Sri Lankan MP Mangala Samaraweera says the ruling party is out to get him for splitting from the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) and says they are using false accusations of sodomy by a thief who robbed his home to try to destroy him.
The man accused of burglarizing Samaraweera’s home was arrested last week but was soon out on bail and President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, a former ambassador and political appointee of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been hired to defend him.
The thief and the thief’s wife are both claiming that he has been in a long term relationship with Samaraweera and police have reportedly opened an investigation.
Sri Lanka has a colonial era law making homosexuality a crime punishable with up to 12 years in prison but it is rarely enforced and Samaraweera says the investigation is to punish him for creating his own breakaway wing of the SLFP.
‘Having failed in successive witch hunts to discredit me since I parted company with the President in 2007, the Rajapaka regime seems to have embarked on yet another attempt to incarcerate and silence me by preparing to invoke an archaic Victorian law of the Sri Lankan penal code against me,’ Samaraweera wrote in the Colombo Telegraph earlier this week.
‘The cat burglar who was caught red handed by the police on New Year’s Eve with some alcohol stolen from my house and confessed in the Police statement to breaking into my house forcibly has now been turned into a ‘star’ by the state media and the state sponsored private media.
‘This young man, an occasional casual hand in my household until he was admitted to a drug rehabilitation center some time ago by his family has now been brought in front of the cameras to hurl obnoxious and baseless allegations against me in keeping with the conspiracy to invoke Section 365A of the penal code which has never been utilized in recent times.
‘My private life, though private has never been a secret. My mother, my family and friends as well as most of my Parliamentary colleagues including my constituents whom I have represented with love and dedication for the last 25 years have appreciated my honesty and for never allowing my private life to get in the way of public service. However, today the Rajapaksa regime, in preparation for provincial elections to be followed by Presidential elections seems to be hell bent on destroying me using the confused hallucinations of a misguided youth.’
Sections of the Sri Lankan media recently discovered a leaked US consular report published on the Wikileaks website from 2004 which claims he is gay.
‘Mangala SAMARAWEERA, 47, is the new Minister of Ports and Aviation,’ the cable reads.
‘A former academic, Samaraweera attended the University of London and is openly homosexual. He is Sinhalese Buddhist.’