The Sri Lankan high court declared the newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa free from all the corruption charges and also has lifted the overseas travel ban. The court has further released his impounded passport and decided to release the Sri Lankan President from all the indictments filed over the alleged misappropriation of Rs 33.9 million in public funds for the construction of the D A Rajapaksa Memorial and Museum. The court also reportedly ordered that all the bondsmen who placed bonds on behalf of Rajapaksa to be released as well.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the Sri Lanka Presidential elections on November 17 marking the return of the family revered by the Sinhalese Buddhist majority after the victory over Tamil Tiger rebels. The Rajapaksa spokesperson, Keheliya Rambukwella called it 'people's victory' and that the sound policies put across by Rajapaksa have been 'well received by the people' who led the counting by 50.7 per cent while his main rival, Sajith Premadasa had 43.8 per cent votes. Rajapaksa's party claimed the victory and asked the Sri Lankans to 'rejoice peacefully'.
Rajapaksa had also pledged to pardon the military commanders in prison for violation of human rights during the war. This has also lead to the fear escalation of ethnic tensions of the Tamil struggle for an independent state under his administration. Rajapaksa has also served as a powerful secretary in the Ministry of Defence but has been accused of persecuting critics.
The newly elected president will be travelling to India on November 29 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has also accepted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s invitation to visit his country, confirmed the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo. Imran Khan, in a telephonic conversation with Rajapaksa on November 19 congratulated Sri Lankan president for getting elected for the coveted post and extended an invitation to visit his country at his 'earliest convenience'.