BY Cassendra Doole
Former Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa continued his hunger strike for the second consecutive day, yesterday, urging that he be released. Weerawansa is currently in remand prison on charges of misusing State vehicles.
The National Freedom Front (NFF) leader was arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) on 10 January after he arrived to give a statement pertaining to allegations of misusing State vehicles.
Weerawansa has been accused of misusing several vehicles, belonging to the Presidential Secretariat Office, during his tenure as the Minister of Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities, and thereby causing losses to the tune of Rs 41 million to the government.
On Tuesday (21), the Colombo High Court had rejected a bail application filed by Weerawansa, after which he launched a hunger strike urging his release.
Prison authorities confirmed that Weerawansa had refused to have his breakfast on Wednesday (22) and they were monitoring the situation. This is the second time that Weerawansa has been engaged in a hunger strike.
The former minister launched a ‘fast unto death’ campaign in 2010 outside the UN office in Colombo demanding that former UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon dissolves a three-member panel looking into human rights abuses, in the final stages of a three-decade-long war, between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels that ended in 2009. He ended his four-day fast when the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited him and gave him water.