7 July, 2020

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The Saroja-Ravinatha Saga Part-3: Duo Commits Outright Fraud In Air Ticket Purchase

Previously Colombo Telegraph exposed a series of irregular and prima facie fraudulent financial transactions by Foreign Ministry’s Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha and Sri Lanka’s current Ambassador to London, Saroja Sirisena. We now have further evidence of the duos fraudulent ‘cooking of books’ while Sirisena was Ambassador to Vienna which has cost the Sri Lankan tax payers an arm and a leg.

Ravinatha Aryasinha and Saroja Sirisena | File photo

Previously Colombo Telegraph exposed how Aryasinha approved in a highly irregular manner an elective surgery for Sirisena in the USA for the cost of 66,284.65 US dollars. Aryasinha also approved a exuberant amount of EUR 3152, supposedly for an ‘economy class’ ticket between Vienna, Austria and Salt lake City USA.

Now Colombo Telegraph is in a position to reveal that this was done in an absolute fraudulent manner by both Aryasinha and Sirisena by presenting fake quotations for the air ticket.

On August 16, 2019 Aryasinha had given a blanket approval for the purchase of an economy class ticket. Sirisena rather than sending three quotations for the cheapest tickets available had manipulated the ticket prices to show a higher cost for the ticket.

Colombo Telegraph is in possession of the quotations obtained by the Sri Lanka Embassy staff in Vienna on behalf of Sirisena. The first quotation on Delta Airlines / KLM travelling between Vienna and Salt Lake City on 27th August and 7th September was priced at EUR 1,299 return. The Second quotation on Delta/ Air France to fly on 27th August and 6th September was priced at EUR 1,293 return. A third quotation on Austrian Airlines for flights on 27th August and 8th September was priced at EUR 1676 return.

These three quotations were on full fare economy class and therefore is not even the lowest possible airfare. However even such a highly priced economy class ticket could have been purchased at EUR 1,293 to travel on the dates desired by Ambassador Sirisena.

However instead of sending these three quotations to Colombo, Sirisena has instructed the Embassy staff to obtain a screenshot of a web search which showed a ticket which had cost over EUR 3000. Aryasinha by a fax dated 23rd August 2019 has granted Sirisena approval to purchase an ‘economy class ticket’ for the cost of Euro 3152. Therefore when a ticket was available for EUR 1,293 Aryasinha has readily approved the purchase of a ticket for EUR 3152.

Aryasinha who had served for over ten years in Brussels and Geneva in recent years cannot be ignorant of an average price of an economy class ticket from a key European capital to the United States. Even the prices in the three quotations are on the high end for an economy class ticket which average around EUR 1,000 or less during August which is not a peak season for travel between Europe and the USA. Rather it seems both Aryasinha and Sirisena deliberately misrepresented the cost of the air ticket, as the records of the quotations obtained by the Embassy clearly shows. A proper investigation, if ever carried out will show if this was deliberately done by the duo for Sirisena to travel on business class while having approval for an economy class ticket or even a more sinister objective of defrauding public money for their own enrichment. Either way this evidence itself would suffice to call for a criminal investigation into both these officers. As President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has just announced a task force to build a ‘virtuous and disciplined society’ it would be interesting to see if that work starts closer to home.

With regard to the medical procedure for Sirisena that cost Sri Lankan tax payers USD 66, 285. Colombo Telegraph has now reliably learnt that Sirisena had the option of doing this procedure in Austria. The Embassy had in fact obtained an appointment for her with one of the best ophthalmologists in Austria. She had visited this doctor once to obtain a ‘certificate’ stating that she needs to undergo surgery. However she made the embassy officials cancel the second appointment and insisted that this elective procedure needs to be done in the USA. If this procedure was done in Austria it would have saved the Sri Lankan tax payers this large sum of money. Further Sirisena’s current husband is a UK citizen and a doctor by profession. As his spouse, Sirisiena would have benefited from that status in Austria, as a fellow EU country or had this procedure done free of charge in the NHS of the UK.

Colombo Telegraph is aware of the type of medical procedure performed on Sirisena. While it is not necessary to reveal details since it is a private matter, Colombo Telegraph can confirm it was a benign, non-essential, non-emergency requirement.

Notwithstanding the technicalities of the procedure, the manner in which she has sought approval and how it had been granted by Aryasinha are bizarre and extremely irregular.

