Won't bend rules for diplomatic Benz
President Chandrika Kumaratunga has refused permission for a Sri Lankan High Commissioner to bring down a luxury Mercedes Benz car over and above the engine capacity permitted to be imported by ordinary citizens.

The tough decision taken by President Kumaratunga follows a previous decision by the government to refuse permission for a Sri Lankan businessman who also served as High Commissioner in the same city to bring a Mercedes for the same reason.

The issue of Sri Lankan diplomats serving in foreign capitals wanting to bring down vehicles ordinary citizens living in the country are not permitted to import was canvassed in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that Sri Lankan diplomats did not have special privileges to break the law.

At least one cabinet minister has tried to intervene in the matter on behalf of the High Commissioner, but President Kumaratunga has stood firm and refused to exercise her Presidential powers on the matter.

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