Founder of Sri Lankan Pathfinder Foundation Under Investigation for Bank Loan Fraud and Money Laundering Charges.!

-By A Special Correspondent

(Lanka-e-News -01.March.2024, 10.30 PM) The Pathfinder Foundation, established in 2008 under the leadership of its Founder, Milinda Moragoda, aimed to become one of Sri Lanka's leading independent policy research and advocacy organizations. However, recent developments have cast a shadow over its founder's reputation, as Milinda Moragoda finds himself embroiled in allegations of bank loan fraud and money laundering.

The Multi-Faceted Career of Milinda Moragoda

Milinda Moragoda's career has been diverse, spanning business, government, politics, diplomacy, academia, philanthropy, and the media. He has held significant positions such as being the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, Founder and Chairman of the MMBL-Pathfinder Group, and an advisor to various international panels and commissions. His extensive involvement in various sectors has garnered both praise and scrutiny.

Political Ambitions and Achievements

Moragoda's political journey includes serving as a Member of Parliament for a decade and holding several ministerial portfolios, including Economic Reform, Science and Technology, Tourism, and Justice. He spearheaded bold economic reform programs, initiated technology-driven initiatives, and championed justice and law reforms during his tenure. Additionally, his efforts in rehabilitating former child soldiers have been recognized internationally.

The Dual Role of Milinda Moragoda

Milinda Moragoda's simultaneous roles as the High Commissioner to India and the founder of Pathfinder Foundation have led to questions about potential conflicts of interest. While representing Sri Lanka's interests in India, Moragoda's foundation is suspected of engaging in covert activities aimed at countering Chinese influence in Sri Lanka. This duality has prompted concerns regarding transparency and diplomatic integrity.

Allegations of Anti-Chinese Activities

Recent revelations suggest that Pathfinder Foundation, under Moragoda's leadership, has been actively working against Chinese interests in Sri Lanka. Despite professing neutrality, the foundation allegedly lobbied against Chinese research vessels conducting projects within Sri Lankan territory. These clandestine efforts have ignited debates about the foundation's true motives and its impact on Sri Lanka's diplomatic relations with China.

The Veil of Neutrality

Pathfinder Foundation's stated mission of neutrality is at odds with allegations of anti-Chinese activities. By positioning itself as an independent think tank, the foundation has garnered credibility and influence both domestically and internationally. However, the revelation of its covert actions threatens to undermine its reputation as a neutral arbiter in policy research and advocacy.

Implications for Sri Lanka-China Relations

The alleged actions of Pathfinder Foundation carry significant implications for Sri Lanka-China relations. As China continues to assert its influence in the region through economic investments and infrastructure projects, Sri Lanka's stance towards Chinese interests is of paramount importance. The foundation's involvement in activities perceived as antagonistic towards China could strain bilateral relations and hinder diplomatic cooperation.

Calls for Transparency and Accountability

In light of these revelations, calls have emerged for Pathfinder Foundation and its founder, Milinda Moragoda, to uphold transparency and accountability in their actions. As a respected institution in Sri Lanka's policy landscape, the foundation must clarify its stance on Chinese interests and ensure that its activities align with principles of neutrality and integrity.                

Allegations of Bank Loan Fraud

Despite his achievements, allegations of bank loan fraud have surfaced against Moragoda and his family-owned company, Mercantile Credit. It is reported that Mercantile Credit obtained a substantial loan from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka under the pretext of institutional rehabilitation. However, the loan remains unpaid, amounting to billions of rupees, raising questions about accountability and financial mismanagement.

Money Laundering Investigations

Furthermore, concerns have been raised regarding potential money laundering activities involving investments made by Moragoda and his associate, a US citizen named Jenifer. Reports suggest that funds acquired through questionable means from the Sri Lankan Central Bank were used for investments, prompting calls for thorough investigations into these transactions. Allegations of illicit financial practices threaten to tarnish Moragoda's reputation and credibility.

Foreign Investment and Controversies

In addition to domestic issues, Moragoda's involvement in foreign investments has also attracted scrutiny. Reports indicate his investment in John Keels, a local agent of the Adani Group in Sri Lanka, which received substantial funding for a port project. The connection between Moragoda's investments and foreign interests raises concerns about transparency and conflicts of interest, further complicating the ongoing investigations.

As allegations of bank loan fraud and money laundering swirl around Milinda Moragoda, the founder of the Pathfinder Foundation, his once-illustrious career faces unprecedented challenges. The outcome of ongoing investigations will determine the future trajectory of both Moragoda and the organizations he is associated with. In the face of mounting evidence and public scrutiny, transparency and accountability must prevail to uphold the integrity of Sri Lanka's financial system and political landscape. The controversy surrounding Pathfinder Foundation's alleged anti-Chinese activities underscores the complexities of Sri Lanka's diplomatic relations in the Indo-Pacific region. As accusations mount against the foundation and its founder, Milinda Moragoda, the need for transparency and accountability becomes increasingly urgent. Only through open dialogue and adherence to ethical standards can Pathfinder Foundation regain public trust and uphold its reputation as an impartial think tank in Sri Lanka's policy discourse.

-By A Special Correspondent

by     (2024-03-01 17:38:55)

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