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Jul 25, 2020

Presidential Secretariat has no account of PM's travel Featured

The Presidential Secretariat has rejected a request made under the Freedom of Information Act requesting a report on the number of flights operated for travel purposes of former President and current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during his tenure as the President from 2005 to 2015 and the expenses incurred.

A journalist from the North has requested this information and he has later complained to the Right to Information Commission of Sri Lanka regarding the refusal of the Presidential Secretariat to provide information.

The Commission has intervened and inquired from the Presidential Secretariat regarding the situation and the Presidential Secretariat has informed that its office has not maintained such a record.

He has also stated that there is no need for the Presidential Secretariat to maintain such a record for security reasons.

As such, the Presidential Secretariat has informed the Right to Information Commission of Sri Lanka in writing that the Presidential Secretariat does not have sufficient information to report on the number of flights made by the current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa or the cost incurred for the purpose.

In an inquiry made by Sri Lanka Mirror, S G Punchihewa, a member of the Right to Information Commission, said that every state institution is obliged to provide information on any politician who spends public money.

He said there are provisions under the Freedom of Information Act to take legal action against government agencies that do not do so.

- Indika Sri Aravinda

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