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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2739

Arrest of Yoshita a political witch hunting: Police denied allegation

Colombo, 01 February, (Asiantribune.com):

“Political revenge and witch hunting should be confined to politicians and not be extended to their families”, said former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday after he visited his second son, Yoshitha, remanded at the Welikada Prison since Saturday night, on a charge of violating the Money Laundering Act. The former president spent a few minutes there with Yoshitha.

In the meantime, Police said, that former president's son, Navy Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa has functioned as the chairman of the Carlton Sports Network (CSN), and the company has raised its capital by illegal means.

But the former President told the media as he was leaving the prison, "They are trying to take revenge from my sons; remand me instead."

Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Rohan Weliwita, Nishantha Ranatunga and two others were remanded till Feb. 11 by Kaduwela Magistrates Court Dhammika Hemapala.

Political revenge and witch hunting should be confined to politicians and not be extended to their families, former president Mahinda Rajapakse said after visiting his son Yoshitha Rajapakse at Welikada Prison, who was arrested on Saturday.

Speaking to the media outside the magazine prison, Rajapakse said it would not matter if he was arrested and imprisoned in the government’s political witch hunt.

“One of the suspects, a doctor, was asked to give up Yoshitha’s name for his freedom or be imprisoned. The child has to sit for his exams on February 9 and 10. Forget what happened to my child, it is an inconvenience for said doctor just because he was a shareholder,” Rajapakse said.

Rajapakse’s eldest son and parliamentarian, Namal Rajapakse, who also visited his brother, said the government was engaged in a political witch hunt which spanned the entire hierarchy of the public service.

“It is not only the five of them who have been targeted but also other government officials who supported the previous government. They have a thirst to arrest people in a bid to dismantle the opposition,” he said.

Rajapske accused the government of arresting innocent individuals and charging them with false crimes, while boasting of being a democracy.

The MP went on to say the B report filed for the five suspects did not clearly state what they were charged for.

“It does not matter is they are engaged in a political witch hunt if they were fulfilling the needs of the people, but development programmes in the country have come to a halt. This government has spent most of their time on a witch hunt. Our only request is that they fulfill the needs of the people,” he said.

While the MP Namal Rajapaksa and the former CEO of CSN Nishantha Rantunga have repeatedly denied that the sons of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa were not officers of the CSN, evidence has clearly shown that Yoshitha Rajapaksa has carried out the duties as the chairman of the company, police media spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said in a statement.

The police said during investigations it was found that Rs. 234 million had been infused into the company as capital but earned only Rs. 7 million from the IPO. The rest of the sources were obtained by non-legitimate means from a foreign state, the police statement further said.

Information provided by the company on how it received funds was not reliable and the investigators have concluded that CSN has obtained its capital through money laundering.

During questioning the witnesses have not been able to convince the investigators that they were innocent of the charges, according to the provisions of the law they have been arrested and produced before the courts, the police said.

In addition to money laundering, the suspects have been accused of preparing forged documents, violating the Customs Act, misuse of state property and several other violations, the Police Media Spokesman's statement said.

- Asian Tribune -

Arrest of Yoshita a political witch hunting:  Police denied  allegation
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