brand logo
Repatriation of stolen assets will stabilise SL: Sumanthiran

Repatriation of stolen assets will stabilise SL: Sumanthiran

16 Nov 2023 | BY Sahan Tennekoon

  • TNA welcomes Budget proposals except military allocation 

The lawmakers should make laws to bring stolen assets which have been parked outside of the country back to Sri Lanka as such a move alone could make the country financially stable, claimed Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Opposition Parliamentarian, President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran.

He expressed these views in Parliament yesterday (15) during the second reading debate of the Budget for 2024. Speaking further, MP Sumanthiran noted that the Supreme Court (SC) could have ordered former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Finance Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa (the latter is a former President and Prime Minister also) and Basil Rajapaksa, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabraal, former Treasury and Finance Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, and others accountable for the ongoing economic crisis in the country to pay a certain amount of compensation. However, he welcomed the SC's decision.

He added that every citizen is entitled to make such a claim since those who have been named by the SC as perpetrators have stolen the public money, parked those assets in foreign countries and that such has in turn led this country towards bankruptcy. Therefore, he said that those responsible people, especially the Rajapaksas, should be asked to bring the stolen money back, which could recover the country’s failing economy.

He also noted that Jayasundara was earlier ordered by the SC not to hold any public office, but that as soon as Mahinda Rajapaksa became the President, that particular order was reversed, thus paving the way for him (Jayasundara) to return as the then Treasury and Finance Secretary. He also said that that decision was the first instance where the country’s bankruptcy started. “In the case of Vasudeva Nanayakkara vs. K.N. Choksy and Others, the SC ruled that Jayasundara is not capable of holding any public office. He gave an affidavit to the SC regarding this. But, when Mahinda Rajapaksa came into power, Jayasundara appealed to the SC to withdraw his affidavit. After the then Chief Justice (CJ) retired, his successor CJ Asoka de Silva and all the other Justices who were hearing the case, except Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane who wrote a dissenting judgement, said that Jayasundara can withdraw his affidavit. After that, he returned to the office and all this started from that point,” he said.

He therefore said that this judgement can be considered as a landmark judgment in history but that the SC could have ordered them to pay compensation as it was decided in the recent fundamental rights case against former President Maithripala Sirisena. However, the petitioners in the instant case had not sought compensation. 

He noted that the TNA would welcome several Budget proposals which granted benefits to public servants, the Northern and Eastern community as well as to fishermen, but that it (TNA) would not endorse allocating such a large amount of money for the armed forces even at a time when there is no civil war.

More News..