Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was forced out of office in June last year has been allocated a new luxury bungalow sponsored by the State situated in Stanmore Crescent which is usually assigned to the Foreign Minister, Daily Mirror learns.
Sri Lankan former presidents are entitled to a house sponsored by the state in accordance with the law governing the perks and privileges of the retired heads of state. However, the law is not clear about the allocation of such a facility to Mr. Rajapaksa since he vacated office in the middle of his term after the public uprising.
The said luxury house situated on Stanmore Crescent, Colombo 7, is usually assigned to the foreign minister serving at the moment. An informed source said that Foreign Minister Ali Sabry gave his concurrence to the allocation of this house to Mr. Rajapaksa. The house was occupied earlier by late Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The Daily Mirror learns that the house had undergone extensive renovation before it was allocated to Gotabaya.
Soon after he resigned from office in July last year following growing anger against his inability to manage the economic crisis, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was allocated a state bungalow in Malalasekara Mawatha which was also guarded with heavy security.
Sources said that Rajapaksa eventually vacated that house saying the allocated bungalow was ‘too noisy’ and he had also raised issues over his security despite the massive security contingent deployed for him.
Rajapaksa had then moved into his Mirihana House which was also heavily guarded and had put in a request for a new bungalow.
It is learnt that once this new request had come in by the former President, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry had given his consent since he was not occupying it. (Kelum Bandara)