Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera revealed that the Island nations’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s spouse Shiranthi Rajapaksa, had spent Euros amounting to 25 million Sri Lankan rupees to watch Vesak from the Presidential Suite of the King George V hotel in Paris and for a quick luxury limousine ride to Lourdes for a Catholic pilgrimage .
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera disclosed details of former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa’s Paris visit in May 2014 costing Sri Lankan tax payers 41,650 euros for the hire of two limousines that were used to transport her around Paris and to Lourdes.
Samaraweera also divulged that Shiranthi’s stay in the presidential suite of King George V Hotel run by the super luxury Four Seasons group cost 63,945.50 euro from May 20 to 24 without breakfast.
Shiranthi Rajapaksa was representing Sri Lanka at the 2014 Vesak celebrations organised by the UNESCO in France
It may be recalled that Shiranthi Rajapaksa was declared beauty queen in Sri Lanka in 1973 and was a contestant at the Miss World pageant held in the Royal Albert Hall in London in the same year..
Shiranthi Rajapaksa was accompanied by her aunty, Daisy Forrest, who stayed in a modest room costing 6,924.45 euro for her stay without breakfast. “Aunty Daisy ” was in media glare recently after ex- president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa claimed she had gifted him a multi-million rupee palatial home in Mount Lavinia.
“Aunty Daisy” and her niece the ex- first lady also used the mini bars in their rooms extensively, according to the bills submitted to the Sri Lankan embassy in Paris, the foreign minister said. The drinks in the minibar had to be replenished thrice during their stay.
On May 22 2014 “Daisy Aunty, Shiranthi’s mini bar bill was 253 euro and on May 24 there were two mini bar bills for 221 euro and 371 euro. There was also a modest charge of 130 euro for spa products.
The bill for Sri Lankan tax payers for her 2014 Vesak visit to Paris was 137,396 euro, or about 25 million rupees, according to the Foreign Minister.
“King George the Fifth had stayed in this hotel, but Queen Elizabeth does not stay there because it is too expensive for her,” Mangala Samaraweera said. “But for our queen, the cost is not a problem.”
The Presidential Suite in the hotel has fabric-covered walls, crystal chandeliers, French School paintings, exclusive contemporary artworks and creatively arranged fresh flowers.Even the bath is like a spa. “The splendid marble and Baccarat crystal bathrooms offer a rain shower, a Turkish bath and an ice fountain – turning your bathroom into a luxurious personal spa,” according to the hotel website.”The sophistication of those (Presidential) suites melds classic with modern,” it said
(Compiled from Media Reports in Newspapers and Web Sites)