Sri Lanka SC orders to issue summons to Gotabaya Rajapaksa in 2011 human rights violation case

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Wednesday directed authorities to issue summons to ousted president Gotabaya Rajapaksa appeared in court for the disappearance of two activists in 2011 because he has now been stripped of his constitutional immunity.
Rajapaksa, 73, will now be asked to give evidence in a lawsuit over the disappearances of human rights activists Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Murugananthan in the northern district of Jaffna.
The disappearance took place 12 years ago right after the long end of the country civil war when Rajapaksa was a powerful official at the defense ministry under his brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
At the time, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was accused of overseeing kidnapping squads that hunted down rebel suspects, critical journalists and activists, many of whom were never seen again. He has previously denied any wrongdoing.
When Rajapaksa was initially summoned to stand trial in 2018, he filed a petition with the Court of Appeal claiming that his life would be threatened if he went to Jaffna to stand trial.
The Court of Appeal later ruled that Rajapaksa could not be summoned to court because he had been elected President by then and enjoyed legal immunity as President of the country.
Since Rajapaksa has now lost his constitutional immunity, the summit court decided to issue a summons to summon him to appear on December 15 when the case will be heard. Rajapaksa was overthrown in a popular uprising against him for his mishandling of the island nation’s worst economic crisis.
He fled to the Maldives in mid-July and announced his resignation from Singapore. In early September, he returned from Thailand.


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