Sri Lanka's Foreign Min resigns over alleged scandal

Sri Lanka's then appointed foreign minister Ravi Karunanayake prays during a function to invoke blessings as is customary practice before the start of important activities as he assumes office in Colombo Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's then appointed foreign minister Ravi Karunanayake prays during a function to invoke blessings as is customary practice before the start of important activities as he assumes office in Colombo Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's foreign minister resigned on Thursday after being accused of possessing a luxury apartment paid for by a businessman investigated for shady treasury bond transactions. The minister has denied any wrongdoing, saying the deal with the apartment was handled by his family and he was not aware of its contents or parties involved.

"I am not guilty of any of the allegations, but I am resigning my portfolio to ensure that opponents are not able to destabilise our unity government", Karunanayake said.

Karunanayake resigned following making a special statement in Parliament with regard to the allegations that have been leveled against him.

Sirisena appointed Karunanayake, a key strategist in helping to topple the former government, as foreign minister on May 22. "I resign with pride. setting an example". Last week, Karunanayake appeared before a presidential commission of enquiry in connection with the bond sale scandal in 2015.

The move was praised by Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who defended Mr Karunayake.

President Maithripala Sirisena, who came into power promising to end corruption, has been under pressure to act against Karunanayake. Until then, he had been finance minister since January 2015.

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