An officer familiar with foreign ministry said that the normal procedure is for a fax to be sent to the attention of the Director General of the Human Resources and Mission Management Division. On receiving such a request the Director General would study the matter to determine of its feasibility in line with the Financial Regulations of the Government, Public Administration and Foreign Ministry Circulars and the circumstances of the case. Some of the aspects the DG/ HR & MM would observe are; if the medical procedure is an emergency, a medical necessity or an elective one, whether the procedure has been recommended by a doctor who is in the panel approved by the Ministry and whether the procedure is to be carried out by such an approved medical personnel.

As the Ministry circulars instructs even serious conditions such as bypass surgery, kidney transplants and ‘laser beam treatment,’ will not be considered for reimbursement.

See below for the Ministry circulars governing medical expenditure:

If the matter is not an emergency then the feasibility of the medical procedure being carried out at the location where the officer is stationed will be given priority and if that is not feasible it will be considered to bring the officer back to Sri Lanka or look at the option of a third country.

A third country is of course considered when officers are stationed in difficult stations such as Iraq or Afghanistan and not when they are in first world countries such as Austria. It is only in the rarest of rare instances that approval maybe given for such a procedure to be done in a third country. For example an officer stationed in Iraq may be approved to travel to Dubai rather than returning to Sri Lanka. In any case when considering a non-essential procedure, DG/ HR & MM is duty bound to check if the officer had sent at least three options along with quotations for their costs. A senior source at the Ministry sarcastically said that by this precedent, Aryasinha may approve for an officer serving in Ottawa or Kathmandu to go see a doctor in the French Riviera next time they have a headache.

Documents seen by Colombo Telegraph can reveal that none of the above considerations were made with regard to granting approval for Saroja Sirisena’s requests. Instead of sending a fax from Vienna to the attention of Director General of the Human Resources and Mission Management Division, she had sent emails on 08th and 12th August 2019 directly to the personal email of Ravinatha Aryasinha. Instead of DG/ HR & MM giving his opinion, having considered all of the above on the possibility of accommodating her request, Aryasinha has directly instructed him to grant approval for the expenditure of USD 66,284.65 for the medical procedure and for the air ticket worth EUR 3152 based on the email received to his personal email.

The money had been sent to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Vienna to be made to the University of Utah. This is highly irregular since the normal procedure would have been to send the money to the Embassy in Washington DC or the Consulate in Los Angeles for a payment made in the USA. Further it is beyond all accepted procedures and guidelines in circulars to pay this money as an advance. Medical bills and receipts need to be shown in order to reimburse even the smallest of medical expenditure.

Though the total responsibility of approving these irregular transactions falls with Aryasinha, the Chief Accountant of the Ministry, the Audit Unit and Director General of the Human Resources and Mission Management Division also need to be answerable to these alleged fraud.

On two previous occasions Colombo Telegraph offered Aryasinha and Sirisena opportunities to respond to these allegations. Instead Aryasinha abused his power as the Secretary to issue an official response of the Ministry of Foreign Relations to cover up what is in fact is a serious accusation about his personal conduct and possible involvement in financial irregularity against the state and become the judge in his own case. In doing so it has now become the official position of the Ministry that there had been no irregularity in these transactions. It’s not clear whether this media release defending Sirisena were approved by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The pair have used their huge media influence to prevent reports of their misconduct going public and to garner an editorial in the Daily Mirror newspaper this week containing Sirisena’s resume and calling to the exposures of her financial improprieties as vicious attacks against her. However it was Daily Mirror newspaper that first published a gossip column about her abuse of power in the gossip section of their newspaper front page.

Await the next instalment on the Saroja-Ravinatha saga about prima facie fraudulent and wasteful expenditures approved by Ravinatha Aryasinha to accommodate Saroja in the lap of sheer luxury during her short but costly tenure in Vienna.

Related posts:

Rs 700,000 Personal Air Ticket Bonanza Courtesy Tax-Payers For Foreign Secretary Ravinatha’s Pet Saroja Sirisena

Exposé: Tax Payer Pays Staggering Rs 13 Million For Saroja Sirisena’s US Surgery

 

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Latest comments

  • 22
    3

    As I have said before many wrongs cannot make a right. It is clear that Foreign service personnel seem to enjoy “perks” unheard of in the rest of the public service. The whole thing requires a thorough audit by the Auditor General. Although it is not published in the CT, it appears that the Minister himself is inveigled to reply to these criticisms and if we are to analyze that, the seasoned Minister would be without his Sarong. But there is another aspect of this. It is Foreign Service mandarins themselves who give out “some details” because they have an Axe to grind on this duo. Anyone knows that just because the a secretary signs a document “Bingo” everything is plain sailing. Payments have to be certified and usually it is an accountant who does that. He/She too can be in hot water. I am not the least surprised that in a proper audit investigation the skeletons of those who want this duo disgraced will also get exposed right Royally and the Minister might regret throughout his life for being a pawn to defend the indefensible.

