Rajeeva Jayaweera’s obsession with Sampanthan continues unabated. In his latest outburst “Bungalow for Sampanthan and Sirisena” in the Island (Thursday, January 26, 2020), he has repeated his earlier accusations that the allocation of a bungalow to Sampanthan is unlawful.
Rajeeva Jayaweera the self-appointed crusader against corruption is selective in his criticism of R. Sampanthan who has been allowed to occupy his bungalow on condition. This is not the same as allowing ex-president Maitripala Sirisena who can occupy his bungalow for the rest of his life. On the contrary TNA leader has a specified time frame. He can occupy the bungalow only so long as he is the leader of the TNA. On the other hand, Sirisena as ex-President is entitled to a bungalow, but whether he is entitled to the same bungalow is debatable. Any way the Cabinet decided to allow him to occupy the same bungalow and that ends the story.
Sampanthan in parliament has stated that he had not requested former President Maithripala Sirisena or former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to allow him to occupy that official residence. According to him, the duo had done so of their own volition. But Ranaweera insinuates that M.A. Sumanthiran approached the new Leader of Opposition in the precincts of the Parliament who readily agreed to refrain from demanding the return of the bungalow, probably as a favour to be returned later.
Jayaweera being a self-styled champion of Sinhala – Buddhist chauvinism is himself putting a spin over the Rs.35 million spent on renovation of the bungalow. The renovation of the bungalow has nothing to do with Sampanthan. And the money spent on renovation increases the value of the property or at least maintains the value of the property owned by the state
He is imputing motive that Sampanthan preferred had other plans and waited till the renovation is over to get the government bungalow.
The renovation was carried out not at the request of Sampanthan, it was done by the government on its own volition. Prior to Sampanthan, the bungalow was occupied by late Ratnasiri Wickramanayake (83) who was Prime Minister (2000-2001 and 2005-2010) till his demise on 27, December 2010. That might have been the reason for the decision to renovate the bungalow.
Jayaweera has conveniently omitted to quote the statement Sampanthan made in parliament regarding the vehicle facility. He told parliament “The only other facility not referred to so far is vehicle number CAT 1094, a Benz motor car. The vehicle was handed over to me on 30/1/2017. I sent the vehicle to the new Leader of the Opposition on 7/1/2019. During the two years the vehicle was in my possession, it has done only 2,082 kilometres, showing how sparingly the vehicle was used.”
Can Jayaweera cite one Sinhalese Minister who used his Benze vehicle clocking 2,082 kilometres for a period of 2 years? It may be recalled that Rs.1.4 billion worth of 60 vehicles including the latest Mercedes Benz C Class and BMW 7 series were imported for the travel of the attending Commonwealth Heads of States in 2013. Also imported were luxury coaches, jeeps and cars for the use of the VIP delegates. Imported luxury vehicles were supposed to be used by the ministries after the CHOGM was over. However, many imported vehicles were gifted by Mahinda Rajapaksa to his cronies at no cost.
In regard to the observation by Ranaweera that “86-year-old, may it be a politician or any other, be in retirement playing with their grandchildren?” is a new low but not surprising knowing his mindset.
Sampanthan was first elected to parliament in 1977 and vacated his seat in 1983 when the TULF boycotted parliament following the 6th Amendment JR government. Sampanthan re-entered parliament from Trincomalee electorate in 2001. He won all subsequent elections. Not only Tamils even Muslims and Sinhalese vote for him. He can easily get elected at the next parliamentary elections but he has announced his decision not to contest. It is not Ranaweera, it is the Tamil people who will decide whether he should continue or not as a Member of Parliament. Jayaweera should not lose sleep over it.
What age did J.R. Jayawardene step down as president? At the age of 84 and he would have continued as President if not for the 2 term limit. He died at the age of 91. How old is Mahathir bin Mohamed the Prime Minister of Malaysia? He is 95 (10the July 1925) 7 years older than Sampanthan!
Jayaweera is targetting Sampanthan solely because he is a Tamil politician. He has no guts to expose the mega corruption deals involving Sinhalese politicians like the Rajapaksa family. That family committed Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges while in office.
