Allegations of corruption and sabotage of investigations have dogged Senior DIG Ravi Waidyalankara who heads the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) tasked with handling some of the most high profile investigations into financial misappropriation by top officials in the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration.
As FCID Head for the past four years Waidyalankara has built dubious relationships with some of the country’s best known fraudsters and wheeler dealers, including Rienzie Edwards the Sri Lankan businessman indicted on money laundering charges in the US, Gamini Senarath – former Chief of Staff to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sajin Vaas Gunewardane who is implicated in several major corruption scandals and misappropriation during the Rajapaksa era.
But SDIG Waidyalankara has also built relationships at the highest levels of the former Rajapaksa family and is believed to be actively working to sabotage the work of his own unit in order to protect the members of the former first family, chief among these former Secretary to the ministry of defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
In November 2017 the Attorney General wrote to the FCID authorising the arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s arrest in D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial and Museum case. The offences Rajapaksa was to be indicted under were non-bailable offences under the Public Property Act.
The D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case investigated by the FCID centered on the use of state funds to build a memorial for Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s parents. The investigation revealed that the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation had spent millions of rupees to build the museum in Medamulana, on land owned by the D.A Rajapaksa Foundation. The Corporation was a subject under the then Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, under Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Sri Lanka Navy personnel were used to construct the memorial. The case is a classic illustration of how the Rajapaksa regime used public monies to fund a private construction directly linked to the ruling family.
Waidyalankara however delayed making the arrest for several days, despite his instructions from the Attorney General, giving Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s legal team sufficient time to file a writ application in the Court of Appeal to get an order preventing his arrest by the FCID in the D.A. Rajapaksa case. The order was granted by a Court of Appeal bench who heard the case ex-parte without the AG present to object to arguments raised by Gotabaya’s legal team.
The D.A. Rajapaksa museum case marks the first time Gotabaya Rajapaksa will stand trial on charges of corruption. He stands accused of misappropriating over 30 million rupees in state funds, criminal breach of trust and other offences.
SDIG Waidyalankara is currently under investigation by the Bribery Commission, about his accumulation of assets and the Police Special Investigations Unit. In spite of the ongoing investigations the head of the FCID was granted a service extension of eight months in May 2018, when he reached the retirement age of 60. His extension was opposed by the IGP and the National Police Commission. (By Ramani Bulathgamuwa)