Ravi, Harsha suggest President’s entourage on state visits be pruned


By Lal Gunasekera

UNP Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake is of the opinion that President Mahinda Rajapaksa should reduce his entourage to a bare minimum and make sure that only the persons who are really necessary are taken on such visits.

President Rajapaksa left for Thailand on Tuesday (29) on a four-day state visit for bilateral talks with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government.

Karunanayake said the government must not waste public funds and such expenses should be curtailed drastically in view of the country’s economic difficulties. He said that the President should certainly go on state visits, but they should be beneficial to the country. He said that President Rajapaksa must make the best use of his costly foreign visits for the development of the country.

The cost factor was of crucial import and Sri Lankan Airlines which was losing billions of  rupees would get into deeper misery., if it was overburdened, Karunanayake said.

UNP Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva said that for once he was lost for words and that it was totally unacceptable and a waste of the tax payers’ money for the President to go on so many state visits one after the other. He also condemned President Rajapaksa’s massive delegations.

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