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State deprived Rs. 5.5 million due to Press Club rip offs in the past


Certain individuals had allegedly earned unconscionable profits amounting to million of rupees for themselves from the Press Club maintained in Fort, Colombo for the benefit of journalists thereby depriving the state of nearly Rs. 5.5 million income during the Rajapaksa period of rule, investigations by the Presidential Commission Investigating Fraud, Corruption, Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges have revealed.

Following this revelation, the Commission has summoned several former directors of information and the person said to be the manager of the Press Club and recorded statements from them.

The Press Club was opened in 1998 with a liquor licence, for the benefit of journalists to have some enjoyment after a hard days work.

Initially 356 journalists had obtained its membership but by 2003, the membership dropped to a meager 23. By 2010, it had catered to more outsiders than journalists. The Press Club earlier situated at Transworks House had been later shifted to a building in Olcott Mawatha, Colombo.

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