By Lucien Rajakarunanayake
Public interest in the handling of fraud and crime that prevailed under the Rajapaksa Regime shows a new interest with the action by the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar over two key figures in the past regime. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary, and six others, were noticed to appear before the new court with regard to misappropriation of funds over construction of the D. A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial. This followed the High Court also issuing notice on Gamini Sedera Senarath, Chief of Staff of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and three others, on misuse of public funds under the Public Property Act, Penal Code and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
These cases mark a major change in what was seen as a long delay in the fight against corruption by of the former regime, which was a major pledge of the in the political campaign to defeat the re-election of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2015. There was major public concern about investigation and legal action delays on matters of corruption by those in the Rajapaksa Regime. This led to criticism by President Maithripala Sirisena over attempts to cover up some of these probes, and led to ministerial changes in the UNP branch of the ruling coalition.