18 November, 2018

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John Responds To Allegations: Jumps Into Fire To Save Lackey But Avoids Core Questions

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga, in a seemingly loose statement, attempted to defend the conduct of his Senior Advisor Felix Rodrigo who is currently in hot water over a Chinese wedding fiasco.

John Amaratunga

“The article begins with the insinuation that the official concerned, Senior Advisor Mr. Felix Rodrigo is in ‘hot water’ as the Prime Minister’s Office has launched a ‘special investigation’ on the alleged attempt to pay Rs. 6 million to his brother’s company for organizing the Chinese mass wedding ceremony in Colombo last year which drew worldwide attention. The truth of the matter is that not a single cent was paid to any company and there is no ‘investigation’ either by the Prime Minister’s office or any other entity for that matter,” the 78 year old Minister said in a statement yesterday.

Colombo Telegraph observes that this is a weak attempt to avoid the core issue we have raised. In a series of articles, we exposed how Felix Rodrigo, Amaratunga’s Senior Advisor, was instrumental in sending a directive to former Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara to pay Rs. 6 million to the private company owned by Rodrigo’s brother Harindra Rodrigo for hosting a mass Chinese wedding in Colombo.

It was Nanayakkara who flatly refused to make the payment as the directive seemed suspicious. It was because Nanayakkara’s bold refusal that money was not paid to the Rodrigo company as directed by Amaratunga. Had Nanayakkara complied with the Amaratunga-Rodrigo directive, it would have allowed the duo to embezzle Rs. 6 million in public money in the guise of conducting a ‘Tourism promotions project’ warranting prosecution under the Public Property Act.

Nanayakkara was summarily dismissed from his position as he refused to make a suspicious payment to Rodrigo’s brother’s company. Surprisingly Amaratunga’s statement is completely silent on this directive to Nanayakkara which ultimately resulted in termination of the latter’s employment.

Amaratunga also says, “Disgruntled elements who occupied high posts at SLTPB and spent millions of dollars of ‘tourism money’ on foreign tamashas but yet could not obtain even one tenth of the exposure this event generated are most probably still fuming and behind these mudslinging attempts. The website seems to have forgotten the most fundamental principle in news reportage where they have failed to obtain the views of the accused parties before publication. Thereby the whole one-sided ‘story’ lacks any semblance of credibility and remains the work of a very fertile imagination.”

We are not entirely sure whom Amaratunga is referring to but we wish to state that it was the Investigations Desk of Colombo Telegraph that was behind the story, not any ‘disgruntled element’. We are in possession of a trove of documents which proves the unholy alliance between Amaratunga and Rodrigo and how they made blatant attempts to misuse public funds and properties.

When our reporter contacted the Ministry before the publication of the first story to get a comment from Rodrigo, a telephone operator strictly refused to share “personal contact details” of the Senior Advisor. However, we have always maintained that Rodrigo could respond to allegations with proof and concrete evidence, not with empty threats and meaningless rhetoric.

The Minister then says. “The private company concerned did an excellent job in conceptualizing, organizing, funding and executing the entire project on their own without any support whatsoever from SLTPB. So much so, that two more such events have now been planned for this year based on demand. This I believe is too much to stomach for the disgruntled individuals who prefer publishing fairytales on websites than actual work on the ground. As in the past the private company has not sought support of SLTPB for their upcoming events but has kept the Ministry of Tourism Development and the Ministry of Megapolis in the loop out of professional courtesy and expected from a company involved in the tourism business. ”

This is also beating around the bush without addressing the core of allegations. It does not matter if the company did an “excellent job without any support whatsoever from the SLTPB” as it is the work of a private party. Amaratunga must understand that he has no right to “reward” the private company with the public money. One does not need rocket science to understand why the Tourism Minister sanctioned a directive to the SLTPB Chairman to pay Rs. 6 million to a company owned by the brother of one of his advisors.

Although Green Leaves Leisure (company owned by Felix Rodrigo’s brother Harindra Rodrigo) and Minister John Amaratunga have responded vaguely to our articles,they are astonishingly silent on the controversial directive on paying Rs. 6 million to the Rodrigo company for the mass Chinese wedding and the subsequent termination of Nanayakkara’s employment.

