Sept 26, Colombo: The Supreme Court ruled today (26) to remove the current President Ranil Wickramasinghe, who is named as a respondent in the fundamental rights petitions filed against the state for its failure to prevent the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on 21 April 2019 despite having prior knowledge, from the case.
The apex court’s decision said according to Article 35(1) of the Constitution, a case cannot be maintained against a sitting President and Ranil Wickramasinghe is entitled to immunity as the current President.
It has been further stated in the judgment that a case cannot be maintained against a president who is holding the office of president and that the interim clause of the Constitution has been prepared for the head of state to carry out his official duties without any hindrance.
This judgment was announced today (26) when the petitions filed against the state were taken for consideration before a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court presided by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, and comprising Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, L. T. B. Dehideniya, Murdu Fernando, S. Thurairajah and Gamini Amarasekera.
Former President Maithripala Sirisena, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Cabinet, former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, former Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, former Chief of State Intelligence Nilantha Jayewardene, former Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis and others have been named as respondents in these petitions.
The FR petitions had been 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.
Further hearing of these petitions was adjourned till the 29th.