public paid for Malaka's remand time
Athauda Seneviratne, Mervyn Silva and
Labour Ministry pays salary and vehicle
hiring charges of Malaka
Presidential circulars violated by Ministry
Malaka paid cost of living allowance and
fuel charges during remand
Athauda and Mervyn spend over
Rs. 500,000 per month on fuel
By Sonali Samarasinghe
our possession shows that ministerial brat Malaka Silva was paid a government
salary of Rs. 40,795 including a massive Rs.76, 000 for a vehicle to attend to
his official duties by the Ministry of Labour, during his period in remand.
was remanded on September 11, 2007 for pistol whipping Chaminda Senasinghe an
accountant, at the Bistro Latino Restaurant and salsa bar. Even though it was
his victim Senasinghe who had 11 stitches on his forehead and was in a state of
shock, it was Malaka who quickly took up rooms at the nearest hospital.
16 the Supreme Court in an interim order issued instructions that Malaka be
transferred to remand prison from his hospital bed following a fundamental
rights application filed by human rights activist Jeevan Thiagarajah. Two days
later he was released on bail on an application filed by his mother J.A.M.
the Private Secretary to his father, Non Cabinet Minister Mervyn Silva. His
mother Lucida is the Coordinating Secretary. Therefore both draw salaries, and
allowances including for vehicles from the Ministry of Labour as part of the
a circular on government spending signed by President Rajapakse himself in
October 2006 the posts of private secretary and coordinating secretary are
temporary appointments only for the duration of the particular minister's period
in that office.
public servant told The Sunday Leader under normal circumstances a temporary
employee would firstly not have the same privileges granted to permanent
employees such as EPF and ETF and pension rights.
government employee charged with a criminal offence would, under prudent
practice be interdicted from his employment until the conclusion of the case.
Under no circumstance may he be granted allowances for a vehicle to attend to
his official duties especially when he was in remand, according to public
service rules. It is so for example in the case of a policeman or a public
officer charged with a criminal offence.
Malaka, the moment he was released on bail was to gallop over to his Daddy's
office full of beans and buck and secure for himself a couple of letterheads to
collect his official financial entitlements from the state.
shocking letter that displays an unparalleled arrogance of power and lack of
propriety Malaka Silva on November 1, writes under his hand to the Secretary,
Ministry of Labour Relations and Man Power claiming that since the Ministry had
failed to supply him a vehicle for his official duties for the months of
September and October, he had been compelled to hire a vehicle registration No.
JF 4305 from the company Riverview Private Limited. No quotations are called
for and he chooses on his own accord from whom to hire the vehicle. (See box for
annexes to his claim a statement by the manager of Riverview Hotel (Pvt) Ltd.
for a sum of Rs. 76,000 for the specified two months. (See box for statement)
5 the Ministry of Labour approves the payment and issues a payment voucher for
the said amount of Rs. 76,000/- (See box for copy of voucher)
It is not
immediately clear what kind of official duties came under the purview of Malaka
Silva during his time in remand notwithstanding the fact that due to his 'vomitish'
feeling he had to take up rooms in a national hospital rather than at the remand
prison. Granted the condition of the remand prison is enough to make anyone
sick, but ministerial brats like Malaka must think of that before they set about
wreaking havoc on the public weal.
journalists falsely accused are made to spend time in remand for no other crime
than for doing their job well, Malaka Silva not only does not have to spend time
in remand even though he is charged by the police with a criminal offence but he
is also rewarded handsomely for it by the government through the tax paying
for the month of September of the Ministry of Labour Relations and Foreign
Employment reveals that Malaka Silva had received a sum of Rs.40,795 for the
month of September including a fuel allowance of Rs. 14,400 and a cost of living
allowance of Rs. 2125. (See box for copy of payroll)
however Malaka was during most of September and October supposedly enjoying
government hospitality at the Remand prison. Perhaps Malaka felt that since he
had declined an invitation to reside at the remand prison and thereby saved the
state a colossal amount of money for his upkeep for one and a half months he was
entitled to claim the benefit from the Ministry of Labour of which his father is
non cabinet minister.
Be that as
it may let us take a look at the entitlements of Non Cabinet Minister Mervyn
Presidential circular no. CSA/P1/40 signed October 23, 2006 the entitlements for
non cabinet ministers are as follows:
Vehicles - 01
personnel (police) - 04
ministers the entitlement is much the same except they could have 05 security
circular states that if there are more than one minister or deputy minister to a
ministry the number of security vehicles and personnel and fuel allowances
should be claimed only for one ministerial post.
