Free Press Journal

New Lankan govt resumes probe against Rajapaksa loyalists


Mahinda RajapaksaMahinda Rajapaksa

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s new government has resumed investigations against members of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime for alleged misdeeds soon after Monday’s parliamentary polls saw his bid to make a political comeback shattered. Four of his loyalists who were part of his government were summoned to the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) of the police yesterday while a prominent Rajapaksa backer and former minister Wimal Weerawansa was today summoned to record a statement.

Among those who gave statements yesterday were Rajapaksa’s Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Cabraal, and a newly-elected MP and another prominent Rajapaksa backer Udaya Gammanpila.

Cabraal’s quizzing was over the losses made in 2006 in hedging in petroleum purchases while Gammanpila’s questioning was over a complaint lodged by an Australian over a share deal.

Weerawansa’s wife was also quizzed yesterday. “Mr Weerawansa was questioned today over his assets,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. The formation of the FCID and its investigations involving the former administration’s top officials has been criticised by the opposition as a political witch-hunt.

The investigations were halted on the advice of the Commissioner of Elections during the run up to Monday’s election from mid-July. The new government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected on the pledge, among other things, to cleanse the public life by eliminating corruption. Rajapaksa’s wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa, son Namal and brothers Basil and Gotabhaya, all have been quizzed before.

Basil Rajapaksa, the powerful Economic Development Minister between 2010-2015, was remanded late April for alleged misappropriation.