The government today admitted that it had paid for the charter flight that ferried former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to Bangkok from Singapore.
Cabinet Media Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena admitted that former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who fled amid public opposition, was afforded a private aircraft by the government.
He stressed that it was one of the entitlements of a former President under the privileges granted to former Presidents.
The minister made these observations at the media briefing today to announce Cabinet decisions. The journalists queried whether the former head of state accorded this privilege using taxpayers’ money, to which the minister answered in the affirmative.
The minister further said that the Presidential Election law provides for these privileges.
He also said that even after the death of a president, the surviving spouse becomes entitled to certain privileges.
Minister Gunawardena mentioned that the former presidents are getting such benefits and that the late Ranasinghe Premadasa’s wife will still be given the same benefits and said that if further details are required, they could furnish them in the future.