Jaffna disappearance case : SC orders to re-issue notice to Gotabaya

October 19, 2022 at 2:35 PM

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has issued an order to resend a notice to former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to provide evidence pertaining to a case filed on the disappearance of human rights activists Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Murugananthan in Jaffna in 2011, Ada Derana reported.

The order was issued after the petition seeking an order to suspend the Court of Appeal’s decision stating that Rajapaksa cannot be summoned in connection to the case being heard at the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court, was taken up for hearing at the Supreme Court today (19). 

Representing the petitioners, Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage informed the Supreme Court that a notice has been issued to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, but no lawyer has appeared on behalf of the former President.

The Jaffna Magistrate’s Court had instructed Rajapaksa, who had served as the Defence Secretary at the time of the disappearance, to appear in court on 27th September to provide evidence on the incident that had taken place on 10th December 2011.

The order was issued after taking up for consideration a petition filed by the relatives of Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Murugananthan. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa had thereafter filed a motion at the Court of Appeal, seeking an order to suspend the order of the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court claiming that his life was under threat if he was to appear before Jaffna Court to give evidence.

When the verdict on the motion was issued, Rajapaksa had been elected as the President of Sri Lanka, prompting the Court of Appeal to announce that he cannot be summoned to provide evidence as he is the Head of State.

Following Rajapaksa’s resignation from the post of President, the relatives of the missing human rights activists have submitted a petition to the Supreme Court seeking an order for him to appear in court to provide evidence on the case.

Taking up for hearing the petition, the Supreme Court today instructed the lawyer representing the petitioners to issue a new notice to former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appear before the court to provide evidence.

The Supreme Court also fixed the next hearing of the petition for 15th December 2022. (NewsWire)