1) Gotabaya Rajapaksa when he was the Defence Secretary and Secretary to the Urban Development built the Rajapaksa Mausoleum and Museum at Medamulana using state resources. It costed Rs.80.2 but he made a partial settlement of only 33.9 million leaving a balance of Rs. 47.3 million. This amount is owed to Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLRDC). How can Gotabaya talk about corruption when he himself is corrupt?
2) SriLankan Airlines changed a wide-bodied A340 scheduled to fly to Zurich on Friday July 13, to a smaller A330. The change was 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.
3) Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to pay the cost of two advertisements to State-run Independent Television Network (ITN) placed through two advertising firms during the 2015 presidential election.
4) The New York Times reported that with 10 days to go before polls opened, around $3.7 million was distributed in cheques: $678,000 to print campaign T-shirts and other promotional material and $297,000 to buy supporters gifts, including women’s saris. The article claims that another $38,000 was paid to a popular Buddhist monk who was supporting Rajapaksa’s electoral bid, while two cheques totalling $1.7 million were delivered by volunteers to Temple Trees, the official residence of then-President Rajapaksa. The total disbursement was $7.6 million (Rs.1368 million).
5) Both Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa gifted a golden statue of Buddha to the Sandahiru Maha Saya in the presence of Maha Sanga in Anuradhapura. The statue was made out 8 kilos of confiscated gold by the Customs and handed over to the Rajapaksas. While the Rajapaksas have got away with the massive and shameful “theft” poor Director General of Sri Lanka Customs Jagath P. Wijeweera and former Customs Additional Director General Tharaka Seneviratne were arrested by the FCID and charged in courts by the previous government.
6) Mahinda Rajapaksa left Rs.4.4 billion worth of unsettled bills in 2015. Among the unpaid bills are Rs. 2 billion due to the Customs for items imported by the Presidential Secretariat, Rs. 113 million due by the Presidential Secretariat to Srilanka Airlines. A sum of Rs. 10 million to Ganga Catering Services for a function at Carlton House, Rs.10 million due to Premasiri Stores for consumer items bought from the shop and various sums due for putting up of tents and temporary huts.
7) Basil Rajapaksa built a luxury mansion at a cost of Rs. 240 million on a 16 acre land in Malwana in Gangabada Road, Malwana but when FCID started investigation he disowned the property! The land was owned one-time Tirukkumaran Nadesan (married to Nirupama Deepika Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s niece) alone was valued at Rs. 60 million. The Magistrate who heard the case ordered the land and property be auctioned.
The above list is by no means complete. Jayaweera is pennywise and pound foolish. He is magnifying small things disregarding mega corruption by the Rajapaksa family. He is going after Sampanthan because he is a Tamil politician.
chiv / January 29, 2020
He is not just a self appointed crusader against corruption , he is also a self appointed expert on diplo lunacy and foreign relations. In my opinion like many of our media personal, he too is a racist and a fraud pretending to be journo. I hear the latest diplomatic appointments have made him a very happy person. He has no opinions on RR revelations but is extremely concerned with Sam,s privileges. Here in CT, he was the first to accuse the whole Muslim community being behind Easter attacks ,with the sole intentions of causing hatred and harm. Is it a surprise to see such article from a evil but pathetic looser???.
Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam / January 29, 2020
An epitome of fraud who ran a bucket shop in Edgware, and decamped from UK.
Dinuk / January 30, 2020
There needs to be clear cut policy on who is entitled to an official residence, for what duration and value of property which belong to the citizens of Lanka and is maintained by tax payers, and for what duration.
Only the former head of state should be allowed to stay in an official residence after retirement from office.
Politicians one and all, majority and minority community politicians, are leaches and blood suckers of the public wealth, while in power and afterwards. They make deals to divide the wealth of the Nation among themselves including houses in Colombo, because bi-partisan and cross party corruption is endemic in the Cesspit of Corruption called Parliament of Sri Lanka.
This practice must stop and there must be a RATIONAL and LEGAL basis for any politician staying in official property maintained by tax payers.
