gossip lanka

Triangular fight to bring down Russian warship!

The media hype about the Sri Lankan government’s trying to buy an old Russian warship is the result of a fight among three business groups with vested interests.

Speaking to Sri Lanka Mirror, a defence ministry spokesman
refuted reports about the existence of an agreement to buy an old ship.

The Russian government has entered into a bilateral agreement for a 165 million dollar credit line, but Russia has not made any demand as to what should be bought from that money, said the spokesman.

It will take three years

Even if an order is given to buy a ship, it would take three years to finish work on a ship and one-and-a-half years to train the personnel, according to him.

The warship will be purchased under a government to government agreement in lieu of the balance of a Russian loan obtained by the Rajapaksa regime.

The fight among three businessmen with government links is to be the local agent for Russia’s state-owned JSC Rosoboronexport.

One of them is Akila Malith Silva, son of the late Kapila Priyantha Silva, who was its local agent from 1996.

They had imported 44 GTRs and several aircraft previously.

Another is Sirasa Media Network, including Chevaan Daniel and Nimal Cooke.

The third is Kumara Rajapakse, who has links with several ministers.

All three parties joined president Maithripala Sirisena during his Russia tour.

However, three committees have rejected the deal to buy the Russian ship, the head of one committee being incumbent Navy commander S.S. Ranasinghe.