    • 27
      5

      Thank you CT.

      This partiuclar RA was a man in foreign service since MaRa high days. These buggers have that in their blood. So how can we expect young generations not to do so. We only talk about past leaders and the ones that the country produced decades ago as exemplary ones. But in recent years, we only hear about the bad examples.
      :
      So, he as a head of diplomatic services cant be clean. These are public secret, but people dont care STAY so indifferent.
      If the kind of men are clean, then the pigs might fly.

      • 6
        0

        Fully agree.
        /
        Journalists (of whatever caliber) like us, who ran newspapers of casino owners on behalf of the Rjapakse regime prior to 2015 only received a miserable laptop and other ‘kunu’ like a trip to Geneva, where some of our friends managed to lose their wallet in houses of ill repute.
        /
        But people like Ariyasinghe are given high positions they are abusing now.
        /
        So the Rajapakse brothers have to give up power, or look after who worked for them for a long time. There are enough jounalist/editor jobs at the Lakehouse they can easily fit us in to.
        /
        This is urgent because our protest comments at CT do not allow us to buy food, forcing us to rely on micro finance.

    • 14
      4

      Good Sense

      Is there a connection between this alleged corruption charges and Ministry of Foreign Relations media release on Sat, 16 May 2020 titled “SRI LANKA DEMANDS RETRACTION OF LONDON GUARDIAN TRAVEL QUIZ WITH REFERENCE TO “EELAM” and High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in UK’s correspondence to the Editor of the Guardian newspaper published from UK (https://www.mfa.gov.lk/sl-demands-retraction-of-london/).

      Is the Daily Mirror (lk) editor stupid to write an editorial that does not adhere to the Press Dharma but appears it was a favour in return for something the diplomats had already done to the editor earlier (http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/Why-this-vicious-attack-on-Saroja-Sirisena-EDITORIAL/172-189390).

      The functionaries attached to Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Relations and its High Commissions seem unable to remember their history (http://telo.org/?p=232215).

      Being a proud anti Tamil Diaspora diplomat in the UK helps hide her …….. . It appears that she has gone on an anticipatory attack on innocent Guardian. Before she wrote the stupid irrelevant letter to Guardian she should have clarified the word “EELAM” with professional historians.

      It is too much to expect an apology from state functionaries.

      • 4
        4

        Native Veddah, Kambar a Tamil poet who lived in Tamil Nadu 800 years ago, in his version Ramayana describes Ravana as Eelaventhan (King of Eelam) and not as Sihala Rajuruwa (King of Sihala). This shows that name of Eelam had been used for several years prior to that, and for her to write that Eelam was never used to denote Sri Lanka is dishonest. People who lived in the land spoke Elu, a Dravidian language acknowledged by linguists as proto-Tamil. It was Sanskritized by later immigrants to Hela. Land of the Elu people was called Eelanadu first and after it became an island as Elu Thivu which was Sanskritized to Hela Diva. Eelam is the shortened form of Eelanadu. This is a case of how history is being distorted.

        • 3
          1

          …Kambar a Tamil poet who lived in Tamil Nadu 800 years ago, in his version Ramayana describes Ravana as Eelaventhan (King of Eelam)”
          *
          What I remember reading is “கடன்பட்டார் இதயம் போலக் கலங்கினான் இலங்கை வேந்தன்”
          The word is Ilangkai not Eelam; and kamban consistently used the term Ilangkai.
          Reference to Eelam is there in the much earlier “cilappathikaaram”. Eelam was revived at some stage but we heard no mention of Eelanaadu (even when Bharati wrote of சிங்களத் தீவு (cingkalath thiivu) to the irritation of some Tamil nationalists much after his time).
          *
          Please do not BS about Elu and Dravidian.
          Whatever was spoken in ancient Lanka and the Maldives comprised a Prakrit.
          I quote you: “This is a case of how history is being distorted.”
          You are doing exactly that, and not for the first time.

          • 2
            0

            Correction
            It should be:
            கடன்பட்டார் நெஞ்சம் போலக் கலங்கினான் இலங்கை வேந்தன்

        • 2
          1

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

          “Ramayana describes Ravana as Eelaventhan (King of Eelam) “

          Thanks for the information.
          Could you cite details of the book, year of the edition and the page number.

