1 December, 2020

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Sirisenas’ New York Visit Costs Rs.90 Million

The Government on Friday sought the approval of the Parliament for the allocation of Rs.90 million to meet the expenses of President Maithripala Sirisena’s New York visit last September where his son Daham Sirisena too was a member of the delegation.

Sirsena visited US to attend the UN General Assembly sessions last September.

Maithripala - Daham sirisena @ UNIn addition the government also sought approval for the allocation of Rs.18 million to meet expenses at the newly-established Presidential Investigation Unit.

A supplementary estimate to meet the above and for several other expenses was submitted in parliament by Government Chief Whip Gayantha Karunatilleke.

Earlier through seven supplementary estimates in May and June, President Maithripala Sirisena’s office sought Rs.380 million as expenditure for several projects. This was in addition to the annual allocation of monies for spending of the President.

These supplementary estimates were sought for the below mentioned projects.

An allocation of 10.1 million rupees to complete renovations of the senior minister’s office. Rs.70.6 million to buy a BMW motor car and 12 BMW R1200 motor cycles for the Presidential Security Division.

In addition, to rehabilitate and improve the residence of the President by joining two old houses in Colombo an expenditure of Rs.180 million was sought, through 02 supplementary estimates.

Also, Rs.2.7 million had been allocated to pay salaries of workers involved in the coordination and supervision of a science project and Rs.20.7 million for the setting up of a bureau to propagate national unity.

Another Rs.96 million supplementary estimate was submitted for two BMW motor vehicles, two vehicles for transporting President’s security vehicles and to cover additional expenses of President’s overseas visits.

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Latest comments

  • 59
    2

    Shameful, how top dogs of GOSL never spare anything for themselves.

    Have you been to Colombo General Hospital lately? Specially its’ OPD units. There everything is in terrible short supply to Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable. The sick and the poor.

    Have you seen how average citizens travel on over-crowded, stinking, dusty buses and trains in Sri Lanka? What a sight every day. After 65 years of Independence.

    Have these monkeys no shame? Coz’ the funds come from impoverished people. Who cannot afford life-saving drugs. Who pay tax when they buy essential items for survival. To finance Woldorf Astoria luxury hotel beds for our corrupt top politicians in New York.

    Why do we tolerate this life-style?

    Given our economic standing no Sri Lankan politician should be allowed to stay in anything other than a 3 Star hotel. When on travel. If they must travel.

    No politician in SL should be given duty-free, luxurious, gigantic, 4WD, SUVs with free fuel to speed around the Island. Often on wrong side of the road. For totally useless chores. If they need official transport, give them a reasonable hybrid vehicle. Period.

    Then again, as Sarath De Alwis quotes Dr.Colvin R de Silva in his article on CT today:
    “My own belief is that ultimately justice depends on the readiness of the people to fight for justice.”

    Cheers!

    • 27
      0

      Meanwhile the corrupt clown Arjuna Mahendran is issuing bonds to his son- in-law’s firm, borrowing billion, and depreciating the Sri Lanka currency and the cournty is headed for economic disaster… and default.

    • 18
      0

      Well said….bunch of crooks. No Idea how they busted $600K in 15 days…must have being eating high end escorts for all 3 meals and desert!

    • 14
      0

      As Emil says, these “monkeys” should be taught a lesson of shame.
      We should send them to AMerica and Israel to teach them how to behave like chosen humans.

      Get it?

    • 7
      3

      I think we need to check all the bits about the expenditure for the trip- as I goto tknow the entourage was relatively small compared to the previous time held by former Prez. We can attach today s president to have taken his son for the event, but to attack him for all what he has been doing is beyond all ethics and morals. I perfectly know that the incumbent president would not work with corrupt agendas. Nor would RW allow any fund abuses to be tdays agenda. So guys, please let all these go through your head before adding your thoughts.

      I believe, itwas wrong president or any rulers to take their offsprings to such events. There, president should give a statement to the nation. At least it should come from Prez spokesman/woman.

  • 17
    7

    Cost estimate for x 1 member

    board + lodging x 15 days = $6,000
    air travel = $2,000
    car hire = $4,500
    mics costs = $500
    total = $13,000

    for x 5 member delegation = $65,000.

    That cost is reasonable given its NY.

    • 10
      0

      90m SLR doesn’t equate to that does it?

      • 7
        2

        Did you mean 9 Millions? Then the last one is only the Royal government’s usual zero casualty. They just killed an additional zero in the paper work. Why take too seriously about a zero?

