Wed, 29 May 2024 Today's Paper


MPs party on dredging vessel at taxpayers expense

11 January 2024 10:31 am - 83     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Nirmala Kannangara

Colombo, Jan. 11, (Daily Mirror)- A joy ride for the ruling party parliamentarians had been provided by Sri Lanka Ports Authority in two dredging vessels on Tuesday January 9 at the expense of the taxpayers.

More than 25 MPs and their families had joined in this joy ride free of charge which has cost Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) nearly Rs. 5 million according to Chief Secretary All Ceylon General Port Employees Union Niroshan Gorakanage.

Although Gorakanage claims so, reliable SLPA sources said the total cost for fuel for the two vessels was around Rs. 300,000. “SLPA foot the bill only for the fuel as these vessels moved within the port area and not outside. Hence the cost was minimal,” sources said on condition of anonymity.

This joy ride was organized by the State Minister of Ports and Aviation Premalal Jayasekera for government MPs and the State Minister’s Coordinating Secretary Senali Jayasekera by a letter dated January 8, 2024, had made a request to the Chairman of SLPA to provide short eats free of charge for the guests.

However, SLPA Chairman Keith Bernard had turned down the request. “The Chairman turned down the request claiming that state funds cannot be spent on such rides which is hailed by the employees. Had the Chairman agreed to provide the food that was requested, Ports Authority could have lost a considerable amount of public money. Later the State Minister had requested the private bakery that provides short eats for the SLPA staff to supply the food,” Gorakanage said.

However, Gorakanage said that the other expenses including fuel for the two vessels, overtime payments for the SLPA employees who were in attendance and for other services had cost the institution around Rs. 5 million.

“They claim that this ride was to inspect the two port terminals. If so, why did they spend time inside the vessels enjoying music provided by a live band with food and drinks? No one was seen inspecting the terminal work,” Gorakanage alleged.  

State Minister Jayasekera however refuted the allegation leveled and said that it was he who foot the bill for the snacks, drinks and even for the fuel. “The MPs wanted to supervise the East and West Terminals and also to see how dredging work is taking place within the harbour area. That is why I organized this tour. We did not go to the outer harbour area but we were within the port area,” he said.

When asked why his daughter who is his Coordinating Secretary requested the SLPA Chairman to provide snacks for this event, the state minister said that his daughter never made such a request. Also, when asked why this journey was organized late in the evening instead of the daytime, if the MPs wanted to inspect the two terminals and how dredging takes place, he said that he had to postpone the time as the MPs had to attend an urgent meeting.

All attempts to obtain a comment from Chairman SLPA, Keith Bernard failed as he was not in office.


  Comments - 83

  • Sri Thursday, 11 January 2024 10:45 AM

    What a shame this is still happening in Sri Lanka.

    TIN Number Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:01 AM

    Nothing matters for those who don't have a sense of shame.

    Remove them during Elections Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:03 AM

    That’s why these current fellas both government

    DD Thursday, 11 January 2024 01:35 PM

    Even if the ship sinks, these fellows will still be playing the band. We will join the performance on election day, but until then, we'll lie low.

    johan Thursday, 11 January 2024 02:27 PM

    In SL, law is only for ordinary citizens, not for VIP thieves and looters who are playful children for RW.

    People Friday, 12 January 2024 06:07 AM

    Is it a golng finish or closing party by MR

    Kadmin Thursday, 11 January 2024 10:57 AM

    Opportunity is on the horizon to take actions against these rapists. Choose your vote wisely. Not for short term gains.

    Kick them out next elections Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:39 PM

    Next elections both Opposition

    මුන් ඔක්කොම පන්නමු Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:02 AM

    Only Sri Lankan voters can change this. Let's not vote for these criminals any more. They must be voted out. What is the purpose of having Ranil as the president? He's only interested in protecting Rajapakes.

