Colombo, November 14 (Language) Sri Lanka’s top court gave a historic verdict on Tuesday, saying that former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and other senior officials violated the fundamental rights of the people by mismanaging the economy. Is.
The court said that the country faced an unprecedented economic crisis because of the Rajapaksa brothers and other senior officials. Sri Lanka declared financial insolvency in April 2022, the first instance of liability default by a government since independence. The island nation had to go through its worst economic phase in its history when foreign exchange reserves dropped to their lowest level and people took to the streets due to shortage of fuel, fertilizers and essential commodities.
A five-member bench of the Supreme Court delivered the verdict in 2022 on a petition filed by Transparency International Sri Lanka and four other activists.
The bench ruled by a majority of 4-1 that the Rajapaksa brothers, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and other defendants were responsible for economic mismanagement in the country between 2019 and 2022.
The court also found former Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) governors Ajith Nivard Cabral and WD Lakshman and former finance ministry secretaries PB Jayasundara and SR Attigale guilty of violating citizens’ rights.
The petitioners had claimed that during his tenure as President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa had given tax concessions worth Sri Lankan rupees 681 billion to businesses in 2019 which was the main reason for the economic slowdown.
Mahinda Rajapaksa was forced to resign from the post of Prime Minister in May 2022 due to protests that started after the economic crisis in the country, while Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned in July. Former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa had also left his post in June last year.
Language Dheeraj Prashant