Home International Sri Lanka Opposition Demands Sacking Of Anti-Graft Chief

Sri Lanka Opposition Demands Sacking Of Anti-Graft Chief

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COLOMBO, April 21, 2015: Sri Lanka main opposition appealed that the countries anti-graft to be sacked for ordering former president Mahinda Rajapakse to answer bribery allegations in parliament.

Bandula Gunawardane told the parliament that the director general of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe should be sacked for irresponsible questions on Tuesday.

Wickramasinghe has ordered Rajapakse to appear on Friday following a complaint that he paid a bribe of more than 600 million rupees ($4.6 million) to the lawmaker from the then-opposition to defeat ahead of the presidential election in January.

A written request was signed by 113 lawmakers asking the president to remove Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe, said Gunawardane, who is from Rajapakse’s faction.

Corruption investigation was launched against Rajajapakse’s inner circle by new President Maithripala Sirisena since removing him at the election after a decade in power.

Rajapakse’s opposition disrupted parliament for a second day over the ordering, holding up passage of Sirisena’s promised reforms to roll back the president’s powers, which were strengthened during the former strongman’s rule. Hundreds of Rajapakse supporters blocked a main road to parliament, demanding investigations against him to be dropped.

Speaker Chamal Rajapakse told parliament that investigators would now visit the former president, rather than insisting on him appearing before the commission on Friday to answer questions. Due to voter anger over corruption and cronyism claims Rajapakse was defeated by his former ally.

But still Rajapakse’s party and its allies still hold a majority in the parliament. Parliament leader Lakshman Kiriella withdrew a political reform bill that was due to be taken up on Tuesday and said that it would now be re-presented next week. Parliament was also hold  till Monday.
However, Sirisena states to dissolve parliament and call a general election as early as Thursday in a bid to strengthen his numbers in parliament and bolster his mandate for sweeping democratic reforms.

There was no immediate word from the government if Sirisena would stick to his original schedule.
Rajapakse’s former defence secretary brother Gotabhaya, widely seen as the main power behind the former president, has also been ordered  to the anti-graft panel this week, but he has reportedly asked for more time to prepare.

Court already banned travel on Gotabhaya and an arrest warrant has been issued for another brother Basil, who was former economic  development minister. Basil flew away to island soon after the election defeat.
 

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