    Tom Thursday, 11 January 2024 05:59 PM

    Do you really think it will work? Just wait

    Citizens Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:04 AM

    More than 80 percent of the people don't know what is happening that is why these are thieves and their families are enjoying in Srilanka and abroad

    Nimal Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:06 AM

    This is like Nero playing the fiddle while Rome was burning. Apparently these scoundrels, and naki mynah and the podi mynah are amongst them. have not realized yet that more than half of the country's citizens are starving. Only was we can respond is during the first election that would be held.

    Mahila Friday, 12 January 2024 03:59 AM

    SURPRISE, SURPRISE!!! Nothing like what you are expecting – going to happen Elections Considering, People (Sovereign Electors) are starving!? ALL in the “electable category” FOLD - Naki Loku Mynah, Innocent Podi Mynah, ‘Kakas Crowing’ and ‘BOEING FALLING’, Rapists, Robbers Looters, Criminals INC., have decided SHARE Greater Part of their "BOOTY", Election Time – ‘ONE OFF’ – to the “POOR and Downtrodden” VOTERS!!!??? They would provide SL Rs 10,000 instead of 5000 and 1/2 Bottle of GAL and Biryani "MUT(TT)TON" soup to provide much needed NUITRITION at least once in Lifetime!? Expected votes favouring POHOTTUWA 7.8 M instead of 6.9 M for ‘Gota Mame’!? 2 years after, “HAPPILY STARVE” – ‘sake of salvaging’ Nation from BANKRUPTCY!? “The Patriotic Citizens”, they have become, over the Years!!?? Mynah, laughing all the Way to Bank!!!???

    European Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:06 AM

    Are your "white colonial masters" to blame for this behavior of your "brown masters" too?

    The People Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:07 AM

    Unbelievable!! Still we, as a nation, have been unable to remove this Rajapakse clan from politics. They are exploiting public funds to the maximum despite all hardships facing people. Wickremasinghe is the guardian of Rajapakses.

    Remove Opposition Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:38 PM

    Next elections both Opposition

    Vote them OUT Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:08 AM

    If voters think it should be conducted

    Roisin Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:20 AM

    Namal will be the elected president within the next ten years. Because people will never learn, look at the Philippines.

    Palitha N Silva Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:12 AM

    Why is the chairman playing hide-and-seek? The chairman and the top officials have been appointed by the same politicians including Ranil. Don't trust them. This is why most state organisations have become corrupt and inefficient - because of corrupt politicians and their henchman officials..

    Lahiru Ma Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:13 AM

    I Love MAHINDA SO MUCH. Thank you so much, APPACHCHI!

    Poor Citizen Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:14 AM

    The Rulers and their families are partying at the tax payers expense while the tax payers have to pay increased taxes. Now we know where the increased taxes are being spent - to fatten the already fat cats and their families. Shame !! Shame !!! Shame !!!. Voters should take heed to kick all these politicians out of the Parliament at the next elections.

    Amaran Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:21 AM

    The "PARAYAAS" who destroyed country determined to COMPLETLY RUIN THE COUNTRY BEFORE THE ELECTION.

    Kalinpala Dungattu Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:23 AM

    Some idiots are still thinking of voting for these thieves - still stealing public money for poor! Unelected Ponaya cannot see or hear anything! He water guard is ready to hit innocent people who are asking a way to live! While these KAALAKANNI enjoying!!

    Bandu Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:25 AM

    If it was for the MPs who wanted to supervise the East and West Terminals then all MPs including non-SLPP MPs should have been invited otherwise it is a party for your Party crooks.

    Aron Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:30 AM

    Now people who voted to this MASTER ROBBER (MR) coykd rwaluae how he would have looted

    Nilmini Welivita Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:31 AM

    These MP are perfectly entitled for these little perks because they have worked hard for it. Stop whining like JVP morons.

