Who Did It?

A Sri Lankan magistrate Thursday gave police permission to examine three private bank accounts amid allegations that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse helped himself to foreign aid meant for tsunami survivors. A Sri Lankan magistrate Thursday gave police permission to examine three private bank accounts amid allegations that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse helped himself to foreign aid meant for tsunami survivors. Acting Colombo magistrate, Jayantha Dias Nanayakkara, authorised the Criminal Investigations Department to probe the accounts in connection with 82.9 million rupees (829,000 dollars) held by Rajapakse.

Rajapakse’s secretary Lalith Weeratunga said there was no wrongdoing and the premier had held the foreign aid money in a private account to ensure faster disbursement of relief to tsunami victims.

However police are continuing the investigation amid opposition allegations that the premier had siphoned off aid money.

The 82.9 million rupees had since been transferred to the account of the state and the premier had not taken “even a cent” for his use, Weeratunga said.

Rajapakse is the ruling party candidate for the presidency in elections to be held any time between October 22 and