By:Isuru ParakramaColombo (LNW): Former Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has settled Rs. 15 million as compensation for the victims of the April 2019 Easter Sunday massacre.
Settling the said amount, the ex President said he will be able to settle the balance payment in instalments until the full amount ordered to be paid by the Supreme Court, Rs. 100 million, is met.
Ahead of the deadline on July 12, Sirisena paid Rs. 15 million as compensation on June 28, 2023, and filed a motion requesting that he be allowed to pay the balance in 10 instalments of Rs. 8.5 million from June 30, 2024 to June 20 June 2033.
Providing rationale for his capacity to settle the full compensation to the victims, Sirisena through his lawyers explained that he receives a pension of Rs. 97,500 as the former Head of State, alongside a salary of Rs. 54,285 as a Member of Parliament, and therefore, will be able to settle the full amount of Rs. 100 million within the aforementioned period.
On January 12, 2023, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka ruled that the ex President, alongside former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara, former Head of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) Nilantha Jayawardena and former Head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Sisira Mendis, has violated the fundamental rights of the people by failing to take action to prevent the Easter Sunday Massacre, which took away more than 270 lives on April 21, 2019 via a series of suicide bomb attacks, despite receiving sufficient intelligence on the threat. The Bench had ordered the former President to pay Rs. 100 million, the ex IGP and the ex SIS Chief to pay Rs. 75 million each, the ex Defence Secretary Rs. 50 million and the ex NIS Chief Rs. 10 million from their personal money.
The order was produced by the seven-member Supreme Court Bench, considering 12 Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed by a number of parties claiming that their fundamental rights were violated via the negligence and failure to avert the attacks.