Rajitha’s Son Denies Daddy’s Rs. 5 M Bribe From Avante Garde, Says Never Spied On Harin Fernando

Parliamentarian Chathura Senaratne, the son of Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne today denied a charge that his father had taken money from the Avant Garde owner Nissanka Senadhipathi.

Chathura Senaratne

The Lanka e news web site last night carried a story with a recorded telephone conversation which the website says is between Senadhipathi and Senaratne’s Secretary Dr. Sayuru Samarasundera. In the conversation Senadhipathi says Samarasundera had accepted Rs.5 million on behalf of Senaratne.

In the conversation the person identified as Senadhipathi in a threatening manner asks the person identified as Samarasundera to reveal whether he had pocketed the money instead of giving it to Senaratne for which Samarsundera says he had given it to Senaratne as requested.

The web site identifies this conversation as evidence to prove that Senaratne had accepted money from the Avant Garde boss.

Senaratne has openly said in the past that he had declined offers from the maritime security services to fund his election campaigns.

Attempts by Colombo Telegraph to contact Dr. Senaratne failed with Chatura Senaratne claiming that his father was on an official visit overseas.

However, Chathura said that his father will give an appropriate reply to the charges as soon as he arrives from the foreign visit.

Meanwhile Chathura also denied a charge leveled against him.

Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando told journalists today that he would brief the Cabinet tomorrow on an incident where a minister’s son intruded into his ministry and tried to spy on him.

When queried, Fernando declined to name the person he was referring to.

However speculation was rife that the person Fernando was referring to was Chathura Senaratne.

Fernando said that this was related to the Avant Garde fiasco. Fernando’s name too is mentioned along with several other powerful politicians as those trying to defend the Avant Garde.

The minister said he had no connection with Avant Garde and challenged anyone to prove otherwise.

When questioned, Chathura today said that Fernando may be referring to someone else.

Chathura strongly denied that he was involved in any sort of spying on Fernando.

“In fact we are good friends” Senaratne added.

Meanwhile a website run by Ruwan Ferdinandez a close confidante of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera published a photocopy of a cheque and an invoice which was claimed to have been given to Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s secretary Dr. Sayuru Samarasundera.