Sri Lanka’s shadow foreign minister jailed again

ECONOMYNEXT  –  Sri Lanka’s "shadow foreign minister" Namal Rajapaksa was remanded in custody for the second time in a month, this time in connection with a new money laundering allegation involving two of his companies.

Colombo Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered that Rajapaksa, the eldest son of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, be remanded till August 22 over an investigation into  aundering Rs45 million.

Last month too, Namal was remanded and later granted bail in connection with another investigation into kickbacks from the Indian property development venture Krrish in Colombo.

In the latest case, Rajapaksa has been asked to explain his role in Gowers Corporation, which has acquired several other businesses.

Gowers Corporation had bought Hello Corp, which had provided call centre services for SriLankan Airlines when it was headed by his uncle Nishantha Wickramasinghe.

During his previous stay at the Welikada remand prison, Namal reportedly started offering yoga lessons to other inmates.

Court has already frozen the bank accounts of Gowers Corporation and barred its directors from leaving the country.

Rajapaksa, an elected parliamentarian from his Hambantota constituency, was last month named ‘shadow foreign minister’ by a group of opposition members loyal to his father. (Colombo/August15/2016)

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