Government slams MR’s Uganda trip but defends paying for air ticket

Uganda 2The Government today slammed the visit undertaken by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Uganda recently but defended the decision to pay for his air ticket.

Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said that Rajapaksa was in Uganda, a country accused of corruption, while President Maithripala Sirisena was in London where he discussed ways of fighting corruption with world leaders.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in Uganda for the swearing-in ceremony of Yoweri Museveni in his fifth term as President.

Karunathilaka, speaking to reporters at the post cabinet press briefing today, said that the Foreign Ministry had paid for the air ticket of the former President on his request for a “private visit” to Uganda.

He said that Rajapaksa had issued a list seeking payments during his Uganda visit but the Foreign Ministry agreed to pay only for the air ticket.

Asked why the Government paid for a private visit, Karunathilaka said that this will most likely be the last time such a payment is made and that the procedure will be reviewed in future.

However, speaking at the same media conference, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said he does not agree with the decision to pay Rajapaksa for the air tickets.

He questioned how a former President going on a private visit can be paid for the air tickets by the Government. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Something wrong in the thinking of Foreign Ministry. The question is in what capacity MR was invited. If it is in the Capacity as Former President it becomes official. At the same time was the present Government of Sri Lanka invited? If not it becomes breach of Protocol by the Ugandan Government. You cannot find fault with MR, if Sri Lankan Government was not invited. Foreign Ministry should issue a press release on this subject.

    • Act No. 8 of 1986 provides for the Travelling Expenses of an ex-President, which
      Mangala was bound to follow. SL appears to have not sent wishes on the Uganda
      Presidents winning, so Uganda sent out an invitation to their friendly ex-President
      is an interpretation? Any way what MR wanted to show the world is that he is the
      President of the majority community and is running a parallel Presidency, to
      boost his ego – at least for the two years he advanced based on Astrology and the
      verdict of by 9 Judges!!! Thank God for this Blessing in disguise.

  2. There is no need for the FM to pay for a personal trip of anybody. If he decided to go, then, he should pay it out of his pocket without still stealing money from the tax payer.

  3. No government on official capacity could blame another legitimate government as corrupt without evidence supported by a UN resolution. Uganda is a member state of UN. We must ascertain knowledge and experience of these Ministers specially two Cabinet spokesmen.They should have brought in Foreign Minister to answer these questions by media or ask for time to answer. These are very serious breach of protocols by Ministers. Breach of discipline.

    I remember sometime ago one MP commented about Pakistan as a terrorist country. Actually Pakistan was angry about it and asked for explanation.

    Invitation to MR would have happened in two ways.

    1. Present President would have excused on the ground that he was undertaking a trip to UK
    2. Nominee in lesser capacity would not have accepted by Uganda
    3. Simultaneously they would have invited MR too.

    The invitation is official and Foreign Ministry is right. MR is not a former President who wasted time in solving many national issues. So he deserves such invitations. Gayantha cannot say this is the last time. Then he has to amend clauses in Constitution which governs the protocol of former Presidents.

  4. Typical lankan mentality. Locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.
    Good for you MR. Show the present fools that you can stand straight.
    Shame on you, shame on you, MS & RW.

  5. Is the Govt mad to pay MR’s ticket? It was a private invitation and Mangala should have refused. MR doesn’t want to to use his money as questions will be asked, how he found the money and also he wants to show his stupid followers that he has no money. He made enough trips with his stooges and spent billions of State money and this Govt talks about all that and gives him money again.

  6. The air fare was paid by the Govt. not because of love for MR. There must be some clause
    in the statue books that permits such payments. Some bright spark like GLP or Prof. Vita
    of the Jnt. op. must have pointed it out to FM Managala, who blindly paid it, without consul-
    tations, after all this is people’s money. (borrowed). Can the ignorant layman know the law. against which this amount was paid.? Also the Ugandan high comm. (if stationed in SL)
    should explain the rationale behind inviting an ex president over the incumbent President.
    who is alive & kicking or was it a error in the name of the invitee or unaware as to who the incumbent President is, due to confusion created by the media as both names are mentioned with photographs in the front pages, every day with their deeds.

  7. What kind of Foreign Ministry is this run by incompetent fellows who know nothing about International Protocols?
    How dare these fellows pay for a private visit by an Ex President to Uganda a country run by a ruthless Dictator.
    This silly exercise is made worse as the real President of this country is ignored and this fools in the ministry instead of ignoring this Ugandan Dictators invitation to his so called inauguration of his dictatorial mates, endorses his regime by sending our ex Dictator all paid for by our Tax Payers as an unofficial representative of our country. Mangala your Ministry really stinks and your fellows have not changed since the days of Sajin Vaas the Ex Wharf clerk and Thug who assaulted an Anmbassador and got away with , is now Hob Nobbing with Yapalanaya big Wigs.Shame on You Mangala

  8. The amount involved should be debited to the personal account of FM Mangala and that solves
    the problem of holding inquiries.


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