20 November, 2019

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President’s Mistimed Benefit Could Amount To At Least Rs. 360 Million – TISL

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is deeply concerned by the recent decision made by the cabinet of ministers, allowing President Maithripala Sirisena to remain in his official residence at Mahagama Sekara Mawatha (formerly Pajet Road) in Colombo. TISL believes that the timing of the decision when the President is still in office and is the Head of Cabinet raises serious questions regarding conflicts of interest. This is underscored by the decision of the Supreme Court in 2007 regarding the premature exercise of executive power under the Presidents Entitlements Act of 1986.

Sirisena

Whilst former Presidents and their widows/widowers are entitled to an official residence as per the provisions of the Presidents Entitlements Act 1986, TISL wishes to draw attention to a 2007 judgment of the Supreme Court. In a fundamental rights application to the Supreme Court (SC FR503/2005) a three-judge bench ruled in favour of the petitioners, quashing the cabinet decisions on grants and entitlements to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, whilst the President was in office.

In its judgement the court noted, “The facts that have been clearly established in this case prove that the 1st respondent and the Cabinet of Ministers of which she was the head, secured for the 1st respondent benefits and advantages in the purported exercise of executive power in breach of the provisions of the President’s Entitlement Act No. 4 of 1986.”  

TISL is firmly of the stance that decisions pertaining to such entitlements should only be taken at such time that the sitting President ceases to hold office. Furthermore, the fact that the decision was made during an election period where the President has declared that he will remain impartial despite his party’s decision to support a candidate, also raises several red flags on electoral integrity and potential corruption under the Bribery Act.

TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “A conservative estimate could place the benefit afforded to President Sirisena, as a result of retaining the official residence at Mahagama Sekara Mawatha, at over 360 million rupees over a 20-year period. As this decision has been made by the cabinet of ministers led by President Sirisena the conflict of interest is deeply concerning and illustrates little consideration for the protection of public resources”. 

TISL calls for the cabinet to immediately revoke any cabinet decision on the entitlements of President Sirisena. (TISL)

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Latest comments

  • 27
    4

    A letter proposing this was submitted to the Cabinet by none other than the UNP’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Utter bar stewards, the lot of them.

    • 19
      0

      Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL),

      “TISL calls for the cabinet to immediately revoke any cabinet decision on the entitlements of President Sirisena. (TISL)”

      Do the Sri Lankan politicians have ethics?

      Please challenge in the courts, AFTER the Presidential election. Remember, Sirisena, is a certified sleaze.

      • 1
        0

        Amare,

        The news says he has asked Dilan to resign so he can return to parliament. Remember, technically entire SLFP MPs (95) under him.

        If Old Brother Prince wins, Old King would like to become the PM. Then what is New King going to do there? If Vaalaiththodam Jr wins and he didn’t offer the PM position to New King, again technically Old King should step aide to give the opposition leadership to New King.

        Now New King has handed over the SLFP leadership responsibilities to Dayasiri. Old King didn’t get the SLFP leadership, but still it is with New King. Media is saying that Old Royals are working on plans to capture the SLFP as whole, fearing that it may go to CBK. It looks like one day the troubles Lankawe face may go solved but SLFP cannot recover.

        • 2
          0

          Absolutely complicated post.

          As if we haven’t enough complications to worry about !

      • 3
        0

        TISL,

        Sirisena, the Traitor Sleaze, cattier out s constitutional coup, which he took oaths to protect, Oct 26, 2019, and instead of impeaching him, the cabinet of imbecile ministers reward him.

        A Land like no other, where the Para-Imbeciles govern and rule.

    • 3
      0

      Why don’t they compare his pension and benefits with all the others including MR. That will determine whether it is justified or not.

    • 4
      0

      see how is our country……Sira said in 2015 that he was not using that huge presidential palace since it is too big and maintenance cost is very high. Sira made this bungalow amalgamating two big houses at this place and said that after pension he would go to Polonnaruwa and do farming. now he wants this huge palace to live with his all children who married and separated ,spending state money, Now people get together and should throw the stones at this house and send them to polonnaruwa.

  • 48
    1

    Reminds me of a certain young man who was suddenly re-instated to the Navy, promoted to Lt. Cmdr likewise and appears with medals he wasn’t entitled to. And not a whimper in protest or outrage from anyone. Typical Banana Republic behaviour.

    • 14
      1

      Pro Bono Publico. Good on you.

    • 16
      1

      Pro bono publico,
      We are worse-off than a Banana Republic because our retarded and primitive Sinhala slaves are now got the taste of sucking onto Rapaksha Bananas.

