Govt paid for ex-President’s CHARTERED flight – Bandula

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The Government of Sri Lanka has borne the expenses incurred in facilitating former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s flight from Singapore to Thailand.

This was revealed when Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana yesterday (16) responded to a question fielded by a journalist at the weekly Cabinet media briefing. Gunawardana admitted that the Government footed the bill for the former President to fly to Thailand from Singapore in a chartered flight last week.

Minister Gunawardana said the Sri Lanka Government paid the bill as this was its responsibility.

“Each and every executive president, retired and the widows of those who had passed away, enjoy benefits, privileges and special facilities and they are also paid an allowance under the ‘President Entitlement Act No. 4 of 1986’. Therefore, the Government is committed to pay former President Rajapaksa’s bills,” he added.

It was under the provisions of this Act that former Presidents Maithripala Sirisena, Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mrs. Hema Premadasa are provided with a residence, allowance and other facilities, Gunawardana stressed.

If and when former President Rajapaksa returns home in the future, the Government must provide him with all facilities and privileges entitled to a retired President from the public purse, he added.