Sri Lanka's top investigator flees to Geneva

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was elected the country's new president after the November 16 polls, told a gathering yesterday that the chief investigator in all politically-motivated investigations against them had fled the country. AP/PTI

A Sri Lankan police officer, who handled the top-level investigations against the members of the previous Rajapaksa government between 2005 and 2015, has fled to Geneva following a regime change here.

A statement from the police headquarters said that investigations as to how Inspector Nishantha Silva left the country on Sunday without obtaining formal approval are underway.

Silva was the top sleuth in many corruption and other investigations against members of the Rajapaksa family and top officials since 2015.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was elected the country's new president after the November 16 polls, told a gathering yesterday that the chief investigator in all politically-motivated investigations against them had fled the country.

Sri Lanka's controversial Rajapaksa clan tightened its grip on political power after President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa swore-in his elder brother Mahinda as the prime minister.

Silva is thought have to flee the country fearing reprisals from the new regime.

"All police officers when leaving the country must obtain approval from the ministry secretary. This officer has not done so," the police statement said.

It said that Silva’s "bias conduct" in carrying out investigations has been highlighted and many parties have asked for investigation against him.

The current government when in the Opposition had charged that all investigations carried out by Silva were politically-motivated.

Police Headquarters instructed the CID Director to immediately conduct an investigation and report back, News 1st reported.

Citing Silva’s overseas travel as a breach of Police discipline, SSP Ruwan Gunasekera said disciplinary action will also be instituted against him, it reported.

Shani Abeysekera, the most reputed official in the police’s criminal investigations department, was also transferred from the capital to the southern province. 

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