    • 0
      0

      We were a group who opposed to Gota, and seriously considering voting for Sajith. But none of the unp’ers had guts to oppose this cowardly act. So I appeal to all moderate voters to vote for Anura Kumara Dissanayake

  • 29
    0

    This apology of a president is only worried about feathering his nest and his future. To hell with the country. But then again, aren’t they all that.

  • 31
    1

    The official residence of the president is not a residence, but an office, by definition. President is promised a residence only, I believe. Double game Mangla cannot do this.

    For all the worthy jobs he did during his tenure, I would like to present the Hospital in Angoda to him to live life long.

    • 21
      0

      He has publicly declared that he will set fire to everything before he
      leaves – the author of such a statement needs to retract it before he
      is provided with “Housing” during his time on earth, which this man does NOT deserve.

  • 23
    0

    when a former gram sevaka becomes president what can you expect
    making hay while the sunshines?
    the govt must be scared as to what he might do before the election so they thought it best to pander to him till election time

    • 13
      0

      Nalmen, its not because he was a Grama Sevaka that he is doing this. He is doing it because he is a corrupt politician and a thief.

      Articulate, English speaking Royalist Ministers and MPs, who would not even know what a Grama Sevaka is, are doing the same.

  • 17
    0

    Pro Bono Publico and Mallaiyuran, Thank the Lord almighty, that those in Power did not deem fit to Hand over the Presidents House in the retirement package for keeps to Sirisena and Family in the entitlement! All the Public Servants and Politicians in SL may demand and get the Government residence they occupy as entitlement when they retire!! The next best residence in the area reliably informed is occupied by Mangala Sam. By the same Logic he would be the beneficiary of that Pot of Gold. Waste of Public Money and reason for escalation of Taxes. Pity the SL Tax payers and what Logic and rational thinking in SL by politicians than line their pockets at their own will!!!

  • 15
    0

    These “Retirement Benefits” are granted to all the “Retired” Presidents, including Chandika Bandaranayke, Hema Premadasa and Mahinda Rajapakse. Do we know, how much the “Tax Payers” pay for all those “Benefits”? All such “Benefits” are in the National Budget. The question to be decided by the PEOPLE is: Should we pay for all those “Benefits” and at what costs? If the answer is a resounding “NO” (obviously it must be NO), then the next BEST thing to do is to install a President who is promising that such “Benefits” would be “WITHDRAWN IMMEDIATELY’ and cut all other expenses, (Security, Office, Food etc.) of “Maintaining” these ex Presidents by 90%. So far, only ONE candidate, who is the nominee of the “Peoples Power Movement” , AKD has declared that it would be done. In the absence of all other candidates FOR such a move, let AKD be installed and get this lingering CURSE ended for ever. AKD must inform the tax payers, what the “COST”,(in monetary terms) that would be saved, so that the Tax Payers (all the people) would be able to SAVE and deploy such funds for development work. So far AKD has not “QUANTIFIED” that “90%” would be. He needs to do that soon.

  • 21
    3

    Folks, atleast look at the positive side of all this. He did not loot the coffers of the Nation (and his children did not set a bad example) to the extent bufoon MR & his retarded sons’ excesses. Let us atleast be grateful to him to have come forward to chase away the criminal, dictator tyrant and despot (although later on he betrayed all those who voted for him). That old leech (MR) still wants more power to continue from where he left off! He refuses to listen to the verdict of the People. Let’s send another message in 2019 as well.

    • 5
      1

      Gamini,

      The talking points of the Sajith-team is very-good/excellent.

      But don’t leave Basil out: highlight Basil’s mansions without owners and other swindles. These have to be hit upon every day ad nauseam. Expose how Fonseka handled imprisonment like man while Basil always came in an ambulance.

      Study Karl Rove and go straight for the perceived Rajapakse strengths – protectors of Buddhism, Nation, National-security, Ranaveeruwans etc.

      Do a Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) …….. get hold of a group of credible ex-soldiers and go straight for the perceived Rajapkse strength and systematically destroy it. Expose the truth about Yositha: how he never went within 100 miles of the war-zone (how Clinton down to Trump avoided war by using family privilege but want to get the credit for a strong-nation.) Say Prince Andrew was flying helicopter gunships in the Faklands war.

      protectors of Buddhism —> expose how they raced around Dalada Maligawa and had Russian harlots dancing around it. Expose how the Rajapakses threatened to split the Nikayas when the Buddhist-priests protested about Fonseka’s imprisonment.

      Nation —> How they sold the Army headquarters. Gave free-hold land in the port-city to China, where it would have ended up like Gibraltar: China having a foothold right in the capital Colombo and we couldn’t have done anything about it once established.