They also completely avoid referring to the relationship between Felix Rodrigo and Harindra Rodrio, which is intrinsically connected to the story. (By Thilini Karunarathne)

Related posts:

Chinese Weddings Fiasco: Shouldn’t John’s Advisor Felix Resign Over Questionable Business Links? – Colombo Telegraph’s Questions For GLL

Corruption Alert: Another Massive “Chinese Wedding” Deal For Rodrigo Brothers

John’s Advisor Felix Rodrigo In Hot Water Over Attempt To Siphon Off ‘Tourism Money’ To Brother’s Company

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Latest comments

  • 10
    2

    John amaratunga is one just like Ranil. IF it was Ranil he woul dnot talk about it as he is the Executiver PM.John amaratunga as soon as he came he demolished and spent Rs 82,000 to destroy a foot path the PRevious govt built. He was caught tking overdoses of viagra and spending govt money to be in the hospital. HE is accused of spendign $ 675,000 to advertise in CCN from USA from where torusits do not come as LAtin america is closer. Now this he is lieing about it. Ranil is sislent andlook like he is not even in the country. LAw enforcement is no working, PArliamentary privilages prohibit theives and crminals arresting. So, these episodes.

  • 7
    2

    Ask John Amaratunge, he would say both the PResident and PM know about it. I mean he is doing thest financial frauds with the knowledge of two big guys. Ask Matirhipala, he would say, NO I DID NOT. It is Ranil. Ask Ranil he would say, I am not the president.

    • 0
      0

      Time our John moves on. The UNP is finished.

  • 15
    1

    Dear John, go home with your advisors. You are drunk.

  • 13
    0

    I heard John amaratunga is really uncooperative among politicians, he is very slow because of the age, he has weired sexual fantacies and when he sees a woman he feels like seeing a blue SApphaire (Vairodi). Both CBK and Ranil know it.

  • 7
    0

    Did CT upset Johnny Uncle.
    You have to be careful guys.
    I saw Jhonny chasing a whole bunch of TV Reporters from his Premises a couple of months ago.
    He used UNP Police help too.
    Because after Johhny told the Reporter ” Palayan Methanin” and don’t Come back again.
    The tough looking UNP PC told the reporters , Dan Kiwwane .” Ithing Yanawa…”
    In Elite Dialects” Now Piss Off”…
    That is how cool this Yahapalanaya is…

    • 6
      0

      If what Mr sumanasemera has to say here is true, it is pretty disgusting.

      Clearly a regime on its last legs.

  • 8
    0

    This man is a disgrace and a liability. He should be untethered and let to graze with others of his ilk -bovines like Mangy and the Dentist with the Foul Mouth.

    • 2
      1

      Percy

      You are awaiting for them to die while grazing so that vultures, kites, crow and yourself can scavenge the carcasses.

      Had you visited Vella Mullivaaikkaal between 2007 and 2009 you could have had big feast all day every day.

      • 0
        0

        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/

        • 1
          0

          Percy the Pathetic

          Your literacy standard is exemplary.
          Thanks.
          Keep up your good work.

  • 4
    0

    The same old story of brazenly pinching public money. So did the succeeding chairman pay the money? Where is the bribery and corruption commission now, which at least has the capacity to catch fellows in hotel car parks? Anybody and everybody who opposes money making is a disgruntled element, the same song of the Jarapassa regime. Incidentally wasn’t John Anthony Emmanuel Amaratunge, a part of the Rajapakse delegation that met the pope? So many things in common of politicians who fight among themselves openly to get our votes to get power.

  • 10
    0

    As the minister for Christian affair’s and himself a church going devout Christian John Amarathunga AKA Wattala Johnny Viagra is been generous to his family, friends and specially to great number of working Girls who are been kept in employment and been paid good money to do a very demanding job of keeping Johnny’s manhood upright and wrinkle free with a special Blue wonder pill.
    This all cost money you know.

