UNP plans to sue IIFA, says Ranjan

UNP plans to sue IIFA, says Ranjan

June 21, 2010   05:51 pm

The United National Party (UNP) is considering suing the top management of the Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) and its Brand Ambassador over the large scale financial fraud perpetrated against the Sri Lankan tax payers, says Ratnapura District Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake.

Speaking to Ada Derana today, Ranjan Ramanayake said that the UNP is considering legal action against IIFA chairman Sabbas Joseph, Brand Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the IIFA Board of Directors including  Ms. Jaya Bachan as well as all the Indian stars who didn’t show up for the recent awards ceremony.

Mr. Ramanayake said that the Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene had said that a host of Bollywood super stars would arrive in Sri Lanka for the event. This had prompted the Sri Lankan movie lovers to pay large amounts to purchase their tickets. However, only a handful of artistes had turned up, thus making the IIFA ceremony the biggest financial fraud in recent history in Sri Lanka.

As a responsible opposition, the UNP plans to sue the IIFA management for this large scale financial fraud amounting to nearly Rs. 1.1 billion, said Mr. Ramanayake.

Adding further the local actor turned politician charged that air tickets were provided free and several star class hotels had suffered huge losses through the bookings including full board and lodging. The UNP considered this as a financial fraud involving poor people’s money.

A few weeks before the event IIFA Brand Ambassador had arrived in Sri Lanka and stated that most of the Bollywood megastars would attend, and also said that Sri Lanka was a country with a big heart. But running scared of threats from the South Indian film artistes, Amitabh bachchan, his son Abishek, daughter in law Aishwarya Rai, Prianka Chopra and so many others had boycotted the event.

To make matters worse, those who had arrived had not attended that reception thrown to them by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President had waited for hours at Temple Trees and when only a few had attended, a furious President had declined to attend the awards ceremony as the chief guest, Mr Ramanayake said.

Even reputed local artistes like Malini Senehalatha Fonseka and Ravindra Randeniya had not attended, he charged.

“The public has a right to know about this large scale Rs. 1.1 billion fraud. I challenge Minister Lakshman Yapa and MP Malini Fonseka for a debate over this issue. This is not a minor fraud involving a few lakhs of rupees,” charged Ranjan Ramanayake.
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