The newly appointed Secretary of Defence, B.M.U.D. Basnayake, today confirmed that the account held with the Bank of Ceylon’s Thapprobane Branch, containing nearly Rs 8 billion, is not under the name of his predecessor and that it belongs to the Ministry of Defence.
In a press conference yesterday (18), Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had claimed that a sum of Rs. 7,500 million was found in a bank account under the name of the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and that the money has been transferred to the Treasury.
However, Rajapaksa has rejected the allegations leveled against him as “grossly misleading” and an attempt to discredit his reputation with “ulterior motive.”
In a statement released to media earlier today, he stated that it is an Operational Account dedicated for the use of financing the construction of Army Headquarters building at Pelawatta.
Rajapaksa also said that the account was created with the approval of the Cabinet from the revenue from the sale of land at Galle Face, Colombo where the Army Headquarters was previously located.
New Defence Secretary Basnayake confirmed these claims while also refuting Karunanayake’s allegation that it was used by the former Defence Secretary as a personal account.