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Rajapaksa backers occupy Parliament after bribery summons

Sri Lanka's ex-president called to bribery commission, lawmakers occupy Parliament overnight

Rajapaksa backers occupy Parliament after bribery summons

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Sri Lanka's bribery commission has summoned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to question him over a complaint, prompting several lawmakers backing him to occupy Parliament overnight demanding the summons be withdrawn.

Rajapaksa told his supporters Tuesday that he has been asked to give a statement to the commission as to why he gave a ministerial position to a senior opposition leader who defected to support Rajapaksa's presidential campaign for the January election.

Rajapaksa's opponents had complained that giving a position rewarding a defection amounted to bribery.

Rajapaksa says however that he as president had the power to appoint a minister at any time.

Rajapaksa narrowly lost the presidency to his former health minister Maithripala Sirisena.

The lawmakers protesting in Parliament say the bribery allegation are political retribution.


Updated : 2021-09-28 10:26 GMT+08:00