2 June, 2020

Blog

Presidential Pardon To Sunil Ratnayake! Undermining The Process Of Justice Again!

By Lakmal Harischandra

Lakmal Harischandra

It was yet another sad day for Sri Lanka where the height of impunity went to another appalling low level, signifying a chronic impunity crisis affecting the process of justice in this Dharma Dweepa. It was also a sad day not just for the Tamil families affected; it equally brings grief to the right thinking people across racial divides-Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims too. This should not be construed as an indictment on the entire Army fighting a terrorist outfit; rather the concern raised here is about the way a President can act unilaterally to reverse a judicial decision. Does it not defeat the very purpose of having the separation of powers as stipulated in the Constitution to ensure checks and balances?  

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pardoned an army soldier on death row for massacring eight Tamil civilians, including four children – one as young as five years old. In 2000, during the height of three-decade ethnic war against the Tamil Tiger terrorist faction, Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake and 14 others were accused of torturing and murdering eight Tamil civilians at the Mirusuvil army camp, close to northern Jaffna, a former rebel stronghold. The case came to light after one of the Tamils escaped and fled from the massacre. According to reports,  the family had gone back to inspect their bombed homes following an intense battle between the army and the Tiger rebels in their little village, and were accused of being a terrorist reconnaissance team.

Evidence in court showed Sunil Ratnayake had tortured the men, women and children, before slashing their throats and burying them. The soldier was sentenced to death in 2015 after a 13 year trial, at the end of which he was found guilty of 15 charges including illegal arrest, torture, murder and the burial of the bodies in a mass grave. During the trial, 13 of the soldiers, all except Ratnayake, were acquitted of all charges citing “insufficient evidence. The fact that Tigers too did worst acts will not absolve an army officer to repeat a similar act.  

This pardon surely raised much applause from the a largely nationalistic Sri Lankan electorate which gave a Presidential mandate to a former Secretary of Defence whose track records in human rights are also far from credible. But, it is a fact that it was a gross abuse of Presidential powers given to him under Article 34 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka which was promulgated by the First Executive President JR Jayewardene. This Ratnayake case was also significant as it was also   a very rare case where a security forces personnel was prosecuted in Sri Lanka and this pardon shows that Sri Lanka  will not exercise any accountability with regard to the so- called war time atrocities. As Amnesty International  says, ‘Where accountability is so rare for serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the government’s arbitrary decision to release Sergeant Ratnayaka sends an extremely worrying message… Using the pandemic as an opportunity to release those convicted for heinous crimes is reprehensible. Victims have a right to justice, and Sri Lanka has an obligation to ensure that justice is done’.

Yes! the global Corona crisis will drive this abuse of Presidential power go into oblivion and no amount of protest will reverse this decision as the pre-election environment is not conducive when the majoritarian feelings of the majority community is in a  state of arousal justifying this decision as a reversal of so-called injustice to an Army who fought a ruthless war. But as human rights activists, it is our duty to highlight this gross abuse of power by President Gotabaya as yet another blow to the judicial independence of Sri Lanka in the much trumpeted democracy. The Presidential power in the constitution to pardon convicts has been exercised by the incumbents of the office of the President in gross violation of the much honoured legal principle that all are equal before the law. Under our 1978 Constitution. the President may grant a pardon, respite or substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed to any offender convicted of any offence in any court within the Republic of Sri Lanka. The President has also immunity from both civil or criminal proceedings.

The action of President Gotabaya was neither new or novel. His predecessor Sirisena did it twice. It was last year that President Sirisena pardoned a well known hate monk Ven Gnanasara (GST) who was jailed after being charged for contempt of court. When GST was let off the hook and allowed to go free, the last remnants of the rule of law then vanished. Analysts point out that the pardon specifically signals that some are more equal than others, when some categories of citizens, such as the Buddhist clergy, can expect to enjoy preferential treatment when it comes to obeying the law. It also sets a dangerous precedent whereby properly tried, convicted and sentenced persons can be released on the whims of the President and government. The timing of his presidential pardon in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday massacre was significant as well, where GST’s dubious record as an incessant Islamophobe will play a pivotal role in further exacerbating the hate campaign against the Island’s Muslim population. It was indeed the second rising of the Sri Lankan version of Wirathu of Myanamar, which appeared to echo well with the anti-Muslim hate lobbies barking loud through the social media.

Then again in November 2019, Sirisena as outgoing President caused another outrage by pardoning a death row prisoner who murdered a Swedish teenager in 2005. Jude Jayamaha, from a wealthy, high-profile family, walked free from prison following his highly unusual decision. The victim’s sister, Caroline Jonsson, said the killer had shown no remorse. It was proved to be a premeditated act and he had waited for her outside the family’s apartment before attacking her. Jayamaha was initially given 12 years in prison. His subsequent appeal against his jail term was rejected and he was sentenced to death instead, a sentence upheld by the Supreme Court in 2014.

