Colombo Telegraph

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

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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