    Abd Thursday, 11 January 2024 02:46 PM

    Yes, they’ve worked so hard to bring the country to the bankrupt condition but they are still better off and successful because, there are few more like you

    joshua Thursday, 11 January 2024 04:18 PM

    Shame that we have people like you still hanging to ali baba of theives

    Sinna Friday, 12 January 2024 09:02 AM

    The organizer is convicted murderer who was acquitted on technical point, those attendees are politicians who led the country to bankruptcy and poverty ,not kind of people as walivita quoted, they have a party using tax money forcibly taken from the people,this is totally misuse of tax money by these vultures

    Ranga Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:34 AM

    SL called land of impunity for a reason

    Gemunu De Silva Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:45 AM

    While Ranil and the majority of the ministers are working hard to restore the country's economy, there are some crooks who cannot get over their old habits. Currently, Ranil cannot exercise full power to sack these crooks because it could rock the boat. If people elect Ranil at the next election, he will be able to fully eliminate such acts.

    N Lankan Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:01 PM

    Then call for the election immediately rather than hiding.

    Be Fair Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:05 PM

    Would have been kind of a last wish. That's OK I guess

    Neel Ahmed Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:32 PM

    Thanks for DM staff member who has given wide publishi for this news, then our Pohttuwa people get to know how the big heads enjoy while we are suffering.

    Is this part of fringe benefits? Thursday, 11 January 2024 01:14 PM

    This is how MR try to help Ranil run the country and ensure that Ranil wins the election to provide all facilities to the part corrupt rulers. We are stupid if we assume that these parasites will just get up and leave their seats. We could see even Pavithra in a fancy dress!

    DPerera Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:16 PM

    Going to a barge anchored in the port and eating snacks is considered a joyride? What kind of jokers are these trade union guys?

    joss Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:17 PM

    As Sri Lankans these are best past times...we see comment and then walk past.... and see what's next story... thank you DM

    Public Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:29 PM

    They knew that this is their last term in politics, so enjoying before they are sent out. Anyway colors will not change and only people have to change. Bye bye fellows, never want to see your faces in the parliament again for ever.

    anto Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:38 PM

    Dubai Joy, all SLPA union leaders except JVP were taken to Dubai and spent more than 20 million by the SLPA management, what a Country tax the poor peiple and enjoy.

    sam Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:42 PM

    Dont forget MP's are fed by the taxpayers

    joshua Thursday, 11 January 2024 01:08 PM

    Nice to see the biggest rogue Ali Baba (MR) enjoying at the taxpayers hard earned money. Voters need to wake up and teach MR and the family members a good lesson at the election and not to get fooled by the bottle of arrack and the rice packet. If the voters continue to vote for these morons, then nothing can be done as all are rogues and none will take any action

    Shiran Thursday, 11 January 2024 01:14 PM

    Are you guys so lacking in empathy? Are you aware the voters will probably assault you when you come asking for the votes? You are a pathetic bunch

    M. Fahim Thursday, 11 January 2024 01:18 PM

    Everybody talk and NOBODY can take any action. It’s a routine lifestyle to take part. No action should be taken.

    Leeches Thursday, 11 January 2024 02:00 PM

    Can we make all of them worthless by not voting for any of the current MPs in the coming election, Yes we can do it, these leeches do not deserve this facilities.

    Big issue for a small tissue Thursday, 11 January 2024 02:07 PM

    If 1Mn tax payers pays 30 cents each, they would have pumped fuel for Rs300,000 to educate the few ill literate leaders (whom they voted for) about how dredging happens. On the other hand if they obtain some donations from the over 4 million tax dodgers like doctors, lawyers etc it would have been even better.

    Ram Thursday, 11 January 2024 02:15 PM

    "Parasites thrive as long as the host survives". We pay many taxes and the Sri Lankan politician parasites thrive on public money.

    Ggggghggvfggggh Thursday, 11 January 2024 02:23 PM

    MR your shame to be a human being you still doesn't understand and feel, how many ordinary people, even your a very ordinary person who lived in a small 1 perch house, the difficulties they go through, this event was peorly done, because in the next few weeks, thier planning to pass the Anti terror bill, and the social media bill. People write anything what you feel, Aragalaya is no sooner. It's near buy.

    Dan Thursday, 11 January 2024 02:59 PM

    At least people should now realise that this lot hasn't an iota of sympathy for the people's suffering which happened due to their own mistakes. However any party who wants to take over the government must propose a comprehensive economic proposal on how to get the country out of this situation. Mere ending of the corruption (which is an obvious nessasity) or depending on the skills of leaders may end up in a worse disaster.

    wickrama wijayasiri Thursday, 11 January 2024 03:03 PM

    Why did not someone think of sinking it?

