According to the petition, the alleged extortions took place when commercial establishments were forced to pay vast sums of money for a so-called Kelaniya Reawakening movement.
Container yard operators had been told to pay large sums of money on the grounds that roads in the area were going to be paved with concrete.
One of the biggest victims in the recent months has been a leading tea export house. Recently two of Minister Silva’s associates were abducted and released after being detained by unidentified groups while a third person had surrendered to the police on his own.
The Sunday Times learns that Mr Silva’s coordniating secretary Amal Rodrgo who was detained for about 10 days and released had soon after left the country while another persons was abducted in Moratuwa and released in Negombo three days later. Meanwhile, both Mr. Silva and Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera have given evidence before a probe committee appointed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
This committee comprises Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena Minister Susil Premajayantha, who is also General Secretary of the UPFA. For the past two weeks, Minister Silva and the PS Chairman have been publicly accusing each other of corruption and acting against the party’s interests in the Kelaniya area.
Minister Premajayantha said they would submit their report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa who would take a decision. Meanwhile an attempt by Minister Silva to meet the President after the weekly Cabinet meeting last Wednesday proved futile with the President turning down the request.
By Chris Kamalendran