By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
While rejecting claims made by certain media outlets, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam yesterday said that the State had not incurred any loss because of the printing of Education Minister’s message with the photo on school text books.
“It had been in practice since 1980,” he said.
Speaking to the media at the Ministry, after observing the media reports regarding the claims, the Minister said he had realised the media reports had published based on false allegations to tarnish his image. “I did not want to print my image or such messages on textbooks in the aim of building my political image or some other activity. The Commissioner of General Educational Publications, I.M.K.B. Illangasinghe had explained to me on how this message comes on textbooks since the year 1980.
“The messages of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the former Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana were also printed on previous textbooks in colour,” the Minister said. “Certain media reports claim that I had requested Mr. Illangasinghe to print those messages and the image on the books to promote my political career. As a Minister, I do not have to request him. If I want I could have ordered him,” he said. “Mr. Illangasinghe has sent an affidavit saying that there was no cost involved in printing the message or the photo on textbooks, He has also said that he had informed the issue at the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).
However, the Minister said that he had been requested to be present at the PSC only if he wanted to clarify these allegations. But again they had been informed to be present at the PSC on July 1 and 8.