Media recently reported that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be gifted with the Peacock Mansion belonging to A.S.P. Liyanage who contested unsuccessfully at the recent presidential election. The excerpts from an interview with Liyanage are reproduced below.
How many times have you contested the Presidency?
I have contested twice
On the last occasion who did you support?
I came forward in support of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
At the last election Rajapaksa lost and Maithripala Sirisena was elected. Who are you supporting now?
I respect Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda Rajapaksa lost because of the mistakes of his government. Mahinda Rajapaksa is one of my friends. If you are my friend and if you request for something I would definitely help you. Mahinda Rajapaksa also made a request, so I am helping him.
There is a story that your Peacock Mansion is to be gifted to Mahinda.
Yes. When he went to Eliantha White’s house, I asked why the war hero was confined to 15 or 20 acres, he said his three children are in three places, and that still he had not got a house from the government. It was not a good place for the former president to stay. I am not rich, but gifted my one acre property and Peacock Mansion to Mahinda Rajapaksa
Why do you call it Peacock Mansion?
We had a lot of animals in our house, including many peacocks, so the mansion was named Peacock Mansion.
Was this mansion built by you or purchased from someone?
I built it. The world famous architect late Geoffrey Bawa designed it. It is located close to the Diyawanna Oya. This is one of the ten most beautiful mansions located in Colombo. Ninety per cent of ambassadors in Sri Lanka have visited this place.
How long did it take to construct this mansion?
About one- and-a- half years.
How long have you been living in this mansion?
A number of years. This mansion is lucky [for me]; I received many things after coming here.
Are you giving the mansion to Mahinda on rent, as a gift or on a deed of transfer.
Earlier I had rented out this mansion on a monthly rent of 400,000. I will not take money from Mahinda. I am giving it for him to stay here. Some time back a foreigner stayed here, and many visited this mansion during that time. They confirmed that this was the most beautiful mansion they had seen. Some refer to this place as a palace. You must visit the place to be convinced.
Are you giving this place for political work?
No, not for political work, but for him and his family to stay. Do not misunderstand, I hope the government will not attack me, and I am confident that the government would understand the position. When a friend asks for some help I cannot look the other way and not help him.
You gifted even your party to Mahinda. What made you do so?
As I said earlier I will not hesitate to help a friend. I have a strong feeling that in the future Mahinda Rajapaksa would join President Maithripala Sirisena.
There is a talk that present astrologers are examining the Peacock Mansion.
Earlier some people came and inspected the place. I do not know whether they were astrologers or not. All that is history in another few days the former president would occupy this mansion.
Some say that you are going to change your party symbol to Lotus Flower in order to help Mahinda to contest.
We made a request from the election commissioner to have the Hammer and Sickle as our party symbol. He declined saying that it was the international communist party’s symbol and offered us ‘Peacock’ as the alternative. He also said that changing a party symbol has to follow a certain procedure and to make such a request within one week of a declaration of an election.
Were there any threats for gifting of the mansion and the party to Mahinda.
No, there were no threats. This government would not venture into such things; but it would have been different if there was other government. I have no grudge with this government and I respect Maithripala Sirisena Because of their wrong doings the former government was ruled out of power. On one hand it was good and it made Mahinda Rajapaksa realise it.
Some say that Mahinda was defeated by those who were close to him.
Very correct. President Rajapaksa was not briefed about the happenings in the country. Incorrect information was made available to him. If he was made aware of the issues he could have found answers to them.
What if Maithri also asked you for help like Mahinda did?
I will definitely help him. He is a friend of mine. I have met him and he thanked me for what I organised during the bereavement of his mother. My daughter also met him and obtained his best wishes. He is a very good person.
What have you got to say in conclusion?
All I ask is not to misunderstand what I am going to do.
I HAVE WATCHED HIS MUSICAL PROGRAM THAT HE ANCHORED, HIS DAUGHTERS TOOK OVER ANCHORING THE SHOW. CAN I BE YOUR FRIEND, SO THAT I CAN ALSO ASK YOU FOR SOME HELP
manoshika sirimaduru Wednesday, 01 April 2015 03:55 PM
it is a crazy work.
LenskiV Wednesday, 01 April 2015 04:03 PM
I am curious to know how much Income tax this guy pays to be able to give out a house that can generate an income of Rs. 400,000/month, free.
Chaminda Wednesday, 01 April 2015 04:33 PM
Apitath inna geyak denna berida ?
kithudugama Friday, 03 April 2015 02:02 AM
Was this guy sent as an ambassodor to a foreign country by Mahinda ?
Veluppulle Prabakaran. Monday, 06 April 2015 08:59 AM
Former Prez. Mahinda Rajapakse, You was the King of Srilanka, we all are with you,Your dreams will come true, Srilanka will be your own property
damithw Thursday, 02 April 2015 06:05 PM
This man is a MORAL...Ravi need to investigate this man for tax Fraud...He is investing his money on MR bank, assuming that MR will be next Prime minster in June elections...
Jayantha Thursday, 02 April 2015 09:25 AM
Time will tell the truth.
tikiri samarasinghe Thursday, 02 April 2015 07:26 PM
This house is built on selling land. He was in prison regarding fraudalant deeds. President Mahinda should not take this. so many people have cursed on his deals. Ihope he will not do the same things
ranjith Chandrasekera Thursday, 02 April 2015 07:41 PM
What you have done is great and I appreciate your action. To own a palatial house. you are rich and to me extremely rich. How about building few one roomed houses to those who live in extreme poverty, in rural areas.
Siripala Saturday, 04 April 2015 08:15 PM
LenskiV, before you question others about their income tax, why dont you set an example and say what your income monthly is and how much tax you have paid.
rukshala Thursday, 02 April 2015 05:07 AM
If i hv a house like this I too give that to president Rajapakse
pradeep Thursday, 02 April 2015 08:40 PM
Positive thinkers always with MR.Mahinda Rajapaksa .Because . he brought pride for the nation
neilwijeratne Thursday, 02 April 2015 08:42 PM
AS P build some houses for the deserving poor.
lucky Saturday, 04 April 2015 10:35 AM
dont bull shit liyenege.this house was rented to gateway school. they ran their computer classes there. you are almost bankrupt. you sold your akuregoda house also because you couldnt pay money and interest to the loan sharks you burrowed. you think people are stupid. we know how you played out poor investors and how you ended up in remand. You are just an opportunist.. if MR accept your house you will think banks will not come behind loans. you are sadly mistaken. MR should be so stupid to accept your generosity.
Mevan Thursday, 02 April 2015 06:03 AM
It is better if he donated this property as an orphanage or an elders home but then children and elders cannot dish out diplomatic assignments, can they?
Koalas de silva Wednesday, 01 April 2015 03:01 PM
58 Laks MR supporters will thank you for your kindness.
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