been promoting the cause of LTTE all his life at BBC Sinhala what’s it in London? May be MR has a propaganda task for him, to bat for the SLK Govt and MR, failing of which he would be exposed as a turncoat and crook and be impeached.

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    The dictator is very lavish with the peoples money.He will give money and offer jobs and get even the judges children jobs and all have to pay obeisance. The two classic cases of Supreme Court judges Asoka Silva and Balapatabendi are well known.Even Dr Shirani B. who paid a heavy price for allowing the husband and fell into this trap.
    If you do not do my bidding out you go,if you do even after retirement I look after you Asoka Silva is in the President’s office and Balaptabendi the super efficient Bribery head ably backed by a retired IGP.
    So KB also took adavantage and BBC must kick him out.
    Dr Neville Gunawardena Head of Customs having worked as an honest officer for a long time was flung out as he was responsible in exposing Security Officer Chamal’s daughter in law’s liquor racket.

  • 0
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    KA Sumanasekera comments that “All Sri Lankans are crooks or wannabe crooks except the presidant and his suns”. His name identifies him as a Srilankan but he is neither the President/Presidant of SL nor one of his sons/suns. Therefore he admits that he is either a crook or wannabe crook.

  • 0
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    I think Colombo Telegraph should drop this now. Obviously BBC nor Chris Pattern take this as a breach of contract. None of the Sri Lankan politicians think this is corruption. No journalists’ organisation came forward condemning CKB.

    All those have resigned to the fact that ‘this is how it is done’. In Sri Lanka or in Britain there is no difference. You act with duplicity, you get your money, you obey the most powerful at the time. And preach socialism at the same time to trick the gullible.Everyone is happy. Why bother to refine a perfectly fine system?

  • 0
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    Upon reading this article, there is reason to suspect further that additional BBC reporters would have been hired by MR & Co. to go to foreign countries as spies and send messgages for which they would have been given houses in Colombo. Such spies could also have been trained in computer skills and to send messages in code words. Moreover, as usual like other countries, MR would have preferred women for such jobs. Otherwise Gota wouldn’t have said to US Ambassador ‘We don’t want you, we got China’. This is only a suggestion. What a disgrace this Chandana Keerthi Bandara had brought to the BBC.

    • 0
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      A small addition please. There is a possibility for preferring BBC reporters at this crucial period, because it is easier for them to enter any country and loans such as this could be arranged easily. Immigrations of foreign countries should be alert of such elements.

  • 0
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    Obviously he has been “bought over” for future ‘cover’ – favourable news about the regime & the kingpins – by the BBC.

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    The joke is, the government has always accused other journalists and publications of being in the pockets of Tamil lobbies or Western governments who are “out to get us”. Now they are caught influencing a BBC employee who seem to have no professional integrity.

    The corruption goes on, the lies and cover ups still flourish.

  • 0
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    This matter is not a joke,Colombo telegraph or any interest party should refer this to BBC authorities.According to the information RW not referring this matter to Lord Chris Patten.Because CB had already withdrew this money and refund after CT media propaganda in connection this matter.
    H.E. needs this type of halparu(double game) journalists for his future propaganda work.Wickramabahu and his henchman always around this man.BBC Sandeshaya News work and Bahu political support both handle by this man.that’s why SL government offered this free loan for this idiot.

    • 0
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      Agreed. It is time for the BBC authorities to inform the Immigrations of all countries as to who have entered foreign countries on the pretext of journalists from Sri Lanka and expose their names and their recent employment. There is also suspicion that such journalists would have entered with a batch of people (probably with military personnel in civil) who are loyal to MR & Co. at intermittent intervals to mislead the Immigration, as there is a dictator who is ready to spend lavishly with people’s money and probably with aid coming China. Corrupted MR will do anything to consolidate his power. This is only a suggestion because of the suspicion that arose from Gota’s foul mouth.

