April 11, 2008 (LBO) – A lawmaker of Sri Lanka’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party was arrested Friday for stealing tax-free vehicles bought by rebel members of the party in the latest twist in an unfolding political drama following a major split in the party. Parliamentarian Jayantha Weerasekera was remanded till April 17 after he surrendered Friday, police said.
The Marxist-nationalist JVP was thrown into chaos after a faction led by firebrand speaker Wimal Weerawansa split from the party ahead of his expulsion along with at least ten others this week.
The party was a key promoter of economic policies followed by Sri Lanka since 2004 of expanding government, halting economic reforms and dishing out billions in energy and other subsidies.
This had brought very high inflation to the country and driven the state into a fiscal crisis with high interest rates and foreign borrowing, which earned the country a credit downgrade last month.
The party also advocates a military solution to the internal conflict of the island and pushed the government to break a ceasefire agreement with the Tamil Tiger militants.
Two rebel parliamentarians, Achala Jagoda and Jayantha Weerasekera had complained to police that the