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spanking new Merdeces Benz W221- Rs. 44 million. for Sri Lankan Army Commander’s Wife

 People are struggling for bread in sri lanka , and soldiers are giving their life in war fronts, army commander’s wife shopping in merc .

 

While the frontline soldiers in the army are off “crusading to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland” in the deadly battles of the Wanni, some lucky souls associated to the army have the privilege of ‘cruising’— no crusading for them — in a brand spanking new Merdeces Benz W221 (2006) S350L.

Any vehicle enthusiast will tell you that the ‘S-Class’ series is Mercedes Benz’s most vaunted line of super-luxury vehicles, just one notch down from their legendary ultra-luxury Maybach Benz series. The vehicle was purchased as a “staff car” by the army’s Ordinance Directorate on March 14 at a price of Rs. 44 million.

Cost of variation

What’s more, the ‘L’ suffix after the S350 indicates one minute variation at a cost of Rs. 3 million. A sales manager at Dimo, Sri Lanka’s sole agent for Mercedes Benz, told The Sunday Leader that the difference between the L (meaning long wheelbase) and the standard version was that the long wheelbase version has an extra 15 cm of legroom in the back seat.

For some of us shaken by the skyrocketing cost of living, if we required more legroom in the back seat we would politely ask the driver and front seat passenger to pull their seats forward by about 15 cm. Others with the privilege of spending public money to stretch their legs, it appears, can have the army shell out an extra 30 lakhs — the price of a couple of cars — for a long wheelbase Benz.

After shelling out Rs. 200,000 per centimetre of extra legroom, we hope at the least that the vehicle’s intended occupant is comfortable. This begs the question of who the super-luxury vehicle is intended for. We called and asked Military Spokesman, Brigadier Udaya Nannayakara if he could confirm the purchase, to which he said he would check with the army and revert the next day.

However when we called the next day to follow up the question with Brigadier Nanayakara he stonewalled. “I have no information. You will have to check with Dimo,” he said.

When The Sunday Leader contacted army Major M.A.V. Gunarathna who signed the purchase order for the Rs. 44 million vehicle “for the Commander of the Army,” and asked him who the vehicle was for, he replied that it was for the use of senior army staff.

Starving masses

We pressed the Major on the question of how a senior army officer could travel in a normal, unarmoured vehicle given the current security situation. He had no response. We finally asked him why the army spent Rs. 44 million on a luxury vehicle when it could not be used by the Army Commander or any senior officer at risk from the LTTE due to the fact that it was not armoured.

“What is your problem (gattaluma) with the price of the vehicle?” he retorted. It is not us who have a problem, we thought to ourselves, but the starving masses. Sources have revealed to The Sunday Leader that the vehicle is intended not for Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, but allegedly for the use of his wife. The decision to go the extra Rs. 3 million and get a long wheelbase version means there will be no problem fitting all the groceries in the back seat. Major M.A.V. Gunarathna however vehemently denied the vehicle was for the army chief’s wife and said it was purchased for the use of senior army officers.

Besides, thanks to Mercedes’ Airmatic DC adjustable suspension control, at the touch of a button the army officers or anyone else for that matter can ensure that their eggs do not crack on the way home from shopping by having the vehicle electronically compensate for ‘road and driving conditions,’ — meaning potholes.

Sophisticated entertainment

It gets better. Whilst General Fonseka’s troops die on the battlefield to the screeching wails of their valiant comrades, some army officer or otherwise will be entertained on the road by a 14 speaker ‘harman/kardon’ Logic-7 stereo speaker system with an in-dash CD changer, allowing them a choice of music as they cruise around.

What would happen however if all this indulgence at the expense of an almost starving public were to cause the occupant’s conscience to kick in, and if he/she were to break a sweat out of guilt? Never fear, Mercedes Benz has that eventuality covered too. The 2006 W221 S350L that he/she travels in is fitted with active-ventilated seats equipped with small fans ‘to keep the seats cool and draw perspiration away from occupants.’

In a worst case scenario, the occupant of this super luxury vehicle could always count on the variable colour fibre optic lighting system for the dashboard and foot-wells to provide some sense of soothing ambience. But it is not only the privileged occupant but also the driver who gets the pleasure of handling a 7-speed (or 7G-tronic as Mercedes puts it) automatic transmission system equipped with not one but two reverse speed settings.

Whether customs duty was paid on the vehicle, we are unable to tell as Customs officials did not answer their phones despite repeated attempts. It is not usual for the military to pay customs duty on vehicles it imports for its use. Needless to say Major M.A.V. Gunarathna refused to answer any further questions about the vehicle purchase once it clicked to him that he was speaking to The Sunday Leader.

Mystery

However the price paid for the vehicle adds mystery to the issue. A Dimo sales manager told us that their retail price for an S350L is Rs. 53 million. The army paid Rs.44 million for their car including Rs.7.3 million in VAT. Dimo’s retail price without VAT is Rs. 45 million.

Thus if the army paid duty on the vehicle, which would be irregular, it then received the super-luxury car at a Rs.9 million discount from Dimo on their retail price. However if duty has not been paid on the vehicle then its retail value landed in Sri Lanka would have been Rs. 36.7 million, around US$ 330,000.

