Ex-President rejects allegations against him
March 5, 2015 02:31 pm
Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday (5) denied allegations that a presidential residence was being built for his excusive use in Kankesanthurei.
Issuing a statement, he pointed out this allegation as a part of the campaign of vilification against him that has been going on for the past few months. Rajapaksa has also called upon the public not to be misled by this malicious propaganda.
“Wide publicity has been given to images of what is purported to be a half built presidential residence in Kankesanthurei said to have been constructed for my exclusive use.
I wish to inform the public that no presidential residence was being built for me in Kankesanthurei. Until it was destroyed by LTTE terrorists in the 1980s, there used to be a presidential residence within the Jaffna Fort. That has not been rehabilitated to date.
The property in Kankesanthurei is an International Relations Centre belonging to the presidential secretariat which was being constructed by the Navy. The public may be aware that some of the best known convention centres in the country like the BMICH, the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute and NelumPokuna came under the presidential secretariat.
The International Relations Centres in Kankesanthurei and Arugam Bay were being built not as presidential residences but as international convention centres to be used when Sri Lanka hosts international events. These centres would also have been used when foreign dignitaries and other such individuals and delegations visited the north or the east. With the establishment of peace a heavy influx of foreign visitors to these areas was expected. Unlike the older convention centres coming under the presidential secretariat, these new establishments had been designed with residential facilities.
Cabinet approval was granted for the construction of these International Relations Centres. Portraying these establishments as ostentatious ‘presidential residences’ is a part of the campaign of vilification against me that has been going on for the past few months. I call upon the public not to be misled by this malicious propaganda,” the statement says.