16 November, 2018

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President Justifies Rs 180 M Budget For Repairs His Residence

The Presidential media division issuing a communique today justified the spending of Rs. 180 million to carry out the repair work of the new President’s Residence.

Maithripala 14 July Pic sent by Prez MdiaExplaining matters, the PMD said the building had to be renovated by merging two old houses in order to lift it to the standards suitable for a President’s living.

Quoting the President’s Secretary, PMD said garages and residential quarters to house the presidential security personnel had to be fully renovated.

The construction, the communique said was carried out by the State owned Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB).

The PMD quoting President’s Secretary said that President Maithripala Sirisena has refused to use the President’s House in Fort as its maintenance cost exceeds Rs. 15 million per month.

Referring to the BMW vehicles and the BMW motorcycles, mentioned in media rports the PMD said they had been imported by the previous government in October 2014.

The PMD communique said the vehicles were taken for use as they could not be re-exported.

The government yesterday submitted a supplementary estimate seeking the approval of Parliament for an allocation of Rs. 180 million to renovate and refurbish the official residence of President Maithripala Sirisena.

The supplementary allocation of Rs. 180,688,000 was presented to Parliament by Chief Government Whip Media Minister Gayantha Karunatillake.

It sought the approval of the House to allocate Rs. 96,391,000 to rehabilitate and improve the residence of the President at C61 and C62, Paget Road, Colombo and an additional Rs. 84,297,000 for the construction of buildings and structures at the same location.

Apart from Rs. 180 million, another allocation amounting to Rs. 70,600,000 to purchase one BMW limousine and 12 BMW R 1200 motor cycles for the Presidential Security Division has been submitted.

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  • 1
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    Rajapaksaitis – It’s very infectious and being in close proximity to Mahinda for many years the president has obviously become infected…..very sad because there are only two cures – death and being defeated in the elections.

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      Dr Rajasingham Narendran gave Hon. President and his planners much food for thought in two of his messages under this article. Our P.M. must be commended for he and Mrs MW do not cost anything to the government even when it comes to makeup artists, hair dye, dressers, pedicurists and manicurists.

      Queen’s House in the Fort has to be kept under good repair any way. It is well- equipped for the occupants, the domestic as well as the security staff. The caretaker has a separate spacious house facing the Indian Ocean/ the new lighthouse/ “Gallebuck.” I remember the time Mr W.G. was the G-G and Mr Ratnayake was the caretaker.

      In making those decisions for special persons or persons of standing in any country, certain standards must be maintained. The planners must have some knowledge of the history of the country; a good knowledge of the contents of journals like the “Royal Asiatic Society Journal,” Spolio Zeylanica” of the Colombo Museum, the J. of the Dutch Burgher Union” and “Medieval Sinhalese Art” by Prof. AKC are very important. A knowledge of ruins, old artifacts or antiquities of a country or their replicas to be displayed…old Batik designs, flags of korales & Dissawes of the country and also the significance of brassware, sesath , native maces etc to be included in the decor are special. Intending no offence to anybody, from the way Premadasas and Rajapakses spent and maintained the official residences it was evident that occupants nor their advisers did not appear to have had any experience in renovating and matching new items to old items in their work. A ‘NEW RICH” touch was seen all over. Much could have been done with a lesser cost. The colonial look of Temple Trees was lost in 1977. We know how the old pictures went to the dealers in London via Hon. Premadasa’s daughter and son-in-law Jayakody. I wonder where those are now!

      Those who occupy high positions, but lack a good knowledge of English and who jolly well know that they came from humble backgrounds should take the above facts seriously.