According to a knowledgeable Mercedes enthusiast, there is no configuration of the S350 available no matter what options are selected, that can exceed US$ 100,000 in value before Sri Lankan taxes. “That is unless they have platinum and diamond fittings throughout the inside,” he added sarcastically.

Draw the line

Someone has to draw the line on the government’s triple speak about the war. On one hand our Consumer Affairs Minister, Bandula Gunawardena keeps spewing out gems on the rising cost of living and asks the public to brace for bread at Rs.200 a loaf. Exhibit B is Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nirvard Cabraal’s multitude of excuses for skyrocketing inflation, with insistences of course, that it has little to do with the pot loads of money he decided to print last year to pander to the Chinthana’s whims.

Finally we have the military pitch. Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, is due to retire at the end of this year, and it appears his estimates on the number of Tigers remaining are best described by the current rate of inflation. Despite killing almost a thousand Tigers a month, the number of Tigers remaining seems to be inflating by 28%, just like the cost of living.

General Fonseka while packing off soldiers to die for their country, has been given an unprecedentedly high defence budget this year with the backing of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse, purportedly to wrap up this war before it becomes too politically disastrous for the Defence Secretary’s brother — the President.

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April 13, 2008 Posted by | Hot News from Lanka | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weerawansa suspended :: JVP broke out so many secrets

Hon Wimal WeerawansaThe crisis within the JVP came out ino the open yesterday following reports that the party’s Central Committee had decided to suspend its Parliamentary Group Leader Wimal Weerawansa.

Reports said the JVP Central Committee that met on March 21 had decided to suspend the party membership of Mr. Weerawansa who is also the party’s Propaganda Secretary.

However party sources said although there was an ongoing problem within the party it was being sorted out at the moment. Party sources also said the Central Committee decision would not be publicized until the Eastern Province Elections were over.

Mr. Weerawansa had not attended any of the main party functions since March 31.

In the meantime the JVP’s commemoration of those who were killed in the 1971 insurgency is to take place today at the Vihara Mahadevi open air theatre and there was uncertainty with regard to the attendance of Mr. Weerawansa at today’s function.

Mr. Weerawansa was at the centre of controversy following a statement he made at a meeting of the Patriotic National Movement. He said at the meeting that the Pillayan group in the East should not be disarmed immediately, differing from the stance taken by the party leadership that the group should be disarmed without delay to hold a free and fair election in the East. (This is the most known reason publically )

Following this, the party’s trade union leader K.D. Lalkantha addressing a gathering of party members said those who could not agree with the party’s majority view should not be in it. He said there were those who got caught in traps laid President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the JVP as well.

 

Weerawansa having a high class life style despite of partty’s policy, his wife drive brand new expensive cars. She went to Disney world (USA ) and Other countires with her kids on their vacations. Since Weerawansa don’t have any extra income how all this possible , the members question this.

 

Weerawanse has very close link with Mahinda Rajapakse ,and helped the government many times. All this links are established by Basil Rajapakse with the tight adhesive of Money. Since Weerawanse spent all of his young age with JVP and Marxist policies ,now he like to see the luxurious life  and want to make his wife and kids happy. It means he don’t believe the policy of the party now.

 

This is a indication  that the    bad time of JVP is in peak now as it already started . Pushing out  The powerful Propaganda Secretary will lead to another group (3rd group ) in JVP soon . JVP has its own new political teams and organizations in different name . So Weerawanse may take one in his hand to go on own way.

 

April 5, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mervin Silva Case : Still not conclued by the Government : The known result

Minister Mervin Silva The SLFP inquiry into the Dr. Mervyn Silva incident at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation has taken nearly four months and no progress seems to have been made as the committee tasked with the inquiry is keeping its findings, if any, a secret, SLRC trade union sources said yesterday (4).

Although the three-member committee, headed by the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva had recorded the evidence of a number of SLRC employees and some outsiders, it had not been able to conclude its inquiry into the incident, SLRC sources complained.

They also quoted a statement made by the Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernadopulle, who had said in a speech telecast over a TV channel that some of his speeches were also not given coverage by the SLRC and probably Mervyn Silva’s visit to the State owned TV channel was prompted by such a reason. This they said was a clear indication that the committee was favouring Silva.

Mervins goon

The SLFP committee had said their work was delayed for a number of reasons including the local government elections in Batticaloa. It is now making excuses saying its members were busy with the provincial council election campaign in the East, they  Said.

Mervin is Mahinda Rajapakse’s very close friend and devotee , Mahinda defended him already by telling ” Mervin did the correct think ” in a meeting. After the Rupavahini incident the series of revenge against the employees of Rupavahini taken place ,and still the police did not find any culprit behind the scene .

It is an open secret that government will not take any action against Mervin , But we people watch this ,understand the injustice of the ruling people but will vote them again in the election. AS all of us are Born in Sri Lanka ,and have the capacity like that. (I dont say that all of us are fools )

 

April 5, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , , , | Leave a comment