In the midst of continuing differences between President Mahinda Rajapakse and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, a heated exchange of words had reportedly taken place between the two when officials of the President`s office attempted to take back two state-owned vehicles used by Ms. Kumaratunga`s staff.
This incident had taken place in the wake of a number of reports criticising the unusually large staff of 260 and the 32 vehicles including 4 bullet proof cars allocated to the former President on her stepping down from the presidency.
The two vehicles had been assigned to the former Presidential Secretary and the Additional Secretary when Ms. Kumaratunga was in office.
Ms. Kumaratunga who is now residing at the Horagolla Walauwa had arrived in Colombo for a meeting with the Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi when she came in for a rude shock on being told of the move to take back the two vehicles.
An angry Ms. Kumaratunga had grabbed the phone and spoken to President`s Secretary, Lalith Weeratunga and not stopping at that she had then called President Rajapakse when the matter was finally sorted out and the vehicles once again returned to Ms. Kumaratunga`s office. Mr. Weeratunga was not available for comment yesterday but Additional Secretary D.S. Gunaratne said he was not aware as to what exactly happened but Mr. Weeratunga had told him the matter was resolved amicably.