        • 4
          0

          “Why take too seriously about a zero”? Because it is at the wrong end of the digits!

      • 13
        0

        My apologies. You are correct.

        That is an incredible waste.

        • 1
          0

          How are those dumb thumbsuppers going to apologize? Break off their thumbs?

    • 9
      0

      Rs.90 million equates to $685,000 – not $65,000

    • 9
      1

      Its not $65K its around $665K……guess you did not include expenses for “Gay clubs” & “Strip clubs” and also not forgetting VVIP/VIP daily expense allowance and some pocket money for the young buck!!!

    • 1
      0

      You got your bloody math wrong comrade. IF it is 90MILLION that is 645K USD

  • 21
    0

    In Sri Lanka politicians adopt the millionaire life style but they expect the average citizen to tighten his belt and practically live like a beggar.

    Politicians indulge in all sorts of sinful luxuries and the citizens have to finance them by paying indirect taxes on even basic foodstuffs and other essentials.

    Not only do they want BMW cars to travel in, they want BMW motorcycle escorts for those cars while the average citizen finds it difficult to feed and clothe his family and educate his children.

    As one of your contributors observed, “The more things change, the more they stay the same!”

  • 19
    0

    I am sure there will be the usual barrage of justification against MR’s expenditure – well taken.

    However, this government was supposed to hit the ground running– state visits take a huge chunk of so-called executive time should be used to do real work over here. We all know that such visits are 10% spent on meeting anybody of importance and the balance touring and being shown cultural ‘experiences’ such as RW at the Japanese tea ceremony.

    When you campaign on a platform of purity and commitment, you must be at least seen to make an effort. Physical work seems to be a tiresome thing for the modern day politician and with the opposition effectively silenced with portfolios; you and I are being subject to secret bills and blanket cover-ups.

    Harin boasts of his month-long visit to the Rugby World Cup in England on his face book, showing political naivety of the worst kind. Wherever the money came from, should he not be hard at work pushing technology, the need of the hour?

    Nepotism is surely the joke of the day – after berating MR for his plants, ministers are blackmailing RW who looks impotent on such matters. The real danger of jobs for the boys is that no one will dare to bring out any misdeeds or incompetence when the culprit is the bosses family.

    The natives are restless and MR sits smirking on the sideline with his 95 cohorts.

    • 8
      4

      Your observations are more astute and spot on than the general commentors here who seem to lack the ability to see beyond useful numbers.

      90million rupees on its own does not tell us much, until we analyse the context and any long term gain (if any!) it brings the country. For example, if it saves us from spending 500 million on pointless lobbying firms + commissions then it is somewhat justifiable. If not, no. The figures for the construction projects (myself being from the industry) seem to vary from reasonable to excessive- it is difficult to say until we know the scope of work.

      The figures for the motor vehicles are in line with the expected prices, in the event that all duties have been paid. If these have been siphoned into pockets, though, they are then unreasonable. MR’s expenditure is irrelevant here, as I believe it is already established that his expenses cannot be considered reasonable by any means.

      I hope the CT will learn to show more objectivity in its reporting (instead of dazzling us with the BIG NUMBERS) while the fools in the commentary box will also learn to think a bit critically.

      Your approach is far better, especially these observations on Harin and the opportunity cost involved. Likewise for the rest.

      Here’s hoping that all Sri Lankans (politicians and citizen Silvas alike) will stop missing the woods for the trees in time to come.

  • 0
    1

    VIBUSHANA[Edited out]

  • 9
    2

    If we are to back-calculate

    Rs. 90 Mn = 90,000,000

    Based on an exchange rate of 135

    90,000,000= US$ 666,667

    So how many people were in the delegation and the no. of days spent in NY?

    VVIP would have flown business class.

    Ohama yang Sira. Don’t stop without outperforming the former King.

    This is the money that you had created for SL so why not spent a small portion of it. Let the poor die without urgent medication.

  • 6
    1

    Why was so called Ambassador Kariyawasam in NY to welcome the President when it was NOT a visit to the United States but a Visit to New York for the UNGA meeting?Traditionally it was the Ambassador to the UN who did the welcoming part. It had been so atleast from the time of Shirley Amerasinghe if not earlier.I am told it was changed when Jaliyah Wickresuriya was Ambassador to the US.As a relative of Mahinda Rajapaksa he had always had come to NY to meet and greet his cousin and in the process dislodged the colourless Paltha Kohonna who was Ambassador in NY.

