May 23, 2019

Akila spends 156m for text book publicity!

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam had spent an additional Rs. 156 million to include four pages including a page with his picture and a letter into school text books, said MP Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksha, giving evidence before the Presidential investigation commission.

Rajapaksha had disclosed this before the commission headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Upali Abeyratne when they had met on May 21st.

Rajapaksaha had said in his evidence, “I was appointed as the Higher Education Minister on October 26th, 2018. When I inquired as to why the school text books were yet not issued, the officials informed me that the delay was because pages had to be incorporated into the text books carrying a photograph of Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and a letter. From the time of Minister Kannangara such actions were never taken. However, during Bandula Gunawardena’s tenure it was suggested, but the officials pointed out the damage it could do and it was not pursued. Orders were issued for the printing of 39 million text books and I issued instructions to remove the four pages containing the Education Minister’s picture and letter from the balance 20% of the text books. It costs One rupee to print a single page and Rs. 4 for the four pages. Accordingly it costs four times more for the four pages of the 39 million books.

The Education Minister’s photo as published on the text books is shown below.