2 December, 2020

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Tilak Marapana Resigns

Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana today resigned from his ministerial portfolio amidst calls to step down over the controversy surrounding the Avant Garde issue.

Tilak Marapana

Tilak Marapana

The Minister during a press conference at his Nugegoda residence said he had already sent his resignation letter to the President, ahead of a special cabinet meeting to discuss the matter today.

During today’s press briefing too Marapana defended the Avant Garde security firm brushing aside allegations that there is anything illegal about the firm’s activities.

Reiterating his stand in parliament recently Marapana said that the whole issue was blown out of proportions due to lack of understanding about the floating armory.

Marapana said that the issue had been used by the Police and some politicians to score points which were given wide publicity by the media portraying a wrong picture about the whole issue.

Marapana noted that some politicians were trying to use the Avant Garde issue and a number of similar controversies to further their political careers.

While acknowledging that he represented the security firm before becoming a minister in the new government Marapana stressed that other than being the lawyer of the firm previously he had no personal links with the company.

Despite this fact Marapana said that he had decided to step down as there was a ongoing investigation against the Avant Garde.

Although he has done nothing wrong, Marapana said he had decided to quit as some politicians were trying to use the issue to put the new government into a difficulty.

Marapana’s resignation came in the wake of a stormy cabinet ministers meeting on Thursday where heated exchanges took place with senior ministers criticizing Minister Marapana’s stance on the controversial maritime security firm investigated for corruption.

Some ministers were of the view that Marapana could not be in charge of the Avant Garde case, when he had provided legal services to the company before he was appointed as the law and order minister in the UNF Government.

Meanwhile sources said that President Maithripala Sirisena had informed the special cabinet meeting currently in progress that he had received Marapana’s resignation letter.

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Latest comments

  • 19
    3

    Does this mean his national list seat in Parliaament will now fall vacant? Mr. Marapana is totally unsuitable to hold any public office.

    UNP, if you have any wisdom please appoint a man of former Auditor General Mayadunne’s stature in Marapana’s place.

    UNP needs to quit abusing itself in this manner.

    Cheers!

    • 11
      6

      Shall we wait and see the outcome of the inquiry before jumping to conclusions. I think Mr. Marapan is an honorable person and if he is right then there should be others resigning!! The police comes under him and they are carrying out an investigation and therefore Mr.Marapana should not be the minister of law and order as the police comes under him. This is a very good decision Mr.Marapana has made.

      • 4
        3

        Marapana will have the last laugh – Truth will prevail – ignorance of facts is the main cause of this confusion – it is not only Marapana who said there is no case against but also the AG – are ll these guys idiots ?? only Purawesi Peramuna and JVP are the brightest in the country – My foot – these guys ae living not in this century

        • 0
          0

          Rabok,

          You seem to have rock solid faith in our AG. Not least Marapana. Wow!

          Cheers!

    • 5
      0

      Wish the Governor Central Bank would follow suit.

    • 0
      0

      If not Mayadunne, then Chandra Jayaratne for sure.

      No jokers or political lackeys please.

    • 1
      0

      These people seem to be criticising everything. When was that a minister resigned in the previous govt ?
      Resignation of a minister was not at all seen in the previous regime. Even if Mervin Silva went against basic human rights of
      a citizen -namely tethering a man to a tree – and the very same former MR lover to have publicly attacked visiting UNHRC high commissioner, Ms Pillay using derogatory terms as no civlized men or women woudl do – nothing was the case. MR let him lick his back in the same mode- not even taking it as serious.
      Today, just few days after a minister to resign in the national govt of the day – is a great sign as any respectful people woudl hail.
      Just to criticise as the mouth is given by god, should not be the way people… I think today, we have more rights than had been before the 8th Jan.
      Please see it right else, you guys would not have been marching on the right path. May lankens be blessed by all mighty god to turn their filthy mind sets into rational ones.

    • 0
      0

      Ben – The govt. should appoint a Tamil as a national list member and
      make him or her, a minister in place of Mr. Marapana . Dr. Radika Coomaraswamy fits into this position. There are only 1 . 1/2 Tamil ministers representing N/E. as against a total of the 100 ministers and deputy ministers.

      Proportionately Muslims have out done the Tamils in the cabinet. Govt.
      must be fair by the Tamils.

  • 14
    1

    This guy being an attorney should have known very well at that time he was being appointed to the Cabinet that they could be some semblance of conflict of interests. When you are/were the paid attorney for the company in question, how could you then preside over an inquiry into that company whose interests you were earlier paid to vouch?

    You could not have been such a moron could you to have not understood this?

    • 2
      0

      Nic, you have hit the nail on the head.

      A similar case is when a Minister has his brother as a Head of an institution coming directly under him.