    Now Kariyawasam continues with the same style having dislodged the talented but self effacing Rohan Perera the Ambasador in NY from playing his legitimate role.Why must the Ambassador in Washington come all the way to NY to receive the President when we have a fully fledged Ambassador in NY? Imagine the huge extra cost involved. Is Kariyawasam been still given all extra privileges because he happens to be Mahinda Rajapaksa’s distant relative? Is he so jobless in Washington that he has all the time in the world to come to NY and keep smiling for the cameras at the expense of the Ambassador in NY?Is he been rewarded for saying he never saw or heard Chris Nonis been resoundingly slapped by Sajin Vass even though he was seated just next to Nonis?Is he been rewarded by been kept in DC even though he by ineptitude nearly succeeded in breaking our relations with India, when he was ambassador in New Delhi? To date Kariyawasam is the only one Sri Lankan to be ticked off by the Indian government on account of his remark that ” many legislators in. Tamil Nadu had LTTE links” Or was Kariyawsams participation in NY demanded by his one time erstwhile deputy in New Delhi, Mrs Maheshini Colonne,who is said to have needed his “presence” in NY ?Incidentally she had tried to worm her way into the Prime. Ministers office though the influence of her Defence Ministry brother and Gotabaya confidante when some one had alerted the PM and the appointment was stopped.

    So all of you guys and gals can. go on shouting about increased costs of the trip to NY but who cares? Nothing has changed and nothing will change as long as Rajapaksa acolytes remain entrenched.Too many vermin of the MR regime are all over the woodwork waiting to jump ship no sooner it’s time.Until then they will sabotage from inside.Only Ranil W has slightly realized the gravity of the situation but is that enough?The government should wake up before it is too late.

    • 1
      0

      Very interesting indeed! This supports what I have believed for a very long time: that there is no hope for a corruption free Administration in Sri Lanka. Is it too much to hope that soon there will be an overbearing calamity overtaking the vermin in high places, destroying them all at the same time, and the country get a chance to start over with new uncorrupt blood?

  • 12
    8

    Can CT also present the expenses incurred for the UN visit in 2014 by MR,then only we can comment

    • 4
      0

      The funny thing is that this Government came to the voters in the YAPALAYANA LABEL . MR government did not . That is the difference . Who has the last laugh ???

    • 0
      0

      Thank you Sanjaya for drawing attention to that Article by Ajith Rupasinghe. If anyone wants to open his eyes to the never ending brazen exploitation and cheating of the middle class and poverty stricken masses (over 90% of the population) this Article surely shows how. Compare what we had under the Rajapakse Regime, what we were promised if we banished it, and what we have got. We got only euphoria.

      What’s the solution. First of all march to wherever the President resides. Slaughter him. Proceed to Parliament while in session. Slaughter the Politicians in the front rows. Keep repeating until we get the required result. Any takers?

  • 5
    0

    politicians destroy the country.

    Still these people write about party politics and not about politicians and the political system in Sri lanka.

    • 1
      0

      Jim softy

      “politicians destroy the country. Still these people write about party politics and not about politicians and the political system in Sri lanka.”

      Because they are tribal.

  • 7
    0

    There is no difference between Sirisenaya and Mahindaya in expenditure and stupidity. Mahindaya built a palace and amassed a colossal fleet of vehicles. Why couldn’t My3palaya use those infrastructure facilities and vehicles? I think someone must go to courts for wasting national wealth against My3palaya. Also going along with the right to information the breakup of the Rs. 90M must be obtained and published in CT forums and so must be in the case of other expenses regarding renovations to presidential residences.

    • 0
      0

      What about Wickramasingheya ? Is he a saint ? Stop attacking my3 this way ?
      Mahinda deserves all kind of defarmations but MY3 has not abused people s funds yet spending a luxurious life as had been the case for Mahinda Jarapakshe. You may be related to RW – only to add very positive thoughts- but please be careful adding your thoughts to MY3.. that can then help you colombo guys to learn respect others too.

      • 0
        0

        Ha! ha!! a real True Believer!!. Tell me, is MY3’s @rse as soft as they say, when you are (respectfully) kissing it ?

  • 4
    4

    I think we are being unfair. What has to be done is to have the Auditor General check this out. It is easy to take a clip of news that is completely unsubstantiated and blow it out of proportion.

    • 2
      3

      You mean Auditor General has to check up how much it costed to the New Prince’s New York visit?

      You are a comedian man!