  • 0
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    I came to know this so-called journalist Bandara before he got the job at the BBC got his party’s (Nava Sama Samaja Party) newspaper to publish an article about Priyath Liyanage, BBC Editor, portraying him as a ‘veteran’ journalist. You could not expect him to act with integrity if that was how he got into the BBC in the first place. His socialism is dripping through his loin-cloth!

  • 0
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    Why is Colombo Telegraph stooping so low in carrying out a personal attack on a journalist? What is Colombo Telegraph’s problem with BBC journalist Chandana Keerthi Bandara?

    The loan scheme is for all journalists. The accredition requirement is just a procedural issue. Is he not a journalist if he does not hold an accreditation card? You should look at the substance and not the form. What accreditation proves is that so and so is a journalist. Chandana Keerthi Bandarana is a well known journalist. He does not need an accreditation card to become eligible for a loan which is available for all Sri Lankan journalists. I do not think that the fact that he draws 41000 pounds sterling salary as a BBC journalist is any bar to apply for the loan. The fact others were denied the loan for want of accreditation card is yet another issue. If Colombo Telegraph finds fault with that it would raise it with the relevant authority or publish its criticisms over that issue.

    Colombo Telegraph may have a personal grude against Bandara, but please do not air these publicly. It will only bring down the status of your journal. As a former journalist I wish to tell journalists publishing Colombo Telegraph not to stoop so low to attack another journalist. Bandara may have his own convictions and views. You should respect his freedom to have his own convictins or views. Leave him alone. Bandara has not committed any crime by taking up the loan offer which is extended by the SL government for all senior journalists and artistes.

    • 0
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      As you have said, issue is not about the format but the substance. Bandara may have a right to receive this money but the audience has a right to know what propels his journalism. Next time when we come across his articles we will know the ‘substance’ behind it.

      What do you think will Bandara say if this was about someone else. I can imagine the verbal diarrhoea we will have to face. This is the duplicity we should condemn. This not about whether he has followed all the rules (and wishes of Rajapakshe)to get this money. Do you think it is ethical. I doubt so.

  • 0
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    How about your great journalist (Yakada) Sudharman opf ITN
    sitting with PRESIDENT, when he is having a n open WARRANT ??

    NOT only interest free loans, but somany other gifts to stooges…>

    • 0
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      If only the Immigrations of western democratic countries can reveal the names of journalists from Sri Lanka, who had entered on the pretext of asylum seekers, then there is a possibility of exposing who and who are agents or stooges of MR & Co.

  • 0
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    How about your great journalist (Yakada) Sudharman of ITN
    sitting with PRESIDENT, when he is having a n open WARRANT ??

    NOT only interest free loans, but somany other “gifts” to stooges…>

    • 0
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      Sudarman is a disgrace to journalism

  • 0
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    It is so strange that the people in this forum has no clue about Priyath Liyanage. It was no secret that he [Edited out] . it is imp for people to take note of the history first before commenting.

  • 0
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    Who said this in September 2008?

    “All BBC staff must work to the BBC’s editorial guidelines – the most comprehensive book of broadcasting ethics in the world and the template for many other public service broadcasters around the globe. These insist that all BBC journalists must produce high quality news and information that is impartial, fair, balanced, accurate, and editorially independent. All values, especially impartially and editorial independence, are non-negotiable”

    Clue – (BBC’s loss, National Health Services Gain)





    Answer:
    Priyath Liyanage
    http://tinyurl.com/aluddjy

  • 0
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    Bandara came to bbc because his mother is tamil and wasantha raja( former bbc),and supported in srilanka dr wicramabahu karunarathna and his party. now asking tax payers money from srilanka to buy a vehicle in srilanka.even he earns more than 40000 thousends pound in uk and his wife also more than 30000 thousends pounds.Our gov give interest free 1.2 mil for him,shame on u bandara, loku viplavakaraya

  • 0
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    ask sunday divaina defenceman keerthi warna he expose this i think he got his app copy also freemedia also said chandana had a friend in information department

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
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    sir can i join with you…..

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