Prez against Cabinet paper by Minister on behalf of brother



President Ranil Wickremesinghe has submitted his observations to the Cabinet over a request made by eight players, including the Cricket World Cup winning team Captain Arjuna Ranatunga, to be allowed to build and sell a housing complex by combining the land plots given to them.

The President has said in his observations that the use of land allocated for a residential project for a commercial purpose may set a bad precedent.

The President has given these observations over a Cabinet paper presented by Minister Prasanna Ranatunga on behalf of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.

Minister Ranatunga is the younger brother of Arjuna Ranatunga, the Captain of the 1996 Cricket World Cup winning team.

The Cabinet paper has been submitted requesting permission to combine the plots of land given separately to the eight players at Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha in Battaramulla and build a housing complex.

Cabinet approval was also sought to sign a Memorandum of Understanding among the eight players or their representative, the Urban Development Authority and the company buying the housing complex.

The plan is to get all approvals within six months and complete the construction of the building within three years.

However, the transfer of ownership or sale of these plots of land which were given to the 1996 world cup winning cricketers on deeds of gift is considered legally impossible.

Through a Cabinet paper on January 22, 1997, 15 players of the 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lankan team were given 20 perches each on a vacant land in Battaramulla on a 99-year lease basis.

The then Sporst Minister S.B.Dissanayake presented the Cabinet paper.

The assessed value of a perch has been determined to be Rs.1,000 back then.

Meanwhile, seven owners have refused to give their land to this housing project.

The President has further mentioned in his observations that due to the request made by the players to build and sell a housing complex on the lands given to them, the basic purpose of giving the land has been completely changed to a commercial purpose.


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