Sri Lankan investigators recommence corruption probe against former regime

COLOMBO, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka’s new United National Front (UNF) government on Friday re-started a corruption probe against the former government headed by Mahinda Rajapakse by questioning a former senior minister.

Wimal Weerawansa, the previous health minister, was questioned by officers of the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) on Friday over the misappropriation of funds when he was in power.

His wife Sashi Weerawansa was also summoned to the FCID on Thursday to make a statement regarding the assets she owned.

The UNF government who was temporarily sworn to power following the victory of Maithripala Sirisena in a January presidential election had begun a corruption probe against Rajapakse, his family and former senior ministers for alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to billions during their decade long tenure in office.

However, the probe came to a halt due to a parliamentary election held in the country on Monday which elected the UNF back to power as they won a majority in parliament, defeating the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

4Rajapakse’s younger brother and UPFA member Basil Rajapkse who was the economic development minister in the former cabinet and the former minister of Internal Trade Johnston Fernando were arrested by the police in April and May in the corruption probe but were later granted bail by a High Court.

Rajapakse’s defence secretary and brother, Gotabaya Rajapakse, the former first lady Shiranthi Rajapakse and her son are also facing a probe in the country over a series of allegations during their 10 year term in power.

Rajapakse’s second son, Yoshitha Rajapakse has been allegedly connected to the death of former international rugby player, Wasim Thajudeen, whose body was exhumed earlier this month from a Muslim burial ground as investigators launched a fresh investigation over the manner in which he died.

Thajudeen was believed to have been killed in a car crash in 2012, but later there was suspicion that he may have been murdered.

Editor: Song Miou
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