The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has recorded a statement from former President Maithripala Sirisena for nearly five hours today (August 19) in connection with granting a presidential pardon to Royal Park murder convict Don Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha.
Don Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha was convicted of murdering of 19-year-old Swedish national, Yvonne Jonsson at the Royal Park Condominium complex in Rajagiriya on July 01, 2005, and was sentenced 12 years in prison by the Colombo High Court.
In 2012, the Appeals Court overturned the sentence on Shramantha Jayamaha from 12 years to a death sentence.
Former President Maithripala Sirisena granted him a presidential pardon on November 09, 2019.
Parliamentarian Ven. Athureliya Rathana Thera had earlier filed a complaint with the CID calling for an inquiry into a statement made by former President Maithripala Sirisena over granting a presidential pardon to the Royal Park murder convict Shramantha Jayamaha.
Later, in October 2013, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence given by the Appeals Court to Shramantha Jayamaha.
Yvonne Jonsson was residing at her apartment on the 23rd floor of the Royal Park complex in Rajagiriya while her body was found on the 19th floor.
Following backlash on the move, Sirisena clarified that granting of the presidential pardon was carried out on the recommendations of a special committee of officials, civil organisations, and several distinguished members of the society, citing that Jayamaha has served his sentence in prison with good behaviour and conduct while undertaking studies to complete his external degree and to work for a Ph.D.
The complete statement issued by President’s Media Division on November 11, 2019
“Many religious leaders, former Supreme Court Judges, lawyers, civil society leaders and youth leaders have made representations to President Maithripala Sirisena, recommending granting a sympathetic consideration to the appeal for granting Presidential pardon to 34-year old Don Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha, who is serving a life imprisonment on the murder taken place at Royal Park, Rajagiriya.
Ven Athraliye Rathana Thero, Member of Parliament, played a key role and coordinated in obtaining Presidential pardon for this youth and he has brought the parents and close relations of the youth to meet the President and give a lengthy explanation of the background.
Ven Rathana Thero also made a written appeal to the President explaining that the murder took place due to an argument over a love affair between the youth and the young girl and Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha, while serving his sentence in prison with good behavior and conduct and undertook studies to successfully complete his external degree and now working for his PhD and he is an intelligent young man with a pleasant personality. He appealed to consider above and release him on a Presidential pardon.
Ven Rathana Thero also appealed to the President to consider this in accordance with the Buddhist teachings of compassion.
Ven Baddegama Samitha Thero too urged the President to pardon this youth as an intelligent person he would be a good citizen in the future and it would be highly appreciated.
Ven Dr. Keradewala Punnarathana Nayake Thero, Dwitheeya Adhikarana Sangha Nayake of Southern Sri Lanka, also stated that the President Should sympathetically consider granting pardon to this youth he has not indulged in any illegal acts apart from the crime he was found guilty. Ven Balangoda Buddhagosha Thero also stressed the importance of granting Presidential pardon to this youth.
When this crime took place Shramantha Anthony Jude Jayamaha was a 19 year old youth and considering that it was reported that the crime was committed due to instantaneous and uncontrolled anger and not a pre-planned murder and considering his good conduct during the last 15 years of prison life and he has completed higher studies and studying for Ph.D. and he is an intelligent and experienced person who has been rehabilitated and he has not been found guilty of any wrongdoings during the imprisoned period, and considering that he has an ability to serve the country as a good citizen and in other countries too such amnesty is given to prisoners, the President has decided to pardon Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha.
President’s Media Division
November 11, 2019