The Shangri-La Colombo star class hotel, opened informally by president Maithripala Sirisena and prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the 16th by cutting a ribbon, was officially opened by ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members on the 18th.
The opening by the Rajapaksas had been planned on the night of the 16th, but the hotel’s director, Sajad Mawzoon instructed the management to organize it on the 18th, the day of Mahinda’s birthday.
The hotel management served a rare quality dinner for the Rajapaksa family and other invitees, comprising Chinese cuisines.
At midnight on the 17th a birthday cake was cut, organized by the hotel management.
At its informal opening on the 16th, the president and the PM were taken to the hotel’s 32nd floor and served with short-eats and a cut of tea only. But, two days later, the dinner was complete with whiskey, brandy, Champagne etc. Welcoming Mahinda and his wife, Mawzoon said, ‘Here is our president.’ With everyone giving a round of applause, one said ‘he 72nd birthday is a very good one. J.R. Jayewardena became the first executive president at the age of 72 years. No one can prevent your becoming the president again.’ Audios and videos of the incident are circulating in facebook and other social media.
The hotel management is at odds with the Yhapaalana government because the present government turned the outright ownership to a long-term lease. But, Mahinda is hiding the deed he has given. Previously too, we published a copy of the said deed, and for your information, we are publishing it again to convince to you as to why Shangri-La loves Mahinda that much.
Mahinda had his birthday party on the 18th at Earl Regency Hotel in Kandy, owned by ex-minister Earl Gunasekara.