World Neighbours 15 Aug 2016 Sri Lankan police ar ...

Sri Lankan police arrests former President Rajapaksa's eldest son

PTI | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Aug 15, 2016, 8:05 pm IST
Updated Aug 15, 2016, 8:07 pm IST
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Photo: AFP)
 Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Photo: AFP)

Colombo: Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's eldest son was on Monday arrested for a second time for his alleged involvement in a fresh money-laundering case.

Namal Rajapaksa, 30, was arrested by the police's Financial Crime Investigations Division (FCID) and produced before the Colombo Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne who ordered him to be remanded till August 22.

He faces money laundering charges over financial transactions involving his legal firm, his lawyer Premananda Dolewatta said.

Namal, the United Peoples' Freedom Alliance Hambantota district MP, was arrested in July on charges of using money given by an Indian firm to sponsor a rugby match, for personal use, reports said. He was released on bail after spending a week in remand.

He is the second of the three sons of former Sri Lankan strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa to have spent time in jail for alleged financial misappropriation.

Namal's younger brother, Yoshitha, was previously arrested by FCID and was released on bail after being in remand over another business deal involving a sports television channel.

Other than Namal, several members of the Rakapaksa family are facing police investigations for alleged financial crimes. They include Rajapaksa, who was president for a decade until 2015, his brothers Basil and Gotabaya, and his wife Shiranthi.

The Rajapaksas claim that the investigations are a political witch-hunt against them and their sympathisers believe these allegations were brought to tarnish his name after he led the Lankan forces to victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, ending a nearly three-decade war.

President Maithripala Sirisena, who came to power on a pledge to eradicate corruption, is under pressure to act on the allegations against Rajapaksa and those who served in his administration.

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