Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa admitted that he gave the order to former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Anusha Palpita to distribute “sil redi” among Buddhist devotees.
“Yes it was my order. They only implemented it,” the former President said, while speaking to a group of journalists after a Joint Opposition meeting, this weekend.
“As the President of the country, I was bound to protect the constitution and there was a constitutional provision to protect and safeguard Buddhism,” Rajapaksa said, explaining his directive to the two former state officials.
Rajapakse said the two officials did nothing wrong when they implemented the Presidential order.
“We have an issue with the Verdict. They will appeal against it,” Rajapaksa said.
Weeratunga and Palpita, two close associates of Rajapaksa, were convicted by the Colombo High Court last week, for misappropriating a staggering Rs. 600 million when they distributed ‘sil redi’ among Buddhist devotees just days before the last Presidential election.