Sri Lanka rejects US court summons

Sri Lanka has rejected a US court summons served on President Mahinda Rajapaksa over a USD 30 million damages suit against him.The summons, first delivered to ‘Temple Trees’ but not accepted there, was later received by the Ministry of Justice, which rejected it.

“It was based on an unfounded allegation. We have no obligation to respond to that as a sovereign state,” Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath told the state-owned ‘Lakhanda’ radio.

He said Sri Lanka had stated in writing the legal position on the issue to the US court.
“We have informed the District Court of the Southern District of Columbia of our legal position,” Gamlath was quoted as saying by the Sunday Times.

He said the Sri Lankan statute — the Mutual Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters Act No 39 of 2000 — had laid down that the country need not heed such summons, “if we consider that the execution of the request will be prejudicial to the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.”

Gamlath argued that Lankan President enjoyed legal immunity as the head of state and no court could summon him.

Kasipillai Manoharan, a Tamil, had filed a complaint in the District court of Columbia claiming USD 30 million over the alleged killing of his son Raghiar Manoharan.

Gamlath said the plaint was the work of the Tamil lobby in the US backing the defeated LTTE and the motive was to create tensions in Sri Lanka.

President Rajapaksa is expected to visit New York in September this year for the United Nations General Assembly sessions.


Source: Deccan Herald