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Lyca owner Subaskaran Allirajah’s Gnanam foundation gets Cabinet nod to build Rs. 740Mn 6-storey building to Jaffna University

March, 28, 2019

Recent Cabinet decisions released to public in Sri Lanka outlines that Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers lead by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had approved a proposal by Rauff Hakeem, the Minister of City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education to implement a project and enter into agreements with the Lyca Group of the United Kingdom that has agreed to build a six storeyed building with a 6,500 Sq.M floor area including modern facilities with an investment of Rs.740 million and make the award to the Jaffna University through the Gnanam Foundation of Sri Lanka.

 

The Gnanam Foundation was founded in December 2010 by Billionaire Subaskaran Allirajah the Chairman of Lycamobile together with his mother Gnanambikai Allirajah and Co-Founder Mrs. Prema Subaskaran in order to provide help for marginalized communities and those who have been forgotten according to the foundation’s offsite website. The Gnanam Foundation is based on the ethos of ‘teach a person to fish’ in its project work, providing opportunities for people to develop skills to support themselves in the future.

 

According to media reports Subaskaran Allirajah’s name has also been flashed as key investor behind the Ben Holdings lead by Indrajit Alexis Lovell and consortium who invested in Sri Lanka’s failed financial and media power house – EAP Holdings lead by ETI, Swarnawahini and Swarnamahal Jewellers earlier owned by deceased lady billionaire Soma Edirisinghe and her kids after the company were faced with difficulties that lead to a share sale of the group.

 

In June 2016, according to international reputed media reports the offices of Lycamobile, owned by Sri Lankan born Billionaire Subaskaran Allirajah was raided by French Police, with 19 people working for the company arrested in connection with a multi-million pound tax and money laundering scandal. Lycamobile is the UK conservative Party’s biggest donor, which has given at least £ 2.2 million to former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s party since 2011, including half-a-million 2015 year alone, and also allowed Boris Johnson to use one of their call centres during his successful 2012 campaign to become Mayor of London, according to international media reports.

 

However, the Cabinet announcements in Sri Lanka said that the Medical Faculty of the University of Jaffna initiated in the year 1978 enrolling 65 students as its first intake, has now expanded as a faculty with 937 students.

 

“Even though the annual enrollment of the students with multi ethnic composition had been increased by now, in line with that the infrastructure such as lecture halls, laboratories, tutorial rooms, accommodating facilities have not been developed to facilitate them” the Cabinet decisions in Sri Lanka highlighted adding that thus the proposal by Rauff Hakeem, the Minister of City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education to implement a project and enter into agreements with the Lyca Group of the United Kingdom through the Gnanam Foundation of Sri Lanka was approved.

 

- Reporting by Devendra Francis