      It is said that Hon. JRJ rented the house in Turret Rd that Mrs Helena Dep gifted to him to the Chinese Embassy and lived in “Breamer”, Ward Place. A few hours after his demise when I went to the house to pay my last respects to him I was surprised to see that the garden and the house both looked unkempt; I say this as I had visited him when he was a Minister.I suppose that that is how many formerly powerful and later powerless individuals spend the evening of their lives in S.L.when the children are abroad; those who came after them when there was power now ignore them.
      I have seen a retired former P.M., W.Dahanaike going by bus and by taxi, near the MPs’ Hostel , “Sravasthi.” As P.M., he was at Temple Trees for a few months, but had its walls raised for security reasons.

      Sir D.B. Jayatilaka, according to his biographer the late Dr NDW, had built “THURBAN HOUSE” – now the Public Trustee’s office- at Buller’s Rd. in the early 1930s , when he was the Leader of the Board of Ministers and the Minister of Home Affairs in the State Council. When his wife Mallika Batuwanthudawe died, before he went in to occupation,under his last will attested by David Martensz of Messrs F.J.& G. de Saram among his other gifts he gifted the large house also to the Nation.He had built a typical middle class 3 BR house which he named “Chitralatha” at Nikape, Dehiwala (Hill St)and lived there for more than 10 yrs as the Lead Minister.He went to India as High Commissioner in 1943 and died there.

      For sake of Mother Lanka, our Leaders must follow certain traditions and practices that eventually appear simple, cheap but of value.

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    I feel kind of compelled by conscience to pay a tribute and submit my apology to Colombo Telegraph. I wrote a nasty comment against the Editor for picking on Sirisena’s offspring fitted with female organ when she hounded the public servants of Polonnaruwa. Navin September 9, 2015 at 1:10 pm: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/maithris-daughter-chathu-kicks-own-goal-with-daddys-powers/

    But then the next 30 days proved that the Editor’s prescience has been astounding. Herewith my humble apology to the Editor and Readers.

    Sirisena the Village Joker up to 8th January, we all know now, is making us despair with his villainous betrayals by the day. AIYYO AIYYO. UUTA PAVULA PITIN HENAGAHANNONEY. I vow to light an oil lamp if this fellow is blasted to smithereens within the next thirty days.

  • 0
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    Rs 180 million is peanuts for a Presidential residence. Please check how much was spent on renovations to Temple Trees during the period 2009 to 2015. Must be 1,800 M. The cost of the Presidential complex in Sri Jayawardanapura was several Billions of Rs. What is the cost of the new quarters for members of parliament? once again in billions.

    I am disgusted with the partiality shown by Colombo Telegraph to the previous regime with billions of dollars in foreign countries. They appear to be either owning or funding Colombo Telegraph, to become the mouth piece of the previous government!

  • 4
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    ‘The PMD quoting President’s Secretary said that President Maithripala Sirisena has refused to use the President’s House in Fort as its maintenance cost exceeds Rs. 15 million per month.’

    ‘ Presidential media division issuing a communique today justified the spending of Rs. 180 million to carry out the repair work of the new President’s Residence.’

    Now/// so how is the president saving money for his county by not living in the official resident in fort?

    ‘Referring to the BMW vehicles and the BMW motorcycles, mentioned in media rports the PMD said they had been imported by the previous government in October 2014.’
    ‘ another allocation amounting to Rs. 70,600,000 to purchase one BMW limousine and 12 BMW R 1200 motor cycles for the Presidential Security Division has been submitted.’

    what ??? so what was purchased in 2014 october is not enough ???

    what an obnoxious media release…. no justification at all about the expenditure. Only thing we can understand is that president is not happy with the President’s house in fort and he wants a new BMW limo.

  • 0
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    Navin.

    You need not apologise to me,as a reader.Plato likes frank and outspoken folks!

  • 1
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    This president is no difference to any other low grade politicians in SL,
    public money is a utility for his personal comfort and spread among low grade family members. He is not a man with any qualities that is akin to public, he is only a self serving politician of the lowest grade, sad SL has him as the President of this wonderful country. Sr Lanka desrves better than a low grade ignorant self serving politician of this nature.

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