    Gotta Read Between The Lines Thursday, 11 January 2024 06:13 PM

    Wick, "good one" you put a smile on my face.

    sarath Thursday, 11 January 2024 03:07 PM

    increases taxes some more, so that Rajapaksha and family can continue to enjoy life during their last days

    NV Jen Thursday, 11 January 2024 03:56 PM

    Had Ranil dissolved the parliament earlier, his popularity would have been much higher as all these crooks and murderers would have been kicked out by now. Alas, he has proved again that he is a wheeler dealer. Presidential throne in exchange of allowing the leeches to plunder more.

    ANNECUNT Thursday, 11 January 2024 04:00 PM

    the corrupt RAJAPAKSAS and mahindas immediate family robber the sri-lankan government and put 22 million people into hunger

    Wiraj Thursday, 11 January 2024 04:00 PM

    Mahinda always had an entourage of over 50 sycophants whenever he went abroad as president all at the expense of tax payers money. Even after bankruptcy status the tamasha continues. Pity that the dredger didn't sink with all rats onboard.

    Priyan66 Thursday, 11 January 2024 04:41 PM

    Shame to all who spent tax payers money for party. You will pay for this in next election

    Lion Thursday, 11 January 2024 04:44 PM

    All these events make people to realize that the ruling click and those who have ruled should be chased out from governess of this country

    Gayantha Hemachandra Thursday, 11 January 2024 04:45 PM

    Spending public funds this lavish party in high seas has thrown for MR

    Kunduwathie Hulangedara Thursday, 11 January 2024 04:46 PM

    Nilmini Welivita Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:31 AM Who is this idiot Nilmini Waliwita? Man or a woman? ?? "These MP are perfectly entitled for these little perks because they have worked hard for it. Stop whining like JVP morons." May be an animal?

    Longing to be a SL politician Thursday, 11 January 2024 05:11 PM

    Well done. Screw the public who were stupid enough to elect you. Any vacancies for me?

    roni Thursday, 11 January 2024 06:05 PM

    Open your eyes Ranil the IMF agent. You cannot stop this wastage and only hope is to tax the public. GALSIYABALAPITIYA change your specs if you are blind to see. People will teach you guys a lesson at the next elections.

    Dee Thursday, 11 January 2024 06:11 PM

    If 25 families were treated to a short eats spread which costed 5million. Would have been airlifted from Europe. Well the source of the information is questionable. They usually make a mountain of a molehill!

    Mahila Friday, 12 January 2024 04:06 AM


    CitizenP Thursday, 11 January 2024 07:31 PM

    These crooks thinks that we citizens are damn fools..

    asad shally Thursday, 11 January 2024 08:08 PM

    wait and see our Modayas will vote for this lot next election ...IQ level in srilnaka is pretty LOW,,,,

    SSZ KHAN Thursday, 11 January 2024 08:47 PM

    The same old idiots still governing lanka. In 1960s we were ahead of Dubai which had only 13 cars and now Dubai is an economic marvel whilst we are still poor....because if these toxic fools

    dana Thursday, 11 January 2024 08:58 PM

    MR deliberately used his power as the president to loot the national treasury that is the main reason of this miserable situation ,now they are partying out of taxpayers’ money, this is first degree tax abusing and that leads to human rights abusing

    Sugee Thursday, 11 January 2024 08:58 PM

    nothing wrong in parting , They are our leaders

    Citizen Thursday, 11 January 2024 10:01 PM

    Nawa gilunath band choon... Mr President is missing

    Kahn Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:27 PM

    SriLanka ports authority SLPP union members withe the chairman arranged everything. Nothing to hide. Money was released by the ports authority finance division. This happened in the past also.

