Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga said she received a pension of Rs. 25,000 per month until Cabinet increased it to Rs. 98,500, last week.
She said that the president's salary was Rs. 25,000 when she first took office as president in 1994, and it had not been increased when she completed her term in 2005. However, she said ministers' salaries had been increased from Rs. 14,000 in 1994 to Rs. 35,000, in the hope that they would not be susceptible to bribery.
She said the ministers' salaries were again increased to Rs. 60,000, while her salary (as president) and that of the then prime minister (her mother Sirimavo Bandaranaike) had remained Rs. 25,000 and Rs.20,000 respectively.
"The pension of the president is based on the last salary he or she drew and, consequently, my pension remained unchanged at Rs. 25,000 until last week, while former president Mahinda Rajapaksa had had his salary increased to Rs. 98,000, and even the former MPs drew pensions of Rs. 40,000," she said.
Ms. Kumaratunga said that several letters had been sent to the then president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, by her office requesting an increase in her pension, but his secretary, Lalith Weeratunga had sent her three replies rejecting her request.
It was only after President Maithripala Sirisena came to office that her request was granted, she said.