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 Post subject: Is Chandrika that rich?
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:51 am 
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Is Chandrika that rich?

@ Agencies / 03DEC2005

December 01 issue of the London Evening Standard alleged that the Sri Lanka former President Chandrika Kumaratunga had bought the Sunninghill mansions belonging to the Duke of York and two flats in Paris.

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The office of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday night categorically rejected all references to news story and also said that legal action will be taken against the newspaper for publishing this defamatory article.

"The Office of President Kumratunga wishes to categorically reject the references to her in the said article which are baseless, as she does not, nor propose to, own property abroad. This article is a total fabrication of facts which seems to be published with malicious intent of bringing disrepute to President Kumaratunga," a statement signed by P. Dissanayake, Secretary to President Kumaratunga said.

However, the Editor of the newspaper has told the BBC that he stands by the story and has not received any complaints regarding its accuracy.

The speculative report headlined “Is Prince Andrew’s Southyork mansion going to Sri Lanka?” suggested that Chandrika Kumaratunga had bought this property on the Berkshire-Surrey border that has been on the market for 10 million pounds.

The diarist has said in it that "one well placed source" had told him that the property, on the market for over three years with a sterling pound 10 million price tag had been bought by Kumaratunga.

It also said that "having snapped up two flats in Paris this year, Mrs. Kumaratunga is known to have been keen to buy an English home to be nearer her son who recently qualified as a vet from Bristol University and her daughter, an UK hospital doctor.

Owned by the Duke of York this property is worth an estimated £10 million and is in Berkshire. Found at the south end of Windsor Great Park, this home was built 15 years ago for £15 million for the Duke and duchess of York as a wedding present from the Queen. The Duke and Duchess’s home is a 12 bedroom mansion, which has been given the names Tesco and Southyork by the critics.

Critics cruelly dubbed it Tesco Towers, because of its similarity to a supermarket. Despite costing £15m, Sunninghill Park near Ascot only seemed to attract derision. It was also nicknamed SouthYork after the pretentious ranch, South Fork in TV hit Dallas.



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 Post subject: Chandrika’s big budget irks Lanka court
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:30 pm 
Quote:
Chandrika’s big budget irks Lanka court

@ The Peninsula, Web posted at: 12/4/2005 9:38:25
Source ::: AFP


COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has questioned the “excessively high” budget of the former president amid allegations state funds had been misappropriated just before her retirement.

Chief Justice Sarath Silva asked the attorney general why Chandrika Kumara-tunga had a budget higher than the $290,000 allocated for running the supreme court which has 10 judges.

Silva, asked to rule on the constitutionality of the government’s 2006 budget to be presented to parliament on Thursday, also objected to “inequality” in allocations for former presidents. “The budget sets aside only Rs6m for the office of (former) president D B Wijetunga. For president Kumaratunga, over Rs29m has been set aside,” Silva said in open court. “Why is this inequality? President Kumaratunga’s allocation for next year is excessively high.”

A lawyer representing the state did not answer, and Silva noted that the entire court was given less money than Kumaratunga who retired when Mahinda Rajapakse assumed office on November 19.

Silva said his ruling on the 2006 budget would be conveyed confidentially to the president as well as the speaker of the parliament.

Kumaratunga presented a budget on November 8, but Rajapakse overturned it and said he would deliver his own on December 8 to incorporate subsidies he promised in his election manifesto. Former presidents are entitled to all privileges enjoyed by cabinet ministers which are funded by the state. But Kumaratunga, in a statement before her retirement, said she would not draw any allowances.

Kumaratunga’s office has denied misappropriating some Rs750m ($7.5m) from a special fund that was directly under her and has said it will make a detailed statement later.

President Rajapakse has ordered his officials to stop payment on cheques authorised by Kumaratunga just before she stepped down. However, she was allowed to take 32 vehicles, including four bullet proof limousines with her.

Both leaders are from the same party but were known to be at loggerheads over policy issues on both managing the economy and the island’s fragile peace process. Rajapakse enjoyed a narrow victory in the November 17 election over opposition favourite Ranil Wickremesinghe.


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