          My friend a Thamil scholar says even Puratchik Kavingan Barathi mentions
          “Singalam ” being another country or a neighbour.
          Please read below:

          Poem:Senthamilnadenum Pothinilai

          Singalam Puttapagam Saavaga
          Maathiya Theeva Balaveenanju Sendreri
          சிங்களம் புட்டப்பகம் சாவக
          மாத்திரை தீவை பலவீனஞ்சு சென்றேறி


          Poem: Sinthu Nathiyin Misei:
          Ciṅkaḷat tīviṉiṭkōr pālam amaippōm
          சிங்களத் தீவினிட்கோர் பாலம் அமைப்போம்
          Let us build a bridge to island of Singalam.

          Did the Thamilnadu poet make two mistakes?

    • 3
      3

      See, those who brought GOTABAYA calling him would be the man to do the job, themselves lament on …

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_a3PXCShSE

      At least now the bps should warn US high commission in SL and quarantane him accordingly.

      • 4
        1

        Rajapaksa brothers beware!
        /
        Until you look after us properly, we will attack you like this.
        /
        Haven’t even thought of using ‘poetry’ yet.

    • 1
      0

      CT,
      .
      Please reveal us – why cant we find that ” Arjuna Mahendran” ‘s article anymore on your web site.
      :
      Can anybody please add the link for our check again.
      :
      Mr Sinhala Man, #
      .
      Please check this and paste the link here thank you. I could not find that article again on this website…

  • 27
    1

    Surgery for divergent/convergent squint is a fifteen minute procedure – and has been done in Sri Lanka, in the Colombo Eye Hospital, from the fifties, and later in Opthalmology departments in provincial hospitals – the patient needs to stay overnight for a day only, after surgery.
    Incurring such expense unnecessarily is a crime against the poor members in society.

  • 22
    3

    Ah CT, you meany rag – have you no sympathy for these two fine professionals?!!

    Mixing up a few things here, which one finds hard to resist, in coming to the “defence” of the suave and handsome Ravinatha and the rather comely Saroja:
    – Strabismus results in a condition well-known to medical professionals as “Bombay looking Calcutta going” – this is why she found herself in Oregon for the surgery instead of Vienna
    – Ravinatha is an avid reader of Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and revels in asking Saroja “Saro, Saro, on the wall; who is the fairest of us all”? Poor thing needed the surgery before she could answer, “Why, Ravinatha of course”
    – There seem to be some really cruel officers in the FM: “A senior source at the Ministry sarcastically said that by this precedent, Aryasinha may approve for an officer serving in Ottawa or Kathmandu to go see a doctor in the French Riviera next time they have a headache.

    Seriously though, it seems clear that “Aryasinha has abused his power as S/FM to issue an official response of the Ministry to cover up what is in fact is a serious accusation about his personal conduct and possible involvement in financial irregularity against the state and become the judge in his own case.”

    In doing so he has embarrassed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Presidential task force “to build a secure country, disciplined, virtuous and lawful society, and the Sri Lanka government.

    Will we see the ‘the Lion Cub of Boralugoda’ at least now stand up for what is right and take action against these miscreants?

    • 4
      3

      Easton Scott, in her case Strabismus is “Belliatta looking Colombo going”.

    • 1
      0

      Easton Scott

      Interesting write up.

  • 19
    2

    Oh what a shameful tragedy. I’m not against people on fire. In fact I believe some under cover fun is wonderful. But you two are adults, and more importantly, diplomats. You should’ve been more discreet, and certainly very diplomatic about the modus operandi. Getting the tax payer to bankroll your Supiri Athal is always a dicey proposition.

  • 21
    2

    Ravinatha should be prepared to forego his retirement in the future. Under this government both of these crooks will be saved, but in the future if a transparent regime comes to power all these will be proof for his interdiction. One never knows; Natural Justice is such. Airfare will be a total fraud in an audit query; what he should have done was to justify a business class ticket for his buddy stating she is an Ambassador (the way she got to that position is a different issue). That cost could have been justifiable had it done without fraud. But spending 13 million for a cosmetic procedure is dishonourable, unethical and reprehensible. There is no way one can forgive these two people for looting this poor country’s public money in this brazen manner. How can they sleep at night? Ethical behavior was not in her character from the very beginning. Foreign Ministry folks still remember the way she almost ruined one senior Diplomat’s family. That’s history and private matter, no one cares about those. But pillaging public money should be investigated and if proven guilty, should be punished severely. With this type of public servants, the country is going backwards.

    • 21
      6

      Guruge,
      .
      they have that in their blood. No matter what educational qualifications they have obtained. That is it.
      Corruption and abusive culture is metastasized in SL similar to that of Pakistan.
      You ask about sleeping at night, just imagine the president elected, irrespective of numerous high crimes.. how can he and his brother sleep at night ? Horu wont have sensitive thinking. They are thick-skinned by their begining on.

