Cameron allocated £6m aid to SL after Lankan businessman funded his party

24 October 2016 01:36 pm - 25     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Foreign aid from England to Sri Lanka had been significantly increased after a Sri Lankan businessman oversaw donations of more than 1 million British pounds (£) to the Conservative Party, the Daily Mail today reported.

An article published on Mail Online said David Cameron had announced last November that £6.6 million was being set aside for Sri Lanka over three years, including help for Tamils forced from their homes during the civil war.

In the year before the announcement, the Tory Party registered donations of more than £1million from businessman Subaskaran Allirajah and his controversial telecoms firm Lycamobile.

There are now questions about what has happened to the money, with UK aid money since going to the area in northern Sri Lanka where Mr. Allirajah grew up.

Subaskaran Allirajah with David Cameron at the Tory's Black and White Ball last year

Mr. Allirajah, 44, is the founder and chairman of Lycamobile, a firm that sells pre-paid phone cards. He grew up in Mullaitivu, a Tamil area in the north of Sri Lanka. He is now worth £160million and is reportedly the 640th wealthiest person in Britain.

The revelations come after Mr. Allirajah faced scrutiny over claims of tax fraud and money laundering at his firm.

In 2009, the UK ceased aid to Sri Lanka for all but humanitarian emergencies after the end of the civil war in the country.

But after Lycamobile started donating to the Tory Party two years later, funds were allocated to the country from the conflict pool – a pot set aside for tackling instability overseas.

In 2011, the Tories reported donations of £176,000 from Lycamobile. This rose to £250,000 in 2012. In that time, total UK aid to Sri Lanka jumped by more than two thirds to £5.5 million, with £1.3 million coming from the conflict pool. By 2013, total aid to Sri Lanka was £10.2 million, almost £3 million more than given to Iraq that year.

In November 2013, then-prime minister Mr. Cameron became the first foreign leader to visit the north of Sri Lanka since it became independent in 1948. He called on the non-Tamil president to set up an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes against Tamil people. And he pledged £2.1 million over two years for a de-mining programme in three districts, including Mullaitivu.

In March 2014, Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire expressed concerns at the arrests of two human rights activists in Sri Lanka, who had been trying to secure the release of a Tamil mother and daughter.

Just 13 days later, the Tories registered donations of £105,000 from Lycamobile, followed by £15,000 three days after that.

In the year before Mr. Cameron announced the £6.6 million to Sri Lanka, the Conservatives reported donations of £967,000 from Lycamobile and a personal donation of £100,000 from Mr. Allirajah.

Less than two months before the 2015 general election, Mr. Cameron met Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena, who promised to identify land to return to the Tamils. Six days later, the Tories registered donations of £370,000 from Lycamobile.

In March 2015, Mr. Allirajah attended the Tory ‘black and white’ ball in Mayfair, central London. He got the loudest cheer of the night after pledging £210,000 for a small bronze statue of Margaret Thatcher.

When the Tories made the £6.6 million announcement last November, it said the money would be spent over the next three years on ‘reconciliation, military reform and to help people who were forced from their towns and villages during the civil war’.

The Mail has for more than a month been asking the Foreign Office to disclose exactly how much of the money has been spent and where it has gone, but a spokesman refused.

Lycamobile has donated a total of £2,209,712 to the Tory Party since 2011.

Some £569,300 of this has come in 2016, even though the firm has during this time faced a police investigation after three of its workers were filmed dropping off rucksacks stuffed with cash at post offices in London.

In June, 19 people connected to Lycamobile were arrested in a raid in France amid allegations of VAT fraud and money laundering of at least £13.4million.

Lycamobile has previously denied financial malpractice. The firm and Mr. Allirajah, who lives in a £3 million mansion with his wife in Chigwell, Essex, had not responded to requests for comment.

A spokesman for the Tory Party said: 'All donations to the Conservative Party are properly and transparently declared.'

