20 June, 2024


President’s Media Director Steals Bed Covers, Photographer Steals Cameras

The Colombo Telegraph can now reveal the name of the Presidential photographer who was barely escaped arrest at the Dubai Airport last week after stealing a camera worth Rs. 300,000 from the duty free shops inside the airport en route to Colombo from Kenya with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s entourage.

Wijayananda Herath

Vijayananda Herath

Milinda Ratnayake, an official photographer attached to the Presidential Media Unit was caught on close circuit television footage at the Dubai airport trying to make off with the merchandise hidden in his bag. Shop staff had observed him stealing the camera before he was detained by airport security.

“We have the highest respect for President Rajapaksa. We are, therefore, releasing you. Otherwise, you would have ended up in jail,” one airport security official told the photographer.

After his return to Colombo, Ratnayake has been relieved of his duties.

A similarly embarrassing event took place when President Rajapaksa visited Belarus in August this year. An official complaint had been lodged to the Ministry of External Affairs through diplomatic channels that a hotel where the Presidential delegation had stayed in Minsk was missing a bed cover.

The hotel had complained that Wijayananda Herath, the President’s Director of Sinhala Media had taken a bed cover from his room back with him.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 1

    This camera man wants to get a better picture of his BOSS. the main reason behind the rob of this camera is very interesting.
    Where ever this cameraman goes with president and top thieves in the campus (whether it is an opening ceremony in the country or a foreign tour)what ever the reason camera man get shits during or at the end of the tour because of the pictures what he has taken were not professional. This is not the first time he got upset because of those ugly pictures and then the cameraman thought the problem is not his professionalism and he wanted to get some advise and then he met the master minder and one of the top adviser of this campus and who is the master mind man of the most underhand deal of this campus.
    he was one of the most famous magician in this campus not only that he is capable of selling in existing things without any problem at any market. He is the MAIN wheeler dealer of this campus.
    So the adviser told the cameramen that I know you are a capable man and I am the one who brought you to the campus.
    This is not the problem of your professionalism but the camera.
    So the adviser of the campus told him what to do and assured the cameraman if there is anything I will protect you.
    Then the camera man did exactly what the adviser asked him to but the master plan went upset at the Dubai duty free shop.
    The man who promised to protect him no where to find at the airport.

    very soon most of these advisers of this campus has to find foreign campuses because of the good things what they have done to the country will HUNT THEM.

  • 1

    Petty theft compared to Tamils’ (Tamil Madu people) attempt to steal part of the Sinhala-Muslim island.

    • 2

      Weren’t you ANTI Moslem not too long ago, F-U;kushima ? what happened, got fuc_ed up the as_ by a Moslem ? ! Before long, you’ll do the same thing and be Pro Tamil too !

  • 1

    Like boss, like employee. Surprising ? No

  • 0

    Stealing is ingrained in the Sri Lanken buddhist way,even in teledrama’s we see children stealing from the shop keeper and running away, and most people consider the shop keeper to be the bad person.
    And every one laughs over this.From day one if parents have been strict with the children regarding stealing then this wouldn’t have happend bringing shame on all Sri Lankens.
    1.School children stealing from shops is very common-introduce public caining when caught.
    2.Mob mentality in stealing by youths when they go into eatarys.and small
    retail establishments.
    3.stop teledrama which are promoting stealing in a good light.
    normally the shop keeper in these teledrama are potrayed as muslims.
    racist undertone

  • 2

    hai.. come on ! surely he must have seen a sales promotion board in arabic saying…………take now ..pay later !!!!!

    • 1

      Correction: my man in the duty free shop tells me that the board is in Arabic only and says تتخذ الآن، تدفع إذا كنت ننشغل which translated means ‘take now pay if you get caught’

      • 0

        Spring Koha

        You are wrong my sources say
        تتخذ الآن، إذا ما ألقي القبض عليك سوف يكلفك ذراع وساق
        Take now, if you get caught it will cost you an arm and a leg

  • 2

    I think it is just the liberation of the country from the LTTE terror by the mediation of MR make those average folks of the country, as if he made that magically.
    They dont consider that the previous govt ´s ceasefire escaped hundreds of soldiers being killed by the war during that 3 years. Our people are memory lossers – this is known to everyone.

    Lanken media should play (atleast pvt media) a greater role to awake average people providing them with all facts and figures. IT WILL BE TOO LATE IF THEY WOULD WAIT TO DO SO UNTIL THE COUNTRY WILL BECOME AN ANOTHER GREECE AFTER 2014. It is believed that govt has no income to run the years to come. Each of the 20 million population is already made to be debter of 0,2 mio rps to this date. Tourism has not worked to the levels sofar with increasing record high human right violation. No new harbours of airport have not brought much to the country yet. Foreign policy has been like gone to the levels of montesori under the guidance of highly recognized Professor GLP. UNHRC is waitin to charge srilanken in March 2014. All other countries call the island as no second to syria or myanmar.
    So, do we have properous future ahead of us as they the liars resound to their locals these days ?

    I believe MR is the most uneducated – wisdomless lanken leader we the srilanken ever produced. People got it wrong, and MR regime grabed the credit for the war victory. … now it is high time MEDIA to play its role leberating the country from MR ill politics.

