Avant Garde issued 3,400 weapons in violation of international maritime laws, claims Rajitha

ordinary people get remanded for possessing a few firearms

by Zacki Jabbar

Avant Garde had issued 3,400 weapons in violation of international maritime laws, but those who controlled the company had gone scot free, says Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne.

When lesser people were caught with a few firearms they were hauled up before courts and remanded, but a company controlled by the VVIP’s boys in the Rajapaksa regime which had issued 3,400 weapons were moving about freely aided by some incumbent ministers and they were laughing all the way to the bank, Senaratne told a news conference in Colombo on Friday.

“I who fought against corruption and family bandyism had to answer court summons many times even after I became a minister in this government. That is because I respect the law and did not try to use undue influence.”

Senaratne alleged that some of those who were paid by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were also in the current Cabinet, having the best of both worlds.

In answer to a question, he said that the authorities should also probe the allegation made by Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and Empowerment Ranjan Ramanayake that there were ‘other ministers’ in the current administration who had been bribed to protect criminals.

The Minister observed that UNPers who had switched on their mobile phones for ex-President Rajapaksa to listen to the proceedings of their Working Committee, Parliamentary Group and other party meetings were also in the Cabinet.”

The irony of the situation is that those in the UNP and SLFP who did wrong and openly flouted the orders of their leaders were not only seated with us but also dictating terms.”