Issuing a special statement Minister Sagala Ratnayake says that
the Prime Minister’s Security Division, paying attention to the security threats to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, has recommended to provide him with safe vehicles. His statement says that it is not wrong to purchase vehicles by the Prime Minister’s office as the vehicles received by the Prime Minister have to be repaired regularly and the Prime Minister has not been given any safe vehicle by the Prime Minister’s office. Minister Sagala Ratnayake said that this statement was issued to inform the true situation to the public due to the statement made by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in Parliament about the official vehicles of the Prime Minister. The statement points out that the Prime Minister’s office has not obtained any official vehicle when the Prime Minister assumed duties in the year 2015. There was no official vehicle or a security vehicle at the Prime Minister’s office to be used by him. The Prime Minister is using two safe vehicles given by the Presidential Secretariat and one security vehicle. The statement has pointed out that the Presidential Secretariat has provided old security vehicles in their pool. The jeep has been manufactured in 2006, the motorcars have been manufactured in 2012 and in 2008. the statement issued by Minister Sagala Ratnayake says that those vehicles cannot be registered or used as there are no details about importation. The Statement reveals that more than nine million rupees have been spent for the maintenance of these vehicles from 9th January 2015 up to now. Under this situation Prime Minister Wickremasinghe has used his private vehicle most of the time and has not obtained any allowance from the office for using the private vehicle. It is the responsibility of the Presidential Secretariat to provide vehicles for the President and Former Presidents. The statement said that Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa took away the best quality and secured vehicles of the pool at the Presidential Secretariat when he left after being defeated on the 8th of January. Therefore President Maithripala Sirisena had to use the remaining better quality vehicles. The statement points out that Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe had to use next quality vehicles. The Prime Minister’s Security Division has forwarded their recommendations to provide vehicles to the Treasury. The recommendation states that bullet proof and vehicles which can withstand explosions are safe vehicles. It says that the purchasing price of two safe vehicles is about 128 million rupees. The statement points out that this amount is the actual price for the Government and remaining 468 million rupees are Government taxes. Therefore the statement says it is an amount that is being credited from one government account to another account and it is only a data list and not the actual amount spend by the Government. The Prime Minister’s office has provided an official vehicle to the Prime Minister since the time Sri Lanka became an independent country. No question has been raised in or outside Parliament in this regard. The statement issued by Minister Sagala Ratnayake says that this request has been made on a recommendation of the security division when there was no official vehicle for the use of the Prime Minister at the Prime Minister’s office. However as the Chief Opposition Whip has protested, views of the Parliament would be obtained in this regard. The statement said that next step would be taken according to those views.