Rajapaksa’s Brother Barred from Leaving Sri Lanka
COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan court today imposed a travel ban on Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former defence secretary and brother of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, and impounded his passport amid a probe into huge private floating arsenals set up during the previous regime when he was in office.
A magistrate court in the southern port city of Galle issued an order preventing Gotabhaya – the powerful defence secretary under his brother’s administration – and three others from leaving the country until the conclusion of investigation.
The court also impounded their passports, police said. “Police investigating the Avant-Garde Security Service floating armoury case sought and secured a ban on their travel abroad,” police said in a statement.
In January, shortly after the defeat of the President Rajapaksa, a ship carrying 12 container loads of weapons was discovered in Galle.
The ship was carrying over 3,000 automatic weapons, including machine guns. A probe is on to locate thousands of weapons, that have disappeared from the inventories of Sri Lanka’s security forces and are thought to have been transferred to individuals, according to investigators.
The security firm has said its floating armoury was legal and authorised by Gotabhaya. The private company – Avant-Garde Security Service – which maintained the armouries had provided security to ships against the Somali pirates. It was alleged that the Sri Lanka Navy had lost income due to the floating armouries maintained by the company.