Ex-SL Ambassador to US says charges against him are unfounded

Ex-SL Ambassador to US says charges against him are unfounded

Ex-SL Ambassador to US says charges against him are unfounded

Written by Staff Writer

13 Nov, 2020 | 6:48 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya on Thursday (Nov. 12) said that the Financial Crimes Investigation Division had misled the Judiciary and obtained a warrant against him with the intention of political revenge.

He testified at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing incidents of Political Victimization, on Thursday (Nov. 12) via Skype from the state of Georgia in the United States.

Jaliya Wickramasuriya said that he served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US from July 2008 to May 2014.

He said that when he arrived at the Katunayake Airport with his family on November 17th 2016, to leave for the United States, officers of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division told that he was banned from traveling and asked him to provide a statement.

The witness further said he was not aware that the FCID had conducted an investigation against him and obtained a court order to place a travel ban.

Jaliya Wickramasuriya noted that when he asked FCID officials how he was suddenly banned from flying to the US without being informed about the relevant investigation during his two and a half years in Sri Lanka; they failed to provide a proper answer.

He said that the investigating officers were continuously inquiring about the Rajapaksa family and their kinship, the whereabouts of the son of the current President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in the US, as well as other members of that household and the relatives of Basil Rajapaksa’s family.

The witness also stated that the officers of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division informed him that these interrogations were being carried out based on an order received from above.

Wickramasuriya further said the FCID officers also inquired about the new Sri Lankan Embassy which he had purchased from Washington.

Jaliya Wickramasuriya said that Pavithra Dayaratne, the OIC of the Seventh Unit of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division, maliciously rejected the request he made for an opportunity to continue providing statements the next day as he was tired of making statements for a long time.

The witness said that when he overheard a phone call from an officer at the scene, the high-ranking officer who was on the phone interrogated him until midnight and instructed him to arrest him.

Jaliya Wickramasuriya further informed the Commission that accordingly, after being produced before the Fort Magistrates Court on November 18, 2016, he was remanded on the basis of B-reports containing false information submitted by the officers of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division.

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