      Ranil is clearly in deep slumber. When he awakes the horse would have bolted.

  • 7
    17

    The shylock type politicos and military men of Yahapalanaya want the flesh of Mr. Gotabhaya Rajayapakshe at any cost. Hence this whole issue.

    • 6
      2

      Indirectly you accept Gota’s role in Avant Garde Billion dollar corrupt business

    • 4
      1

      Max. The Joker , Ha ha ha , whose blood are you after? The Sharks in the Tanks of your WEER WOLF’s??

    • 1
      1

      Max, you are blessed with Micro vision. Try cultivating Macro vision.

  • 46
    1

    Sri Lankan lawyers and the entire system of courts is one big joke.

    1) Marapane admits that before he became a minister he was the lawyer for avant guard. For this he was paid by avant guard. After he became a minister Marapane made a statement in parliament saying that Avant guard is innocent of any wrong doing in the floating armory case! no conflict of interests

    2) former chief justice Sarath Silva was a very close friend of Mahinda Rajapakse from school days. Some say he was MRs best man when MR married Shiranthi. Much later when there was a case against MR for swindling the saving Hambantota funds Sarath Silva not only heard the case but acquitted MR but then ended up actually punishing the complainant ! Then after they( MR /sarath) fell out Sarath Silva asked the nation to forgive him for acquitting MR ! No conflicts !

    3) Sarath silva ( so called former CJ)heard many cases concerning MR when MR was a MP, Minister, Prime Minister and President. In all these cases MR won the cases or the judgments went in his favour. No conflicts !

    4) It was well known that Sarath Silva was pro SLFP and was a close friend and confidant of Chandrika Bandaranayake. He gave many judgments in her favour. When SB Dissanayake fell out with Chandrika and criticized a judgment given by this disgusting man Sarath Silva he sent SB to jail for contempt !No conflict

    5) After Sarath Silva we had a man called Nihal Jayasinghe another childhood friend of MR as Chief Justice. Nihal has actually even campaigned for MR in Hambantota.MR appointed Nihal’s daughter and son in law to our embassy in either UK or Netherlands. He even gave money from the Presidents Fund to educate Nihal’s childern .With Nihal as CJ, MR didnt even have to ask for favours but Nihal just gave judgments in MRS favour even without reading the case ! No conflict

    6) There was a a judge called Sanath Hettige who thought that being a judge is a highly paid domestic duty in the President’s staff and acted like that . He was very incompetent. MR was the attesting witness at this mans daughters wedding.When he retired MR made him chairman of the Public service commission ! no conflict

    7) Then came Asoka Silva , a man of no significance but appointed CJ as he was a humble friend of MR, again for a long time. After he retired Asoka Silva was appointed an adviser to president , given a car,salary and a telephone. No conflict

    8) Then came Shirani Bandarnayake who was only about 38 years when she was appointed. That was because her professor GL Peiris ( biggest embarrassment to the subject of education as a character moulder) was a minister . When she was a student shirani was well known as a tale carrier for the Poof professor. When shirani became CJ she thought she should leverage her god given chance to the maximum. It was good to have MR as President because he loved this kind of deals-I scratch your back you scratch mine.So Shirani arranged to have her crooked husband appointed the Chairman of one of the biggest government banks. No conflict

    9) later, rightly or wrongly the parliament impeached Shirani. Having seen her leveraging character MR had no respect for her . Those who opposed MR made a martyr of her

    10) Then came Mohan Peirs a laughably servile CJ for the MR family. He seemed terrified of uniforms and moustached men and stood to attention when ever Gotabaya was around. It is said that Mohan Peiris pleaded with MR to be appointed CJ( that time he was actually legal adviser to MR). When a question arose about a third term for MR ,with a sense of humour MR referred it to the supreme court led by Mohan ! Mohan Pieris said not three terms but a popular leader like MR should rule for 20 years ! According to Mohan Pieris MR should have ruled until he was 90 and then given over the presidency to either Gotabaya or Namal! No conflict

    11) To end the joke recently there was a talk that supreme court judge Rohini Marasinghe should be impeached for hearing cases in which her husband Professor Marasinghe has been consulted by the parties appearing before her.Marasinghe was accomodated in the law office of Julious & Creasy to do his consultancy. Julius & Creasy is a law firm which has many cases in the supreme court before Rohini Marasinghe !no conflict

    It seems Marapane has many followers in our legal system. They have no conflicts of interests !

    • 7
      1

      Well said Harry! They are all criminals.

    • 7
      1

      Harry Hatton, you have put it so nicely.

      The Sri Lankan judiciary with such a track record how do you expect a fair war crimes trial? There will certainly be conflict of interests. It should be totally an International Inquiry for justice to be served and also appeared to have been served.

