JVP opposes appointment of Rajapaksas to Diyagama stadium directorate

‘Don’t hand over poultry to foxes’


By Saman Indrajith 

Several individuals of the Rajapaksa Foundation would be appointed to the Director Board of Diyagama International Cricket stadium as they had invested money in its construction, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said.

The minister made this comment in reply to a query by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake during the Committee Stage debate of the Budget 2017 when the Finance Head of the Sports Ministry was taken up in Parliament yesterday.

MP Ratnayake questioned who owned the Stadium and whether there was any move to appoint close associates of the Rajapaksa family to its Director Board. The Minister replied that the stadium constructed on a land belonging to the SLBC was under the Pradeshiya Sabha, but it would be taken over by the Sports Ministry with Cabinet approval.

"The Sports Ministry has invested Rs. 65 million to construct this stadium while the Rajapaksa Foundation also invested millions of rupees. Due to this reason, we hope to appoint several individuals representing the Rajapaksa Foundation to its Director Board after taking it over. The construction of the stadium is partially done. The swimming pool and indoor stadium are to be completed."

MP Ratnayake pointed out that the Diyagama Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium had become dilapidated barely four years after its opening. He questioned why the ministry was not investigating that and took action against those responsible for the situation.

"Did Rajapaksas have money to build stadiums? This is clearly the money robbed from the people. Find out where the money came from. Once you appoint close associates of the Rajapaksa family to its Director Board, they will claim its ownership someday. Do not hand over poultry to foxes" he said.

Minister Jayasekara said the stadium would be operated under the Sports Director.

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