Termites Attack Fonseka’s Dollars

Termites Attack Fonseka’s Dollars

A Legal Battle Ends, But Nature Takes Its Toll: The Case of Field Marshal Fonseka’s Campaign Funds

In a recent turn of events, Sri Lankan Member of Parliament, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, regained access to campaign funds that were frozen by the government for over a decade. However, what started as a legal victory was met with an unexpected setback upon accessing the funds – significant damage caused by termites.

Frozen Funds and Legal Tussle:

The story began in 2010 when Fonseka, then a presidential candidate, received USD 527,000 and 100 Sterling Pounds in campaign donations. These funds were deposited in a private bank account but were later frozen due to legal proceedings. Fonseka claimed ownership of the funds, and after a lengthy legal battle, the high court ruled in his favour, granting him permission to withdraw them.

Discovery of Termite Damage:

Elated by the court’s decision, Fonseka visited the bank to retrieve his funds. However, upon opening the safe, he encountered a shocking discovery: a large portion of the cash had been devoured by termites. The remaining foreign currency notes were discolored, faded, and some were even no longer in circulation. Only around Rs. 50 million (approximately USD 139,000) remained usable.

Seeking Compensation:

Faced with this unexpected loss, Fonseka wrote to the Finance Ministry, requesting compensation for the termite damage. He argued that the bank was responsible for safeguarding the funds and should bear the responsibility for the loss.

Unresolved Questions:

Several questions remain unanswered. The cause of the termite infestation within the bank’s vault remains unclear. Additionally, the legal responsibility and potential course of action regarding Fonseka’s compensation request are yet to be determined.

Beyond the Headlines:

This case transcends the financial implications for Fonseka. It raises questions about campaign finance regulations, legal procedures, and the responsibility of financial institutions in safeguarding deposited funds. While the legal battle regarding ownership may be over, the issue of accountability and potential compensation for the termite damage adds another layer of complexity to this already intricate story.

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