Gota given three weeks to respond to US court summons

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

US-based Centre for Justice and Accountability has confirmed that it has filed a civil lawsuit against former Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a US court.

In a communiqué, CJA said the lawsuit was filed against Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for his alleged involvement in the killing of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge and the widespread and systematic targeting of journalists perceived to be critical of the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa-led administration.

CJA said although the previous government denied playing a role in the abductions, assaults, and killings of journalists, many attacks were traced back to persons linked to former Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

It said, on the 8th of January, 2009 Lasantha Wickrematunge was killed by masked assailants in Colombo while driving to work.

Lasantha Wickrematunge was the editor of The Sunday Leader, well-known for his political opinion columns and his investigations exposing the then government’s corruption and abuses.

Centre for Justice and Accountability said over a decade has passed since Lasantha Wickrematunge’s death, and still no charges have moved forward and the continued impunity prompted Lasantha Wickrematunge’s daughter, Ahimsa Wickrematunge, to seek accountability for her father’s murder through a civil suit in the United States.

Former Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa was served with a court summons and copy of Ahimsa’s complaint on April 7, 2019 and now has until April 29, 2019 to respond to the allegations against him.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived back in the country on Friday after engaging in a private visit to the US.

(Source: News Radio)