It was Mahinda Rajapaksa and no one else that called for and used a helicopter to fly to Hambantota the day after he lost the Presidential Election in January 2015, according to sources close to the Rajapaksa family.
‘Sirisena took oaths on the evening of January 9th and until then Mahinda Rajapaksa was the President of the country. As was usual practice he had asked a member of his security detail, Captain Tissa Wimalasena to call for helicopters,’ sources pointed out, stating that Sirisena was distorting facts and making unfair accusations.
The controversy over Rajapaksa using Air Force helicopters arose when Sirisena, speaking at a ceremony to commemorate the late Ven Madoluwawe Sobitha Thero, said that the Air Force Commander had told him that helicopters had been released to his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to Hambantota after he, Rajapaksa, lost the presidential election ‘by so-and-so’ (ahavala) who said that he was conveying a request made by Sirisena.
Although Sirisena claimed ignorance and hinted that it was Ranil Wcikremesinghe who was responsible for this, he is on record having stated on April 09, 2016 that it was he who had given two helicopters to Rajapaksa on that occasion. He even observed on that occasion that ‘nowhere in the world has a head of state ben given helicopters to go home after an election defeat.’
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