Only a few days ahead of parliamentary elections next Monday, 17th August, the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasingha launched two criminal investigations aganst sons of the former President that could Mahinda Rajapaksa, who tries to come back as Sri Lanka’s next Prime Minister. One is a summons served on Rajapaksa’s eldest son, Namal Rajapaksa, by Sri Lanka’s Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), Namal Rajapaksa is said to have been the heir apparent of his father, who should have become the next President within a few years, had his father one his bid for a third term in office last January.
The other investigation attracted much more public attention, receiving sensational coverage in Sri Lanka’s newspapers, because the death of a former sports star could turn out to be a case of murder, with the former president’s son Yoshita involved. The rugby player Waseem Thajudeen mysteriously died in a car crash in May 2012. On Monday, the body was exhumed by forensic experts on the orders of the Colombo Additional Magistrate, after a medical report stated that there was no carbon monoxide in the victim’s body, indicating that he was already dead when the body burnt, and that other injuries could have been caused by torture.
Thajudeen is reported to have been involved in a discussion with three members of the Presidential Security Division (PSD) before his car later on exploded in what seemed to be a car crash. Media additionally alleged that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s younger son, Yoshitha, who was also a member of Sri Lanka's rugby union team, had a dispute with Thajudeen over a lady. Furthermore, the victim is said to have been abducted in a car owned by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society,but according to the Red Cross was being used by the “Siriliya Saviya Foundation” charity of the then first lady, Shiranthi Rajapakse.
Mahinda Rajapaksa welcomed the new investigation, claiming to be confident his son’s innocence would be proven: "There are no bloodstains on our hands". But he and his eldest son Namal criticized the suspicious timing and implied that this investigation is politically motivated, since it has been reopened during the final phase of the election campaign just to make political capital from the blamings against his family.
Mahinda Rajapakse himself is under investigation over allegations he misappropriated large sums from the state during his rule. So far, nobody has been arrested or charged.
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