The State’s obligation internationally is a pointer to indicate that the prerogative of mercy should be exercised by procedures which are fair and proper and to that end are subject to judicial review. In many jurisdictions, the power of pardon is an important component of executive powers, which allows the President to intervene and grant pardon, as a way of “dispensing the mercy of government” in exceptional cases where the legal system fails to deliver a morally or politically acceptable result. It exists to protect citizens against possible miscarriage of justice, occasioned by wrongful conviction or excessive punishment. The power to grant pardon is of ancient origin and recognised today in almost every nation. It is capable of correcting the mistakes of the judiciary, particularly, where one may have been wrongly convicted or where the punishment was unduly excessive.

Nevertheless, in recent times, this power has, in practice, become a personal prerogative of the President, a remnant of tribal kingship generally reserved for the well-heeled or well connected. The power of pardon is virtually unfettered and unchecked by formal constraints in most jurisdictions, thereby rendering it susceptible to abuse. The pardon power has been abused as political and other extraneous factors tend to determine its application. It has also been seen as capricious and inaccessible by ordinary people. The usefulness of the power has seriously been dented by lack of control and checks in most jurisdictions. 

There are many reservations about the presidential power to pardon on a unilateral basis in many other countries.Judicial review of the exercise of pardon power is allowed in India  and South Africa, but not in most other jurisdictions. In India for example, it has been judicially established that presidential pardon under Article 72 of the Indian Constitution is subject to judicial review on the grounds mentioned in the case of Maru Ram v Union of India. In that case, the court, while deciding on the validity of 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, examined the power of pardon under Article 72 and observed as follows: Pardon using this expression in the amplest connotation, ordains fair exercise. Political vendetta or party favouritism cannot but be interlopers in this area. The order which is the product of extraneous or mala fide factors will vitiate the exercise.’ In South Africa, the reviewability of the President’s power to pardon as evident in the Hugo’s case 77 was upheld by section 239 of the 1995 Constitution. In Zambia, In the exercise of the presidential pardon power under section 59 of the Constitution to pardon, section 60 provides for an Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy consisting of persons appointed by the President. The Constitution of Uganda provides for the establishment of an Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy, which shall consist of the Attorney General and six prominent citizens of the State appointed by the President.

The pardoning power is the most sacred and difficult of all executive functions. Though it is regarded as a prerogative, based solely on presidential or executive discretion, there ought to be checks and guiding principles to avoid injustice in the quest for equity. By that, public interest shall be better served, reform of the prisoners more attained and welfare of the family and community advanced by a liberal but discrete use of the pardoning power. Ultimately, the ability of the President to use the pardon power fairly and dispassionately will, to a large extent, depend on his personal integrity and sense of responsibility. While the President should be allowed wide latitude in the exercise of his power of pardon, the prescription of some guidelines for granting pardon, as obtainable in India and South Africa, is also desirable. This, of course, cannot prevent the abuse of presidential pardon power, but it would go a long way in curbing the incidence of abuse. Indeed, the grant of pardon in all cases should be rational and aimed at serving some public policy purpose in order to justify the President’s interference with the judicial determination of guilt and punishment. Thus, it is recommended that the advice of a Council on the grant or refusal of pardon to applicants should be made binding on the President in all cases or the judicial review made possible as in few other jurisdictions. 

On Sri Lankan context, the present provisions in the Constitutions allows for improper cover-up and self-interested pardons. Only the President’s conscience, concern for historical judgment, and political considerations-public opinion and election strategy-provide a check on the President’s pardon decisions. The abuse of Presidential Pardon is also an abdication of the state responsibility to control crime. Such pardon is not meant to forgive persons who have committed serious crimes and certainly not for the purpose of favouring political allies to promote political cause of the party the president belongs to.  However, there is no surprise that this kind of thing happens in Sri Lanka as the President does not consider himself bound by any conventions or ethical and moral considerations in the use of his extraordinary powers. 

Will the Sri Lankan electorate wake up and force the hand of the branches of the government to exercise proper checks and balances? It is imperative the Article 34 giving such powers to the President to pardon as he wills, should be curtailed and subjected to checks. It will be left for public activists and HR watch groups like HRCSL and CPA to build public awareness about the importance of having such checks and balances for any vibrant democracy to survive in the true spirit and also protect civic rights to justice and fairness? Will they rise up to this challenge in this unconducive political environment? Only time will tell. 

