Lawyer seeks Rs. 500 million compensation for Easter blast injuries

A police officer inspects the explosion area at Shangri-La hotel in Colombo Sri Lanka

A lawyer who sustained injuries from the suicide bomb on Easter Sunday at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking a compensation of Rs. 500 million for the injured.

The petitioner Moditha T.B. Ekanayake, 55, an attorney-at-law, filed the petition citing former Defence Ministry Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, IGP Pujith Jayasundara, State Intelligence Service head Nilantha Jayawardena and 40 others as respondents.

The petitioner further sought a declaration that the respondents have infringed the Fundamental Rights of the petitioner and of citizens as guaranteed under Article 11, 12(1), 14(1)(a), and 14 (1) of the Constitution. The petitioner states that on April 21, he had gone to the Shangri-La Hotel to collect a pen drive he had left at the Hotel Business Centre after a meeting he had with two of his clients at the hotel.

The petitioner stated that at around 8.10 am on April 21, 2019 he had collected the pen drive and was headed towards Table One of the restaurant at Level 3 of the Hotel to have his breakfast.

He had then finished his breakfast and while waiting for the waiter to return with the balance money, the first bomb had exploded at around 8.10 a.m. The petitioner stated that he was not injured from the first bomb blast. The petitioner stated that he had then run towards the exit point of the restaurant and just as he reached the exit, the second bomb had exploded and the petitioner had been thrown about 15 feet away. The petitioner stated that a hotel taxi driver had then taken the petitioner to the accident ward at the Colombo National Hospital. The petitioner stated that he will have to forego his professional practice for at least a period of six months.

The petitioner stated that he had sustained flame burn injuries to his head, face, both right and left arms and right thigh. The petitioner stated that his eyes were subject to scarring resulting in Corneal Ulceration.He is currently undergoing treatment for a fracture that has occurred on his vertebral column at the first lumber vertebra.The petitioner further stated that due to the penetration caused by a bomb fragment to his left cheek, two of his teeth in his left upper jaw were fractured.

The petitioner stated that the Catholic religious leaders had not received any warning regarding a potential terror attack and, therefore, the relevant defence authorities had clearly failed to warn and inform the churches regarding such attacks.The petitioner stated that one or all 34 respondents could be prosecuted for the commission of or, abetting to the commission of, offences under Sections 298, 299, 112, 113 of the Penal Code.

The petitioner seeks to challenge the arbitrary, illegal, unlawful, discriminatory, unreasonable and mala fide actions or inactions of one or all of the respondents, President or State which have infringed the Fundamental Rights of the petitioner guaranteed under Article 11, 12(1), 14(1)(a), and 14 (1) of the Constitution. This petition will be taken up for support on July 12.

(Government News Portal)