May 16, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister’s office says there is no problem with the decision to import two brand new bullet-proof vehicles for the Premier as he had, so far, used older vehicles given by the President’s office.
Releasing a statement, Sagala Ratnayake, the chief of staff of Premier Wickremesinghe, said two new security vehicles would cost the government 128 million rupees. The balance 468 million rupees, as duties, will be exempted.
According to Ratnayake, the prime minister’s security division’s had recommended buying two new vehicles, a decision which had been forwarded to the Treasury by the Prime Minister’s office.
The Premier, most of the time, used his personal vehicle at personal cost as the vehicles provided by the President’s Office were not in a suitable condition. The President’s office had given two cars built in 2008 and 2012, and one jeep manufactured in 2006 to the Premier.
Ratnayake says since January 9, 2015, 9.8 million rupees had been spent for maintenance and repairs of vehicles provided by the President’s Office. He said the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had taken the best security vehicles when he left the President’s House after his defeat.
Ratnayake pointed out that the remaining vehicles which were in better condition were given to President Maithripala Sirisena and the rest to Premier Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
The views of Parliament will be obtained soon before proceeding with this matter, the statement added.