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Sri Lanka’s foreign minister resigns ‘with pride’ over corruption allegations

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ravi Karunayake resigned from his portfolio on Thursday, after being dogged by allegations of corruption.

Mr Karunayake stepped down from his post, however, maintained his innocence and denied all allegations against him.

"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," he said. "I will not allow such a coup to topple our government. I resign with pride ... setting an example."

“I am resigning not with any guilt but with pride.”

He went on to state that he would continue to as a back bench member of parliament.

"I have never done anything wrong, and I resign with pride to create a new political culture in Sri Lanka and ensure good governance," Mr Karunanayake added.

“I have sacrificed my position for democracy and good governance. I am proud of the decision that I have made.”

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

"Even when he is not guilty, he has shown he is stepping down on a matter of principle," said Mr Wickremesinghe.

TNA leader R Sampanathan said Mr Karunayake had “set an example which many others could do well to follow”.