Kurunegala Mayor to purchase luxury car worth Rs. 30 million

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Kurunegala Mayor has decided to purchase a luxury car,  just months into the job.

Kurunegala Mayor Thushara Sanjeewa Witharana confirmed to The Sunday Morning that he had sought the approval of the Kurunegala Municipal Council (KMC) to purchase a Jaguar XF for Rs. 30 million.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) councilors of the KMC have however raised concerns over the move.

The JVP members have sought the intervention of the President, Prime Minister, and the Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faizser Musthapha to stop the attempt to purchase super luxury cars which they say will be a burden on the taxpayers.

JVP councilor Ranuka Sanjaya told The Sunday Morning that the Mayor who represents the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has sought the approval to buy two new luxury vehicles for the council through the funds allocated by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He said that the proposal was approved by 17 councilors out of the total 21, who represent the SLPP, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and several UNP councilors and All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) on August 13.

The JVP alleged that the approval has been sought to buy a Jaguar XF for the Mayors personal use and a Toyota Hiace vehicle for the council.

“Only the JVP councilors and three other UNP councilors have rejected the proposal as there were massive issues in the council area that should be solved immediately,” he said.

Sanjaya also said, “It is a waste of public funds as there are many issues the Mayor should address before buying a super luxury car.”

The Mayor had also sought the approval to increase the fuel allowance to 500 litres recently; he said adding that they were wasting the tax payer’s money which would have been used for something useful for the people.

The shopping complex in Kurungela had to be renovated and the housing issue of hospital minor staff should be solved immediately, he stressed.

“The roads in Kurungela are not up to the expected level to drive a Jaguar XF and it consumes a massive amount of fuel. Even if the Mayor bought that vehicle, the council would not be able tolerate the maintenance cost of such a super luxury car,” he stressed.

Witharana said  the council had not purchased a vehicle over the past 30 years and that is why it was decided to buy a new vehicle this year.

“I don’t have an official vehicle yet. I use my own vehicle for the official work. The proposal was passed by a majority and therefore there was no issue of buying vehicles for the council,” the Mayor said.