By Bert Gunawardana
There were huge signs of relief in the public service when the one time Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga was acquitted by the The Court of Appeal from the ‘Sil Redi’ distribution case. He was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga on 7 September 2017, after being found guilty to the charge of misappropriating Rs.600 million belonging to the TRC and using it to distribute ‘Sil Redi’ during the 2015 presidential election campaign.
Colombo High Court also imposed a fine of Rs.2 million on each of the convicts and ordered to pay Rs.50 million to the TRC as compensation. Later, an appeal was filed against the High Court verdict by the Lawyers of Weeratunga and Palpita.was acquitted by the Court of Appeal. PB Jayasundare was closely watching the outcome of the case because his job was at stake. He had been given the job on trial by the Rajapakse brothers according to The media. Jayasundare has been a disaster from the word go for the President. His bloated ego got the better of him . Many of the appointments to key economic centers were selected by him and he did simply what he wanted not what the President wanted. He made the President unpopular by cutting and chopping people in the public service.
His favorites were given plum jobs. In one case the Husband and wife both were given Board Appointments in state banks. His consultancy assignments prior to assuming the post Secretary was in the Private Sector. It is alleged that all those institutions have benefited, including port city where he has people close to him working with Port City. The project supervision is under the President’s office, His decisions on the importation of Tumeric and now sugar has only benefited certain people.
The Chief Incumbent of the Abhayarama Temple in Colombo who played an active role in voting the current ruling faction into power, in disgust said some of the close allies and followers of Gotabaya Rajapaksa are scoundrels and do not have a proper personality. He went on to say that PB Jayasundara was good then but with him around the President would never achieve his vision of a pro-proud Sri Lanka. Many ministers are astonished with the way the President seemingly tolerates the excesses of his Secretary.
A senior member of the SLPP in anonymity told LNW that PB Jayasundare will do what Arjuna Mahendran did to the Yahapalana government and only the President will have himself to blame if the “Sir Fail” campaign is fueled due to bad decision making by his cohorts.