      National-security —> Expose all the agreements with America was signed by none other than still American citizen Gota.

      Ranaveeruwans —> Expose the agreement to handover Ranaweeruwas was signed by Mahinda with Ban Ki-moon in Kandy few days after the conclusion of the war.


      There’s enough truth out there to counter all the Rajapakse lies ……. use them.

      Lets first save the country from the Rajapakse menace …….. and then hang the rest of the pols for gross incompetence.

      • 0
        0

        why expose how artist Sabitha Perera was kept by Gota with 4 STF security and given 25 perches land in Kimbulawala near Army food stall.

    • 6
      0

      Gamini
      When Abdul qulam was a prez of India,his brother and children came over and stayed with him for holiday,after they all gone he drew his own cheque for their stay.
      He went to a opening ceremony he lit the oil lamp with a candle,there he explained how Indian unity is oil lamp -symbol for Hindu the candle for Christians and am a Moslem .
      These are the so called role models,and leaders a child can look upto them.
      For this beautiful island we don’t need soldiers ,all we need is a good leader.

  • 24
    0

    This country will never get of rid of corruption till someone come hang this kind of corrupt president for staging coup and making this kind of demand to lead a luxury life after he completed his office .

  • 4
    0

    artificial stupidity.

  • 17
    0

    Yesterday I wrote about the money wasted on our crooked politicians. Today I hear The Clown is on his way to Japan and then this. For the struggling poor 350 million can go a long way. More than 700 million people can have roof above their head, or children may complete schools or youth may find a job to be the bread winner in their family.Pension and perks for what ???? For screwing the country and people. Welcome to Lanka.

  • 22
    0

    Didnt we hear this clown telling us, he will return home and do farming. May be government may provide land too. This is the so called “Simple Thatha”we were told four years ago. This is the hypocrisy of Lankan politicians. Buddhism rewritten in Lanka by politicians. The fun is not yet over. Wait for the coming ones.

  • 3
    0

    MY3, being a member of team (MY3 + RW) that let us down in duping the not so circumspect to vote for them, now seeks an accomodation befitting a President on retirement. I trust that all concerned are aware that a mansion was provided to Chandrika on her retirement as President on Cabinet Approval and that was outlawed by the Supreme Court. Interestingly it was Mangy Sam who proposes it this time. Mangy’s officials know the legal position and so should be Mangy. My feeling is that Mangy is trying to be nice to MY3, only to be challenged again in Court. Incidentally, like Sajith now, MY3 said that he would be overseeing the affairs of the State as President from his hamlet of Polonnaruwa but build a fortress in Paget Road. Is somebody giving a dead rope to MY3 so that the same fate that befell Chandrika will fall on MY3?

  • 15
    0

    Non of the ministers had the guts to object to it. Elections are near, UNP does not want to mess around with “HITANG” because of his influence.

    Rs. 400 – Rs. 800 millions for rest his life and his kids. Not bad for 4 years of doing nothing.

  • 18
    0

    Life is absurd, but it can’t get more bizarre than this. Sira is a shameless evil-clown who gave a kick in the teeth to the people who voted for him to restore democracy and the rule of law. Instead of fulfilling his pledge to bring the Rajapaksa Mafia to justice, he has actually facilitated their return to power. In the process he even staged the October coup that almost destroyed democracy in the country. Now he’s being rewarded with a 360 million housing benefit in addition to the obscenely lucrative retirement benefits that an ex-president in this absurd country is entitled to. WTF.

  • 14
    0

    Yes, yes, these Leeches, blood sucking vultures and free riders want everything, until their last breath, at the people’s cost, that too in stumbling style . What’s the good they did to the people and the country, but had good fun, ruined it, and sent it to the gutters. No pension, they wouldn’t deserve it, but the people should ask them to return all what they spent on them. Else they should provide a house in Polonaruwa for him to have an easy and peaceful life with abundant nature and natural settings.

  • 10
    0

    Minister Mangala Samaraweera has recommended to cabinet that Hopper Sirisena be given the official residence even after retirement! The reason? His unrelenting fight against Drugs.! But everyday someone or other is caught with Ice, Heroin, Cocaine, Kerala Ganga etc etc.
    Awarding official residences to Ministers who are no longer Ministers for their personal use will be the next step.This precedent will cover all others too.
    I Agree with Douglas that this issue be put to the people to decide at a referendum. After all the bill is paid by the National Budget!.

  • 0
    13

    Does this Transparency International Corporation ,fund Sira’s Retirement?..

  • 10
    0

    After all he is “Janadipathi Thaatha” and he is entitled to it according to his law.
    After he retires he will enjoy himself as “Dicks Joy.”
    What a bunch of Wankers we have who preside over our country.

