18/11/2013 12:28 GMT | Updated 19/11/2013 04:10 GMT

David Cameron Urged To Probe Tory Donor Lycamobile's Links To Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa gestures as he answers a question during a media briefing a day ahead of Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. Sri Lanka denies any rights abuses were committed by its forces. It balks at demands for an independent investigation, with the country's president defending Sri Lanka's actions in comments to reporters Thursday. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

David Cameron has been urged to investigate why the Tory Party took over £420,000 from the telecoms group Lycamobile, which has close links to Sri Lanka's controversial President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop told the Huffington Post UK: "The Prime Minister knows his party has received over £420k from a company closely associated with the Sri Lankan regime. He was obviously so concerned that his own MPs were recently prevented from visiting there.

The MP, who has written directly to the Prime Minister, added: "So in the interests of transparency I want to know if the Prime Minister is going to investigate why his party has received over £420k from this company so closely associated with the Sri Lankan government."

Telecoms giant Lycamobile has donated £426,292 to the Tories since 2011 and was "Gold Sponsors" of the Commonwealth Business Forum, which happened in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that took place last Friday.


The Rajapaksa government's human rights record has sparked international outcry as it is accused of committing war crimes in the civil war with Tamil separatists in 2009. The prime ministers of India, Canada and Mauritius all boycotted the CHOGM, while David Cameron was branded an "imperialist" for calling for war crimes allegations to be investigated.

david cameron mahinda rajapaksa

Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa greets David Cameron at the CHOGM

Labour leader Ed Miliband called for President Rajapaska to not take over the chairmanship of the Commonwealth for the next two years due to "serious reservations" about his "suitability".

Hastings Trading e Serviços, a Portuguese company owned by the Lyca Group, bought a 95% share in a dormant firm registered with Rajapaksa's nephew, Himal Lalindra Hettiarachchi, in 2009, according to the Sunday Leader.

Lyca's travel agency Lycafly became the preferred partner of Sri Lankan Airlines, which is chaired by Rajapaksa's brother-in-law, Corporate Watch reported. Lycafly now promote themselves as Sri Lankan Airlines' "top agents".

The firm went on to win a major licence to manage cutting-edge "WiMax" broadband frequencies in Sri Lanka, which forced the state telecom firm that failed to get the licence to merge with it at a cost of $100 million.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett told the Huffington Post UK: "It's no wonder that we have a crisis in confidence in our democracy when business interests and those of our politicians are so closely intertwined.

"The fact that our largest political parties rely on massive business funding draws questions about the motives for their actions."

In response to Blenkinsop's call to investigate Lycamobile, a Conservative Party spokesman said: “Donations to the Conservative Party are fully and transparently declared to the electoral commission and published on their website.”

See also:

Ten Tory Donors You Need To Know