      • 1
        0

        “Corruption and abusive culture is metastasized in SL similar to that of Pakistan”
        Is the biggest country in South Asia an exception?
        There is a problem when a feudal society is lumbered with capitalism and bourgeois democracy (democracy being understood as holding elections).
        Japan was a politically most corrupt country well into the1980s. The wheeling and dealing within the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan was notorious. But Japan upheld the concept of ‘honour’.
        This is not the place to talk about how Japanese businessmen give bribes.
        *
        The Rajapakses are true successors to what JRJ installed in 1978.
        The parliamentarians are nearly all Horu, regardless of party.

  • 14
    7

    Ravinatha A is a student of our ageing rock ‘n roller Panini Sinhala Man, by the latter’s own admission.
    Therefore he is equally responsible for the outcome of the behaviour of his students.

    What have you to say for yourself, ageing Sinhala Man?

    • 17
      5

      I say Wally, what can that good soul Sinhala Man do, if RA chose not to learn? Judging from his spoken English, I doubt he went very far with his English lessons, let alone his moral lessons learnt at his alma mater (Ananda?).

      On this same basis, can you blame St Thomas’ College for that fraud GLP? Royal College for RW, RK and Arjuna M? Ananda College for our new Dictator Gota-bayagulla, or Thurstan for the ex-Maharajaano?

      Get a life man.

      • 2
        0

        Easton Scott

        I blame the Royal-Thomian combine for producing the following who have continuously destroyed Sri Lanka’s prospects – note this is only a SAMPLING:

        – D S Senanayake (who set the wheels in motion for what was to come when he denied Arunachalam the promised CNC seat to replace James Peiris), John Kotelawala, JR Jayawardena, SJV Chelvanayagam

      • 4
        0

        Easton Scott
        I blame the Royal-Thomian combine for the systemic mentality engrained in producing the following who have continuously destroyed Sri Lanka’s prospects – note this is only a SAMPLING:
        – D S Senanayake (who set the wheels in motion for what was to come when he denied Arunachalam the promised CNC seat to replace James Peiris), John Kotelawala, JR Jayawardena, SJV Chelvanayagam, SWRD Banda, Dudley, and a raft of others more significant than the nonentity GLP. St Josephs for the communal GG Ponnambalam and Suntheralingam. It is too early to comment on the other institutions. However, Rock n Rolling Sinhala Man needs to answer for claiming that Ravinatha A is a well educated above board Englishman when quite clearly he isn’t.

    • 8
      1

      Walter Bag,
      .
      beg to differ. Mahinda and Gotabaya are both from Richmond and Ananda college respectively. But their behaviours are far from the average when it goes to waste people’s funds. Is it fair to put the blame on those teachers in Richmond and Ananda colleges ?

      • 3
        0

        Dear leelagemalli,
        .
        The Wikipedia entries will give us the details, but what I remember of Mahinda’s schooling was that he was in three schools, in this order: Richmond, Ananda, and Thurstan. Funny. Thinking back to that period, he seems to have gone from the most prestigious to the least prestigious. Sacked?
        .
        I think that Gota was at Ananda. Please check.
        .
        The “iskolemahaththaya” has been submitting a number of comments on Drama.
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-drama-based-approach-to-develop-social-responsibility-skills/comment-page-1/#comment-2348091
        .
        The first comment there was by you. I think that the deadline for comments is fast approaching.
        .
        I think that I’d better shooo off this nuisance Bagehot. What a pest – dishonest to boot!
        .

        • 3
          0

          Very good morning to you Mr Sinhala Man. The sun is shining to us -this part of Europe for this weekend. The weather is like that of an usual April (there is a popular saying here – april does what he wants).
          With COVID numbers turning more to recovey state- Germans are becoming somehow positive about a normal summer though they are yet very conscious of any second wave-effects. Dr Merkel is becoming even more popular in Germany and Europe going by the way she reacted in COVID-crisis. She is supposed tob e out of politics since next autmn (october). With heavy protests against racism, metropole cities across europe, the people seem tob e not alert on social-distancing for that event.

          CONTD.

          • 3
            0

            Mr SM,
            .
            Thank you. Yours led other gentlemen to follow you. This was my hope as I was addressing this on this platform (by one shot plucking lot more mangos). The need of the hour should be focus on the facts about the true identities of so called GREAT leaders and their persona

            Thanks to you guys. My own information/assumptions on Rajapakshes are „beliaththe rascals“ is now acknowledged.

