Why is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa spending millions on lawyers to get injunction order to prevent his arrest? asked Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday. “If he is not guilty, he should appear in court,” he added. Responding to remarks made by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that the former was scared of him, Minister Samaraweera said, “Yes I am and it is not only ‘I but many in this country are. I personally know what he is capable of”.
Addressing a media briefing at his Ministry yesterday, the minister read the list of cases in court the former Defence Secretary is suspected to have been involved in.
He read: According to Police reports, Rajapaksa is suspected to have intervened in:
- The alleged facilitation of an irregular diplomatic passport for Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman,
- In the alleged abduction and assault of Nation editor Keith Noyar by army intelligence officers,
- In the alleged murder of Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wickramatunga by Army Intelligence Officers,
- For the alleged assault of Rivira editor Upali Tennekoon by Army Intelligence Officers,
- For the alleged abduction and disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda by Army Intelligence Officers
- In the alleged Welikada massacre of 26 prisoners
- For the alleged shooting of pubic protesters in Weliweriya in 2013 which led to the death of three civilians.
“We are not making unfounded allegations,” the Minister said. “These Army officers who had no enmity towards these people. It is very clear that they were following orders,” he further said. “I can clearly state that it was Gotabhaya Rajapaksa behind this, the man we should all fear”.
With regards to corruption, he noted Rajapaksa’s alleged involvement in the Avant Garde deal, the D.A.Rajapaksa memorial and the MiG deal which has an astounding USD 7.8 million allegedly being stolen through a shell company in England. “His parents should be commemorated but not with alleged stolen money. If they were alive, they would be very disappointed that their children did this,” Samaraweera said.
Samaraweera also refuted allegations made by Rajapaksa that he went to meet the latter during the last Presidential election. “In October of 2014, the Rajapaksas including Gotabhaya Rajapaksa asked to meet me. I told them to come meet me if they wanted and Mahinda Rajapaksa came to my house,” he said.
“They allege that the Prime minister too has crimes, but he never hid. When Batalanda came up, he faced the Presidential Commission. Similarly, when he was called before the Bond Commission, he faced that too, the minister said.