Sri Lanka police seeks Attorney General's advice in coup probe

Sri Lankan police has sought the Attorney General's advice as part of its probe into the alleged coup attempt by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his close aides following his shocking defeat in the presidential polls.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 17, 2015, 16:31 PM IST

Colombo: Sri Lankan police has sought the Attorney General's advice as part of its probe into the alleged coup attempt by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his close aides following his shocking defeat in the presidential polls.

The preliminary investigation of the alleged coup was started on complaint of foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera.

"The foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera's complaint is now being investigated. The police have sought the Attorney General's advice," Police spokesman and Superintendent Ajith Rohana said.

Samaraweera last week lodged a police complaint over an alleged coup attempt on January 9 when the results of the previous day's presidential election were being announced.

Rajapaksa and his close aides were accused of making an attempt to stay in power despite the defeat.

Rajapaksa denied the charge saying he had allowed a smooth transition and even congratulated his successor.

Samaraweera charged that Chief Justice Mohan Peiris had advised Rajapaksa to continue despite the defeat.

Rajapaksa now out of power complained that his supporters were being subjected to harassment since his defeat.

He told BBC that media had turned a blind eye to the harassment meted out to his supporters since the electoral defeat.

In another related issue the police said they had swooped on an illegal arms cache at the offices of Rakna Lanka, a state security arm which provided protection to state entities.

Rakna Lanka was an institution under Rajapaksa's brother Gotabhaya, the powerful defence secretary.

Rajapaksa stepped down as the leader of his party yesterday and handed over Sri Lanka Freedom Party's reins to the new President Maithripala Sirisena. Rajapaksa said he stepped down as he does not want to see his party divided.