Former President denies Rs 9.4 million allegation


Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa while vehemently rejecting allegations leveled by a Former United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian, that his family had ordered breakfast at a cost of Rs. 9.4 million from a five-star hotel and then refused to pay the bill, said that what the Parliamentarian produced was a pro-forma invoice to provide breakfast for 1,400 guests during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013.

Former UNP Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara had said, at a press conference last Monday, that the Rajapaksa family had ordered breakfast costing Rs 9.4 million from the Hilton Hotel and not paid the bill. He had also produced an invoice.

Replying to the allegation, Former President's Media Secretary Rohan Welivita in a statement said, "The document Mr. Bandara had produced was a pro-forma invoice dated November 11, 2013 to provide breakfast for 1,400 guests at the rate of Rs. 5,200 per head during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening ceremony at the Nelum Pokuna on November 15, 2013".

The statement went on to say; "the total bill with the service charge and taxes amounts to over Rs. 9.4 million. The CHOGM 2013 opening ceremony was attended by Prince Charles and the Heads of State or Governments of 53 nations. This was not a Rajapaksa family breakfast".

Mr. Rohan Welivita in his statement also added that it would be obvious to any rational person that Rs. 9.4 million could not possibly have been incurred on a family breakfast.

He added that this was very similar to the highly exaggerated allegations that were heard during the last Presidential election. "Obviously some quarters are trying to win the upcoming Parliamentary election through false propaganda - the same way they won the January Presidential election," the statement added.