            The late, great John Wooden had the quintessential quote on character: ‘Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are“.

            I was surprised not once whole lot times the manner MR easily gets on with Wimal Weerwanse, Juliampitiya Amaraya and numerous other men of that nature. This I dont think many of us could do easily ??????.. This is why I have no doubt, MR s true face is not yet known to anyone in this country. He is a crime promoter by every means.

      • 5
        2

        Leelagemalli, Gotabhaya was from Richmond and Ananda. Mahinda was never at Ananda and associates himself with Thurstan. He was at Richmond first and then to Nalanda, where he got sacked and ended up at Thurstan. When his sons came of schooling age, he was in the opposition and did not have the clout to get them admitted to either Ananda or Royal, breaking two mile radius rule. He hated Nalanda and may have thought Thurstan may be below his status. Fortunately his sons got admission to St Thomas’ because his father in law and brothers in law were old Thomians.

        • 4
          0

          Dr. GS.
          .
          thank you. Please reveal more facts about the leading figures. You the kind of seniors can do lot more in that areas than you have done sofar. Media mafia handled by Basil Rajakshe et al should be made aware to the commoners.
          Thank you.

        • 1
          2

          Siva Siva Sankra

          ***
          You are multi talented. Cardio Thoracic Surgen who turned into Pancreatic Researcher , Poet , Writer and Historian unravelling Mahinthas underworld Connections.

          Fortunately his sons got admission to St Thomas’ because his father in law and brothers in law were old Thomians.

          I take it this is what you would call Mahinthas Organisational Skills. Nice one.

      • 2
        2

        Leela’s Bro

        Yes, in the same way I blame the Royal-Thomian combine for the systemic mentality engrained in producing the following who have continuously destroyed Sri Lanka’s prospects (note this is only a SAMPLING):
        – D S Senanayake (who set the wheels in motion for what was to come when he denied Arunachalam the promised CNC seat to replace James Peiris), John Kotelawala, JR Jayawardena, SJV Chelvanayagam, SWRD Banda, Dudley, and a raft of others more significant than the nonentity GLP. St Josephs for the communal GG Ponnambalam and Suntheralingam. It is too early to comment on the other institutions. However, Rock n Rolling Sinhala Man needs to answer for claiming that Ravinatha A is a well educated above board Englishman when quite clearly he isn’t.

      • 3
        1

        LM
        I could add to what GS said.
        Mahinda played truant at school, and was proud of it and, to the shock of even his admirers, boasted about it at a school event when he was president.
        I think that the father had trouble finding a good school for him. Thurstan, relatively backward among Colombo schools at the time, obliged.
        I suppose it unwittingly bet on a winner!

        • 4
          0

          From Wikipedia:
          Rajapaksa was educated at Richmond College in Galle, before moving to Nalanda College in Colombo and, later, Thurstan College. Mahinda Rajapaksa was presented with the Nalanda Keerthi Sri award in 2004 by his alma mater, Nalanda College.

        • 3
          0

          Dear SJ,
          very good morning. Please reveal lot more about others as well. What you can do in that areas are that much. Today we are all caught by MEDIA mafia if living in the country.
          I added above what my elders shared me about Rajapakshes. I also dont agree with the quote of John Woodman fully because – what people say is not the reputation so long people are made to say so. In srilanken context, donkey media runners let even Nagaya-brought-relics fairy tales become true stories by misleading the easy targets.

    • 4
      1

      WB@

      These are just personal vendetta. Ageing is a natural process. So long you woul dnot be inibitate ” TELOMERASE enzyme”, it is no means a cellular process that you or I could regulate easily.

      May be Ravinatha is an another blacksheep. It is no right to put the entire blame on teachers.

      As I got to know, Mr SM was a teacher for RA for his diploma course or so (not sure what was that exactly – please correct me if this is wrong) (Please SM, you may correct me here if I am wrong).

      The fact is whoever whatever being said and done, I dont think if anyone with some sanity follows Mr SM could end up being an idiot. This should be clear to anyone, ofcourse he or she remain mentally no ill.

      We the regular readers/commenters on CT are well aware of the facts that go to the recent years. CT archives can help you as the reference to you or others if you would disagree.
      .

  • 12
    2

    Let these two adults have some fun at the expenses of srilankan tax payers as when compare to all what unofficial PIMPIYA UNDER RAJAPAKSAS SAKILI VASS GUNAWRDEANA enjoyed is a very big amount than RAVI-SAROSA Combination.Any way it is better for the government appoint a panel headed by none other than DILAN PERERA To go in to this matter deeply as he is a very special man as far as this SAROJAGE GETHARA TELEDRAMA.