Presidential circular signed by President Mahinda Rajapakse also states that
Members of parliament representing constituencies outside the western province
will be entitled to a monthly maximum diesel allowance of Rs. 30,000 for their
security vehicle per month. MPs representing constituencies in the western
province will be entitled to Rs. 20,000 diesel for their security vehicle per
vehicles or personnel obtained outside the entitlement must be approved by
President Rajapakse himself according to the circular.
Keep in mind
that Mervyn Silva is a national list MP and has no constituency to nurse. Silva
contested in the Colombo District and lost dismally not even getting a few
thousand votes. He later pleaded with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga
falling prostrate at her feet much like Mayantha Dissanayake did at President
Rajapakse's feet. For this his wife Lucida was made a national list MP and she
resigned to make way for husband Mervyn Silva.
Silva is entitled only to the Rs. 20,000 per month. Therefore both Ministers are
entitled to an aggregate of Rs. 50,000 fuel allowance per month or Rs. 60,000 at
the maximum. Shockingly documents in our possession show the ministers average
at least half a million rupees in fuel bills per month.
Be that as
it well may let's see how payments have been made by the Labour Ministry with
regard to fuel allowances of the two labour ministers. One the cabinet minister
Athauda Seneviratne and the other the non cabinet minister.
documents in our possession here is a list of fuel payments made to the Ceylon
Petroleum Corporation from 02.07.2007 to 23.10.2007 for obtaining fuel coupon
books for the two ministers. This mind you despite the fact the circular states
that all entitlements must be made as if there is only one minister even if
there are two or more ministers in a ministry.
Narahenpita cheque no.
Therefore for July alone the petrol bill for the two ministers is Rs.575,000
This is in
addition to Minister Athauda Seneviratne's private secretary Dr. Parakrama
Athauda, claiming on July 13, 2007 a sum of Rs. 24,800 for the Minister's
01.08.2007 348000 Rs.300,000
20.08.2007 348566 Rs.175,000
30.08.2007 348779 Rs.100,000
03.09.2007 348782 Rs. 375.000
12.09.2007 Sarath Senanayake the coordinating Secretary writes stating that the
minister had used up all his coupons during a tour of A'para and claims a
further Rs. 19,000 for fuel.
19.09.2007 Senanayake claims for the minister's official vehicle a further Rs.
another Presidential circular also sent out in October of 2006 the other
entitlements of ministers and deputy ministers are specified.
a minister or deputy minister can have in his staff one private secretary, one
coordinating secretary, one media secretary, one public affairs secretary
(Cabinet ministers may have two), and two drivers.
with office hands and other staff the total for a minister is a staff of 15 and
for a deputy minister a staff of 10.
coordinating and public affairs secretaries are employed on a temporary basis
and are not entitled to any perks as per the permanent staff.
this circular both the minister and his deputy may have two official vehicles
while a maximum of Rs. 7.5 million for a car or jeep and Rs. 5.5 million for a
double cab inclusive of all taxes.
Mind you the
circular states that if perchance a vehicle has to be hired from outside it
should only be done by a letter seeking prior approval from the Treasury written
under the hand of the Secretary to the relevant ministry.
fuel allowance for a Minister per month is as follows:
75,000 (Outside western province), Rs.50,000 (within
Rs.30,000 (out of WP)
Rs. 20,000 (within WP)
fuel allowance for a Deputy Minister
65,000 (Outside western province), Rs.40,000 (within
Rs.30,000 (out of WP)
Rs. 20,000 (within WP)
number of vehicles for the staff of a minister is five and a deputy minister is
into account the entitlement of Rs.75,000 per month for a minister for his two
official vehicles. the two labour ministers burning up an average of Rs.575,000
fuel per month is inexcusable.
Mind you the
staff of the ministers do not need to dip in to the fuel allowances of the
minister himself as they have their own allowances. For instance Malaka Silva as
the private secretary has a diesel allowance of Rs.14,400 per month. Lucida as
the Coordinating Secretary has a diesel allowance of Rs. 23,200 per month.
Minister Mervyn Silva has an official list of eight vehicles of which his
official vehicle and Audi does not have a registration number but a garage
number WP2006/2007 (Please see box for details of vehicles.)
Rajapakse as the minister of Finance may have sent out circulars willy nilly in
October of 2006, he may have admonished the public to tighten their belts; but
his own jumbo cabinet of 107 ministers continue to dish up for themselves large
chunks of the public's money even at a time they are incarcerated in remand for
assaulting a member of the very public from whom they get their sustenance.
wonder then millions of big bucks are on offer to keep the Government going in
Parliament considering the lifestyles of the ministers that are at stake at
Victims of Rajasingham
strategies adopted by the Editor of the Asian Tribune KT Rajasingham "to make
ends meet" has been exposed by one of his victims, R Jayadevan who was held in
LTTE captivity and later released.
article posted in the Independent Sri Lanka website, Jayadevan exposes how
Rajasingham uses his web newspaper to attract money, some details of which were
exposed in last week's issue of The Sunday Leader where the whole plot to send
Karuna into exile came to be highlighted.
