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TISL urges Cabinet to revoke perks granted to President

22 October 2019 09:15 pm - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) today expressed its concerns with regard to the perks approved by the Cabinet last week to be granted to President Maithripala Sirisena and urged the Cabinet to revoke its decision while citing it as a clear case of a conflict of interest.

TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said the timing of the decision when the President was still in office and was the Head of Cabinet raises serious questions regarding conflicts of interest.

“This is underscored by the decision of the Supreme Court in 2007 regarding the premature exercise of executive power under the Presidents Entitlements Act of 1986,” Mr. Obeysekara said.

"The TISL is deeply concerned by the recent decision made by the Cabinet of ministers, allowing President Maithripala Sirisena to remain at his official residence at Mahagama Sekara Mawatha (formerly Paget Road) in Colombo. The TISL believes that while former presidents and their widows or widowers are entitled to an official residence under the provisions of the Presidents Entitlements Act 1986, the TISL wishes to draw the attention to a 2007 judgment of the Supreme Court."

He said in a fundamental rights application to the Supreme Court (SC FR503/2005) a three-judge bench ruled in favour of the petitioners, quashing the Cabinet decision on grants and entitlements to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga while the President was in office.

“The facts that have been clearly established in this case prove that the 1st respondent and the Cabinet of ministers of which she was the head, secured for the 1st respondent benefits and advantages in the purported exercise of executive power in breach of the provisions of the President’s Entitlement Act No. 4 of 1986,” the Court noted in that instance.

Mr. Obeysesekere said the TISL firmly believed that decisions pertaining to such entitlements should only be taken at such time that the sitting President ceases to hold office.

He said the fact that the decision was made during an election period where the President has declared he would remain impartial despite his party’s decision to support a candidate, also raised several red flags on electoral integrity and potential corruption under the Bribery Act.

“A conservative estimate could place the benefit afforded to the President as a result of retaining the official residence at Mahagama Sekara Mawatha, at more than Rs.360 million over a 20-year period. As this decision has been made by the Cabinet of ministers led by the President the conflict of interest is deeply worrying and illustrates little consideration for the protection of public resources”, Mr. Obeysekara said. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 16

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  • Sunil vijaya Wednesday, 23 October 2019 05:44 AM

    a bum who had no impact on sri lanka does not deserve anything!

    Ralahamy Wednesday, 23 October 2019 06:21 AM

    Dr.W.Dahanayake standsout as shining monument in the muddied political cesspit. It is amusing that names if SLFP leaders, including MR are involved. Don't they have an iota of self respect? May be they don't fit into the society they left behind.

    Ralahamy Wednesday, 23 October 2019 06:21 AM

    Dr.W.Dahanayake standsout as shining monument in the muddied political cesspit. It is amusing that names if SLFP leaders, including MR are involved. Don't they have an iota of self respect? May be they don't fit into the society they left behind.

    Pro Bono Wednesday, 23 October 2019 06:38 AM

    What a state of affairs. These cabinet ministers giving away nations wealth as if it belongs to them. No wonder this country has gone to the dogs. Then they beg from other countries asking for funds. It is time for a COMPLETE SYSTEM CHANGE.

    chris Wednesday, 23 October 2019 06:49 AM

    With hardly a month left its best that the decision was taken proactively without leaving him stranded. He is the first citizen of the country and the constitution allows him certain perks. In this instance the president nor his party is contesting so why bribe him.

    Ramal Wednesday, 23 October 2019 06:52 AM

    Parasites of the country

    Raja Senanayake Wednesday, 23 October 2019 07:50 AM

    Yes only when they retire and go home should such benefits be considered and not while continuing in office. There are otehr matters too which may require Sirisena to be impeached and the Prime Minister should take up the matter in Parliament.

    Sambo Wednesday, 23 October 2019 07:50 AM

    These people are a waste to space.

    Terrence Wednesday, 23 October 2019 07:56 AM

    The sweep ticket is not valid as the numbers are of doubt

    Perku Wednesday, 23 October 2019 08:06 AM

    Problem is if this decision is revoked, the guy might start setting fire to all the paddy fields. So we must be very careful of what we do.

    dhanapala Wednesday, 23 October 2019 08:31 AM

    Decision should be revoked. Expensively developed this residence should be reserved for future President or PM considering Temple Trees as well.

    S.Sangaralingham Wednesday, 23 October 2019 09:03 AM

    Yes. They are right

    Venom Wednesday, 23 October 2019 09:04 AM

    What nonsense ! MS may not have been the best. But he is the president and as such is entitled to his retirement benefits. This what happens in countries like SL when ppl are allowed to mess too much with democracy, freedom, trasparency etc !!

    Lord Wolfstein Wednesday, 23 October 2019 09:15 AM

    Deposit the President in a home for old lunatics

    Clown Wednesday, 23 October 2019 09:17 AM

    Exactly. Elected officials shouldn't be recipient to such fantastic perks. Especially this president. All he did was throw the country into chaos several times over. Clown

    Sanje Wednesday, 23 October 2019 09:24 AM

    Super. Way to go.. otherwise tax payers further hampered... This is a joke.


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