    • 4
      0

      Paragaon@
      Having fun at the expenses of SRILANKEN tax payers is part and parcel of MAHINDA CHINTHANA which he introduced to his bunch of thieves during his two terms.

      Even if MR would have held his sons’ weddding at the expenses of the people is permitted in the paragraphs of that CHINTHANAYA book. So long thanakola eating gaping public would tolerate it, nothing will change at all.
      :
      I have heard this was repeating by CBK and many others dozens of times. But local media would never reveal the facts about the kind of alarming wastes.

      Mahindananda to have bought a HOUSE worth over 1 millions of GBP is a great evidence – and the man whose monthly salary was not even 2000 rupees (as of his start with Rajapakshe clan two decades ago) but claims to be coming from wealthy parents that own 400-500 acres of land property in Kandy area (please check the reference – SATANA political discussion).

  • 10
    1

    $ 66 thousand for eye surgery ? In salt lake city? The average cost of eye surgery is around 2500 per eye. Add another 3000 for other costs. Its still lower than the spent amount. salt lake city is a odd Choice unless sirisena was also visiting relatives. Trip from Vienna to New York would have cheaper and its Americas biggest city. Finding a cheap doctor would have been easier. There are plenty of Indian, Pakistani and Arab doctors in queens that would do the job for a lower cost. Besides European hospitals are far superior to the American.

    • 0
      0

      Will European hospitals offer kickbacks?

  • 11
    3

    Must have been a Salt Lake City Mormon faith healer.

  • 16
    3

    If Saroja Sirisena has even the basic decency, she should insist that an inquiry be initiated on the revelations of her alleged misdemeanours with the connivance of Ravinatha Ariyasinghe and until such inquiry is completed temporarily step down as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the UK. However, it is obvious that the lady will not do so, as she and her husband, who is a UK citizen, a tax defaulter and a dubious character to say the least, will fear such an inquiry as it is bound to reveal many more misdemeanours and disgraceful actions done by both of them!!!!!

  • 12
    2

    With the revelation that Saroja Sirisena was paid Euro 3,152 for airfare when the cost of a ticket was only Euro 1,293, it would be interesting to know whether the increased cost was to cover the cost of a ticket for her husband too? If this is so, it is nothing but a fraud committed by Saroja Sirisena in connivance with Ravinatha Ariyasinghe! The mere fact that the documentation obtained by Colombo Telegraph has been from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Vienna, indicates that all at the Embassy and the Foreign Ministry are aware that something incorrect has been done!

  • 10
    3

    “It was a benign non emergency condition” ( I will not agree with the term non essential because what is non essential for poor may be essential for the super rich ) . Another ” I S – – – So” moment. There are people who dislike facts hence I decided to leave it in blank. Facts are so obvious, to even a medical student. There are not many PRIMARY eye conditions which are of emergency , and even those are not consistent with the facts provided by this duo. When doctors in Ophthalmology say emergency they are talking about a management/procedure in 24 to 48 hours, not finding a doctor to get a certificate so that you can leisurely get the procedure done else where. If such emergency facilities are not available in EU countries many would have lost vision by now. Have anyone in Foreign Ministry thought in those terms.

  • 9
    2

    This is a unique psychological issue Srilankans must face. They have no idea why humans resort to cover their nudity with clothes or something.

    • 7
      4

      hanchopancha

      “They have no idea why humans resort to cover their nudity with clothes or something.”

      You are right the way things are in about ten or twenty years time future generation may not know the reason why people are covering their nose and mouth, thinking both are also human private parts.

      Could anyone make a designer mask for Gota, perhaps fashioned like a Darth Vader mask.

      • 4
        0

        Dear Native,

        wie geht es DIr denn so ?
        .
        I can contact few good DESIGNERs from Europe – would agree me to make it similar to that of the main actor: That fits Gota well going by the charactor or am I wrong ? Please help… I only judge from what I read these days. Pulling the trigger by himself – is in making these day, man is becoming furious about his brother s acts these days.

        The Silence of the Lambs (Das Schweigen der Lämmer)
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6Mm8Sbe__o

        Stay healthy Mr NV

  • 8
    3

    By issuing unprecedented media release on behalf of his chum, while serving as a public official, this Secretary ruined the reputation of the whole Foreign Service, past and present. Not only that, by using his media connections he had while he was a News reader, to get an editorial published in the same Newspaper which carried a gossip column about this woman, he disgraced himself further. If analyze why he did these, there are a few possibilities. One is trying to hide behind his finger by giving puerile excuses, or “horata kalin kesel kena veta paninawa”. Other is a huge reciprocal repayment he cannot break away from. Everyone in the Foreign Ministry knows how this woman helped him to get the Secretary post with the help of her ex husband and Wimal W. during constitutional coup. After that he became a puppet who dances to her tune. She wanted her share of the deal (London High Commissioner Post and plastic surgery done in the US). Just imagine which public servant, who knows about the financial regulations of Establishment Code, would stick his neck out to do such a risky action. He didn’t have any option but to fulfill her wishes.

