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Payment to Bell Pottinger = Allocation of funds for Jaffna Development by Basil Rajapakse

" Bell Pottinger is one of the three companies and names or financial deal involving the other two are not known, Assuming it will be about the £3 million each like the contract with Bell Pottinger, the cumulative cost can be nine million."

(October 24, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) In the hurriedly held meeting of the Government Agent of Jaffna, attended by the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse three weeks ago, a sum of approximately Rupees 500 million (£2,85 million) was allocated for the development projects presented by the GA. The allocation was not outright. The Minister made immediate allocation for the half the cost and promised to scrape through the budgets of other departments to fund the balance.

It is now claimed the controversial appointment of Bell Pottinger consultancy to facelift the image of Sri Lanka in the western world will be costing the country £3 million (Rupees 525 million), a sum has been allocated for progressive payments for the service delivery.

The government goes with the begging bowl internationally for its development work and the northern development is the theme heavily campaigned at present. How the financially constrained government was able to find £3 million for Bell Pottinger will not be known. Only we can guess, it must be coming from the pot of IMF funds.

Bell Pottinger is one of the three companies and names or financial deal involving the other two are not known, Assuming it will be about the £3 million each like the contract with Bell Pottinger, the cumulative cost can be nine million.

The government has also engaged three other international companies to promote tourism post end of the war with the LTTE. Sums paid to these international consultants too are hidden secret. Whilst the government boast of large tourist arrivals, it has an uphill task to recoup its promotional costs running into millions.

Apart from the agreed cost of the international consultancy work, there is also indirect costs like commission payments to middlemen and ministers and the embassies costs.

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