Wednesday, 08 May 2013
One of the younger Rajapaksa sons while on a visit to Nuwara Eliya some time ago with his girl friend had visited the Turf Club.
During the visit to the Turf Club, the girl friend had liked one of the horses at the club and asked her beau to get the animal for her.
The young Rajapaksa had valiantly stepped forward and purchased the horse with ‘his’ money.
In the usual Rajapaksa fashion of snapping fingers and ordering people around, he had asked the officials at the Turf Club to immediately transport the horse to Colombo.
The Turf Club officials have stood firm and said that the young Rajapaksa would have to arrange his own transport to take the horse to Colombo.
An angry Rajapaksa had then ordered the military to send a carriage to transport the horse to Colombo.
Wednesday, 08 May 2013
The cold war between Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and nephew Namal Rajapaksa has surfaced once again over the recruitment of persons to fill several vacancies at the Economic Development Ministry.
Namal had prepared a list of his supporters and handed it over to one of his coordinating secretaries to hand over to the Economic Development Ministry. Namal’s Secretary had asked that persons to fill the vacancies at the Ministry be selected from the list given by the First Son.
However, Basil had also prepared a separate list of names to fill the vacancies.
Hearing about Namal’s move, Basil had ordered his Ministry officials to discard Namal’s list and to fill the vacancies with the list given by him.
When Namal had heard of Basil’s order, he had said that this was not the first time that Basil had ignored his directives and he would show his strength soon.
Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne was forced to sign the Cabinet paper approving US$ 2.5 billion (Rs. 315 billion) to purchase new aircraft for SriLankan Airlines, reliable sources said.
Jayaratne had refused to sign the Cabinet paper approving billions of rupees to purchase aircraft to the airline since it had recorded a loss of around Rs. 20 billion last year as well. The Minister had said that there would be criticism leveled against the move by the opposition. However, the President’s confidential financial advisor, Sajin Vass Gunawardena had forced Jayaratne to sign the Cabinet paper.
Although The Sunday Times newspaper had published a news story on the purchase of new aircraft, the newspaper had ensured that the impact of the deal and the persons behind the deal were kept a secret.
The deal to purchase aircrafts had been coordinated by Sajin Vass Gunawardena and CEO of SriLankan Airlines, Kapila Chandrasena. The First Lady’s brother, who is the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines, Nishantha Wickremasinghe had also helped carry out the deal.
While the US company, Boeing had also put forward tenders to provide aircraft to SriLankan airlines, the tender was assigned to the French based Airbus company. The local agent for the company is one of the President’s relatives and a billionaire businessman, Thiru Nadesan.
Thiru Nadesan is Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s business partner and husband of Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa.
According to the Cabinet approval, six of the Airbus A330-300 aircraft valued at US$ 234 million are to be purchased. Also, four A350-900 aircraft are to be purchased as well. One such aircraft is valued at US$ 283 million.
Apart from purchasing 10 aircraft, the Cabinet has also approved monies to purchase spare parts for the aircraft for the next 10 years.
Posted by Thavam