Rajapaksa tells govt to stop ‘political revenge’
Sri Lanka’s beleaguered former president Mahinda Rajapaksa today asked the new government to stop “political revenge”, a day after his country home in the southern province was raided by police.
“Our family has been in politics since 1931. But never our homes came to be searched. I ask them to stop this political revenge,” 69-year-old Rajapaksa said in the central town of Kandy.
He was reacting to a raid of his country home in Tangalle in the district of Hambantota by police who were looking for a Lamborghini sports car but the search drew a blank.
Since the defeat at the hands of Maithripala Sirisena in the January 8 election, Rajapaksa has faced a tough time, with the new government accusing him of a failed coup attempt to deny Sirisena victory.
A complaint has been lodged against Rajapaksa and his family members over graft claims by the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a key partner of the new ruling coalition.
The state media has been showing visuals of the Rajapaksa family’s extravagant life styles.
He and his sons and two powerful brothers Gotabhaya and Basil have also been reported to the anti-graft commission.
A police unit which carried out a raid on a fire arms store belonging to Rakna Lanka, a security firm under the then defence ministry secretary Gotabhaya, said that some of the weapons have gone missing.
Out of the 3,473 fire arms in the inventory, only 151 were physically available.
The police also swooped on a floating armoury maintained by a private firm under contract to the Ministry of Defence.
The new Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake charged that over 7 billion rupees of Ministry of Defence monies had been deposited in an irregular bank account.
Mahinda Rajapaksa ruled since 2005 and is credited with ending the LTTE separatist war.