  • 8
    5

    Sirisena rather than sending three quotations for the cheapest tickets available had manipulated the ticket prices to show a higher cost for the ticket.

    Srisena is a CROOK and by his own admissioN he signed 21,000 times in one day. That was all he did as a President. It is no wonder he also signed Sarojas.

    But in Gothas JUNTA she will quickly Graduate from Petty Thief to reach the heights of GOTHA< MR & BASIL the biggest THIEVES.

    Her majesty Queen Elizabeth ( with whom Saroja took a picture ) will be delighted to know that she recently entertained a FRAUDSTER

    • 1
      1

      When we were sent to Geneva in 2013 (in the good old days when we were washing Rajapakse’s dirty underwear in casino owned NATIONal newspaper), we were only goven cattle class tickets.
      /
      We will keep revealing these kind of thefts until Lakehouse jobs are filled with us. A laptop is hardly enough for our labours.

  • 3
    2

    The Rajapakse clan amassed enough wealth to last generations & though many GR fans are willing to exempt him (despite allegations of massive fraud relating to the purchase of junk MIG fighter planes which has been conventionality swept under the carpet), I would like to see him cracking the whip, now that he has come forward to save the country once again, as believed by the masses.

    If I am not mistaken, GR has told in public not to question his past but to ask him about the future. He has ‘shaken the tree’ by personally visiting some corruption hot spots but if there had been a change for the better after the initial impact of his visit, I am not so sure, because it’s business as usual if not followed by action. So, at least, lets start with the minnows, & I a sure there are many in all corners of the govt. service, as otherwise, it is free for all for those in the gravy train, just like in the good old days. As for the sharks, maybe it would be a deterrent if there is a crackdown on the smaller fish because they can’t last without small fish for survival. The mature sharks are big & strong, therefore, need a strong net to catch them but at least baby sharks could be caged before they become mature. The country is bankrupt, therefore, even small fish can’t be ignored.

    • 2
      1

      I agree. The Rajapaksa’s made out like bandits the last time they were in power, and they are back for more. Tsunami funds, and other aid that come in, seems to find it’s way mysterious to their bank accounts.
      Off shore tax free banks across the world will have more business, the Rajapaksa’s are back in business again.

  • 3
    3

    Where is the Bribery commission coming into this deal? When Ticket agent who helped Gotabay to upgrade his economy class to first class could become diplomat what can you expect of Sri Lankan Diplomatic service. Fo, you know what happened to the Sri Lankan diplomat for Canada who was punished by US judiciary. He is a relation of Mahinda

    • 4
      2

      Dear Kuviyam@
      Bribery commission or any other commissions and promises made on Election Campaigns are null and void with unanimous agreement of the grass eaters. So the danger before us is that huge, but JOURNOS would not have guts to inform the nation yet today.
      :
      This we warned enough, but PEOPLE never heard. Now the people should face it. Media will support them further painting the pitcure in favour of Rajapakshes. Even if Rajaakshes and their millitary men would follow white policists – their supporters would node their heads.
      The victim, George Floyd, 46, was pronounced dead shortly after he was pinned to the ground Monday while handcuffed and Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck.

  • 2
    1

    This Ariyasinge fellow is a bum sucker. And for sucking this fellow has to get some benefit. Nationalism and patriotism means looting left and right while screaming of mau bima. They are all bloody thick.

  • 2
    1

    It appears that many of us in these pages are old fashioned,showing our indignation of corrupt and fraudulent practices in the Public Service.

    Ravinatha and Saro are deemed to be War-Heroes.
    R was at the UNHCR sessions,in Geneva sometime ago holding a brief for Srilanka.
    Saro has fallen over herself by rushing in to tell the Guardian that Eelam is a dirty word!

    So both have been given a Licence to rob much in the same way that James Bond was given the Licence to kill[ 007 and all that].
    Or for that matter why go so far; How about Sunil Ratnayake?
    True, he had no licence to kill but the licence was backdated with a Presidential Pardon.
    Anything even in the fringes of Tamil bashing, will be rewarded with all sorts of Licences..

  • 2
    0

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    0

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