Sri Lanka Ex-Strongman’s Son Detained in Money Case
By Krishan Francis 1 February 2016
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A Sri Lankan court on Saturday ordered a son of the country’s former strongman leader detained during an investigation into money laundering allegations, an official said.
Yoshitha Rajapaksa, a navy officer and the second son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was arrested by financial crimes investigators after being questioned over his involvement in the management of a private television company and money laundering allegations that arose from it, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said.
The judge ordered the younger Rajapaksa held for 14 days, Gunasekara said.
He said Rohan Weliwita, media secretary to the former president, and former Sri Lankan cricketer and cricket administrator Nishantha Ranatunga were also arrested on the same allegations.
Yoshitha is the second member of the once-powerful family since Rajapaksa unexpectedly lost the election last year to be arrested for alleged offenses committed during his presidency. A brother who was a former government minister was arrested earlier and charged with misusing state funds.
The former president, his brothers and elder son were powerful in the government while Yoshitha was influential in the navy after enrolling to encourage youth to fight in the civil war against Tamil separatists.
The military’s victory ended the civil war in 2009.