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 Post subject: Chandrika Kumaratunga stripped of perks
 Post Posted: Thu May 03, 2007 8:44 pm 
Sri Lankan ex-president stripped of perks

The former president retained a staff of 198 and used 36 vehicles after she stepped down. The constitution allows a former president to use two cars and a staff of about 25.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007 16:38 IST
© 2005-2007 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd./ AFP


COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Thursday stripped former president Chandrika Kumaratunga of her official staff and 36 government cars, saying that she was not entitled to extravagant privileges.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sarath Silva held that it was also illegal for her to occupy a state bungalow refurbished at huge cost to the state.

Kumaratunga completed two terms as the all-powerful executive president in November 2005 and was succeeded by her prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse. The two are from the same party, but are seen as having a serious personality clash.

"The Supreme Court also ordered the former president to pay 100,000 rupees ($925) to three individuals who filed the case challenging the state privileges accorded to her," a court official said.

Three lawyers petitioned the court last year, arguing that the fundamental rights of the 20 million people in Sri Lanka were violated as a result of the extravagant spending on Kumaratunga.

The former president retained a staff of 198 and used 36 vehicles after she stepped down. The constitution allows a former president to use two cars and a staff of about 25.

Last year, Kumaratunga said she had returned the gift of a prime property located near parliament and was moving to a state bungalow at Colombo's fashionable Independence Square area.


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