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  Comments - 25

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  • Lankan Monday, 24 October 2016 02:03 PM

    He also sponsored the business forum for Sri Lankan government when the Commonwealth conference held in Sri Lanka under previous government.

    Transparency Monday, 24 October 2016 02:15 PM

    Cameron has been bribed !

    lkboy Monday, 24 October 2016 02:22 PM

    it is common knowledge that most of these people are terrorist sympathisers.

    Rubert Monday, 24 October 2016 02:55 PM

    British donations to any country usually have strings attached to them. . Either it is a hidden agreement in relation to their weapons industry or an awkward underhand deal such as this. The current Sri Lankan government doesn't seem to understand the power of the pro-LTTE elements in Britain and how close they are to the British establishment.

    Harith Monday, 24 October 2016 03:16 PM

    Clear evidence that the foreign leaders were making allegations not because they were concerned about the people in the North, but due to the personal benefits they received.

    kaboos Monday, 24 October 2016 03:29 PM

    There are only two honest politicians in the world. ONE IS DEAD AND OTHER ONE YET TO BORN.

    haris Monday, 24 October 2016 03:33 PM

    During SL election campaigns it was Lyca mobile owned by the Rajapaksa family.

    SL Monday, 24 October 2016 03:45 PM

    this is not a secret many western politicians are bhind these type of underhand business. Then French PM zarkosi's election expenditures were funded by Lybiyan leader Gadaffi,LTTE has many occation funded western politicos and LTTE sympathiser (UK MP) Kieth Vass was funded for his Gay nights by LTTE

    dim Monday, 24 October 2016 03:50 PM

    everywhere we go we trick everyone via DM Android App

    lankan Monday, 24 October 2016 04:08 PM

    If he is a terrorist sympathizer, how come Sri Lankan government received the aid?

    Pf Monday, 24 October 2016 04:16 PM

    UK should give more financial sypport to SL.Until 1948 where has the Sri Lankas wealth gone via DM Android App

    Maya Monday, 24 October 2016 05:04 PM

    He was transported to and from Mullaituvu by Gota in government helicopters and he was used to counter the power of Airtel, the Indian mega to safe guards Lankan's

    Boonda Monday, 24 October 2016 05:34 PM

    Lankaboy, it is always say unlearned comments but you must be proud of the achievements of a Lankan who went out as a refugee when he was 10

    JOLLY BIRD Monday, 24 October 2016 05:45 PM

    FROM LONDON (CAMERON) WITH LOVE (MONEY). via DM Android App

    Ranjan Fernando Monday, 24 October 2016 05:49 PM

    Whatever wealth Srilankans get will go to private pockets of politicians. Don't worry.

    Sheri Monday, 24 October 2016 06:13 PM

    Re: a comment here, who is the loopy who said you must be proud of a fraudster?

    TJ Monday, 24 October 2016 06:19 PM

    They may be terrorist sympathizers and also accomplices of previous regime

    TJ Monday, 24 October 2016 06:21 PM

    The facts is the western leaders accept donations from suspected LTTE sympathizers but our leaders have a history of making donations to terrorist organizations.

    Gamhamy Monday, 24 October 2016 07:29 PM

    Cameron got Government to channel that money to terrorist area, it was a hidden agenda that came to light now, not bad ha

    Ponil Rannaya Monday, 24 October 2016 07:31 PM

    There is no honesty in politics and those who indulge in politics are those who have failed in any form of honesty.

    nanda Monday, 24 October 2016 07:45 PM

    jealousy! !!!

    LL Monday, 24 October 2016 08:18 PM

    Then why did he sponsor Sri Lankan govt business forums

    Lal Monday, 24 October 2016 08:20 PM

    He funded SL events during MR era so is MR a LTTE sympathisers too

    Nihal Amarasekera Tuesday, 25 October 2016 10:58 AM

    Another one amongst the many Tamils who has gained immensely from the infamous 83' riots. What talking of poor Tamils.

    Kumar Monday, 24 October 2016 10:12 PM

    It is a universal law who ever involved in big business always corrupt the politicians and the police.


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