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Lankan min to be quizzed over inciting speech against police

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

A Sri Lankan provincial minister, who supports former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's political comeback, will be grilled by authorities for allegedly asking people to "stone to death" officials of a special police unit.

DV Upul, a minister from the Southern Provincial Council, in a public speech warned that officials of the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) must be stoned to death for carrying out investigations against members of the Rajapaksa regime.

"We will watch them being stoned to death when returned as Prime Minister," Upul had said.

Upul warned the FCID officials that "they will be dealt with."

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera today said: "His (Upul's) comments were of an inciting nature. He can be charged under penal code for inciting violence against public officials."

He will be questioned and a statement will be recorded, Gunasekera said.

Upul had made the remarks during a public protest against FCID for summoning former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa over alleged corruption in an NGO she ran during her husband's presidency.

A faction of the Opposition that supports Rajapaksa has questioned the legality of FCID as a special police unit, set up by the government of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Several Rajapaksa associates, including his brother and former economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa, have been arrested as a result of the unit's investigations.

The other brother, Gotabhaya, who was the top defence ministry bureaucrat, has been questioned several times by the anti-graft commissions as well as the FCID.

The opposition faction calls it a political witch hunt to see the Rajapaksa clan out of national politics.

But the government says many complaints of corruption and wrongdoings by the Rajapaksas have surfaced since their defeat in the January presidential poll by Sirisena.

Rajapaksa's efforts for a political comeback has met resistance from Sirisena, who does not want the former president to contest the next parliamentary election as the ruling UPFA coalition's prime ministerial candidate.

First Published: Tue, June 02 2015. 20:32 IST