Supreme Court issues notice on former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has issued notice on former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (November 24) to make submissions on December 16 regarding the order issued to grant presidential pardon to former MP Duminda Silva.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to make submissions before the 16th of December 2022.

Notice was issued on the Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa by the Supreme Court following the consideration of Fundamental Rights Applications filed against the Presidential Pardon by Hirunika Premachandra, her mother Sumana Premachandra, and Former Human Rights Commissioner Ghazali Hussain, PC.

The applications were called up in the presence of Justices Yasantha Kodagoda, and Murdhu Fernando.

Duminda Silva was involved in a shooting incident on 8 October 2011, during Local Authority Elections, where former MP Bharatha Lakshman

Premachandra known as “Lucky Aiya” and three of his bodyguards were killed.

The High Court of Sri Lanka convicted Duminda Silva and four of his associates for murder and imposed the death sentence on them on 16 September 2016.

Subsequently the sentence was appealed but a five-Judge bench of the Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction of Silva in a unanimous 51-page verdict issued on 16 October 2018.

Despite the High Court conviction of 2016 being upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018, Duminda Silva was a free man in June 2021.

After being pardoned in June 2021, Duminda Silva was appointed in July as Chairman of the National Housing Development Authority by then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Earlier during the time of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Duminda Silva served as Monitoring MP of the Defence Ministry while Gotabaya was the Defence Ministry Secretary.

On the 31st of May 2022, Supreme Court issued an interim order suspending the Presidential Pardon given to former MP Duminda Silva, who was on death row for the murder of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.

The Supreme Court had also imposed an overseas travel ban on Duminda Silva as well.

(With inputs from News First)