Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have become the President of Sri Lanka if not for the Supreme Court ruling to release him in the Helping Hambantota case.
Mr. Silva said Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have either been able to contest the 2005 Presidential election or come into power if the Supreme Court bench headed by him did not clear Mahinda Rajapaksa of allegations of misappropriation of Tsunami funds.
“We did this expecting Mahinda Rajapaksa in turn would safeguard the rights of the other people but it is not happening today,” the former CJ claimed.
“There are many complaints that it was I who was responsible to bring Rajapaksa into power. I admit it since Mahinda Rajapaksa was freed to become president because of this decision by the Supreme Court,” he said.
“President Rajapaksa is now able to carry out wrongful acts because of the order we delivered then,” Silva said.
Following the Tsunami disaster on December 26, 2004, Sri Lanka received goodwill and financial aid from many foreign countries and in the absence of then President Chandrika Kumaratunga who was on a foreign visit, Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister handled the funds received immediately.
The police initiated investigations against the then prime minister Rajapaska sequel to a complaint made by UNP MP Kabir Hashim that he was siphoning off Tsunami funds into a private account. Hashim alleged that Rajapaksa was committing a criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation. (Susitha R. Fernando)