      With such a track record of the judges as clearly depicted by Harry Hatton, inquiry into the alleged war crimes will be a farce and no one will ever trust the verdict either way, and it will end up a severe wastage of valuable time and money. It will be another Paranagama report ending in a big ZERO which served no purpose.

    • 1
      0

      Again if this is what practicing law is, then you need not waste your time and money at Law college! There is nothing wrong how Namal Rajapakse got his degree, because if this is what Legal Profession is, then anyone can practice law and you do not need a Law college.

      In the same way one need not have any qualifications to become a parliamentarian (MP) and need only be elected by popularity, we could have a similar method to become judges being elected by the people.

      Just a thought, if we have said what we just said 30 years ago we would have been charged ‘contempt of court’ and punished. Those were the days judges were highly disciplined and dignified. Now certainly such a charge had become obsolete because of the very conduct of the judges themselves and any court will fight shy to bring such a case of ‘contempt of court’ as it will only expose the very dubious conduct of many judges.

    • 6
      2

      Silva, DeSilva are all Karawa, Durawe type casts being servile to Govigama Mahinda Rajapakse. Does caste have a role in dishonesty and low level behavior in Sri Lanka?

  • 2
    1

    For sure he got more money than the perks of Cabinet portfolio by the MR and Gota gangsters.

    Also people like Maarappana will stand for sure for accused and victims at the same time if allowed for money.

    There are lawyers who work for the client and at the same time the counter part on backside door. Maarappana is such a character and AG case is just a sample of it.

    Shame on Maarappan and similar lawyers.

  • 6
    1

    Avant Garde had weapons on which identification marks such as serial numbers had been erased/made unintelligible.
    Such weapons are proof of intention of illegal/unlawful purposes of use of such weapons.

  • 8
    0

    Gamini Marapona P.C.an elder brother of Tilak Marapona,had appeared on behalf of MaRa at the FCID recently. Perhaps this too may have gone against TM in the Public Perception.
    However,if there was one great blunder made by TM.it was his advice to President D.B.Wijeyatunga to appoint Sarath N.Silva to the Supreme Court.It was widely believed that DBW was totally against Sarath.N.Silva being elevated to the SC due to his Extra Marital affairs.
    But I must say in all fairness,TM has been honourable in submitting his resignation.In the dark days of MaRa reign did Ministers ever resign?
    Lets not jump the Gun; TM may be vindicated,of his stand on the matter at the end of the Day!

    • 4
      0

      Totally agree!!!

      How many ministers in past, under MR’s rule, resigned on matters of principle, or, for that matter, on any account. They all held on to their ministerial positions like leeches hanging on, continuing to suck blood, even while salt is poured on them!

      Tilak Marapone, is a gentleman. Sure, he should not have dealt with the matter as he had a conflict of interest. For that lapse, he resigned, honourably.

      It is not something one can say of MR’s jumbo cabinet or even in the current cabinet.

  • 8
    0

    It was totally unprofessional for Mr Marapone to take decisions regarding the firm after having been a paid counsel for the firm. In other countries, this would have been investigated by the Bar Council with a view to determining whether he should be barred from practising as a lawyer. A judge would be expected to recuse himself from sitting in a case which involved a former client. The same thing is expected of a minister. Unfortunately, we do not have standards in these matters. In our country, judges are rogues, lawyers are rogues and ministers are rogues.

  • 1
    0

    Good riddance of bad rubbish !. By allowing Minister Tilak Marapana
    to make a statement in the parliament without the exclusive permission from the Cabinet and knowing pretty well That Mr. Marapana was the
    legal advisor to Avant Garde company, he was made a national list MP
    and appointed minister of Law and Order and this clearly shows that
    the govt. wanted to sweep the case under the carpet. It was not Mr.
    Marapana who wanted the matter closed.

  • 3
    1

    Does it mean that the weapons were sold to SOMALI PIRATES?
    There are lots of Pirate ships sailing in the Indian Ocean to catch and kill the vulnerable.

    Oh my god where does it all lead to hell of Gootabi.

  • 2
    1

    Irrespective of whether he acted properly or improperly in this specific issue, the man was honourable enough to give up his “lucrative” Ministerial position with those mind boggling array of perks. None of the other rogues in our political life will do that today. Fortunately this Minister has other sources income through his learning. Let us hope Mr. Marapana has begun a new culture in our sick political system.

