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* Civil suit against Sri Lanka's former Defense Secretary on killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge unsealed in US court
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 09:25 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 16, Colombo: The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) says the civil suit filed in a U.S. court against Sri Lanka's former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his alleged role In killing of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge was unsealed in a U.S. federal court.

The San Francisco-based human rights legal organization in a Twitter post said the CJA's civil suit against former Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the killing of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge and systematic attacks on the Free Press was unsealed by a federal judge in U.S. District Court for Central District of California on Tuesday (15th).

On April 4, 2019, CJA filed a civil suit on behalf of Ahimsa Wickrematunge, daughter of the journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge against Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, for his alleged involvement in the killing of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge and the widespread and systematic targeting of journalists perceived to be critical of the Rajapaksa government.

The CJA says the defendant was personally served the notice on April 7, 2019 in Montrose, California.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and the U.S. has three weeks from the time of service (until April 29) to respond to CJA's complaint, by either affirming or denying the facts it alleged or by filing a motion to dismiss. If he does not respond, the case can still proceed without him, and the court will assess the strength of CJA's claims against him, the group explained.


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