    Gb Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:28 PM

    Nilmini velivita you are q traitor to sri lankan people, every comment you write in support of these criminals is stupid and blatantly a lie, how much do they pay you to write false comments on social media/ news sites? Are you from their pr team? Is that your real name? Shame on you and your kind

    INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX PAYER SINCE 1975 Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:34 PM

    BANGAWAYWAA; Oya keyma bada yayi - INDIGESTION ALL THE WAY - while we Tax Payers are STARVING!

    Sharmini Friday, 12 January 2024 02:41 AM

    MR’s only steam is the approval given to finish the insurgency from an air conditioned room . Hope the masses now starving will know that he and three sons of rugger fame are living well with billions. Masses must defeat this family as they still live on the poor. THEY ONLY POUR BUCKETS OF TEARS. SATAKAYA IS ONLY TO BLUFF.

    sam Friday, 12 January 2024 04:50 AM

    Evacuation rehearsal when they lose the power in next election

    Sana Friday, 12 January 2024 04:52 AM

    So many comments on a trivial matter / expense. Mirror is playing to the gallery. Silent on expenses that drag the country down such as interest payments on bonds and public service salaries. Field day for idiots

    Indra Dasa Friday, 12 January 2024 05:38 AM

    This is a very clear indicate of a political party with all of it's members going to sank end of this year after elections as majority of VOTERS are rejecting these politicians never before in the history of Sr Lankan Politics . wasting public money like this by Failed politicians indicates all of them are now know their faith end of this year . In the world these types of failed politicians celebrated before their time is finished and knowing what is going to be happened to such irresponsible politicians .

    Paramanathan K Friday, 12 January 2024 06:12 AM

    "Nero Fiddled while Rome Burned", this reminds us when the ruling party parliamentarians were hosted on a party of grandeur in a ship belonged to Ports Authority spending thumping sum of state funds. SLPP practiced every sort of obscenity, ranging from incest to corruption and abuse of power. Those fellows are not at all are people oriented but bunch of gangsters dwelling on state funds.

    Ron hardy Friday, 12 January 2024 11:22 AM

    People are sick and tired of everthing from politics to politicians the poor get poor and poara decent honest educated have no opportunity due to other activity some are Running away leaving the country if people elect a party for next election to stop poverty Rebuild economy with decent honest educated people from all religious cast etc will be a key factor moving forward many many generations to for thought

    Mahila Friday, 12 January 2024 06:50 PM

    Like "Banda Come to Town to See Wesak" - Red Carpet to IMPRESS!!!??? WHY NOT ADD the Cost of Red Carpet 'DRY CLEANING' as an event cost!!!??? Why NO Life-saving Safety Floatation Jackets was being worn by the MP’s attending event??? Given the Parlous State of the equipment being used in Government Institutions, after Bankruptcy declaration and frugal maintenance, such calamitous situations cannot be ruled out!!!??? We Sri Lankans “COULD HARDLY AFFORD TO LOSE ANY OF OUR CROWN JEWELS”!!!??? JATHIKA WASTHUWA!!?? Like Daisy Archie's Crown Jewels – Protected for POSTERITY!? Irreplaceable Antiques!!??

    Dhusana Friday, 12 January 2024 08:03 PM

    All these wasteful tamasha may be organised by MR as he wants his cronies kept happy to support Ranil to continue keep them in power.

    UAli Saturday, 13 January 2024 07:26 PM

    What nonsense debating of one party, every month provisions worth 2 million sending to MR’s home by prime minister using his budget ( this was a recent news item, needs to be confirmed)

    Reka Saturday, 13 January 2024 09:59 PM

    6.9m must be cheering

    Licker of Rajapassa Always Sunday, 14 January 2024 11:41 AM

    Rajapaksas have stolen more than US$50.0 billion (US$50, 000 million) of public money. So if they have taken Rs1.0 million of public money for a joy ride, it is negligible. There is no need for Ministers Jayasekera and Sanath Nishantha to say it was a study tour and make fools out of themselves.

    UMAS ALI Sunday, 14 January 2024 07:52 PM

    Benjamin Natenyahu said that these are human animals or human hyenas

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment