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President’s 18 foreign trips cost over Rs. 209.3 mn – Dinesh

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been abroad on 18 times from his induction in November 2005 upto September 2008 and his tours had cost country Rs 209,391,756, Parliament was told yesterday in an answer tabled by Chief Government Whip Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to a question raised by UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake.

He said the President had travelled to 14 countries accompanied by 711 persons on these trips. The highest amount had been spent on leading the Sri Lankan delegation to the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly in the US. The amount spent was Rs 47,373,794.07. The second highest expenditure (Rs 39,943,995.59) had been incurred on his visit to the Vatican for an audience with the Pope. His trip to UK to attend the passing out parade of his son Yoshitha Rajapaksa at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth had cost the next highest amount which was Rs 15,175,734.31, Gunawardena said.

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