    The Avant Garde enterprise of surreptitiously importing-exporting dangerous arms and ammunition can have serious consequences to the country and the crooks involved in the racket, if the UN, associated agencies or countries to which these weapons were exported to demand action. So far that very popular game among our politikkas of “I scratch your back, you mine” has succeeded. Our politicians have refined that system of “I’ll help you over your rackets when I rule and
    vice versa” where an entirely new political class has emerged in the past 2 decades. I have just come to learn much of the nearly US$1 billion alleged to have been stored by one of our Princes in a Dubai Bank were the “fees” paid in the people-smuggling racket to Australia he was heading. It is said each “passenger” had to pay prices ranging from Rs.1-3 million per person. Not a bad business, if the young man “helped” ten boatloads of Tamils to “migrate” an year. In addition to the good money it also helps in the wider objective of reducing the Tamil population in the country, the youngster may have been advised.

    Backlash

    • 1
      0

      Backlash,
      You Stupid, Tilak Marapana would have made sufficient from the payment of Avant Guard, so the necessity is not there for him to remain. I know Tilak Marapana from the days he was AG. He is a corrupt individual who would have done anything for money.

      • 0
        0

        I have no reason to deny Gamini’s various descriptions of Marapana.
        My point was his gumption to resign. Ministerial rogues and other politicos for many decades clung on, shamelessly, to their chairs – even after being found out. This included PM’s too. I, therefore, see no dispute between the two of us.

        BTW, next time try using more decent and civilised language in debate – if indeed you can.

        Backlash

  • 1
    0

    This persona MARApena should resign from parliament too henceforth as this bogus resignation is to calm waters !!

  • 1
    0

    All elected poorimentarians,munisters who hold brief for avant garde must resign.

  • 2
    0

    Avant Garde Company got the license to export arms to black market.

    It’s funny this former ”law and order minister” said what’s the big deal now, Avant Garde has been doing this business from 2002. Really?

    Avant Garde got the license to take shipping containers without detection in or out of Sri Lanka!

    Not sure, why people are assuming Avant Garde has been only exporting arms to the black market.

    How hard it would be for Avant Garde’s ships to smuggle anything in and out of Sri Lanka?

    Did someone say MR & Co deposited 1 000 000 000 $ worth of cash and gold in Dubai bank and Avant Garde’s ships are routinely sailing to the direction of Macca?

  • 2
    0

    “Although he has done nothing wrong, Marapana said he had decided to quit as some politicians were trying to use the issue to put the new government into a difficulty.”

    What kind of lawyer is this man? As AKD says, even a child would have known that there will be a huge outcry on this. If you did not know that before coming out with that statement, then you are a very stupid politician and a still more stupid lawyer. The only thing I can say is GROBR. (Good Riddance of Bad Rubbish).

  • 3
    0

    Mara Pain, Stay home and PLEASE don’t come back to politics.

  • 3
    0

    Well, one rogue down and 99 more to go.

    Reality is, in a country run by rogues for the benefit of rogues, one rogue down will only mean room for another rogue to be in.

    Basically don’t expect much of a change in the way government business is done. Rogues come first and the citizen is never in the equation in this thrice blessed country.

  • 1
    0

    Clearly there was an issue with respect to conflict of interest. He should have known better. In the first place he should have declared his interest not only in the Avant Garde issue but all the cases against the Police, before he accepted office as Minister. If the Yahapalana Government wanted him a Minister then they should have given a Portfolio which does not cause a conflict of interest.

    Incidentally, apart from Mr. Marapana, the other defender of this issue is Mr. Wijedasa Rajapakse who admitted in Parliament of his role in the decision making regarding this issue. Should he too be on the mat?

    If both these lawyers were professionally correct, apart from the conflict of interest, to say that there is really no case against Avant Garde why must others in the Yahapalana Government create a big fuss? After all the cabinet must act in unison. On the other hand, if there is really a case against Avant Garde, why must the these two lawyers be kept in Government? There seems to be something wrong about the whole matter. Don’t tell me that this Government is no better than the other. In raw Sinhala “උන්ට වඩා හපන් මුන්”.

  • 3
    0

    When is the Wijedasa Rajapakse going to resign is the next question we have to raise.

  • 1
    0

    After seeing and listening to Mr. Marapana’s video Press Conference it is clear Sri Lanka is, either by omission or commission, involved in an
    illegal and dangerous gun-running operation. The several Agents he refers to living in hotels/houses in Galle appear to be Merchants of Death, as they are often called. It is possible some of the arms so traded may have been the excess from our own war, so lucrative to many powerful interest in and out of uniform.

    The UN, Interpol and other international agencies should seriously look into the matter and nail the perpetrators – including high fee-levying
    “mouth pieces” There is very little doubt the architects of this
    apparently illegal business have been helping to arm insurgents in the region. The legal governments concerned should take up the matter strongly.

    Backlash

  • 1
    0

    Now, Wijedasa Rajapaksa is refusing to resign.

    Rajapksa never resign they just fade away.

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