Government slams MRs Uganda trip but defends paying for air ticket

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

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