Yoshitha went on 27 foreign tours during 100 months in NavyMarch 10, 2016, 10:28 pm
By Saman Indrajith
Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son, Yoshitha, during his 100 month service in the Sri Lanka Navy had been on 27 foreign trips, Parliament was told yesterday.
State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene responding to a question raised by JVP Kalutara District MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that Yoshitha had visited the US, the UK, Ukraine, Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Singapore and New Zealand.
Asked to state to the House the cost of those visits, the Minister said that he would look into the details of expenses and inform the House later.
Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had given approval on the recommendation of the Navy Commander for Yoshitha to engage in those tours, the Minister said.
Asked to inform the House of the criteria adopted by the Ministry of Defence in naming an officer for the Navy Units Combat Employment and Actions Management Course, conducted by Ukraine National Defence University, the minister said the then Sri Lankan Ambassador in Ukraine had requested the Ministry of Defence in a letter dated July 08, 2009 to nominate a second lieutenant or a lieutenant for the course.
The then Navy Commander had recommended that lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa be sent for that course. After Yoshitha had completed that course, the Ukraine National Defence University offered him another three year course for him and that offer had been informed to the then Secretary of Defence by the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Ukraine in a letter dated June 07, 2010.
Lieutenant Rajapaksa could enrol for that course as he had been recommended by the Navy Commander.
Yoshitha Rajapaksa had been assigned to the President’s Security Division on March 21, 2012.
MP Dr Jayatissa said that the then Sri Lankan Ambassador to Ukraine was one of the uncles of Yoshitha. Another uncle was the Secretary of Defence. One uncle sent invitation and another uncle gave approval. How come that happened? Would not such actions demoralise the qualified officers in the service? the MP queried.
The Minister said that the MP should have asked that question either from the former President or the former Defence Secretary.
The MP demanded to know whether the Ministry would hold an inquiry against Yoshitha, and the Minister said that Yoshitha was currently being held on remand with regard to a case being heard against him. If Yoshitha was set free by the Court, the Navy or the Ministry could hold an internal investigation against him, Parliament was told.