Despite the Cabinet deciding to initiate legal action against the General Secretary of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), Susil Premajayantha, over failure to settle over Rs.142 million owed to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), the UPFA is insistent it won’t be paying.
Premajayantha at a press briefing on Thursday said that he was surprised to hear Cabinet makes decisions to go before courts against him over the issue while such a decision should be taken by the Attorney General’s Department and implemented by the Police.
At the Cabinet press briefing, which was also held on Thursday, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne stated that legal action will be taken against Premajayantha over failure to pay Rs.142.5 million owed to the SLTB for buses provided to transport supporters to UPFA rallies of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the last presidential election.
The UPFA General Secretary said that he obtained the documents from the SLTB and according to those documents he has no binding with that transaction. “An advance had been made by the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and I am the General Secretary of United People’s Freedom Alliance. Why should I bother on a transaction done by someone else?” he questioned. He also said that the SLTB can’t file a criminal case but only a civil case.
However, Premajayantha was not available at the head table when the Q and A session of the press briefing began to answer the question of “Collective responsibility of the UPFA as it comes under the SLFP.” The idea of collective responsibility was refuted by MPs Dullas Alahapperuma and Wimal Weerawansa and both the MPs were in a stance that any due or loss to the SLTB as well as Shalika Ground cannot be taken by the UPFA.
However, MP Premajayantha also said President Maithripala Sirisena has also a liability over this transaction as he is the Chairman of the party. “He can’t entertain only the assets, and he has also be take responsibility of the liabilities,” MP Premajayantha added at the beginning of the press briefing.