Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe claims that he had not directed the Ministry of Agriculture to use the building in Rajagiriya.
The Premier mentioned this testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the allegations of corruption and financial misappropriations of state institutions, yesterday (16). He testified before the Commission over a period of 5 hours.
Speaking before the Commission the Prime Minister admitted that a heavy cost has to be borne by the Agriculture Ministry over having to house the Ministry in a private building. He said that it is evident from what has been revealed by the commission and through the interrogations made by its members.
However, he has never stated or informed to utilize that specific private building for the use of the Agriculture Ministry when the Ministry premises had to be shifted, said the Prime Minister.
Wickremesinghe says although the Cabinet paper presented by then- Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake states that the relevant private building was used under the directions of the Prime Minister, he only instructed to use a suitable building for the purpose.
Further, pointing out that a coalition government was in place during that time, Prime Minister said that he was only responsible for the members of the United National Party (UNP) as their leader while President Maithripala Sirisena was in charge of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members.