(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court today ruled that the former President Maithripala Sirisena and four other former officials had violated fundamental human rights by failing to prevent the Easter Sunday attack in April 2019 despite receiving prior intelligence information.
The apex court ordered the respondents and the State to pay compensation totaling 311 million rupees to victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings that killed 269 people.
Accordingly, the court ordered former President Maithripala Sirisena to pay 100 million rupees, former Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara and former Chief of State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena each to pay 75 million rupees, former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando to pay 50 million rupees, and former National Intelligence Chief Mr. Sisira Mendis to pay 10 million rupees from their personal funds.
In addition, the government should pay one million as compensation, the judgment said.
In addition, the Supreme Court also ordered to take disciplinary action against the former head of the State Intelligence Service, Mr. Nilantha Jayawardena.
The seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and comprising justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, LTB Dehideniya, Murdu Fernando, S. Thurairajah, A.H.M.D. Navaz and Shiran Guneratne issued the verdict after considering the considered the fundamental right petitions.
The petitions were filed by 12 parties including the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), Catholic priests, a father who lost his two children in the attack, businessman Jagath S. Vithanage and many others.
The terrorist attack on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, killed 267 people, including 45 foreigners, injured over 500 and damaged churches, hotels and property.