Dec 03, 2016

Prominent Minister 'desperate' to safeguard Rajapaksa clan Featured

An UNP minister within the Unity Government is exerting pressure on the police and investigating institutions engaged in investigating fraud and corruption charges against the Rajapaksa clan, in a bid to safeguard the Rajapaksas, a group of high ranking officials had informed the President during a meeting held last Thursday.

Subsequent to the telephone conversation to the IGP during a public event in Ratnapura and the media highlighting the issue, President Sirisena had summoned senior officials of the investigating bodies and questioned them individually regarding the pressure they face when conducting these investigations.

The president had admitted in parliament that the actions of the IGP was wrong, when questioned by the JVP parliamentarian.

Civil society groups and online social media networks have persuasively urged the president to sack the IGP over this incident.

Ability to oust him?

However, despite the pressure the president does not have the power to remove the IGP.

Such an appointment made by the president on the recommendations of the constitutional Council can be removed only through a no confidence motion brought in parliament.

These officials have informed the president that in most of the investigations being carried out, the said minister has been pressuring them and that they had to work under political interference which hampers their independent investigations.

Splitting up the SLFP:

The officials had informed the president that they are being pressurised to drop the investigations of the former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in particular.

It was revealed that while the Minister in question was in the opposition, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had supported him in his business ventures and Gotabhaya is also a very close pal of the minister’s older brother.

The Minister’s brother is currently holding a prominent position in a government media institution.

However, the SLFP seniors had informed the president previously that there is a strong suspicion that this minister maybe acting on the instructions of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and protecting the Rajapaksa clan with the intention of splitting up the SLFP.