Lankan ‘fugitive’ ex-envoy contacts Foreign Ministry from Iran

Mangala doesn’t see anything sinister in FCID probes

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Moscow Udayanga Weeratunga, who had been wanted in connection with a high profile probe conducted by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), has contacted the Foreign Ministry, recently.

Moscow based Weeratunga had been accredited to Kiev at the time he disappeared shortly after the change of government in Sri Lanka.

Ukrainian government is also seeking to question Weeratunga regarding his alleged links with pro-Russian rebels.

Calling Weeratunga an international fugitive, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday claimed that Weeratunga had contacted the Foreign Ministry from Teheran. The minister was addressing the media at UNP headquarters, Sirikotha.

Asked whether Weeratunga had contacted the ministry from Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in Teheran, the minister said that he believed so.

Responding to another query, Minister Samaraweera said that two policemen and a foreign ministry official would be visiting Kiev soon to inquire into allegations directed at Weeratunga.

The minister said that the Foreign Ministry had received a large luggage belonging to Weeratunga recently. MP Samaraweera said that Weeratunga had been trying to secure the luggage and in fact sent some persons to claim it. However, the ministry hadn’t released the baggage, the minister said, adding that those who had misappropriated public funds and engaged in major irregularities were demanding the disbanding of the FCID. Had they done no wrong why would some prominent members of the UPFA demand an end to investigations undertaken by the special unit.

The minister insisted that he didn’t see any reason to disband the outfit.

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