- GR's private secretary Sugeeswara Bandara heads 'special projects' unit at President's Office
- GR himself continues to receive incentives entitled to a former president despite his early resignation following public anger
- GR allocated security at bungalow in Malalasekara Mawatha and Mirihana
- Questions arise over the mandate of the 'special projects' office
Just over a year since former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned from office following nationwide protests demanding him to step down, evidence has come to light that the former president's staff who are mostly political appointees continue to be recruited in the President's Office under a newly created unit called 'special projects'.
Even though Rajapaksa did not complete his full term and was forced to resign due to his mismanagement which spiraled the economic crisis, Rajapaksa's hand-picked staff including his former private secretary Sugeeswara Bandara continue to receive a salary and perks from the state as they head the special projects unit in the President's Office.
Rajapaksa himself continues to receive the incentives entitled to a former president despite his early resignation following public anger and has also had security appointed at his luxury bungalow provided to him by the state at Malalasekara Mawatha in Colombo and outside his private residence in Mirihana.
Rajapaksa is not residing at Malalasekara Mawatha due to complaints that the area was 'noisy' and other issues but it continues to be held by him with a security contingent also deployed for him.
In addition to the former president enjoying all benefits from the state despite the economic crisis, his former staff who functioned with him continue to be recruited at this specially created unit at the President's office with serious concerns raised as to what the mandate of this office is.
This unit is now headed by Sugeeswara Bandara who was Gotabaya Rajapaksa's private secretary when he was the president and is now functioning as the Director General of the Special Projects unit.
Senior officials attached to the former president's staff told Daily Mirror that despite being recruited at the President's office, officials such as Bandara are often seen accompanying Gotabaya Rajapaksa at events.
The former President's staff being recruited at the President's office raises serious concerns about why such special units continue to accommodate political appointees despite Gotabaya being forced out of office over a year ago.
A senior official from the President's Office told Daily Mirror that the special projects section was a 'unit' at the President's office and its staff were mandated to coordinate some projects which were taking place outside Colombo and liaise with the President's staff. It was also a unit formed at the request by the SLPP.
With the economic crisis far from over, concerns have also been raised as to why the former president's staff continue to enjoy the salary and perks from the state at a time when staff can be reduced in order to ease the burden on the Treasury. (JAMILA HUSAIN)
Punchi Wednesday, 24 May 2023 06:23 AM
No issue here, it is IMF, China, Japan, Indian and private borrowings all which we have no intention of repaying that is funding this unit
R De Silva Wednesday, 24 May 2023 07:02 AM
And we continue to pay taxes
Ranjith Wednesday, 24 May 2023 07:15 AM
GR is there to appreciate Ruppe against $ to Rs.150 bring down the Inflation from 33% to 8% allow the brain drain to reduce the population to 18 million this what we have to achieve
Ranjith Wednesday, 24 May 2023 07:38 AM
GR is there to bring down the inflation to 8%, appreciate the Ruppe against the USD to Rs.150 reduce the population by various ways to 18 million if achieve above senior citizens and low income families can think of breathing again.
Dee Wednesday, 24 May 2023 07:40 AM
His people are still heading many other units . Take PUSL for example!
Lumbini Wednesday, 24 May 2023 08:06 AM
This is why we name the current President as Ranil Rajapaksa.
Sunil Wednesday, 24 May 2023 08:12 AM
These so called "special projects" are for protecting the thieves.
How many more ghosts? Wednesday, 24 May 2023 08:21 AM
We appreciate the Great piece of investigative journalism. This family is like cancer affecting all parts of the person. It is difficult to eradicate. Solution: Recover the expenses from the accountant who approved them.
Neel bandara Wednesday, 24 May 2023 11:08 AM
Yes I do agree with you .That brave journalist who has done the great job .We all know how dangerous the rasing such questions against the regime. Our experience about not only journalist but other how they will take revenge However appreciate for awareness of such issues. But Rajapak and Ranil will take revenge.
sam Wednesday, 24 May 2023 08:25 AM
Another way to rob the public.
JR Wednesday, 24 May 2023 08:42 AM
That was their understanding. Not too difficult to understand who runs the country from behind the curtain.
joshua Wednesday, 24 May 2023 08:45 AM
This is one of the wasteful exercises of Government service. May be they are retaining them to sweep GRs inefficiencies.
TaxPayer Wednesday, 24 May 2023 09:07 AM
Two President's simultaneously existing and running Offices at Taxpayer's expense ?
Begging Citizen Wednesday, 24 May 2023 09:30 AM
It took almost a year for Ranils Agent Provocateur to realise this is happening. No money to hold LG Elections but Rs.20 Billion to be spent on low quality rice to garner poor people's votes for a Presidential Election due only in the 4th Quarter of 2024. Ranil's panduru to Gotha, "Special Projects Unit"
Citizen Silva Wednesday, 24 May 2023 09:39 AM
Ex UNP defeated MPs like Ruwan Wijeywardena, Akila Viraj Kariyawassm, Samantha Ratnapriya, Sagala Ratnayae are also playing dual roles as Presidents office staff as well as politics for UNP
Roisin Wednesday, 24 May 2023 09:58 AM
I am not surprised at all. In fact I believe Namal will be the elected president within the next ten years. People will never learn. Concerns have been raised, but nothing will happen.
Jayantha Wednesday, 24 May 2023 10:02 AM
Spread this matter to social media and also inform imf and foreign donors.