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Latest comments

  • 6
    42

    Was there a public uproar from Sinhalayo when Rajapakshe regime pardoned hundreds of LTTE cadres who engaged in terrorist activities against Native Sinhalayo, spent money of Sinhala tax payers to rehabilitate them and guided them to self-employment?

    • 12
      1

      A friend in Colombo tells me CT is no longer accessible in Sri Lanka? Not sure if that is true. However, what is true is that SL has stopped updating Covid-19 figures. The last update of 106 was a figure from days ago. That’s in the Daily News. The other news media have suddenly gone dead silent on the subject. So it may seem the country has taken to living in a fool’s paradise – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. SL must be the only country where Covid-19 has ceased to progress exponentially. Shutting down news and information will only result in confusion and mistakes. People beware.

      • 8
        1

        Let s BRING new LAW reforms amending the prevailing laws

        Rajapaksehs and their BACK lickers are legally permmitted to commit any kind of high crimes, – that will not be investigated… must not.
        :
        Gullible masses would line up to help… Eagle BP Eye would lead the march.
        :
        Skinned head hiding behind SAFFron robes will decorate it.
        :
        Goo eaters would make use of the situation for their fund grabs and rise above as Rohitha Abeygounawardhana, BP Wimal Buruwanse, and Udaya Gonthadipila did it.
        :

      • 5
        0

        True results of the Corvid19 is much more serious than what govt. Says..cannot expect any reliable information under the present military administration.

      • 3
        0

        When I wrote the above there were no updates on Covid-19 on any online news platforms. However, and since, the media has been told the number of Covid-19 cases has gone up to 110. Another item of interest is that a single infected man has had contact with over 50 others. This creeping increase of numbers and news can be misleading. Questions to be asked are: Is Sri Lanka performing adequate testing? Does it have the capacity to follow up and check on contacts made by infected individuals with others? The US and Spain are now paying the heavy price of dismissing all concern and delaying to impose lock-downs and curfews and perform adequate checks. Sri Lanka is a nation where the majority of people live in rural areas. It would be difficult to convince those residents that kothamalli and vanivalgeta isn’t a cure. A single individual returning from Italy or some such country and going into his/her village can result in the same calamity that has befallen better-resourced countries. The wide and prompt spreading of news and information can greatly benefit the country’s fight against this virus. Media editors should be informed that pictures of the president, PM and uniformed military men sporting ribbons and medals cannot scare Covid-19 away. Take precaution people.

      • 5
        0

        Dionysus, According to the Daily Mirror of today, it is now 100. Look at the DM online.

        Do you know of a higher figure?

        • 4
          0

          P.S. CT is still accessible here, from my PC anyway.

          Incidentally, I hope you’re not in the U.S. by any chance. Just been reading an article in the English Guardian: “The missing 6 weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life” by Ed Pilkington & Tom McCarthy in New York.

          I’d rather be here than there.

        • 5
          0

          Dionysus — oh dear, another correction. The DM says 110 patients now.

          What I really should have commented on is Mr Harischandra’s article, which I whole-heartedly go along with, though I don’t support the death penalty and would therefore support an alternative sentence.

    • 14
      1

      Will the Sri Lankan electorate wake up and force the hand of the branches of the government to exercise proper checks and balances? It is imperative the Article 34 giving such powers to the President to pardon as he wills, should be curtailed and subjected to checks. It will be left for public activists and HR watch groups like HRCSL and CPA to build public awareness about the importance of having such checks and balances for any vibrant democracy to survive in the true spirit and also protect civic rights to justice and fairness? Will they rise up to this challenge in this unconducive political environment? Only time will tell. 

      NO NONONO NONONO NONONO NONONO NONONO NONO
      Because majority incl that Shalini are Punnakku drinkers.

    • 13
      1

      If covid 19 can infect almost even high criminals regardless of their muscle or other powers, why not our average people learn to think about broadly ? the secret of civilization is to learn to think with sanity. what you think, would affect on what you become. why srilanken people in general become highly controversial and offensive only if they are not directly met a problem ? if they would be part of the tragedy, they would either become ignorants or stay as if they dont know the very issue. That is known to the many those who know it right. This is what I feel whenever I read posts from ULTRA racist by name Mahindapala.He repeats him being native sinhalayo, but he would not question about native tamils and muslims. Even burgher people if were born within sri lanken teritories they are undoubtedly native or not ? Calling himself as sinhala native, but always mentally and physically attacking the minority citizens. even hitler and his henchmen enjoyed themselves in an unique manner, these are common to our extremists as well. Duterte in Manila, late Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Late Gadafi from Libiya, and the like blood sucker leaders did not behave different.
      Demented people such as MAHINDAPALA, would not ever grasp what they are drolling about. if they point one finger at someone, all other 4 fingers are pointed at them is not clear to them.

