The government has filed legal action against several persons including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa over failure to settle a bill of Rs.142.5 million owed to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB).

Speaking to The Nation, Minister of Internal Transport, Ranjith Maddumabandara said a case was filed on July 30 (Thursday) at the Colombo District Court against several persons regarding the failure to pay Rs.142.5 million owed to the SLTB for buses provided to transport supporters to rallies of former President Rajapaksa during the last Presidential Election. The move comes following a Cabinet decision to take legal action over failure by the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) to settle the payments despite repeated requests to do so, the minister noted.

Former President Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and former President Rajapaksa’s Chief of Staff, Gamini Senarath have been named as defendants in the case, Maddumabandara further disclosed.

When The Nation queried about naming Mahinda Rajapaksa as a defendant, as the UPFA had maintained that he was not personally liable, Minister Maddumabandara shot back as to how that  could be as Rajapaksa was the UPFA’s presidential candidate and it was for his benefit that the buses were procured.