Feb 25, 2017

President not in favour of cancelling Mahinda’s civic rights Featured

President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected the request put forward to him by several Ministers to cancel the civic rights of former President and Kurunegala district parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa, based on allegations levelled against him, according to Presidents office sources.  

The request to take legal action against the former President was put forward to the President and Prime Minister by several senior SLFP and UNP ministers including several civil society members who had met with the President recently.

This group had requested the President to consider cancelling Rajapaksa’s civic rights according to paragraph 81 (1) of the Constitution, taking into account the accusations levelled against him on the misuse of power, corruption and fraud, violation of the constitution and misconduct.

However, the President had admitted that there were flaws in the investigation process and had said these shortcomings will be rectified and proper investigations on the bank accounts and other corruption charges  will be conducted on the allegations levelled against the Rajapaksa family.

‘Mahinda is no challenge’

It is reported that when several Joint Opposition members had inquired from the President if he plans to cancel the civic rights of Rajapaksa, he had pointed out that Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s civic rights were cancelled by J.R. Jayawardena in an undemocratic manner and he had no intention of following the same path. The President had also said that he does not intend to take action based on fear of Rajapaksa being a threat to him.

President Sirisena had also prevented former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa from being taken into custody when the FCID had interrogated her on several allegations of misconduct.