Moscow seeks explanation from Colombo

Minister Mangala Samaraweera

Russia has sought an explanation from Sri Lanka as regards a recent claim by Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera that Russia funded a special propaganda unit backing UPFA/Joint Opposition MP Namal Rajapaksa.

A spokesperson for the Russian embassy in Colombo yesterday told The Island that they had noted Minister Samaraweera’s statement and requested an explanation from the Foreign Ministry. The Russian embassy said so, in response to The Island query whether Sri Lanka had taken up the alleged Russian project in support of MP Rajapaksa with the Russian embassy in Colombo in the wake of Samaraweera’s allegation.

Former Foreign Minister Samaraweera recently told a gathering in Matara that Namal Rajapaksa was receiving Russian help. Samaraweera said that he was making the statement with responsibility.

The accusations were directed at Russia in the wake of China being accused of funding President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2015 re-election bid to the tune of USD 7.6 mn.

Recently, former External Affairs Minister and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Prof. G.L. Peiris alleged that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government was busy antagonizing Security Council members China and Russia by making frivolous charges.

(Source: The Island – By Shamindra Ferdinando)