Millions Busted On Rajapaksa Museum

by Easwaran Rutnam

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused of busting millions of rupees to construct a museum at Medamulana in memory of his father, the late politician D. A. Rajapaksa. Documents presented to Parliament last week by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera revealed that the D. A. Rajapaksa Museum and memorial statue was constructed at a cost of Rs. 62.07 million using public funds.

It was also revealed that the Navy was paid Rs. 25 million to construct the museum by the former government.

The construction of a waterfall and fish tank had cost an additional Rs. 0.8 million, according to the documents presented to Parliament.

Stones, including block rock stones, were also obtained from the Urban Development Authority (UDA) for the construction work but were not paid for.

The D. A. Rajapaksa Museum was declared open on November 6 last year and it comprises of a collection of items used by both the late D. A. Rajapaksa and his wife. A collection of rare photographs of the late D. A. Rajapaksa and his family could be seen at the museum. The repository consists of valuable documents, portrayals and personal belongings relating to Medamulana Maha Ruka. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera meanwhile told Parliament last week that investigations into offshore accounts of Rajapaksa are underway in the UK, Ukraine, Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Dubai and Singapore. Over 25 investigations are underway related to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa or his family members.

The Foreign Minister said that Rajapaksa and his family are also being investigated for money stored in offshore bank accounts. He says the investigations will however take time as there are barricades when attempting to access foreign bank accounts.

Samaraweera said that Sri Lanka needs to have discussions with the relevant foreign governments to gain access to the bank accounts and that process will take time.

He said that overall there are 725 investigations being conducted into members and officials from the former government.