A fundamental rights petition has been filed in the Supreme Court demanding an order from the Attorney General to take immediate action against Minister of State Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera for misappropriation of state property.
The petition was filed by Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha Thero, Chief Incumbent of Nalandaramaya, Nugegoda.
State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance S.R. Attygalle has named the Governor of the Central Bank, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General has been named as the respondents to the petition.
The petitioner allege that it has been revealed that in 2014, the responsible Minister of State Ajith Nivard Cabraal, had paid US $ 6.5 million to Imad Shah Sukheri, a CIA agent, claiming that it was to enhance the image of Sri Lanka, without the approval of the Cabinet or the Government.
Imaad Shah Suberi (50) was sentenced to 144 months in federal prison for falsifying records to conceal his work as a foreign agent while lobbying high-level U.S. government officials, evading the payment of millions of dollars in taxes, making illegal campaign contributions, and obstructing a federal investigation into the source of donations to a presidential inauguration committee.
In November 2019, Zuberi pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging him with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by making false statements on a FARA filing, tax evasion, and making illegal campaign contributions. In June 2020, Zuberi pleaded guilty in a separate case to one count of obstruction of justice.
According to the US Justice Department, the Sri Lankan Government has hired him in 2014 to rehabilitate the country’s image in the United States, which had suffered because of allegations that its minority Tamil population had been persecuted. Sri Lanka has paid Zuberi a total of $6.5 millions.
He was also accused of causing huge losses through the Hedging Agreement.
The petitioner also points out that the respondent Secretary to the President, Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, has been charged several times by the Parliamentary COPE committee with embezzlement of public funds and the Supreme Court had ruled out that Mr. Jayasundara cannot bear any state positions.
The Thero said that the Parliamentary COPE Committee had leveled allegations against Dr. P.B. Jayasundara regarding a number of incidents including the privatization of the Insurance Corporation and the selling of shares in the Lanka Hospital.
Accordingly, Thiniyawala Palitha Thera has requested in the Fundamental Rights Petition in the Supreme Court, an immediate order to the IGP to conduct an investigation into allegations of misappropriation of public property, against the Minister of State for Finance and the Secretary to the President, and to direct the Attorney General to take immediate legal action against them.