    • 13
      0

      Dear Mr Mahindala Pala,
      .
      Please think twice before you tongue permits you any kind of rubbish. now enough is enough about SINAHLA NATIVE.
      .
      If you would please call you SINHALA NATIVE, why your insane mind does not seem to allow you to think of ” Tamil natives, muslim natives, burgher natives or any other natives if they were born to island territories “.
      :
      Native means – if anyone would be born to a place and grew up in that habitat, regardless of their race, religion or DNA code, they should all be identified as !NATIVES!.
      While you guys living in DOWN UNDER, not having grasphed the little about the definition of ” NATIVE people” is beyond mind understanding. ‘
      Srilanken australians, srilanken americans, srilaknen germans, srilanken french, srilanken norwegians, srilanken swedish, srilaknen dutch, srilanken indians, srilanken malaysians, srilanken singaporians, srilanken bulgarians, srilanken british, srilanken mongolians, srilanken greenlandian, srilanken scandianativen, srilanken canadians, srilanken peruvians, srilanken moroccans, srilanken south afrians, srilanken maladivians, srilanken indonesians, srilanken moldavians, srilaken lithuanians, srilanken denish, srilanken beligians, srilanken luxamburgians, srilanken … etc.
      .
      Are all these sirlankens born to other countries, according to you should be served as SECOND CITIZENs ?:
      :
      I have read somewhere, you yourself moved out of the country, and even had the chance to learn for a degree in Australia but in the end, abusing the srilanken CIVIL war situation, and thought to seek greener pastures in AUSTRALIA by staying back in that country, but your tongue moved towards the PROMOTION OF RACISM, until you become an OCTAGENRIAN who you are today; wha is the message you are trying to pass to the WORLD ?
      :
      Should we the young people as srilankens scattered across the world follow your RACISM mantra ?
      :
      Just YOU the like SRILANKEN SENIORS should instead, be exemplary having learnt lot more while being CORNERED in AUSTRALIAN getto life styles right ? Just becuase your personal situation, why to revenge on your TAMIL wife further even if your last breath would have been tomorrow ?

      • 1
        11

        Leelage malli

        To which country your children are native now? UK, Canada, German, USA?

        • 7
          0

          LathaG,
          even if you would kneel down before Rajapakshes criminals, I respect you…
          I think my childrea are very much international.. they dont know the term ” native to Germany, becuase they dont care so long they feel fine either in SL or in Europe”: I thank to them for their nature.
          :
          Today they question me, ” PapaG, please think this COVID-19 does not seem to select … it affects all be you PRINCE charles or the shanty dwellers ( Wimal weeranses, kith and kin) in COlombo.

        • 6
          0

          latha,
          Gota’s Family – USA
          Basils Family – USA

    • 16
      0

      if multi murderous convicted criminals, would set free regardless the sentiments of the victimized people, the divisions between the victimized and the criminals and their supporters would steadily widen. if criminal former army officer or any other professional, so long the crime is that cruel, the punishment should stay unturn…. latter is valid for civilized societies. but not for srilanka.
      there the question arises, as to why the courts and judgements, we could better go back to medieval eras. if verdicts on high criminals would be disrepected, what more talks about the anarchial situation of the country and the nation, which have now been caught by opportunists.

    • 0
      6

      If he is to be punished, separatists must also be charged under the law for violating the constitution and send them to prison. Then we are equal.

      • 1
        0

        What’s your baubutha satanic constitutions..who cares racist story book of JRJ.Get ready to go to hell with it.

    • 6
      0

      Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

      “Was there a public uproar from Sinhalayo when Rajapakshe regime pardoned hundreds of LTTE cadres who engaged in terrorist activities against Native Sinhalayo”

      THose suspected LTTE cadres and innocent people were not charged at the courts nor were they sentenced, therefore they were not pardoned but released without any charges, in other words they are innocent.

      Dumbasses like you cannot understand the difference between innocent people and convicted mass murderer.

      ” spent money of Sinhala tax payers to rehabilitate them and guided them to self-employment”

      When did the Sinhala/Buddhists start paying taxes?
      Its a news to me.
      Please let me have the breakdown of Sinhala/Buddhist contribution to government coffer and the rest.

      Where is your fellow dumbass Lal loo?

    • 1
      0

      A Murderer is always a murderer whether he is a Tamil or Sinhalese or a Muslim. Killing an entire family and found guilty and sentenced to death by the supreme court of Sri Lanka and released, now this person will be used to kill others. We have to wait and see.

