Investigators resume probe against Rajapaksa regime

Colombo, Aug 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s new government on Friday re-started a corruption probe against the former government headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa 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 alleged misappropriation of funds when he was in power, reports Xinhua.

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

The United National Front (UNF) government had earlier begun a corruption probe against Rajapaksa, his family and former senior ministers for alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to billions of rupees during their decade long tenure in office.

However, the probe came to a halt due to parliamentary elections held on Monday. The UNF returned to power, defeating the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

Rajapaksa’s younger brother and UPFA member Basil Rajapkse, who was the economic development minister in the former cabinet, and former minister Johnston Fernando were arrested in April and May in the corruption probe but were later granted bail by a court.

Rajapaksa’s defence secretary and brother Gotabaya Rajapakse, former first lady Shiranthi Rajapakse and her son Nimal are also facing a probe over a series of allegations.

Rajapaksa’s second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa has been allegedly connected to the death of former international rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, whose body was exhumed this month from a Muslim burial ground. Investigators launched a fresh probe 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.

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