Frederica admits meeting President thrice but denies seeking favoursJuly 19, 2012, 11:05 pm
by Shamindra Ferdinando
Responding to Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle’s allegations, The Sunday Leader editor, Frederica Jansz says that she has never sought any favours from any government, though she has met President Rajapaksa thrice.
Commenting on a meeting she had with President Rajapaksa in the company of former Airport and Aviation Chairman Gamini Abeyratne, Frederica told The Island that she had not asked for any favours from the President. She insisted that there was nothing secret about that particular meeting with the president as Treasury Chief, Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, too, was present there.
"It was, in fact the second of the three meetings," she said.
Frederica said she couldn’t remember the exact date or the month. "It was early last year or perhaps the year before," she said. Asked whether she had asked for an audience with the President, she said it had been arranged by Abeyratne when she told him that MP Thilanga Sumathipala had initiated legal action against The Sunday Leader. "It was my second meeting with the President. The meeting took place at Temple Trees on a Friday."
"Once Minister Faizer Musthapa, MP, took me and Lal Wickrematunga to meet President Rajapaksa at the President’s House, where we had chicken soup," Frederic said. According to her, they were also shown the shrine room at the President’s House. That was the third meeting with the President, she said, claiming Abeyratne had called her from London last week to inform her that he was under pressure ‘to put a spin’ on the Temple Trees meeting. She said she had asked Abeyratne, whome she described as a friend, to go ahead.
Frederica said that Abeyratne was on record and she would publish everything in the next issue of The Sunday Leader. She said that soon after the assassination of The Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wickrematunga in January, 2008 she had met the President in the company of a mutual friend.
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