RW Wednesday, 24 May 2023 10:27 AM
Quite alright. After all he got 2/3 majority and fit to be in the Royal Family rank.
Nathan Wednesday, 24 May 2023 10:28 AM
All perks entitled for past President's must be removed in this crisis situation and they should be ashamed to live at Tax payer's sweat in this manner.God save Srilanka
Ranjan Wednesday, 24 May 2023 10:31 AM
Guys why are you wasting your energy and time ?Don’t you know this is Ranil Rajapaksa government
Kunchithapathan Wednesday, 24 May 2023 10:39 AM
One government two presidents running the country. Horrendous situation prevails to further derail the economy. As no one knows the arrangements Ranil Wickremesinghe and Gotabaya Rajapakse had among them but both were partners in crimes.
J.M.C. Victor Perera (attorney-at-law) Wednesday, 24 May 2023 12:33 PM
It's a curse to Gota as not a single country will waste money on previous Presidents or Prime Ministers - what nonsense eating the poor man's money in this manner. Stop it immediately before people get into the roads again.
Volker Metzger Wednesday, 24 May 2023 02:03 PM
How are the political bases and conditions in Sri Lanka ever to change under the conditions described here!!!? Many stories and political processes that are unknown and hidden from the people are obviously taking place in the dark and are shaking the population's trust in democracy and its representatives! It is high time that something fundamental changed in this country, otherwise the future will end in gloom!
ANNECUNT Wednesday, 24 May 2023 02:09 PM
please inform the imf immediatly
Ram Wednesday, 24 May 2023 02:42 PM
I scratch your back, you scratch my back is the policy of all politicians. it is good to try a FR petition to SC as use of public funds illegally is a matter that affects my rights
Ranjith Wednesday, 24 May 2023 03:16 PM
Who is to be blamed for this the present President this shows true colour of the President current President is also taking people for a ride basically what he has done enjoying the perks smallest thing travelling overseas agreed for all IMF terms and conditions put all the weight on the people stop paying foreign loans and sovereign bonds defaulted foreign debts and talks like has done wonders liberalise imports settle debts then we know where we stand inflation 33% high cost of living no foreign currency reserves in the treasury country is bankrupt.
BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 24 May 2023 03:53 PM
When an enormous 69% voted Rajapakse's despite there terrible corruption and criminality, it was clear Sinhalese are a race of Dobie's. The whole 69% voted based on a single theme, racism and bigotry. Today, Sinhalese housemaids are returning more in coffins than alive and the fellows like Sinha-le and JHU are still not ashamed.
Buddhist Wednesday, 24 May 2023 04:03 PM
Why should the tax payers pay for the retired PMs, Speakers, Armed Forces members, and Presidents once they have retired?
Maligawatte Piyapala Wednesday, 24 May 2023 04:11 PM
These people will return money to Yama Raja if not for RW or Satan JRJ!!
Wiraj Wednesday, 24 May 2023 04:16 PM
No surprises considering the level of corruption under GR's Vistas of Prosperity
DOT Wednesday, 24 May 2023 05:35 PM
So what's wrong with it?
Percy Wijenayake Wednesday, 24 May 2023 05:35 PM
Comments from the public tells it all. R W, is too soft. Get the hell out of the Rajapakse's its a cancer in the posterior.
Tissa Fernando Wednesday, 24 May 2023 05:40 PM
Mostly these appointees are Kaputas people. Kaputa has to earn money from special projects.
Sam Silva Wednesday, 24 May 2023 06:00 PM
We all have to expect the corruption in our country and it's not a surprise. It will continue regardless whatever the regime. Otherwise it won't be sri lanka.
umas ali Wednesday, 24 May 2023 06:08 PM
JAMILA HUSAIN we salute you for doing this importamnt article thank you
DJ Wednesday, 24 May 2023 08:31 PM
Sri Lanka, Land like no other. Thats why
Wijesiri Desilva Wednesday, 24 May 2023 11:10 PM
The unelected president (fake) we have calls on the people to contribute and sacrifice for the development of the country. What is doing is fooling all the people by supporting the crooks (himself included ) who even to this day are robbing the country as highlighted in this article. I hope the IMF, Western nations, USA, Japan etc. pay special attention to these nefarious activities when he approaches them . At least Canada has the courage to confront the country to some extent. 0we hae
Disgusted Tax Payer Thursday, 25 May 2023 09:14 AM
Why aren't the Opposition raising this issue in Parliament, in their discussions with the IMF and other Donors ?
ANNEDOUBLECUNT Thursday, 25 May 2023 01:36 PM
IS NAMAL RAJAPAKSA THE PRESIDENT OF SRI-LANKA?
UMAS Thursday, 25 May 2023 06:24 PM
WAITING FOR NAMAL RAJAPAKSA TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF SRI-LANKA
Quolp Thursday, 25 May 2023 07:27 PM
His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa was mandated by the people, the government, right now, heads by Ranil is because of SLPP, if any changes feel anyonne mandatory, the elections should be held to elect a leader. The US PLOT is what led His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa' force resignation. SLPP and Rajapaksas are the one who won the war agains Tamil LTTE TERRORISM in Sri Lanka, that waged war for more than 30 years. So, If anyone needs a UNITED SRI LANKA, Rajapaksas must come back to lead the country.
Oh-YEA? Friday, 26 May 2023 07:26 AM
Rajapaksas must come back to lead the country! Oh-YEA?
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