By Gihan de Chickera and Kelum Bandara – Dailymirror
A total Rs. 11.7 million was spent last year on maintaining 38 persons recruited as Presidential Advisors, it was revealed in parliament yesterday.
Responding to a question by JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana, Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunewardena said that 38 persons were recruited as Presidential Advisors and paid allowances between Rs. 40,000 and Rs 60,000.
The Minister said the cost of maintaining these Advisors were Rs 11.7 million last year. However he said that 16 of the 38 advisors served in an honorary capacity.
Among the advisors are two former ministers Ronnie de Mel and Lakshman Jayakody, film stars Ravindra Randeniya, musician Rohana Weerasinghe and J.R.P. Suriyapperuma.
Two former IGP’s Victor Perera and Chandra Fernando are also Presidential Advisors.
JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana charged that some advisors were using 10 to 15 vehicles with number plates carrying the same registration number and had their own aircraft as well.
However, Minister Gunawardena rejected the allegation saying that no additional vehicles or aircraft have been provided to persons serving in the capacities of Presidential Advisors.