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Car wars: Yes we want'em

8 June 2016 05:14 pm - 45     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Three Ministers today justified the Government's move to seek Parliament approval to purchase luxury vehicles to various State and Cabinet Ministers and said Ministers need super luxury vehicles to travel to their electorate, various functions and ceremonies round the country.

Joint Cabinet Spokesmen Ministers Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Gayantha Karunatileka and Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana answering a barrage of questions from journalists, who repeatedly asked Ministers the merit of allocating Government MPs to import SUVs such Land Cruisers, Outlanders, Hummers and super luxury cars like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volvo, Jaguar and Audi, that cost between Rs. 50 million to Rs. 90 million each, they said the Government members needed those vehicles to attend to their work and travel thousands of kilometers round the country.

Media personnel questioned as to why the Government allocated this kind of money to import new vehicles for Government Ministers, while asking the public to tighten their belts to face an economic down-turn and to pay back a huge amount of foreign loans, obtained by the Rajapaksa regime.

The journalists collectively asked whether this was not a case of ‘Making Hay While the Sun Shines’ and charged that the Government has increased the tax on vehicles to increase the vehicle prices, while putting another burden on the already suffering people through VAT increase.

“Though the Government promised relief to purchase a family car to a middle class family, it is now beyond the reach of them and only a super rich can afford to buy a new or reconditioned vehicle,” the journalists lamented.

Trying to explain the Government’s position, Minister Senaratne said Ministers and Deputy Ministers needed super luxury vehicles to travel to their electorate, various functions and ceremonies round the country.

“Do not forget that politicians in other countries draw five to ten times of salaries drawn by Sri Lanka politicians. Politicians use low engine capacity vehicles in countries like Singapore and Maldives because they need not travel much far. In Sri Lanka we have to travel hundreds of kilometers and we need a comfortable vehicle for that,” he stressed.

Minister Karunaratne said some Ministries had not purchased vehicles for 20 years and politicians would have to repay the loan granted to them to purchase vehicles under a Value Depreciation Formula (VDF) and after five years they could own the vehicle.

The Government on Tuesday sought Parliamentary approval for a supplementary estimate to cover Rs. 1.1 billion for the purchase of vehicles to various Cabinet and State Ministers. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

Video by Richan




  Comments - 45

  • King Mihiraj Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:58 PM

    Minister Rajitha must be thinking that the people in Sri Lanka are idiots.

    Ajja Monday, 13 June 2016 09:24 AM

    My Final decision to these idiots-No Japanese vehicle this time only Indian Ambassadors.We can watch their behavior if they are true servants of people...

    alia gay walga Friday, 10 June 2016 08:41 PM

    Then use Indian vehicles. In India MLAS use to travel much more being a such a big country. Even if breakdowns after 3 yrs, still cheaper to buy another set of same vehicles Otherwise these MPS are trying to cheat us to misuse for their personal needs

    Vajira Wednesday, 08 June 2016 08:01 PM

    They are comparing with british government. Ordinary people in lower the category. via DM Android App

    Jigsaw Jakson Wednesday, 08 June 2016 08:21 PM

    Give them Rs10 milo and balance to come out of there pocket. or as a personal loan.JJ

    Gayan Wednesday, 08 June 2016 08:36 PM

    Let the yahapalana appologists pay these amounts. Not the entire country.

    Ralph Friday, 10 June 2016 10:11 AM

    Big joke! We should have an independent commission to determine the remuneration and perks of Ministers and MPs.

    udaya Thursday, 09 June 2016 11:15 AM

    It is unfair to blame them. They are the wanted lot. We the unwanted. Long live John.

    kan Thursday, 09 June 2016 11:18 AM

    Why not import Ambassador cars from India, cheap, very tough and could be modified to suit your taste? Indian PM and other leading Ministers use these.

    Hamlet Thursday, 09 June 2016 11:23 AM


    amalf fernando Thursday, 09 June 2016 07:32 PM

    Shameless people who try to rob tax payers money.Suprise to see the behaviour and thinking of leaders including the PM

    Sanath Thursday, 09 June 2016 12:04 PM

    All these jokers are the same, they are for themselves. We, the ordinary people are the fools. High time to get rid of these rotten eggs and show peoples strength.

    Don Thursday, 09 June 2016 12:20 PM

    All Yahapalana supporters are hypocrites including their ministers.

    Eddie Wijesurya Thursday, 09 June 2016 12:21 PM

    Politicians of today enter the fray to fill their pockets. I don't see why they should get these luxuries at the expense of the poor taxpayer and the man on the street. It is common knowledge that most of them sell their "duty free" permits. Dudley Senanayake came to Parliament driving his own little Triumph Herald.

    Sathees Monday, 13 June 2016 02:13 PM

    Change we need, but to whom you want to vote?

    yakadaya Thursday, 09 June 2016 12:40 PM

    Great big disappointment this Yahapalanaya is. No better than the earlier bunch of crooks. Anyway the people will give their answer, just as they did on JANUARY 08th 21015.

    Premalal Thursday, 09 June 2016 12:45 PM

    This government begged, grovelled, wept at the feet of the IMF to obtain a loan. They sacrificed the masses and squeezed the last bit of juice from their starving bodies by increasing taxes and what do they do with the loan? Buy luxury vehicles for themselves This is social genocide.

