Sri Lanka’s death row convict Premalal Jayasekara sworn in as MP

September 8, 2020 at 1:09 PM

A Sri Lankan lawmaker Premalal Jayasekara from the ruling party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), who was elected to Parliament while serving a death sentence in a murder case, was sworn in as a member of Parliament today.

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued an interim order directing the Commissioner-General of Prisons to make arrangements for Premalal Jayasekara to attend the Parliament session beginning from today.

Jayasekara was convicted in a murder case on July 31, just days ahead of the August 05 Parliamentary elections which he contested from Ratnapura.

Jayasekara filed a writ petition, seeking the court to order the Commissioner General of Prisons to allow him to attend Parliament sittings.

The court order came after Attorney-General Dappula de Livera earlier ruled that Jayasekara is “unsuitable to either sit in Parliament or vote in the House.”

The Attorney General had said that as per section 91 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, no person shall be qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament or to sit and vote in Parliament if he is or becomes subject to any of the disqualifications specified in Article 89.

It adds, Section 89 (d) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka notes, no person shall be qualified to be an elector at an election of the President, or of the Members of Parliament or to vote at any referendum if he is under sentence of death and he will lose his right to vote under such a sentence.

Jayasekara and two others were sentenced to death by the Ratnapura High Court for the 2015 murder of a political activist in the run up to the January 2015 Presidential elections. (NewsWire)