Sri Lanka police arrest ex-strongman’s son in money case


Sri Lanka’s police on Saturday arrested a son of the country’s former strongman leader over an alleged financial offense, an official said.

Yoshitha Rajapaksa, who is a navy officer and son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was arrested and was to appear in a court, Akram Alavi, a spokesman for the navy said.

He declined to specify the offense but said the military allowed the financial crimes investigators to question Rajapaksa at the navy headquarters before his arrest.

Yoshitha is the second member of the once-powerful family since Rajapaksa unexpectedly lost the election last year to be arrested for alleged offenses committed during his presidency. A brother who was a former government minister was arrested earlier and charged with misusing state funds.

The former president, his brothers and elder son were powerful in the government while his second son Yoshitha was influential in the navy after enrolling to encourage youth to fight in the civil war against Tamil separatists.

The military’s victory ended the civil war in 2009.