US court dismisses lawsuit against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

A United States court on Monday dismissed a law suit filed against Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the brother of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The case has been filed by Ahimsa Wickremetunga, the daughter of murdered editor Lasantha Wickremetunga in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was defense chief when Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, was ambushed and killed near the Ratmalana High Security Zone on the morning of January 8, 2009.

On Monday, the California court has announced that it had granted Rajapaksa’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds that the court lacks the jurisdiction to consider Wickrematunge’s claims.

The San Francisco-based human rights legal group Center for Justice and Accountability, which assisted Wickrematunge in filing the lawsuit in April, said the court viewed that Rajapaksa is entitled to common law foreign official immunity for the acts that are alleged – acts of torture, extrajudicial killing, and crimes against humanity.

Courtesy: Colombo Page

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