    Premalal Thursday, 09 June 2016 12:49 PM

    I think they know that they would be wiped out soon. This is the sign of robbing as much as possible before the day of reckoning.

    Premalal Thursday, 09 June 2016 12:51 PM

    The biggest hypocrite is the one who pleaded before the people to trust him.

    Lanka Thursday, 09 June 2016 02:43 AM


    san Thursday, 09 June 2016 02:58 AM

    We idiots vote these thieves in to the parliament , why cant they use less expensive cabs to do there jobs , and they all should buy one or two models of vehicles for all government use, then it will be cheaper to maintain , what did they do with MRs fleet , have they sold it under hand.

    sathya Thursday, 09 June 2016 03:05 AM

    obe Kate buth ape Kate puss via DM iOS App

    Cheers Thursday, 09 June 2016 03:24 AM

    Shocking people we voted they end with luxury we end with nothing let's change the government soon

    Daham Thursday, 09 June 2016 03:38 AM

    19th amendment to the constitution enabled the rogues of both UNP and SLFP to form a unity government to ruin the country by spending unnecessarily .

    Bobby Pereira Thursday, 09 June 2016 03:57 AM

    Thank you Editor for publishing the detailed list.

    Hamlet Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:03 AM

    The Poliiticians should be living in their Electorates, not just visiting, for Ceremonies and Functions paid for by their Voters!Otherwise how would they know what the Problems of the Electorates are?

    Hamlet Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:06 AM

    I have heard of One Politician who did not want a Car offered to Him, because it did not have the latest gadgets!

    manoj Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:20 AM

    Yes ! they deserve the luxury vehicles because they work hard. So let the citizens work hard to pay for the luxury vehicles after all it is the ministers who are developing the country. Thank you ministers. God bless you all.

    Mohammed Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:28 AM

    I think we should get them all helicopters, since some of their sons may want to go with them for political rallys. I think we may need another Jan 8th change in a few months. Really disappointed... @pm and @president

    Neville Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:45 AM

    In Australia we can comfortably travel from one end to the other in a Toyota SUV. If I am not mistaken Sri lanka is smaller than Australia. Minister Senaratne said ministers in other countries get more than 5 times salaries than in Sri lanka, How about other workers they get 20-50 times salaries more than Sri lankans.

    Amunugama Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:58 AM

    This need to be done as we born to have fun and nice time when we have power. My3 and Ranil need to keep these guys happy or they will go away . This important keep the government running (this the invisible side of the story) . Non of these guys are not for the nation. You cannot blame any government or leaders its our sri lankan style . Blame the style we developed from child hood . This is good trump for the opposition to put down the government . This pulling game will never allow to grow and outside countries will come in strategically use our land for their business and bring their people . It will happen very soon as non of our our ministers ready to sacrifice . This is called fate our country due to our life style . Sinhalese are so stupid..

    Janathava Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:59 AM

    If you got rid of all these worthless Ministers, the country would prosper and the people would thank you for it!

    Sunil Thursday, 09 June 2016 05:06 AM

    I think it's time everybody ditch these Yahapalanaya jokers!!!

    v de mel moratuwa Thursday, 09 June 2016 05:13 AM

    this point talking about it. for cars all are united when an average manager or executive cannot afford to purchase even a bycicle.

    JJ Thursday, 09 June 2016 05:15 AM

    Dear Ministers of gosl have you no shame? Remember Marie Antonett of France.

    Amaris Thursday, 09 June 2016 05:18 AM

    The country is in debt, but the MPs want their pound of flesh. There is no difference between this regime and the previous regime.

    Ram Thursday, 09 June 2016 05:22 AM

    Government must take a policy decision. All politicians must have one common make/capacity vehicle at a cost of 15 Million per vehicle. The make of the vehicle must not be left to the Minister/s to decide. Bulk order from one company GOSL may get a good deal

    Premalal Thursday, 09 June 2016 05:32 AM

    Never in the recent history of the world has a country been destroyed by so few so quickly.

    Sharon Thursday, 09 June 2016 05:50 AM

    A grade hypocrites. What a shame on Yamapalana campaigners. via DM iOS App

    Wele Vidane Thursday, 09 June 2016 05:56 AM

    Minister Rajitha you are the one who told us about 25 ministers not us.

    honest citizen Wednesday, 08 June 2016 05:39 PM

    this is not acceptable increasing all products and ministers gaining luxury pple are suffering you will loose the next election if you continue like this via DM Android App

    praba Wednesday, 08 June 2016 05:45 PM

    People should change the regime again so that remaining mps too can get vehicles .

    citizen Wednesday, 08 June 2016 05:47 PM

    when they came they said they use what ever they have. existing offices existing vehicles and existing residence but what happened now. they want everything SUPER luxury via DM iOS App

    raju Wednesday, 08 June 2016 05:58 PM

    Why isn't a hybrid like prius not comfortable to go...who are you fooling...destroying Sri Lanka

    hiran Wednesday, 08 June 2016 06:03 PM

    Wonder why they cant buy japanese vehicles which are less expensive and have enough engine capacity.?

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