I used the most amount of helicopter rides: PM

18 January 2012 09:56 am - 38     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said in Parliament that he was the politician who took the most number of helicopter rides in recent times to attend meetings all over the country despite his doctors not approving of such air travels due to ill health.

Mr. Jayaratne said that he is sometimes compelled to attend six or seven meetings a day in different parts of the country. 

“One meeting is in the north and another in the south. I am the minister in charge of religious affairs. I am supposed to attend the meetings of various places of religious worship.  I cannot reach all these places in a day by road. Therefore, I use helicopters. I will continue to do it,” he said. 

The Prime Minister was responding to UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam who asked about those entitled to use helicopters belonging to the Airforce. The government said that Rs.200 million is incurred by the Airforce to give helicopter rides to various persons.

Ministers, deputy ministers, MPs, Mahanayake Theras and the President and the Prime Minister are among those entitled to use helicopters of the Airforce. Besides, anyone approved by the Defence Ministry can also use such facilities.

Mr. Kariyawasam, however, argued that a UNP member who crossed over to the government and became a minister, uses helicopters even to attend to matters of less importance. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)

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  Comments - 38

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  • Dee Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:46 PM

    And we suppose its a GREAT acheivement !!

    indu Friday, 20 January 2012 02:06 AM

    yes, set up a few teams with a couple of vans and send them out to the meetings you need to be at. Problem solved and a few jobs created instead of wasting money on Helicopter rides.

    P.m Jayarathna Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:48 PM

    Can you tell us something you achive for the countrie's devolopmant from these tours.

    Rathnayake Wednesday, 18 January 2012 05:04 PM

    Mr. Kariyawasam seems to have forgotten all other matters of critical importance in view of the new helicopter rides for so called "less important" works of his former friend.

    Puswedilla Wednesday, 18 January 2012 05:14 PM

    Ha ha!
    So who paid ask your bills and what did you achieve from ask these trips.

    Engineer Wednesday, 18 January 2012 05:40 PM

    Its good to see politician using more air travel, rather than locking highways down to drive a special convoy down causing 100 times greater economic impact.

    roads and highways carry the blood of the economy. using air travel is seen as a positive economic consumption. as it will help induce demand in industries and other parts of economy.

    chandran Wednesday, 18 January 2012 07:29 PM

    Why Sir, the Honorable Prime-Minister can not ride the Motorcade under escorting of Tight Security?

    dass Wednesday, 18 January 2012 08:56 PM

    what a waste

    Udayanga Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:13 PM

    What a shame !!!

    polonga sumathipala Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:11 AM

    So what does he expect.

    Fayad Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:14 AM

    Continue the joyride sir, taxpayers will pay your bills.

    gajan99 Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:19 AM

    Well done, prime minister. You are a great worker.

    naswaf Sunday, 22 January 2012 03:48 PM

    ministers laata sundara gaman.......janathawata gindara gaman...

    Anonymous Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:13 AM

    Why not invest in a network of computers with web conferencing capabilities to conduct meetings? It's absurd that a cost of Rs. 200mil is being incurred for travelling to MEETINGS, in this day and age where meetings are being conducted with participants from different parts of the world through handheld devices! With that money, he can easily install a high tech web conferencing system AND train the relevant officers on how to use it... What a shame!

    ajitha Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:01 AM

    Its all about the affordabilty of a nation. For a country like ours we need to see if its a priority as always these functions may not be needed to be attended by the PM himself. What we waste public funds so arrogantly. Personally I will feel ashamed of my self

    slfan99 Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:12 AM

    Well done PM. You are performing tasks that will help Sri Lanka grow to become the 'Miracle of Asia'

    Kangarro Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:22 AM

    Wow ur so cool why dont you take a air taxi paying from ur pocket ?

    Calistus Jayatilleke Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:14 AM

    Our (grand) Father who art in the sky : please stay there!

    Ramyanagar Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:57 AM

    We pay - Your bill

    Ramyanagar Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:07 AM

    Ill health? So why don't you resign from the portfolio Hon. Prime Minister?

    AZ Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:21 AM

    it's a pleasure for us to pay for your rides.. since we know you add so much value to the country

    Chandima Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:24 AM

    The question is what we have achieved from his participating of relegeious affairs meetings in North and South? Are the crime rates droped in the country and monks stopped doing politics?

    DireStraits Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:26 AM

    I'm pretty sure there is no need for even the president of USA to use so many helicopter rides a day. We should all keep in mind that we are living in a country where a vast lot of people can't even afford 3 meals a day. Any one who believes in God or one with a conscience would realize that abusing the privilege one has been bestowed can easily be taken away. Helicopters are known to crash. Remember that every time you get into one Mr. PM.

    kan Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:58 AM

    Were you "air-born' Sir?

    Amila Wednesday, 18 January 2012 12:07 PM

    Can you tell us at least one use of such function. Just rubbishing at the meetings.

    RanjithSilva Wednesday, 18 January 2012 12:24 PM

    WASTE OF MY HARD EARNED MONEY, Gampol.

    RanjithSilva Wednesday, 18 January 2012 12:35 PM

    Poor planning by the Prime Ministers Office in own admission. making Sri Lanka a Wonder of Asia with these types of Politicians is another Wonder.

    james Thursday, 19 January 2012 05:57 AM

    Please take rest, and hand over your duty to another. We have many persons to do the job. I think their must be a retirement age for politicians as well.

    Sunil Jay Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:18 AM

    Mr Prime Minister,

    Please stop these JOLLY RIDES.

    IF YOU ARE NOT FIT DONT GO PLEASE WITHOUT EATING

    PUBLIC MONEY.
    THIS AAPPLIES TO OTHER MINISTERS WHO STILL HAVING 10 -15 VEHICLES.

    PLEASE STOP.

    Daily Mirror -Thanks for highlighting these news.

    Sunil Jay

    Narayan Wednesday, 18 January 2012 12:50 PM

    Sri Lankan leaders have no clue on proud to be on what.

    Aristotle Wednesday, 18 January 2012 01:47 PM

    This type of travel is not even provided in developed countries.

    DHA Wednesday, 18 January 2012 01:53 PM

    So does any good happen to us.....for this travel wastage u should invested on CISCO video conferencing on half the money would have been spent and technology also would've grown in rural areas......

    Kamal Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:04 PM

    Prime Minister‘s secretary must be changed, no proper meeting plan (One in North and One In South meetings) who is going to trust this..

    Kamal Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:06 PM

    So we need another 5 Prime Ministers to Sri Lanka for smooth operations!!

    nipuna seneviratnene Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:40 PM

    Yes... you can have joy rides... we are there to pay for it.....
    NS

    Raigam Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:21 PM

    How about giving him a super jumbo jet?

    freehit Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:33 PM

    If you are not in good health, sir., please step down , without jeopardizing your life for our sake. Nobody is indispensable !

    IVJ Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:54 PM

    I really wonder if he actually adds any value by attending all those meetings or those meetings itself have any importance/value. Can't he use video conferencing instead? After all, these are all our money which can be spent on uplifting poor people's lives.


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