  • 2
    1

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  • 2
    10

    I am not sure about the East, because of Zaharan’s mates in high positions in the Government.

    But the North would have been handed over to our Vellala Brothers in Cinnamon Gardens and their Cousins in the Diaspora for sure, with Freehold Titles for the Public Lands and a TNA Police to guard them , if not for this President.

    I don’t think the great majority of our inhabitants who pay VAT wouldn’t mind Sira getting this Package for saving the Country from Partition..

    • 2
      10

      I was thinking the same way, K.A.S..
      However much we ridicule Sirisena, the Gamaya is entitled to say ” Mahinda Rajapaksa saved the country from Velupillei Prabhakaran and I saved the country from Ranil Wickramasinghe”

      Soma

      • 1
        0

        Fair Comment.. Soma..

      • 2
        2

        somass

        “I was thinking the same way, K.A.S..”

        I am surprised you are thinking.
        It was VP who saved the country from Hindians and himself and elected Mahinda the crook twice. What a sacrifice VP had forced on people of this island.

    • 2
      2

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      “But the North would have been handed over to our Vellala Brothers in Cinnamon Gardens and their Cousins in the Diaspora for sure, with Freehold Titles for the Public Lands and a TNA Police to guard them , if not for this President.”

      While you stupid Sinhala/Buddhist fascists focus on minorities’ (since 1915) every word and s**t foreigners are grabbing land, water, sea, sky………………. and by the way your women folks here and away.

      Probably you enjoy being short sighted or watching your women folks are being groped.

  • 2
    1

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  • 8
    0

    Is my3 resigned to his fate, of not being elected again?
    Hence he is trying to grab what he can while he has a few more days in office.
    This is a desperate move of a drowning man. As they say a drowning man will hang onto even a straw.

  • 9
    0

    Whether Sirisena is in power or not, fortunately he could enjoys his life with all privileges and facilities.
    This is only country in this world that provides such even after not in power or not holding office.
    Millions of people are suffering…. No shelters…No capability to buy medicines…
    Millions of children have no school facilities.
    What a HELL …
    Shame…Shame…Shame…

  • 3
    1

    I thought Sira wanted to do everything from Polonnaruwa. Is Japan tour his last?

  • 3
    0

    Everyone focusing the attention on Sirisena. This only shows what a lowly and crafty crook Ranil Wickramasinghe is.
    A fortnight ago Sira said ” Wait and see who will be in the net, much much bigger people than you think” indicating an atom bomb is in on way.
    This will be the biggest open bribe thus far recorded.

    Soma

    • 1
      0

      Soma
      This janathipathi thathi set fire to his own father’s paddy field

    • 1
      1

      somass

      Come on,
      Where is your ability to process deductive reasoning?
      I am sorry I am asking the wrong person.

      Just before 2015 elections Mahinda also threatened the waivers with “FILES”. Is he still sitting on those said files or his piles?

      I envy your relentless outpouring of nonsense.

  • 6
    0

    unfortumately people havent forgotten the jvp,s past history though many seem to have forgotten gotas
    so douglas akd cant win though his policies might be the best

  • 2
    0

    now we know why sirisena lost his sanity by pardoning racist rabble rousers and murderers
    he was hit on his head with a broomstick when he was a schoolboy

  • 5
    1

    Sirisena & his clan come a close second to the Rajapakse clan when it comes to corruption & nepotism. Generous perks & pensions, housing etc attract thugs, yobs & other undesirables to politics. The ever increasing ministerial portfolios & advisers in a bloated cabinet is a burden on the suffering people of SL who already struggling to make ends meet. Sirisena, despite the privilege of holding the highest office in the country, is an example of a pathetic failure & he is not alone, his predecessors were no better. Theses selfish people have no conscience & self respect, otherwise I can’t see how they can sleep at nights knowing they have, & are, milking this country dry. Naming & shaming doesn’t work on them & they are above the law.

    We are helpless with no choice when it comes to selecting an able leader, therefore, its time we looked beyond the mainstream parties. Nagananda Kodithuwakku pledged to bring in the much needed reforms & trim the perks of politicians. I would be willing to take my chances on such an unknown reformist than a known criminal but, unless backed by a mainstream party, any potential reformist will lack the colossal funding required to take the message to the villagers & the man on the street. Certainly the mainstream parties won’t like that, therefore, reformists like Nagananda have no platform to spread their message. France elected Macron who had no political experience & no political party but this is SL. We are happy to live in denial & even hero worship those who are screwing us.

  • 1
    0

    This only happens in Sri Lanka, the land of zombies.

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