Published below is Jayadevan's article in full for readers to draw their own
By R Jayadevan
Leader newspaper published in Sri Lanka is playing a laudatory role to expose
the shenanigan dealings of K T Rajasingam (KTR),the founder, owner and the
Editor of Asian Tribune. His underhand dealing with the government of Sri Lanka
(GoSL) to discharge his hate towards Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna
has been rightly exposed and even the GoSL too remain vulnerable on this sordid
KTR has an
established track record of questionable dealings. He always worked with the
ulterior motive to spin money. Prior to moving to Sweden, he is said to have
been involved in all kinds of illegal trades, primarily in the human trafficking
business in Thailand.
I first came
to know KTR's questionable business in 1996, when one Nathan (true name
withheld) approached me at Tamil Refugee Action Group where I was employed as
Co-ordinator. Nathan was my accountancy client as well and he was running a
petroleum business in London.
to seek my help to release his brother and sister from the immigration custody
in Bangkok. I did everything within my capability - to the extent of dealing
with the Thai immigration and the UNHCR. I found Nathan very desperate and
extremely worried about the plight of his family members.
He told me
that he is also dealing with KTR in Bangkok and had already paid him ú25,000 to
secure the release of his dear ones. When the situation became desperate for
him, he asked me to accompany him to Bangkok and said he will bear all my travel
and accommodation costs. But I could not join him due to my own commitments.
returned, he confirmed he had managed to get his family members out of Thailand.
He said he paid over ú45,000 in total to KTR to help him. He said KTR was
initially saying he had high level contacts with the Thai authorities and wanted
sufficient money to win them over to get his relatives released. In
Nathan was introduced to a local authority councillor who was teaming up with
KTR throughout his stay.
clear to Nathan that KTR did not make any substantial progress. Both his dear
ones were about to be produced in the court. Nathan did not know where to turn,
except for KTR. He was told by KTR if the case is lost, both his family members
will serve long prison sentences. KTR told Nathan to give him further sums to
find ways to take them to a neighbouring country. Nathan had to use the funds of
his business to pay for the demands of KTR.
receipt of the sum demanded, KTR had taken both of them to Cambodia illegally
before the court hearing. From there, the family members flew to an African
very bitter that KTR milked him knowing his desperate plight. He said KTR does
not have any feelings and is a ruthless man.
told me about the lifestyle of KTR in Bangkok is worth mentioning. KTR was said
to have claimed refugee status in Thailand and was receiving dole money from the
government. But he was living a luxury lifestyle in an expensive property (House
No: 8/6, Muban Amoronpan Nakorn, Sukapibal Road 2, Suan Siam, Bangok 10230,
Thailand.) and was driving a brand new Mercedes Benz car. KTR had apparently
told Nathan that he was carrying a variety of passports in his name and that his
refugee status is based on his Sri Lankan Tamil identity.
still not recovered from his dealings with KTR. He lost his petroleum retail
business just after he returned from Thailand.
I know of
people who had fallen victims to KTR's money demands. I also know some who
refused to part with the money demanded by him. I am one of them.
returned from LTTE captivity in Vanni in March 2005, KTR phoned me several
times. My story was occupying his web paper for couple of weeks. At the tail end
of his reporting, he called me one day and asked me to give him ú5,000 for
giving coverage about my captivity by the LTTE. He said he wanted the money to
upgrade his website. I refused. I told him about my precarious financial
situation as a result of my long incarceration by the LTTE. He refused to accept
my reasons and pressurised me to part with the money. He could not succeed in
later, he phoned and asked me to prepare a viability report to build
prefabricated houses in the Tsunami affected areas in Sri Lanka. He said there
is funding from the European Union. I categorically told him he should engage a
paid consultant, as I do not have the time or the desire to do it. He was
annoyed with me and said he does not wish to have any dealings with me in the
future, as I am refusing to all his requests. That was the last conversation I
ever had with him.
But the man
was very angry with me and joined with LTTE operatives in London and Oslo and
ventured into a campaign of publishing nonsense about me in the Asian Tribune. I
still cannot believe a man of that age having used my story to bolster his paper
could sink to such low level. Having known the LTTE persons with whom he had
dealings, I am not surprised he might have obtained money from them too to write
nonsensical stories about me.
It is the
very same predicament the Editor-in-Chief of The Morning Leader Sonali
Samarasinghe is facing now. KTR's conduct is a curse for all the good intended
Sri Lankan citizens. It will not be surprising to see KTR joining the nasty LTTE
club to extend his will and to cover up his dastardly deeds by continuing to
write fictitious stories and commentaries.