A verbal clash between Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, where both hurled allegations at each other, rocked Parliament today (06).

The argument heated up when MP Aluthgamage said an audit report had revealed that a sum of Rs. 10 billion has been misused during Premadasa’s tenure as Minister of Housing and Cultural Affairs.

“A sum of Rs. 10 billion has been misused from the Central Cultural Fund while state funds have been used to pay salaries for the ten security officers attached to the saloon owned by the Opposition Leaders' wife. The Minister of Cultural Affairs should make a statement on this matter,” the MP said.

Also, the MP said Premadasa has released Rs 1.6 million to repair Sirikotha during his time as the Minister.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, who responded alleged that millions have been used from the Central Cultural Fund in 2011 for a cycle race and for the swearing in ceremony of the then President.

“I will resign from my post if the allegations against me are proved,” Premadasa said.

Althgamage came into the well at this time calling Premadasa to resign.

Meanwhile, Minister of Cultural Affairs Vidura Wickramanayake at this time revealed that certain amounts have been spent from the Central Cultural Fund without proper approval of its board of management.

The cross-talk continued from time to time during the committee stage debate on the budget yesterday with Althugamage making the allegations and SJB MPs saying Premadasa has been cleared of all charges.  

SJB MP S.M. Marikkar questioned how MP Aluthgamage had purchased houses in the UK.

“My grandfather was a millionaire and my father was a businessman and I always had funds to spend,” Aluthgamage replied.

(Daily Mirror)

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