      What was your Auditor General was doing when the 18 billion dollars was going to Swiss banks and Dubai Banks? Cooking in the kitchen of Tilak marapana or Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa?

      Tell me the truth! Which was last number of your Auditor General’s new bungalow number? Did ever a crime of the Sinhala Intellectuals’ go not fully defended like losers(unless by now if your fingers have become not enough to keep track of your new bungalows number) like you?

      Come on man! Is this really a needed defense man? Do you think we too are such Modayas’ never would have thought about it? Or do think that CT world is also like Lankawe’s parliament (even the Pettah Market may start daily with better crowd) 55% uneducated?

      • 2
        1

        The Auditor General does not have to go to New York. As far as I am aware, all State Officials who go abroad on official business must submit a statement of accounts on their return. It is submitted to the Finance Manager or the Controller of the particular department or ministry where he/she works and this is scrutinized. If necessary, an accountant from the department may be sent to New York to verify.

        Its no use just screaming and abusing our politicians and State Officials on paper. We need people to run the nation but we the PEOPLE must be directly involved. These requirements of ARs and FRs that are clear in the Sri Lanka Civil Service or Administrative Service were in place till perhaps recently, when the national unity and responsibilities just collapsed along with good governance in the last several years, because of the ethnic divide. What is really necessary is for SOCIETY to push hard for the re-introduction of Due Diligence on all sections of government. What I am saying is that it is no use just criticizing the Prez. or anyone based on a news report which has not even been authenticated. It is very easy to stand aloof and ‘throw stones’ but this is all that happens until the next election when the same fiascos may be seen.

  • 6
    0

    Sirisena is just as bad as the Rajapakse clan, I guess he did belong to that group at one time. What the heck is wrong with these power hungry, greedy politicians? Ask any common man/woman about the cos of living and the sky rocketing prices, and you know something is wrong in our country. Instead of looking after the people who keep voting for these clowns, they keep treating their families and friends to expensive trips abroad.

    This present government, like those before them, have no concept of recovering losses, sacrificing, and the word “cutting back for the sake of the country” never seem to be in their behavior.

    What a disgusting lot. Only when the next elections come around, we can see them begging the people to vote for them.

    • 5
      1

      Manel

      “Only when the next elections come around, we can see them begging the people to vote for them.”

      And you have to ask yourself a question, why do they vote for the crooks time and again?

      Apart from UNP and SLFP, what is the alternative that people could chose from? As Mahinda said known devil is better than unknown angel.

      Do you think JVP a viable alternative? Honestly not many people want to live in another North Korea.

      • 4
        1

        Dear Native,

        Good point mate..

        I feel it is time to give your Velala mates’ Tamil Arasa Kattu a go..

        Now that they talk like disowning Pirahaparan ( Have they ) perhaps our inhabitants must give them a go..

        But they hav to become non racist and change that Thamil bit and allow at least fellow inhabitants in Colombo to become members.

        What really excites me most is the prospect of all that Diaspora Dollars coming in as investments to develop the North .

        At least our Dalits in the South who were thrown on to the scrap heap by Batalanda Ranil and his mate Galleon, can find jobs in the North as they used to do under the non Yahapalanaya.

        What do you reckon mate.

        BTW, Sambnadan must ditch JVP Prince . I totally agree , you wouldn’t want to live under JVP Anura Da Kim Jun….

        • 0
          0

          KAS,

          “What really excites me most is the prospect of all that Diaspora Dollars coming in as investments to develop the North.”

          Please do not hold your breath while expecting Diaspora or any other productive investment in the North.

      • 2
        0

        Mr. Native. Do we have any other options? Haven’t they fooled us right before our eyes since independence up to this day in so many ways.

        what ever the common misconception the mass have are systematically brainwashed throughout the history so that they are forced to vote for this puppets which already do worsen the same issues which they cant address properly.

        Even your adding N.Korea here will give that butterfly effect and helps the cunning crooks to fool the mass for more.

        the truth is they are the once who are incapable. stupid. racist. They cant think outside the box because they are puppets.

      • 1
        0

        Quite right Native. Its easy for the JVP to be upright and pius when they are in opposition.

  • 3
    1

    With our Yahapalana Rupee fetching close 150 against the Greenback, this is not even USD 800,000.

    Obviously Yahapalana supporters can’t expect Bodhi Sira to buy a Batwurst in a Bun from a Food Cart next to Waldorf, on his way to the UN to attend such a important event in the 2500 year history of our Mahawamsa Motherland.

    I mean Bodhi Sira was there to bow down to the three most powerful nations in the West.

