Personal staff get bonanza in Anura Bandaranaike’s purported will

A purported will of the late Anura Bandaranaike dated May 9, 1996 has been distributed to newspapers offices with an unsigned covering letter.

"This copy is sent to you for your kind information as per request made by Hon, A. P. S. D. Anura Bandaranaike before his demise. Please make this public and take suitable action, the unsigned covering letter said.

Asked whether this was an authentic copy of the late Mr. Bandaranaike’s last will, Kandiah Neelakandan, notary public of Colombo, who had attested and certified the ‘last will and testament’, declined to discuss the matter saying it is a "private matter".

"As a lawyer, I cannot make any comments as it is absolutely a personal matter", he said, when asked whether there had been a subsequent will executed by the late Mr. Bandaranaike.

"Mr. Bandaranaike’s will is not your business", Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike shot back when asked whether she was aware of the authenticity of the will distributed to newspaper offices last week.

"I don’t see how my brother’s will concerns newspapers as it is a private matter", she said.

"I can only say this – the will is not meant for newspapers. It’s something private", she said, before ringing off.

A prominent lawyer asserted that a last will becomes public after the testamentary papers are filed in a court of law.

"Any member of the public can pay the stipulated fee and obtain a copy of it after the papers are filed", he explained. "It then becomes public".

According to the will distributed the newspaper offices, the late Mr. Bandaranaike has left sizeable amounts of cash and property to many of his personal staff. They have been given amounts ranging from Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 50,000.

The late MP’s Pajero Intercooler has been left to Mr. Gamini Gunaratne, his Nissan Cedric car to Mervy Silva, "who is now a member of Parliament for Hambantota district"

and his Datsun Sunny car to Sgt. Torrington Swarnatilleke, his personal security officer.

His share of the Horagolla Estate has also been donated his personal staff, ranging from 3 1/2 acres to ¼ acres.

However, an extent of nine acres, a road and eight perches of the Horagolla estate and Walawwa have been committed to a Trust while 22 acres have been allocated to the Anura Bandaranaike Foundation.

All his books at 65A, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7 and at Horagolla Walawwa have been donated to the National Archies Department to be placed in a separate section.

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