  • 9
    1

    While the people are in unnecessary lock down, killers are on the prowl and the US citizen brothers dictatorship grows from strength to strength – with the help of the intellectually and morally bankrupt GMOA that is the regimes’ side-kick, using a flu virus to kill democracy.
    Young people get a mild Covid 19 flu, so shutting down factories and sending FTZ workers who are mainly young back to villages and destroying the economy is unscientific
    The country cannot be in economically and physically and mentally damaging curfew forever. Lock downs only delay and do NOT prevent the flu – herd immunity is the solution – not blindly following WHO.
    Herd immunity is what the UK is doing to get the economy working
    And the spineless opposition and petrified minorities clap at the postponing of elections
    Long live Miracle of Modayas!

  • 23
    1

    Let’s see the response from BASL and the legal profession.

    • 1
      20

      What response…?
      President Rajapaksha has exercised his constitutional powers to pardon a person he deemed fit.
      If KP can be a free man…….
      If Karuna can be a free man…….
      If Pilleyan can be a free man…….
      What is wrong with Sunil Rathnayaka…
      A fact that you don’t like Sinhalese doesn’t count here.
      Go fly a kite…. Who cares…..

      • 16
        1

        Pasqual, Were KP, Karuna, Pilleyan , ….. convicted by our top Court?
        By the way, isn’t it funny that your name sounds pretty much like rascal!

        • 0
          9

          My dear Mr. Thappu….
          /
          Like I said…….. Who cares…….
          If Rohana Wijeweera can contest 1982 presidential election after 1971 uprising as a free man…..
          If 12,000 former LTTE cadres can enjoy a free life after rehabilitation……
          Why not Sunil Rathnayaka..
          Because he is commen man from a poor family…?????
          Because he is just a Sgt….????
          Lets give him a promotion so that you can accept his pardon.

          • 4
            0

            S. C. Pasqual

            “Like I said…….. Who cares…….”

            Why the hell this island needs a constitution, parliament, police, courts, ………………
            Gota could have his own private army and ……….

            “If 12,000 former LTTE cadres can enjoy a free life after rehabilitation……”

            Did the state charge them at courts?
            Did the courts found them guilty?
            Have got your head examined by an competent authority?

            Do you think you are doing a tremendous job?

      • 3
        0

        S. C. Pasqual

        Why do you stupid people want to remain dumasses?

        “President Rajapaksha has exercised his constitutional powers to pardon a person he deemed fit.”

        The question is if the American is fit to remain as the president of this island. Further is a mass murderer deem fit to pardon another mass murderer who was found guilty by the highest court of the land?

        Are you fit to type here in this forum?

    • 10
      0

      Nimal: There will be no response. The BASL and the legal profession are deaf and dumb and blind! Only one lawyer has spoken and that too not in his capacity as a lawyer but on behalf of his political party.

  • 2
    21

    Sunil Ratnayake is a patriot who risked his life to save this country from Demala (Tamil) terrorists. It is these men and women from poor Sinhala families in rural areas that came forward to the call from Gotabhaya Rajapakse to join the army and risked their lives to wipe out Demala (Tamil) terrorists that slaughtered Sinhalayo for three decades. None of the Toiyas who make noise now came forward to join the army. Colombians got the opportunity to enjoy life because people like Sunil Ratnayake risked their lives.

    Native Sinhalayo are eternally grateful to our ‘Ranaviruwos’ and salute them.

    • 8
      1

      Dude

      This is not a problem with the army heroes. Please read the first para
      This is regarding the action of the President in abiding hid powers to pardon

    • 0
      0

      The Murderer given a death sentence by a supreme court for the murder of an entire family who went in search of their home and now this mass murderer is free and will roam the villages and rape the Sinhala women.
      This is Sri Lankan Justice system. Murderers are set free after the court found him guilty of murder

    • 0
      0

      A Murderer is always a murderer whether he is a Tamil or Sinhalese or a Muslim. Killing an entire family and found guilty and sentenced to death by the supreme court of Sri Lanka and released, now this person will be used to kill others. We have to wait and see.

    • 0
      0

      “Ranaviruwos” = for you
      “Minimaruwos” = Internationally

  • 14
    0

    This was an incident happened during the Chandrika era. It was under deputy minister of Defense Late Anurudhdha Ratwatte. I can assure you Anurudhdha never allowed anyone to do such hateful crimes and he never tolerated such acts by the military. under his control. Chandrika also had the backbone to act against these heinous crimes and that’s why they start investigations without any hesitations. Even under MR this case was heard under different judges and they have given the verdict few months after yahapalana Government came into power in 2015. Some people trying to blame yahapalana govt. for influencing the verdict.They have no clue what they are talking about. The court has release four suspects from the case and this is only person who was convicted. Now Gota has released him too. Then what we have to assume is no one has killed no one.Nothing has ever happened. The five years old neck didn’t slashed by no one. But it has happened. It doesn’t matter who we are. It doesn’t matter you are Sinhalese, Tamils, or Muslims. We are human beings. Thses devils must not exist on earth.Gotabaya is totally responsible for his actions. The former UNF government and Rw and entire cabinet is responsible for this too. Why didnt they removed this power when they amend the constitution?

