Harendra Kolitha Balapatabendi, son of President’s secretary Kusumsiri Balapatabendi under the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has been named in the Offshore leaks database released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Colombo Telegraph investigation found.
Kusumsiri Balapatabendi was the Chairman of all tender boards during the PA regime appointed by then President Kumaratunga. He was also the Chairman, SriLankan Airlines. He was then appointmented as High Commissioner in Australia. Harendra Kolitha Balapatabendi, has invested nearly Rs. 300 million in real estate in Australia since having migrated only four years ago in the year 2000, according to an article published by the Sunday Leader in December 2004.
According to the newspaper the young Balapatabendi’s name was also associated with the multi million dollar locomotive deal during the PA regime where the cabinet appointed tender board (CATB) headed by B. C. Perera was summoned to Temple Trees by President Kumaratunga and told to change the award made to the lowest bidders. The award finally went at a cost of millions of dollars more to a group reportedly backed by Balapatabendi junior. During the time of President Kumaratunga, Harendra Balapatabendi, was also embroiled in arms procurement scandals.
According to Offshore leaks database junior Balapatabendi maintains two accounts as Harendra Kolitha Balapatabendi and Balapatabendi Harendra. Both accounts categorised by the ICIJ as “linked country unidentified”. Balapatabendi Harendra is connected to one entity by the name of ‘Pacific Secure Lanka Ltd’ which was incorporated in October 2000 and is within the jurisdiction of British Virgin Islands.
Harendra Kolitha Balapatabendi is connected to one entity by the name of ‘Blue Horizon Group International Ltd’ which was incorporated in January 2004 and is within the jurisdiction of British Virgin Islands. Lakshman De Fonseka a shareholder of the same company had also opened an account in the same date in British Virgin Islands.