Information has come to light how Minister Sumedha G Jayasena is alleged to have abused her privileges as a Parliamentarian by selling her duty free vehicle permit, and subsequently using a member of the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) to intimidate the buyer of her duty free vehicle, who had evaded payment.
According to a police complaint lodged to the OIC of the Monaragala Special Investigation Unit, Jayasena had said that on February 5, 2004, a person by the name of Mohammed Jemeel Mohammed Afan had visited her and asked her if she was interested to sell the Jeep she purchased from her duty free permit granted to MPs, when she had said that she wanted to sell the vehicle for Rs. 2,200,000, Afan had assured that he can sell the vehicle, which was a Tata Jeep for more than that. Subsequently, the middle man had brought a man by the name of N. W. B. Sirisena, and had said he was the buyer. The contract was signed for Rs. 2,050,000 and Rs. 1,000,000 was paid, while the balance amount was to be paid after the documents were changed to the new owner’s name.
The vehicle was given to the new owners after the advance was paid. However, the issue cropped up when despite changing the documents to the new owners name, the middle man and neither the new owner of the vehicle had paid the balance. An annoyed Jayasena had then sent members of her security staff to obtain the balance money for the vehicle, however, Asaf had continuously avoided Jayasena and her MSD personnel and she had then resorted to seek redress by lodging a complaint with the police.
According to the police report, despite the fact that Jayasena herself had abused her parliamentary privileges by selling the vehicle she purchased from the duty free car permit given to her, the fact that Asaf had avoided paying the full amount for the vehicle is a punishable offence.
In 2004, Jayasena was the Minister of Social Services and she is also the incumbent Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife under the current unity government. She is a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
Jayasena’s duty free vehicle permit incident came to light recently when Public Interest Rights Activist and lawyer, Nagananda Kodituwakku submitted a complaint against Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe to the Chairman of the Commission. In the complaint, Kodituwakku alleged that Wickramasinghe was abusing her position at CIABOC and was not investigating MPs who were abusing their tax-free permits . In July, Kodituwakku told the Supreme Court that MPs were making as much as Rs. 25 million by selling their duty free vehicles.
In August, Colombo Telegraph reported how Deputy Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe, had imported a Toyota Land Cruiser in June 2016 using his duty free permit and had immediately transferred the vehicle to a buyer by the name of Ali Akbar Salehbhai on the very same day.