Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Charged with Corruption

by BBC, August 31, 2016

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa during a Buddhist ceremony in Colombo on March 21, 2012

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was one of Sri Lanka’s most powerful men when his brother was in office. GETTY IMAGES

One of Sri Lanka’s most controversial politicians has been charged with corruption involving the illegal transfer of state-owned weapons.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is charged with allowing a private firm to establish a floating armoury.

It is claimed the move deprived the state of more than $75m (£57m).

Mr Rajapaksa, who denies wrongdoing, served as defence secretary during the presidency of his brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, which ended last year.

The charges were filed in a Colombo magistrates court by a special anti-corruption commission.

The discovery of the floating arsenal off southern Sri Lanka, and of another weapons haul in the capital, came in the days after Mahinda Rajapaksa was voted out of office.

Rajapaksa family’s crashing fall from grace

Private firm Avant-Garde Security Service said the weapons were for escorting commercial ships, but police said they received complaints that the firearms were used for intimidation.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has also been dogged by accusations, which he denies, of human rights abuses linked to the final defeat of Tamil Tiger militants in 2009.

Several other members of the Rajapaksa family are also under investigation over alleged corruption.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena arrives to address the nation from outside the Buddhist Temple of Tooth in the central town of Kandy (11 January 2015)

President Maithripala Sirisena has promised to investigate accusations against the Rajapaksa family. AFP

Earlier this month, Namal Rajapaksa, the eldest son of Mahinda, was arrested on suspicion of money-laundering. He denies wrongdoing.

Namal’s brother, Yoshitha, faces money-laundering charges while Mahinda’s other brother, Basil, the former economic development minister, has been arrested three times over suspected misuse of funds and money-laundering. He is currently on bail.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has promised to investigate claims that members of the Rajapaksa family siphoned off billion of dollars of public money during Mahinda’s nearly 10-year presidency.

The former president, now an opposition lawmaker, has also been heavily criticised over alleged human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan military during a long-running war with Tamil separatists.


Gota charged by Bribery Commission soon after meeting President Sirisena

by Political Editor, ‘The Sunday Times,’ September 4, 2016

…Days after the Maithripala Sirisena – Gotabaya Rajapaksa meeting, in what seemed a surprise development, the Commission to Probe Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) indicted Gotabaya Rajapaksa and eight others. They stand charged with causing Rs 11.4 billion loss to the Government by permitting Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt.) to operate a floating armoury.  Indicted together were three former Commanders of the Sri Lanka Navy – Somatilleke Dissanayake, Jayanath Colombage and Jayantha Perera.  Under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution the CIABOC is an autonomous body,

Others were retired Major General Palitha Fernando, a one-time Military Liaison Officer of the Ministry of Defence, one-time Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Sujatha Damayanthi, former Army Special Forces officer Major Nissanka Senadipathy, Chairman of Avant Garde and Karunaratne Banda Adhikari.  They have been noticed to appear in Courts on September 30 before the Colombo Chief Magistrate.  The Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt.) is also the subject of a separate investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)…

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