Lanka needs special courts to try corrupts, says minister

Patali Champika Ranawaka

Sri Lanka needs special courts to expedite trials of graft cases involving former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa’s aides who were allegedly indulged in mass- scale corruption, a senior minister has said.

“We need special courts to try these people. Now they go to court, apply for bail, then come out and ask us if we had been able to catch them. Some even go to higher courts to prevent their arrests,” Minister of Western Development and Megapolis Champika Ranawaka said at the southern town of Galle.

The current government came to power with the pledge to bring to book the members of the former president Rajapaksa’s administration accused of mass-scale corruption. Although several members of the Rajapaksa family were arrested, all have obtained bail amidst accusations of anti-corruption drive becoming slow and painstaking.

A special police unit for financial crimes was set up yet not a singed investigation has led to a conclusion and conviction. Ranawaka said as the existing legal system lacked finesse the government needs to look at the possibility of constituting special courts to tackle the corrupt.

He said the current government’s mandate is to eradicate corruption from public life.

The Rajapaksa family has faced many accusations of corruption and abuse of power since President Maithripala Sirisena ended the former strongman’s 10-year rule.

(Gulf Times)