Head of Sri Lanka’s anti-graft commission quits

Colombo, Oct 17 (IANS) The Director General of Sri Lanka’s anti-graft commission, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, resigned from her post on Monday.

The move comes days after Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena lashed out at the commission, Xinhua news agency reported.

Wickramasinghe was appointed as head of the commission to investigate allegations of bribery or corruption by the new government headed by Sirisena.

She told the media on Monday that she had tendered her resignation to Sirisena but did not elaborate on the reasons.

Sirisena, in a speech delivered here on October 12, slammed the anti-graft commission and two police divisions for taking three former navy commanders and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse to court earlier this month over an investigation.

“I am expressing my disgust at this turn of events. Three navy commanders who served during the war and the former Defence Secretary were hauled into court,” the President said.

The goal of establishing independent commissions was to restore freedom and democracy, and protect democracy and to build a corruption-free country, he said.

“These commissions cannot carry out political agendas. They must understand their remit,” the President added.

“As Defence Minister and President, I am disgusted.”

Sirisena’s comments were widely criticised by the civil society and minor political parties who urged the President to refrain from making statements that would weaken criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Rumours of a split in the unity government headed by Sirisena and Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe also surfaced following the controversial speech, which was brushed off by a government spokesman.



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