    • 1
      0

      The Murderer given a death sentence by a supreme court for the murder of an entire family who went in search of their home and now this mass murderer is free and will roam the villages and rape the Sinhala women.
      This is Sri Lankan Justice system. Murderers are set free after the court found him guilty of murder.

      I wish to state further that NAVALI church was bombed and over 134 people died during this Ariel bombardment during Chandrika was President.

  • 10
    0

    Perhaps what went missing in Sri Lanka is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission when the war ended, like in South Africa. Restorative justice would have healed, to whatever extent possible, the trauma of the survivors of the victims. It would also have brought about some closure. In a majority Buddhist country, it should have been possible to look dispassionately at all acts in war as follies of the human condition and genuinely express contrition on one side and an act of forgiveness on the other. Prosecutions, courts, judgments, incarceration and pardons will only prolong the agony and keep refueling the angst.

    • 8
      1

      Goonatilake, That’s the way to think deep.

    • 5
      0

      Mr Goonathilaka.
      are u kidding.. ? In a country all untruth and fabricated revengeful thoughts are minds are governing… of course not for Rajakshes… there you question TR commission.
      From the skinned head monks to lay people though wearing SINHALA BUDDHIST banners also in their underwears, they behave on untruths than truths … you have to agree with me… i last stayed in SL, few weeks ago.. there what i got to know is… from dawn to dusk you get to listen on TVs are just untruths.. mixed with pittyfulness.. not anything that the youth could follow for a better life.

  • 9
    2

    this is what happens when a bankrupt principle less nation is led by uncouth uneducated unsavory mangy mongrels who hoodwink the foolish Yakko voters and stride into power.
    =
    the previous grama sevaka did it twice and not even 5 months had lapsed this kallathoni 7eleven toilet fuel pump attendant has done it with a stroke of his pen.
    =
    he did it to convince the nearly 7 million Sinhala Buddhist/catholic voters that he is prepared to dance the kavadi sakkili dance to appease them.
    =
    all these to obtain the much sought after2/3rd majority to play around with the constitution to enable the rajapuka’s to rule this sad sorry penniless beggar colony and convert it to a rajapuk military junta.
    =
    if and when the general election is held the UNP and sajith Premadasa’s party must ensure that they squeeze the out of shaped atta bollai’s of the wide arsed rajapuka clan and make them history.
    =
    a few other human rights, freedom-loving just causes organizations and individuals especially the members of the educated mighty Tamil community should file legal action to enable this psychopath mass murderer to hang by his testicles.?
    even that is too good for this?
    =
    I have in my 67 years of blissful living having mostly the Sinhalese race as my good buddies rather than my own, am proud to state that the Sinhala race is the most backward inferior race who do not have any positive traits and consider themselves to be the lowest of the lowest on this wonderful planet of ours.
    =
    no wonder they are the dreams of many a psychiatrist.?
    =
    in sadness, R. J.

  • 8
    0

    This matter is due to be canvassed in the Supreme Court, in the coming weeks.The BASL, as usual, is in splendid silence. Good number of them are expecting, a Presidential goodwill [Not Pardon ] TO TAKE SILK!

  • 14
    2

    This is a grossly evil decision. The Sinhala-Demala thing apart; to pardon a coldblooded killer of 8 persons including 4 children is cause for utmost outrage. When a military person does something like this the punishment should be harsher not lower, to uphold national standards.

    I am told that drug peddler and murderer Dumindha will be the next to be pardoned.

    Now Mr Ten Percent has been put in charge of the billions of rupee vege- and grocery goods home supply scheme where financial processes are non existent. The robbery to come may dwarf the Bond Scam.

    The goodwill surrounding President Gotabhaya is evaporating very fast.

  • 7
    0

    Fundamentalism !

    I very much like to have the observations of regular columnists of CT such as
    W.A.Wijewardene,Austin Fernando, Sarath de Alwis and Laksiri Fernando!

    Will they respond?

    or hide behind Corona Virus or Parliamentary elections

  • 2
    17

    Down with the journo who labeled Sunil Ratnayake as ‘Army Butcher’.

    • 3
      0

      Kumari

      “Down with the journo who labeled Sunil Ratnayake as ‘Army Butcher’.”

      What do you have in mind?
      Gota’s angel?

