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No govt. has harassed opposition’s families like ‘Yamapalayana’ - Mahinda

No govt. has harassed opposition’s families like ‘Yamapalayana’ - Mahinda

August 17, 2017   04:51 pm

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the “Yamapalanaya” is engaged in a desperate attempt to deflect public attention by hauling members of his family to the Criminal Invesatigation Department (CID) and the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), as their corruption comes to light in dramatic and unexpected ways.

Issuing a media release in light of the recent incidents involving his family members, teh former President said that the “extent of the panic in the Yamapalana Government is evident in the shrill announcement that special courts [would] be established to hear cases involving the Rajapaksas.” He further cited this to be a violation of the constitutional provisions relating to the equality of all persons before the law and the presumption of innocence.

He also stated that the media reports generated as a result of the unfolding of the past week were what really mattered to the present Government, rather than the actual content of the statements obtained from his family members.

Rajapaksa went on to elaborate that a “pro-yamapalana website” had posted a story about the questions that Yoshitha Rajapaksa was supposed to have been asked, within minutes of him giving the statement.

The unedited media release issued by the former President is as follows:

Attempt to deflect public attention from yamapalana corruption scandals

Three members of my family – my wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa and our younger sons Yoshitha and Rohitha were questioned by the CID and FCID this week. My wife was asked why the colour of a jeep that had been made available by the Red Cross to her charity SiriliyaSaviya in 2011 and used by the Presidential Secretariat had been changed. International NGOs make their vehicles available to local charities once their projects are over. My wife had told the CID that she knows nothing about the maintenance or repair of vehicles used by the Presidential Secretariat. On Wednesday, the CID obtained a statement from my son Yoshitha on the same matter. He had been asked whether he had given instructions to anyone to change the colour of this vehicle. To this Yohitha had replied in the negative and explained that the transport division of the presidential secretariat maintains the vehicles and gets them painted if necessary. He had been asked whether he had used this jeep as his back up vehicle to which he had replied that it is the PSD that assigns any available vehicle for his back up team and that he had no role in the matter.

For the first time, my youngest son Rohitha was also hauled before the FCID on Tuesday.  He was asked whether he was a shareholder of ‘Supreme Sat’ which was the first Sri Lankan company to be involved in the launch of a communications satellite. Rohitha had explained that he does not hold any shares in Supreme Sat directly or indirectly and that he was a paid employee of that company with the designation of Technical Director from July 2012 to July 2014 after which he left to concentrate on higher studies. The FCID had thereupon wanted to know whether he had helped Supreme Sat to get their licences. Rohitha had explained that by the time he joined Supreme Sat in 2012, they had already acquired their licence and that he had been introduced to Supreme Sat by a Chinese businessman who had come to South Hampton University in England to recruit new graduates for his company.

South Hampton is the only University in Britain running a course in Space Systems Engineering. Seven students graduated in 2012 one of whom was Rohitha. The satellite that was launched in 2012 is owned by the Chinese government and Supreme Sat which is a Sri Lankan private sector entity has leased six of the 36 transponders on the satellite with a view to providing satellite communication services to Sri Lankan customers. I have been informed that the main investor in this company is a prominent Singaporean businessman.

What the people saw this week is a part of the yamapalana propaganda offensive against me, my family and the entire opposition. Members of my family are told to appear before various police units and the police plant the story in the media that this is to obtain statements about the Tajudeen matter. What is important to the yamapalana government are the media reports generated – not the contents of the statements obtained. When my youngest son Rohitha was summoned by the FCID, pro-yamapalana websites claimed falsely that hundreds of millions of rupees of government money had been spent on sending a satellite into orbit. In actual fact, there was no involvement of the Sri Lankan  government in this satellite services company at all. The CID and the FCID are with the government in this propaganda offensive. Last Wednesday, within minutes of Yoshitha having given his statement to the CID, a pro-yamapalana website posted a story about the questions that he is supposed to have been asked.  

As the corruption of the yamapalana government comes to light in dramatic and unexpected ways, they are engaged in a desperate attempt to deflect public attention by hauling members of my family to the CID and FCID. The extent of the panic in the yamapalana government is evident in the shrill announcement that special courts will be established to hear cases involving the Rajapaksas. This is in complete violation of the constitutional provisions relating to the equality of all persons before the law and the presumption of innocence. Even if such a special court is set up, what is the evidence that can be placed before this court?  The government claims that properties worth Rs. five billion belonging to members of my family had been seized by the state or courts of law. This is a complete falsehood. 

No property belonging to any member of my family has been seized by the state or any court of law. What the government has been trying to do is to claim that properties belonging to other people actually belong to us, and in the process they have caused terrible harassment to certain individuals. No member of my family has been found to be in possession of liquid or fixed assets, the provenance of which cannot be explained. Every member of the public knows that the same cannot be said about Ministers of the yamapalana government. No previous government has harassed the families of opposition politicians in the manner of the present yamapalana government.

Mahinda Rajapaksa,
Former President of Sri Lanka

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