    And he was promising them in front of the Bedouin Prince that we , the inhabitants will grant all their demands with respect to the rights of their Diaspora Citizens who came from Srilanka and their kith and kin who are still left behind after their liberation leader was eliminated.

    These demands which include imprisoning the brave soldiers who didn’t fight the Terrorists according to the guidelines set out by HR protectors, Merssers Cameron Harper and John Kerry.

    And promise to remove all Armed Forces from lands where the Liberation Leader carried out his 30 year struggle.

    Plus grant the Diaspora allies in Colombo the exclusive rights to these lands.

    Do you expect our great leader who is supposed to represent the interests of the great majority of the inhabitant population to do this history making deal on a Beer Budget?.

    If it wasn’t that important , our Prime Mnister Batalanda Ranil would have represented us . Wouldn’t he ?. .

  • 3
    1

    As usual. Taking the citizens for a ride is the privilege of the President of Sri Lanka!

  • 2
    2

    Crooks in south and cheats in north. Mixed in east & west. Fools electing these crooks and cheats time and again are all over the country.

    SJV once said ” now onlyGod could save Tamils”. Shall we say now ” only God could save the country” .

  • 2
    2

    Lets not talk like idiots critiquing everything.

    When in Rome you got to be a Romeo.

    90 million for a State Foreign Trip may sound huge expense. In reality it is not for a Presidential delegation. SL Rupees 90 mil equals to USD 700k. Minus the travel cost. Surely they cannot fly economy class for 20 hrs and then report to work next day. So deduct the cost of air ticket. Then divide this by number of days the delegation had to stay and then by number of officials. They cannot stay with relatives or Rest House’s if they want to mix with world leaders.

    Be reasonable.

  • 0
    1

    What I want to know is who paid for the brat? Surely his pocket money did not extend that far?

    • 0
      0

      Paul,

      “What I want to know is who paid for the brat? Surely his pocket money did not extend that far?”

      I agree with you. It is acceptable and even necessary to visit the UN in New York. The tax payers however should not pay for the brat.

      Why does MS not make a statement about having paid for the expenses of his son to clear the doubts? He can even reimburse now when the expenses are known.

  • 0
    0

    AT LKR 140 per USD that is a boatload of US dollars
    $642,857.14

    His Royal Highness Prince Daham Sirisena, and his Dad King Maithripala and Viceroy Mangala, and all the small contingent consumed a lot of dollars of hard to get money in cash strapped Sri Lanka. Sirisena should have learnt from Sirimavo Madam’s haal polima era where she stayed cheap and traveled Economy class and got her entourages to return every dollar of unspent Per Diems back to the Foreign Ministry after their trips. I am sure some of them went shopping but the unused portion of their allowances had to be returned. It was easy because those days people carried traveller’s cheques.
    [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Is MS following the footsteps of MR?

  • 0
    0

    For a delegation of under 10 persons (the usual leeches included in this number) an expenditure of Rs 90,000,000 eqivalent to US$ 666,000 for the trip to and from NYC is obscene. The person responsible (you know who) qualifies to be branded as a madhafkr. According to Vibhushana’s calculation the legitimate expenditure should not have exceeded US$ 65,000 – only 1/10th of the amount spent.

    However most commentors here have failed to even attempt to DEMAND accountability, their right as citizens.

    I demand from Mfkr Sirisena to give a detailed account on an excel sheet of all the expenses incurred. Let us organize a procession to the Kings Court, surround the place, hold demonstrations, make speeches, burn an effigy, and do the other things to draw attention, and stay put until such account is handed over. Let us study the account on site, and let us demand Sirisena sign a statement that he will personally return the misappropriated moneys to the exchequer looted by him, his cronies and relatives.

    Sirisena prove to us you do not deserve to be guillotined on the street.

    AKD the big talker, where are you?

  • 0
    0

    We must have an accounting of what could have been done with 90 million rupees for the people. How much by way of drugs, clean water, good sanitation etc went missing because Sirisena had to go to the UN with his son. So, another myth about a politician being good and honest goes overboard. We never had honest politicians in Sri Lanka. Even NM had his Karadara Mill. Colvin gave up on parity of status for peanuts. They are all the same. They trade on the passions of people who alternate between extreme chauvinistic nationalism and honesty. Everyone, from judge to lawyer, politician to pandangkaraya are dishonest rogues. Even teachers are rogues as they get more from tuition. There is no honorable profession left in the country any more. It is disgusting.

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