Tissaveerasingham / January 29, 2020
I would like to include a minor point not alluded to in the article. Sampanthan contested but did not win the parliamentary elections from the Trincomalee constitutency in 1994. A. Thangathurai was one of four MPs who won the Trincomalee electoral district in 1994. His assassination, likely by the LTTE, in 1997 was tragic. That said, this factoid is irrelevant to the thrust of Thangavelu’s broader rebuttal of Jayaweera.
Plato. / January 29, 2020
We are anxiously awaiting to hear from him the Mega Corruption of the Rajapakses. The essayist has given an outline of this. This would be sufficient for Jayaweera to tear into the Rajapakses.
soma / January 29, 2020
On account of his good behavior after the war Sampanthan may be awarded this modest gift enabling him to fulfill his life long wish of living out of Jaffna.
Stanley / January 29, 2020
I have a gut feeling that Rajeewa Jayaweera and H.L.D. Mahindapala are blood relatives. At the very least they would have been classmates during their schooldays!
Benson Fernando / January 30, 2020
These are instigators of ruination of Sri Lanka – but have a preference for taste the feces of the white masters, so much so that they decamped the motherland.
Ajay / January 29, 2020
Let the poor man do his thing. He’s getting on in years. He’s desperately trying to ingratiate himself with the thugs in power in order to get at least a petty embassy post in an unknown corner of the world before his time runs out. At least he’s smarter than his bosses who think they can bribe Buddha with stolen gold and attain Nibbana.
Simple Simon / January 29, 2020
Rajeeva Jayaweera is a dirty Racist, nothing more & nothing less…
Eagle Eye / January 29, 2020
Why should Sinhala tax payers’ give these facilities to a descendant of a Kallathoni who has been advocating to create a separate State for the descendants of Dravida slaves and an ardent supporter of Dravida LTTE barbarians who slaughtered tens and thousands of Native Sinhalayo for 30 years?
JD / January 29, 2020
I understand it. So, out of compassion, becuase the politician is 86 years old, he is allowed to stay in the bungalow until the death. Sri Lankan parliament is extremely corrupt. I here, even Maithripala Sirisena bought two or three adjacent houses and renovated those by s[ending 200 million. So, he occupies it until his death. I here, some politicians who tries to own the houses they got even after their death. If the parliament respectable and are not used to theft or Fraudulent ways, Sambanthan must move out. But, Sinhala – Buddhist Supremacist allow that kind of generosity. In a low abiding country where low is respected to the letter name calling saying Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism won’t work.
The other reason is the TNA leader who even went to GENEVA against Sinhala everything now wants sympathy from sinhala-Chauvinists. That is typical Tamil politics.
What Thangavelu says let him stays there. What is next the survivor or the wife will get permission to stay there after the politician’s death. Because parliamentary politics is all about ripping the country and live flamboyant lives.
rajash / January 30, 2020
Rajeeva is only good at lifting the barbed wire for Sri Lankan air lines’ air hostess
Hela / January 30, 2020
So Ok for Sambandan to get little bit of largesse……………Funny argument.
Lasantha Pethiyagoda / January 30, 2020
Since credibility is very difficult to establish in a political environment without evidence that is palpable, one needs to observe with their own senses, how Jaffna citizens and the northern people in general go about their business with great consideration for their fellow citizens compared to the rat-race and do-eat-dog environment in the Sinhala dominated areas. Just observe how motor traffic flows in Jaffna. Everyone gives way to others, they form orderly queues and are not disruptive or boisterous. That alone shows that people like Sampanthan, who probably help inspire the Tamil people are far more worth to a nation than the scum who ravage it using nationalism as a pretext.
John / January 30, 2020
The so called Tamil politicians (Malabaris) should be in jail for high treason. Besides Sambandan was a fake opposition leader who hadn’t talk about issues that would matter to Sri Lanka. Ranil, Sirisena, Karu, JVP, Sambandan, Sumantira n, CBK Neelaperumal and foreign embassies had become allies to defeat the then Mahinda’s government, pathetically manipulated the Parliament and drag democracy through the mud to make Sambandan the opposition leader.