Sri Lankan Presidential Hopeful Sued in Federal Court for Human Rights Violations
Posted on April 8th, 2019

by  Courtesy  justsecurity.org

Human rights lawyers have sued Sri Lankan presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa in federal court in the Central District of California. Rajapaksa, who is a joint Sri Lankan-U.S. citizen, was served with process in the parking lot of a Trader Joes, of all places.

Plaintiff Roy Samthanam, who is a Canadian citizen, alleges that he was detained and tortured from 2007-2010 by the Terrorism Investigation Division of the Sri Lanka police. He tells his harrowing story of physical and mental torture here. He is represented by the International Truth & Justice Project, under the leadership of the indomitable Yasmin Sooka, and a private law firm. The U.N. Human Rights Committee, which evaluates states’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, has already ordered Sri Lanka to pay him compensation. A separate case was apparently filed on behalf of the family of assassinated journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga. Rajapaksa is known to own property in California, which could be attached for the purpose of any civil judgment against him.

Just Security has extensively covered the aftermath of the war in Sri Lanka, which is characterized by an entrenched impunity. In particular, we have offered a number of proposals for how the Department of Justice could prosecute Rajapaksa under the U.S. War Crimes Act, which has never been activated to date. That statute grants jurisdiction over war crimes committed by, or against, U.S. citizens. (See Ryan Goodman’s coverage hereherehereherehere, and here).

There has been some discussion that Rajapaksa has given up his U.S. citizenship in order to run for higher office in Sri Lanka. This does not affect the viability of these civil cases because he was served with process while in the United States, and was—in any case—a U.S. citizen at the time he allegedly acted. The Torture Victim Protection Act (28 U.S.C. § 1350 note) is expressly extraterritorial, so does not raise the extraterritorial issues presented by the Alien Tort Claims Act.

6 Responses to “Sri Lankan Presidential Hopeful Sued in Federal Court for Human Rights Violations”

  1. aloy Says:

    Disqualify all those with dual citizenship holders in parliament immediately and the government will fall. Perhaps someone can bring a fundamental rights case against them in SC in Sri Lanka. This will be tit for tat.

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    Fantastic Idea Aloy,

    3/4 of TNA will have to leave.

    LieTTE rump will go to any extent to stop Gota becoming the President, despite the position has less powers.

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    US, UK, india, etc. etc. want to stop GR getting into the driving seat to sideline Chinese domination in the region.
    It’s going to be a tough ask since most people including tamils and mussies are fed up with these current bunch of
    treacherous thieves who are destroying not just the country but also people’s jobs etc. etc. Nobody wants
    another 5 years of these traitors since the treacherous thieves will have a party time of another 5 years lining up
    their pockets not doing anything. It shows how destructive these treacherous thieves are when they can’t even
    keep a light bulb burning for few hours a day.

    Now puppet on a string vairapla sorrysena saying within a few months traitor thieves can’t pay salaries to government servants. No wonder since as soon as Pathala man PM traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist bay gal karaya mega thief mega thakkadiya walking crime bomb (against Sinhalese Buddhist, Sri Lanka and
    Buddhism only) lajja nathi bxjja nathi aga matta Batalande wa(n)dakaya Pol Pot [email protected]_leech wickrama Sinhala
    killer broke into the Central Bank with its catholic buddy maha horandran and stole Rs 5585 billion in the biggest ever day light robbery in the country’s history. Why don’t you put this mass murderer for instrumental in killing
    60,000+ during the Bheeshana samaya?

    Then during the catholic tigers of tamil drealam war Batalande wa(n)dakaya was instrumental in dragging the
    war for 30 long years saying the terror outfit was invincible since it didn’t want to fight its catholic buddy barrel
    man hitler mala paharan. 100,000+, mainly Sinhalese, were sacrificed. MR came, so called invincible terror
    outfit was running for their lives. War stopped, 100s of 100s of lives were saved. It’s a pity you can’t even contemplate to sue a mass murderer? Oh you can’t? Because the traitor chief is doing all the dirty work for you.

    Remember lying is a major sin and can have major repercussions in your next life.This has been proven time
    and again. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution proved to the world how we all came to being. Just like Buddha
    preached. Everything Buddha has preached proven to be true by science. Buddhism and science is one and
    same. What NASA finding now, Buddha preached over 2,500 years ago. Buddha said the universe is a vast vast
    place and the earth size is a grain of sand in it. We are the only intelligent life form in the universe. That’s why NASA can’t find any life anywhere else.

    Click on the following links and canvas to bring Batalande wa(n)dakay to bring to book if you are an honest
    person. If you can’t please try to live a better life for the betterment of the next. On the same token is Bush jnr
    going to be sued for killing that very very nice man Mr B Laden?

    Buddhism’s Five Precepts:
    refrain from taking life
    refrain from taking that which is not freely given
    refrain from sexual misconduct
    refrain from unwise/unskillful speech (lying)
    refrain from intoxication that clouds the mind.

    These werw true over 2,500 years ago when Buddha preached. It is true today and will be true to the last day of
    the planet. What’s more all the law courts under the Sun uses them as breaking law and punish culprits accordingly.

  4. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Materials for bringing a bigger culprit to books.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/05/27/ranil-wickremasinghes-new-unp-3/

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2017/08/09/ranil-wicremasinghes-crimes-against-sri-lanka-and-its-people-for-forty-years/

    http://ltte-christian-ties.blogspot.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV6_o9txURc

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/08/05/christianizing-of-sri-lanka-unps-betrayal-of-buddhism/

    http://www.lankagrid.com/soma-thero/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_eJ1gX_fuU

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/09/26/ltte-terrorism-church-links-can-someone-explain-these-photos/

  5. Christie Says:

    This lady comes surrounded by Indian Parasites. She calls her self a Yogini and is worse than an Indian Parasite as they have acquired more than what Indian Parasites got.

    It is India and Indian Parasites who are trying to wipe out the Sinhalese from this globe.

    You have to see there are so many Indian Parasites in the West.

    So they are a powerful lot.

  6. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    This human rights champion can sue a lot of people come to think of it.
    If you can’t sue Batalande Wa(n)dakaya Pol Pot [email protected]_leech wickrama Sinhala killer you can sue US using their
    own US war crimes act
    hundreds of thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    3 million+ in Vietnamese plus 58,000 Americans
    thousands in Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Afganisthan etc. etc. or millions getting killed in Syria, Yemen etc. etc.
    It’s just laughable you can write this sort of nonsense. If you don’t want China in Sri Lanka, they will go
    elsewhere and get their businesses done It is a competitive world and you fight for ‘contracts’, win them and
    make money. After all that is how the business work, isn’t?

    All the rich countries are armed to their teeth and ask other people to disarm. One day it will come to just
    pressing a button and the round thing will go up in smoke. There will be no protracted WW3 going for years
    like previously. Why not get rid of all nukes and spend that money and spend that money on respected
    countries’ welfare making everybody happy while keeping their noses away from other countries affairs.
    Shut down all embassies in every country since you don’t need those spy centres in this connected globe.
    World needs a compassionate, honest person to lead it to make a safe happy, safe place. Unfortunately,
    there are too many people like yourself who are aiding and abetting corrupt practices. Only intelligent life
    in the universe, unfortunately most of them don’t use that intelligence for the good of people or the planet.

    If you are an honest person, you can never write these garbage knowing very well, there are a loads more
    culprits, but you can’t criticise them for the fear of job security, perks etc. etc. If I were you, I would change the
    after the first day!

    PS: It was Obama, not Bush jnr who was instrumental in sending away that ‘very nice man’ Mr B Laden.

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