  • 12
    0

    An excellent writing where Lakmal Harischandra has exemplified his conviction with courage and judiciously. He is one out of the very few among both Sinhalese and Tamils
    who has the will to do the right and ideal, foreseeing a new generation in a prosperous Sri Lanka.
    Sarath de Alwis said in these columns sometime back as, “Individuals when alive remained neutral at a time of great moral decision,these souls cannot enter either heaven or hell because they did not choose one side or another. They tried to evade reality with intellectual ambiguity. They are therefore worse than greatest sinners in hell. They are repugnant to God and Satan alike”.

  • 0
    4

    No comment. Actions have an equal and opposite reaction.

  • 3
    6

    All this time the Tamil diaspora and the International agencies were complaining that you cannot get a fair trial in Sri Lanka. When is a trial in Sri Lanka fair? When a Sinhalese is convicted without a Jury. All other trials are biased and unfair.

    • 7
      2

      Adrian, You are smart; how well you corner Tamils. I’ll give you another opportunity to prove your smartness. Which one would you want to accept: Are out Courts unfair?

      • 0
        2

        Thappu you corner yourselves. Seventy one years of satyagraha, strikes, protests, suicide bombers and assassinations and what have you achieved for your people? Nothing.

        • 1
          0

          Adrian Teen Aged 13 3/4

          “Thappu you corner yourselves. Seventy one years of satyagraha, strikes, protests, suicide bombers and assassinations and what have you achieved for your people?”

          What have the racist impoverist failed state and its morally bankrupt rulers achieved?

  • 3
    10

    The rabid mob seen commenting against president’s action in these columns only justifies what Prof. Hoole said about eyewitnesses in Sri Lanka. That they will say anything driven by communal passion. None of them know the evidence against the man. Most are LTTE supporters.For them evidence does not matter if a soldier is flogged and hanged.

    Tamil eyewitness are likely representative of this mob and therefore if the conviction was solely based on evidence given by them, I would not consider that sufficient to convict him. None of the articles appearing here or elsewhere had summarized the case. The courts would not consider the inherent bias of Tamil eyewitnesses against SLA. Hence IMO it is right for the president to intervene in such circumstances. However, it also possible that this was done for political expediency or worst still because others with higher authority are involved. I would hope that is not the case.

    Even if he is guilty this won’t be the first time guilty has been set free by courts or by a president. When the Swiss court recently set free LTTE fundraisers was anyone perturbed? Did UN or AI issue statements against Swiss justice system? What of the victims of LTTE especially those border villagers hacked, chopped and killed in most gruesome manner from money contributed by them? Some were children much younger than those killed in this incident. Many were women. Slitting the throat may be considered a mercy killing compared to what was done by LTTE in those villages. Will they ever have justice? Perhaps victims of this crime should join the club…

  • 5
    1

    There had been many Trials, in Srilanka over the years where Army Personnel were the accused.Some were Trials-At- Bar and the others with Trial with Jury [Sinhala speaking Jury of-course ].
    In most instances the accused were acquitted!
    In general conviction in Trials where Army, Navy personnel are involved is rare.

  • 1
    0

    It appears to me that the writer is a person well versed in law, if he is not an Attorney at Law himself. The convict and thirteen others were charged. Common sense tells me that to do all the acts listed such as slashing the throats and other acts of torture, including burying the victims etc. requires an operation by a party having more than one person. I am curious to know how all but one accused could not be convicted due to insufficient evidence and only the one had sufficient evidence for a conviction. The final result seems absurd. Either it should be a case where all should be acquitted due to insufficiency of evidence or a group of accused convicted for the offences charged. Since the writer has taken the trouble to go through the court records could he educate us on this disparity? This is yet another aspect of this case as I mentioned in previous comments on the same issue raised in other articles.

    • 3
      0

      Good sense I agree with you that several people were involved in this. To be fair, all of them were arrested, but due to the absurdities in law, the rest were released at various stages of the trial citing lack of evidence. There was only one eye witness, that too because he was hiding and watching it happening. Had he also been killed, there would have been no case at all. The convicted had been clearly identified by the witness who withstood defence barrage at every trial, who tried to upset him and get the accused acquitted. A review of the case could be arranged by a foreign panel who could neither be intimidated nor influenced by interested parties.

  • 8
    2

    It’s sad to see comments posted by many on different sites justifying the release of a man who was convicted and sentenced to death who was found guilty of 15 offences and was on the death row over a massacre. It may be one incident out of many but my request is lets all try to think as humans first before we divide our selves in to different minority groups. Put urself in the place of all the victims who were brutally slaughtered by slitting their throats Where is Civilization going ?

    • 6
      1

      Civilization is a facade in Sri Lanka. Until there is some accountability and remorse shown by our criminal leaders, there will never be peace for the country, we will be criticized by the international communities, and our Tamil citizens will never get justice for the massacre of their loved ones, and there will be no closure. The more the Rajapaksa’s dodge, deny, ignore, and pardon their brutal henchmen, this wound will fester.