  • 2

    No new harbours, conference halls, theaters and the airport seem to be bringing regular income to the country as they explain tothis date. People should read and open their eyes…to see the reality. Else, we will become ever loosers.
    We have already… only wayout will be the removal of MR by making genuine efforts. This man is worst than Zimbabwian Mugabe. How can he see in the eyes of others while he has been abusing the nation to this core ? Enough is enough.

  • 0

    Raja horu

  • 3

    Is it surprising that from top to bottom is
    reeling with corruption.

    The media men assigned to President
    Rajapaksa is not working for him alone.
    They are also working for the Chair-in-
    Office of 53 Commonwealth Countries.
    In that position the Sri Lanka is honour
    bound to uphold valued traditions.

    Where is the honor among those serving
    for Rajapaksa? One coolie steals a bed
    cover from a hotel in Belarus. Another
    steals a video camera?

    Is it not a crying shame on the leadership
    in Sri Lanka? What would they have to say
    to the following?

    1. Lakshman Hulugalle, who tried to
    commit suicide has been removed from the
    Media Centre for National Security. The unit
    has been closed down. But he continues to
    be the Director General of the NGO Secretariat,
    the Commercial Bank and a number of public
    quoted companies. The Securities and Exchange
    Commission has not been informed that he no
    longer holds these positions.

    2. A Co-ordinating Secretary to the Prime
    Minister issues a letter to a drug baron using the
    PM’s name. He is told to resign and the matter
    is hushed up there. Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne
    has not even given the public a convincing

    3. The Chairman of the Bribery Commission
    is accused of accepting the gift of a car when he
    was a Supreme Court judge. No inquiry has been
    held so far. The Commission is only used to witch
    hunt political opponents.

    4. UK MPs are being paid santhosams and given
    air tickets from the taxpayer’s money. They are purchased
    to support a highly corrupt regime. External Affairs Minister
    Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris has the temerity to deny
    when the records are to the contrary.

    5. Suspects of the Khurram Shaikh murder are given
    special treatment whilst all other murder suspects are placed
    in remand.


  • 1

    These are all part of the DREAM
    a sort of latter day LILLIPUT
    a land of GOOD little people
    ruled by BIG CROOKS and THUGS
    a CHINTHANAYA in any language.
    Let us celebrate CHRISTMAS
    before the yellow polka dot bikinis
    take that away too.
    BON NATTAL to all you (few) law abiding citizens out there.

  • 0

    [Edited out]

  • 1

    Old habits die hard!
    He missed a good chance of not paying duty at the Colombo airport also.
    Why the Attorney General had not laid charges against these criminals yet!

  • 0

    OMG If there are 10 guys like this, the whole duty free shops will be emptied.

  • 1

    Vijayananda Herath is known for using
    MR’s name to put small deals. I know
    those who paid him. These are the rogues
    who ruin a President’s name!!

  • 0

    Allah has punished him. Allahu Akbar! If he got caught trying fo

  • 0

    Allah has punished him. Allahu Akbar! If he got caught trying for sex with the women like the media minister in Australia-match over

  • 1

    These are the kind of men who sorround President Rajapakse. A disgraceful President and disgraceful voters who keep him in power.

    • 0

      Neither the Americans nor British despise Bush and Blair even though they made enough for 5 more generations in $billions. why Sooo??

  • 0

    There is something fishy here. Why did the shop security staff confront / arrest the alleged offender on the spot at leaving the shop counter but notified the Airport. That is very unusual. I was once told by French Police that shop security try to frame customers to show they are doing their job and they do not take them seriously. Even a former senior Police officer was alleged to have stolen a small tool at a Woolworth shop in London. In that case, many had an interest in this officer as he was who put , many under bars over F/E law violations. This is not to defend this photographer but to say there is another perspective, always.

  • 0

    Fair thinker

    I think it is grossly unfair to refer
    to the Woolworth incident. I am personally
    aware of that. Unfortunately one of our
    best crime investigators Tyrrel Gunatilleke
    (money could not buy him) was NOT rpt NOT
    involved in this incident and was proved
    not guilty. The black security guard was
    sacked from Woolworth. Know your facts if
    you are a fair thinker.

    In the case of the Presidential cameraman,
    the reports are very clear. He placed the
    video camera in his bag and walked out of
    the shop without paying. What do you call
    this fair thinker? If you don’t know, it is
    day light robbery. Think and think again.
    Don’t slander people without knowing the

  • 0

    I just read the comments of a few including
    Palm Squirrel. Think for a while. If the
    newspapers reported that MR’s men have been
    caught robbing, they will be accused of
    a conspiracy. So when you say the photographer
    was let off because of the high respect, there
    is no conspiracy. What say you?

  • 2

    Once there was an official function. When
    HE the President came, who gave the flower
    bouquet? It was the mistress of Vijayananda
    Herath. When HE came to know, he was very
    angry. He shouted at him. But why are these
    rogues being kept? Do they hold secrets which
    they will spill when they are sacked? When
    a school principal wanted a transfer, he
    took Rs 25000 and got the job done. There is
    lot lot more.

  • 2

    Newspaper reports say MR will visit
    Palestine and Israel.

    This time, the duty free shops in
    those airports may shut down or
    carry warnings DO NOT steal. The
    hotels may tie their bed covers
    through chains to an iron ball. If
    people like Vijayananda Herath steals
    another bed cover, he has to carry
    the steel ball too. Happy hunting.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.