A Sri Lankan court has barred the once-powerful former defense secretary from leaving the country as police investigate a large weapons cache aboard a ship that operated under his purview.
A court in the southern town of Galle imposed the travel ban on Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, a brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, police said in a statement late Monday. It also imposed similar bans on former navy chief Somathilake Dissanayake and two others at the request of the police Crime Investigation Division.
Police raided the ship in Galle harbor soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa lost a presidential election in January, and said they found more than 3,000 automatic and semi-automatic weapons. They said the weapons were for a private security firm guarding the seas against pirates.
Opposition parties have questioned the legality of the weapons cache.
Gotabhaya played a key role in defeating ethnic Tamil rebels in a civil war during his brother’s presidency.