PR officer was the one arrested: Mangala’s Media Sec.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s Media Secretary Asita Rajapakse said in a statement today that it was Minister’s Public Relations Officer Sameera Manahara who was arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) in Mount Lavania on August 5.

Mr. Rajapakse was responding to media reports that the Minister’s Private Secretary was arrested when a stock of narcotics was found in possession of one of those in the jeep.

He said Mr. Manahara was arrested by the STF and handed over to the police. The arrest had been made when Mr. Manahara and three of his friends were travelling in a jeep for a function.

The arrest was made after narcotics were found inside the vehicle. The vehicle belonged to one of those travelling in the jeep. The STF officers visited the house of the suspect-the owner of the jeep-and took into custody 16 bottles of liquor, three cartons of cigarettes, a knife and an ornamental sword.

The suspects were produced in the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court and apart from the person admitting to having the narcotics in his possession, the others including Mr. Manahara were released on bail.

Mr. Rajapakse said media websites were publishing baseless allegations against the minister to tarnish his image.

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