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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2620

Mahinda Denies Accusation By Mangala about 18 billion dollar assets

Colombo, 09 May, (Asiantribune.com):

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa asks whether the current Government has assessed the Rajapaksa family assets out of the massive development activities carried out during the time of his rule.

Denying accusations that he had stashed away funds amounting to USD 18 billion, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that legal advice would be sought as regards the defamatory statement attributed to Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

The former president said so at the Abhayaaraama Buddhist Temple in Narahenpita yesterday in reply to a statement Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera had made.

“I like to inform the public once again that I, my wife, my sons or my brothers have no secret offshore accounts or illegal overseas investments in front companies,” Mr. Rajapaksa said in a statement.

He said Foreign Minister Samaraweera who made the statement had covered himself by saying he did not know whether this information was right or wrong.

The following is the full text of the statement titled ‘USD 18 billion belonging to the Rajapaksa family’ issued by the former President:

"Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera said at a press conference on Thursday that information has been received from foreign intelligence agencies that I, my wife, sons and brothers had amassed a fortune of 18 billion US dollars concealed in secret offshore accounts and front companies overseas.

There was a time when any large house that was being built in Colombo or a hotel that was being built anywhere in the country was supposed to belong to members of my family. Such propaganda cannot be carried out now, so our political opponents have resorted to talking about money stashed overseas.

In making that statement about my family’s supposed USD 18 billion fortune, minister Samaraweera took the precaution of adding that he does not know whether the information they have received is correct or not. Covering oneself in that manner enables fiction to be passed off as fact. When the foreign minister makes such statements, the story is picked up even by foreign news agencies. These are the devious means by which false propaganda against me and members of my family is being disseminated. I would like to inform the public once again that neither I nor my wife and sons nor my brothers have secret offshore accounts or illegal overseas investments in front companies. Legal advice will be sought on the statement made by minister Samaraweera."

Earlier, the Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that according to investigations carried out with the assistance of four foreign countries the Rajapaksa family assets were about 18 billion US dollars.

Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said that based on intelligence, the assets of the Rajapaksa family have been valued at a total of 18 Billion US Dollars.

The Minister made this revelation joining in a news conference organized at Sirikotha.

The Minister said that according to information gathered by Intelligence sleuths the assets of the Rajapaksa family are in the region of 18 Billion US Dollars.

These are the assets that the country has lost.

Further addressing the journalists the Minister expressed views on the meeting that took place between the incumbent President and the Former President.

The Foreign Minister pointed out that since the people rejected Mahinda Rajapaksa at the elections, he had to go home. Some are dreaming of fielding him as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

The Minister said they saw how he bowed down before President Sirisena yesterday seeking the Prime Ministerial candidacy.

Mahinda Rajapaksa will be 70 years old in November, and the minister opined that his twilight years would be best spent at home.

- Asian Tribune -

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