      • 0
        5

        Navin,
        “Tamil citizens will never get justice for the massacre of their loved ones, and there will be no closure.”
        Agree! Neither Tamil citizens nor Native Sinhalayo will get justice for the massacre of their loved ones because the guy who is responsible for all these massacres is rotting in hell after saying ‘Good Bye’ to Sri Lankans at Nandikadal.

  • 4
    2

    What a DISGRACE but certainly not on any normal Sinhala Or Tamil citizen. They together make SriLanka beautiful despite our leaders.

  • 3
    2

    Lakmal Harischandra hangs on to a carcass.
    Civilization is not only a facade in Sri Lanka but the worldover. Accountability & remorse shown by Leaders of the World just on the surface.
    Look through a microscope, the so called those who brand them as the International Community are no Saints.
    Slashing throats, Torture, Rape are catch phrases for the consumption of the Human Rights Organisation who are funded by the Western Powers to hide their sins and to activate the ICC.
    Who are these ICC? Same countries that prop up the HR Orgs.
    Evidence are from or by the pro-ltte’ers or their sympathisers are those forced into submission say.
    Today, most of the evidence are cooked. Diaspora ride on by promoting terrorism or cooked up atrocities in the comfort and enjoying greener pastures elsewhere. It is the low caste who are forced to do the cooley work.
    Murderous Ltte’ers are foot Soldiers of Christ? Suicide Bombers are martyrs? Read “The Beast” available at Godage & Sons printers or its even better if a direct inquiry is made from Rogue catholic Clergy and a batchmate of Ex Pope Benedicts VI… (I am ashamed to cite the name) but its S.J.Emmanuel. God knows what he taught in the Seminaries and also being the onetime Theological Adviser to the Asian Bishops Conference.
    Wonder whether he is hiding away from COVID 19 in the UK or in Germany??
    He broke the backbone of the Catholic beliefs while other Clergy in SL maintain a deafening silence.
    So what are we talking here? release of Sgt. Sunil Ratnayake????? Mu foot.

  • 3
    0

    Akmal,

    Pictures don’t lie.
    Try without the mug shot the next time!

  • 6
    0

    I wonder if Gota would pardon a cold blooded murderer is he or she killed his own child! Every parent and grand parent in Sri Lanka, including those who have children and grand children in the armed forces must be fuming today.

    This action of Gota makes me wonder if Gotabaya is “Sane” and in stable state of mind, is he suitable to govern the country further?

    • 0
      3

      Buddhist (fake),
      “This action of Gota makes me wonder if Gotabaya is “Sane” and in stable state of mind, is he suitable to govern the country further?”
      ‘Koti Diaspora’ members, former LTTE carders and sympathizers might think that President Gotabhaya Rajapakshe is insane and not suitable to Govern this country but Native Sinhalayo who elected him have no doubt at all that he is the best person at this point in time to govern this country. Your hatred towards Rajapakshes is understandable.

  • 0
    2

    Do not justify the release of this man by any means. He would have become a maaveerar if he was LTTE. He would have become one missing in action when homicide bombers blow them up. Any way, these heroes and heroins writing in CT are living because they annihilated the SUN GOD and his maaveerars.
    Lamak Harischandra: What kind of Journalist are you. It can not be investigative journalism. How about TABLOID NEWS,. You can learn more. I will keep hammering you.
    One man made a mistake becuase of sudden anger. Try not to understand that they were human. What you all say, they have to be ROBOTS.
    Why did Britain, Spain, Turkey, most important USA do not allow their soldiers who invaded other countries to be touched. Sri Lankan politicians were looking oly profits from the war and not the welfare of the forces. There was the problem. It took about 15 years to say, forces can not be touched.

  • 1
    0

    These Rajapaksa lowlifes have overseen and ensured the tarnishing of the Buddhist clergy and the Sri Lankan military, by protecting bad eggs and criminals within the ranks of the above mentioned, and also directly through their use of these elements to carry out their crimes

    The Rajapakse clan is an utterly disgusting mafia family that has singlehandedly corrputed the psyche of Sri Lanka.

    Ugly racist Rajapakse apologists on this forum like Eagle Eye and S.C. Pasqual, take note…

  • 0
    0

    If that soldier was not indicted or convicted the benefit of the doubt may be given by the President who knows his men and has may be an obligation to look after them . In this case the person has been indicted ,proved to be guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, may be the conviction was confirmed by the higher court . Such a case if pardoned amounts to shaking the very foundations of our judicial process and even the code of conduct for service personnel . It is not a question of hurting the minority community . It is something deeper , I hurts all right thinking Sri Lankans.

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