  • 0
    0

    If the Minister says in his statement (as reported above): “The private company did an excellent job, organizing, FUNDING (emphasis by me) and execution of the entire project on their own, without any support whatsoever from SLTB” – Then there is NO REQUIREMENT to pay even a cent from SLTB. But, if in fact an “ATTEMPT” to “EMBEZZLE ” Rs. 6 million from the SLTB was done by the Minister and his Adviser, Rodrigo that NEEDS to be investigated. The relevant “Documents” and the “Directives” must be in the possession of SLTB and its ex Chairman. Therefore, that |Investigation” is a SIMPLE matter and need not be like that of the “Bond Scam” – The Great Robbery. Mr. President and PM what would you say? If you find that “Document”, perhaps the “Invoice” and the “Directive” by the Minister for payment, simply SACK both of them – The Minister and the Adviser. That could be my advice to both of you to “Win Back” the lost CREDIBILITY. Good opportunity to show the PEOPLE – No Nonsense Any More and Henceforth. Hmmm , am I dreaming? Perhaps.

  • 2
    0

    “Nanayakkara was summarily dismissed from his position as he refused to make a suspicious payment to Rodrigo’s brother’s company”

    who sacked him.That is the bugger who should go now.The rot always starts at the top and permeates downwards.If ranil can’t get rid of him,what they say that he is ponne ranil is true.

    Mahathir at 92 years would have sent someone to check all his assets in his properties.

    • 3
      0

      Shankar
      “If Ranil can’t get rid of him, what they say that he is ponne ranil is true”.
      Aren’t you recommending the ready what Leonard says elsewhere in this column as an antidote to be like Mahatir at 92?

  • 6
    0

    advisor is the supplier of TOP quality Vigra

    • 2
      1

      You have to put the prick on a drip…

      • 1
        0

        KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

        “You have to put the prick on a drip…”

        Why?

        • 1
          0

          if no drip then it will dip.

  • 1
    0

    Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga is adopting a ‘neither confirm nor deny’ stance here. Says it all!
    Did his Senior Advisor Felix Rodrigo, send a directive to former Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara to pay Rs 6 million to the private company owned by Felix Rodrigo’s brother Harindra Rodrigo for hosting a mass Chinese wedding in Colombo? If so there is this intent to commit fraud. Further can an Advisor issue directives?
    John’s defence of Felix here is clumsy.
    .
    We have reached the stage of ‘New-Terrorism (NT). (NT is a realm in which corruption/nepotism/impunity are legitimate)

  • 5
    0

    As long as buggers like this are in politics and appointed to office there will be natural disasters in the country.
    These kind of buggers, crude, unrefined, illiterate, vulgar, disgraceful, pariahs, sex starved, ungodly will bring curses upon the heads of all where ever they go.
    The man is a damn disgrace to the Catholic church and all good Catholics and if there are members of the Catholic clergy who shamelessly bow before this satanic figure then they too are answerable to God.
    This buffoon will one day rot in his coffin even before the lid is closed.
    May the good God of us all have mercy on him.

  • 2
    0

    Long John

  • 2
    0

    Democracy working !!

    Aren’t we happy now that people can revel the truth in public media and make our “hora” politicians to the task ? Under MARA , no such luxury !!! you get killed , abducted or razor blade on your back .

    • 0
      0

      ralahami ~ “……………razor blade on your back..”.
      Used to sign off after a day of torture!
      Recently Brig Priyankara Fernando illustrated the correct way to use razor.

  • 2
    0

    John should resign immediately pending investigations. He should be sent to jail for presumptive fraud. This disgraceful man is also the minister of Christian affairs. He should also be charged for abuse of authority for unlawfully terminating the employment of an honest official.

  • 1
    0

    People say the president is executive. PResident appointed this 78 year old Croo and the woamnizer. but he can not fire him or what ? Ranil doe snot fire him from UNP and that shows who Ranil is.

  • 3
    0

    KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera, it is already on a drip & prick itself stopped dripping long long time ago

  • 0
    0

    Reading Felix Rodrigo’s Facebook posts I did get the impression that public monies were being freely spent on promotional jaunts from time to time, where he and the minister would grace events in Europe etc regularly.

    I remember Felix when he was at Brown’s Beach Hotel in Negombo. He seemed a generous guy then. I was recently wondering why he had not posted anything of late on his FB profile. Now it seems he is in “hot” water as are many members of the ruling coalition. However, things being what they are in Sri Lanka, there would be ways and means to “shape” these things up to their advantage and continue in their influential positions.

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