Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Saman Rathnayake, who was arrested and remanded in connection with the medicine procurement scandal,

is to provide a confidential statement to the Maligakanda Magistrate today (4).

Dr. Rathnayake was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday (3), when he appeared to record a statement.

After providing a seven-hour statement, he was taken into custody.

The case concerning the procurement, supply and distribution of the controversial medicine was taken up in Court on Saturday (2).

Earlier on Saturday (2), the Court, upon the submission of Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama, issued an order remanding Rathnayake till 14 March.

However, Rathnayake, through his legal representative, informed the Court of his willingness to provide a confidential statement to Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrama.

The Magistrate then granted permission for this request and directed the suspect to appear in Court today (4) to provide the confidential statement.

During Saturday’s hearing, the Deputy Solicitor General informed the Court that Dr. Saman Rathnayake, the 10th suspect in the case, was arrested on charges of misappropriating government funds.

The investigations revealed that Dr. Rathnayake had a comprehensive understanding of the emergency procurement process under the Indian Credit Line and had misused government funds allocated to the Ministry of Health to procure the controversial medicines.

Further, it was disclosed that Rathnayake and former Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella, the 8th suspect, had orchestrated a fictitious medicine shortage using fabricated Cabinet Papers to exploit the emergency procurement process, constituting an illegal act with dishonest intentions.

The Deputy Solicitor General informed the Court that a Cabinet Paper submitted on 26 September 2022, claiming a critical shortage of 182 medicines in the country, was found to be baseless upon verification of the original file.

Subsequently, Rathnayake instructed former Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Janaka Sri Chandragupta, to initiate an emergency procurement process for 285 medicines the next day, based on the false claims of a critical situation, the Deputy Solicitor General told the Court.

The Deputy Solicitor General stressed that Rathnayake’s actions resulted in the misappropriation of Rs 2 billion of State funds. Lawyer Kanchana Ratwatte represented the suspect, Dr. Saman Rathnayake and made several submissions. The lawyer then requested that Dr. Rathnayake be released on bail under any conditions.

The lawyer argued that his client engaged in the procurement process due to the shortage of medicines and foreign currency in the country during the relevant period.

Additionally, she highlighted Dr. Rathnayake’s poor health and submitted medical reports to the Court to support the request for bail.

However, Deputy Solicitor General Girihagama countered the argument by stating that the medical reports provided do not indicate any specific illness suffered by Rathnayake. According to the reports, he underwent surgery in 2018 and the treatment has since been completed. Further, the latest health reports show no evidence of any special medical condition.

After considering submissions, the Magistrate permitted naming Dr. Saman Rathnayake as the 10th suspect in the case and ordered him to be remanded for 14 days. Accordingly, the Magistrate instructed the prison officials to detain the suspect at the Mahara Prison until the specified date.



WhatsApp Image 2023 08 02 at 15.09.47

Follow Us


Exchange Rates


Electric Bill