Picture courtesy AsiaMirror

A group of concerned civil society members have called for the removal of Cabinet Minister Thilak Marapana from his portfolio of of Law and Order, Prison Reforms due to his connection with the controversial company Avant Garde in his capacity as legal adviser to Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi. Below is the letter addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena as well as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, reproduced in full:

2015 November 06

To:

Hon. Prime Minister

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister’s Office

Sir Ernest de Silva Mawatha

Colombo 07

e-mail –  [email protected]

Copy for information & necessary action

To

HE the President

Maithripala Sirisena

Presidential Secretariat

Colombo

e-mail – [email protected]

Dear Mr.Prime Minister,

 

Appeal for immediate removal of Cabinet Minister Thilak Marapana

from portfolio appointed to

 

We note with much dismay and disgust that President’s Counsel Thilak J Marapana who was legal advisor to Nissanka Senadhipathi, Chairman of Avant Garde the company embroiled in  controversy over the floating armoury and heavily loaded with allegations on illegal weapons deals, violation of law on explosives and firearms, on money laundering and bribery is a cabinet minister in your government as a member of your political party brought to parliament on the National List.

With the January 08 presidential elections that defeated President Rajapaksa labelled and stamped as “dictatorial, nepotistic and corrupt” in your election manifesto and then the defeat of Rajapaksa leadership in August elections, there is no ethical or moral right for you and your government that was voted in with the promise of a “New Country in 60 Months” on a 05 point programme to include a person who accepts he was legal advisor to Chairman of Avant Garde, Nissanka Senadhipathi as an important minister in the cabinet of ministers.

Senadhipathi is a businessman accused of serious crimes and corruption and known to have been very closely associated with the Rajapaksa regime. In fact a report attributed to an Additional Solicitor General Vasantha Navaratne Bandara infers charges can be filed against 05 persons including Nissanka Senadhipathi and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for 01.Unauthorized Importation of Fire Arms to Sri Lanka under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Fire Arms Ordinance 02. Possession of Fire Arms and ammunition without valid licenses under the Fire Arms Ordinance and Explosives Act and then 03. Conspiracy, aiding and abetting to commit the above offences.

Although the AG opted to decide otherwise, President Sirisena was compelled to re start investigations on Avant Garde through PRECIFAC under heavy pressure from many quarters.

It cannot be out of ignorance that Marapana was brought to parliament through the national list and made the minister of Law and Order and Prison Reforms. In such context, Minister Marapana’s own admission he was legal advisor to Senadhipathi after the January 08 “change” for Yahapalanaya and the strong defence made in parliament as a cabinet minister on 04 November (2015) on behalf of Senadhipathi then as his client makes your government culpable in all crimes, violations of law and corruption the Avant Garde and its Chairman Senadhipathi is accused of. Accused in parliament itself by many MPs including a deputy minister of your government as well, who said there are many in your government including ministers who were well treated by Senadhipathi. We therefore hold you and this government wholly responsible in breaching the trust of the people and the promise for a cleaner and a saner government for which the people voted your party and its allies to power.

In an effort therefore to at least arrest this slide back to a typical Rajapaksa era, we demand that you immediately remove Mr. Thilak Marapana from his ministerial post and all other responsibilities he may hold in your government.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely, 

DecentLanka2015

Signatories ;

Attorney at law Neville Ananda

Attorney at Law Sujeewa Dahanayake

Social activist Muditha Karunamuni

Journalist Kusal Perera

Trade union leader Anton Marcus

Attorney at law Srinath Perera

Contacts –

Attorney at law Neville Ananda – 0777876811

Attorney at Law Sujeewa Dahanayake – 0777324062

  • sacre blieu

    Disgusted about the way,both, Avant guard and the Central Bank issue is been handled, which is clearly an attempt to more than sweep it under the carpet. Voters did not give a mandate to govern in any which way they wish. The cancer of decadence appears to be deep rooted. Remedy will be reflected in a revolt, if these occurrences is encouraged to continue.

  • Piyal

    Marapana was partially responsible for bringing down Ranil’s government prematurely under Chandrika’s presidency due to his lukewarm response to LTTE, which violated the Peace Agreement at will. As a person engaged in legal profession he will be obliged to clear the name of his client whether the client is guilty or not.

    He should have refrained from giving a clean sheet to Avant Guard in the Parliament at a time when FCID investigations are still going on the direction of the President.

  • Independent

    I agree this thief together with Wijedasa Rajapuksa shall be removed.
    Not only that , these thieves shall be investigated for any receipt of money under the table from filthy rich Rajapuksas.
    It is a shame this Mara-Pana thief is appointed thorugh the back door and allowed to control the whole country. Shame on you ! Ranil. You have already betrayed us.