MR Refutes Allegations On Kankesanthurai 'Palace'

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa released a statement today refuting allegations that the half built construction in Kankesanthurai was a presidential palace built for his personal use.

He said that this building was an International Relations Center belonging to the Presidential Secretariat and being built by the Sri Lanka Navy. He further stated that the International Relations Centers in Kankesanthurai and Arugam Bay were being built as convention centers to be used when Sri Lanka hosts international events.

Rajapaksa also stated that some of the convention centers in the country, such as BMICH, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute and Nelum Pokuna come under the presidential secretariat.

He further reiterated that unlike older convention centers, the new ones built in Kankesanthurai and Arugam Bay were designed with residential facilities. With the establishment of peace, there was a heavy influx of foreign visitors in these areas. These centers would have been used when foreign dignitaries and other such individuals and delegations visited these areas, Rajapaksa added. He stated that Cabinet Approval have been granted for these centers.

Rajapaksa also said that until the 1980s, there was a presidential residence in the north in Jaffna Fort which was destroyed by the LTTE. It had not been rehabilitates since, he added.

The half build construction Kankesanthurai came to the limelight when President Maithripala Sirisena inspected it during his trip to the north recently. Meanwhile, speaking in Galle two weeks ago, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe alleged that former president Rajapaksa had palaces around the island. Speaking of the International Relations Center at Arugam Bay, he asked what international relations can one do from Arugam Bay.

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