Storing of Paddy at Mattala Airport PCoI summons Ranil
Posted on October 15th, 2019

By Mirudhula Thambiah Courtesy Ceylon Today


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was summoned to appear before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating corruption of the current administration, on 18 October to be questioned on the decision to store paddy at the Mattala Airport in 2015.


Summons was sent following a revelation by former Head of the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB), Bandara Dissanayake that Wickremesinghe personally instructed him to store paddy at the airport.


Dissanayake told the PCoI that a series of meetings were held with officials of the airport in 2015 to explore the possibility of storing paddy during the next harvesting season as there wasn’t sufficient space at the PMB’s stores. 

However, airport officials rejected the request saying that the buildings around the runaway contained valuable equipment including air conditioning equipment.

Dissanayake also said, “Minister Daya Gamage called me frequently. He told me that they gave an election promise to store paddy at the Mattala Airport and that the Cabinet of Ministers had approved a decision to store 

4,000 metric tons there. Wickremesinghe too called me. Senior Advisor to Wickremesinghe, Charitha Ratwatte also played a role in this initiative.”


The witness also added that he rented the Mattala premises for six months due to their insistence. However, Airport officials were not aware of the decision to store paddy until they went and took over the keys to the buildings.


“We paid rent for three months only,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manager of the Mattala Airport, Nalin Upul Kalansuriya  said that around 23 aircraft had landed at the Airport after its opening until its closure.


Minister Gamage was also asked to appear before the PCoI in October and Ratwatte was ordered to appear on 16 October.


Earlier, former Chairman of the SriLankan Airlines, Ajith Dias said that he was asked to appear before the Criminal Investigation Department unit attached to the PCoI after it was revealed that in 2015, he sent a letter to 

Ratwatte on a SriLankan Airlines letterhead, stating that they were willing to allow the PMB to use the Airport to store paddy as requested by the Government.


Police officers attached to the PCoI visited Mattala Airport and inspected the premises. They found that storing of paddy inside the buildings had caused damage estimated to be around Rs 5 million.

One Response to “Storing of Paddy at Mattala Airport PCoI summons Ranil”

  1. aloy Says:

    What will be the outcome of this farcical drama being played at the expense of tax payers money and their time?. Where is the bond report Mr. Prez?.

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