22 November 2019
Appearing for the Attorney General on Thursday, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris informed the court that as per the provisions of the Constitution no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against the President, and therefore requested the court to release the defendant from all charges, News First reported. The court released President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (in picture) from all indictments filed over the alleged misappropriation of around USD 185,000 in public funds for the construction of the D A Rajapaksa Memorial and Museum, it said. The court also ordered the lifting of overseas travel ban imposed on Rajapaksa and told the Court Registrar to release the President’s impounded passport. The court also ordered the release all bonds placed on behalf of Rajapaksa. It ordered the release of cash bonds placed with the court, the report said.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa keeps key cabinet positions within the family. He appointed his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current Prime Minister, as the interim government’s new finance minister, state television showed in a live telecast on Friday. Mahinda, a former Sri Lankan president, took the oath as the Minister of Finance and Economic Policy Development. He was also put in charge of Buddhist, Cultural and Religious Affairs, as well as Urban Development and Water Supply and Housing, the swearing-in ceremony telecast from the presidential secretariat showed.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s eldest brother Chamal, a legislator, was sworn in as the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, Internal Trade, and Consumer Welfare.