Bribery charges filed against former Sri Lanka president

Marxist group files for investigation into corruption by Mahinda Rajapaksa and several of his former ministers

Bribery charges filed against former Sri Lanka president

World Bulletin/News Desk

Days after losing power, Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has had a bribery case filed against him on Tuesday. 

The country's top Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Pramuna, lodged a six-page complaint alleging financial fraud by 12 senior politicians including Rajapaksa, his two brothers -- former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa -- and his eldest son, parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa.

A Janatha Vimukthi Pramuna parliamentarian, Wijitha Herath, told The Anadolu Agency that the complaint should not be misinterpreted as a political witch-hunt against the former regime but that there was a common perception that the former first family had illegally amassed wealth and this deserved a bribery investigation.

“This is not a political issue. This is about fighting graft in our country, and it should start at the very top,” Herath said.

Others included in the complaint were the former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, internal trade minister Johnston Fernando and ports minister Rohitha Abeygunewardane.

Rajapaksa had significant support among Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist majority for presiding over the government and army victory that ended the 27-year civil war with Tamil separatists in 2009. 

He was unpopular however with many in civil society and minority groups, who accused him of responsibility for alleged war crimes committed at the end of the war. 

These groups formed a large part of the coalition that gave Rajapaksa's former ally, Maitrhipala Sirisena, a surprise election victory on Friday. 

 

Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2015, 14:50
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