Tuesday, 22 October 2019 19:29

US court dismisses Lasantha’s Daughter’s case against Gotabaya

The United States District Court for the Central District of California has dismissed and denied the claims raised by Ahimsa Wickrematunge against Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

On the 15th of July 2019, Ahimsa Wickrematunge had lodged the case against presidential hopeful, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, alleging him for extra judicial killing, crimes against humanity and torture.

The case was filed by the International Organization of Truth and Justice Project on behalf of the daughter of late journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, Ahimsa Wickrematunge.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has maintained that the First Amended Complaint (FAC) against him should be dismissed as he is immune from suit under the doctrine of common law foreign official immunity, the US District Court said, adding that it lacks the subject matter jurisdiction over this action.

According to the Court’s report, it had followed a two-step procedure developed for resolving a foreign state’s or official’s claim of sovereign immunity.

Accordingly, if the US State Department issues a ‘suggestion of immunity’ (SOI) upon the request of a foreign state, the case can be dismissed.

If an SOI was not issued, the Court should determine whether the ground of immunity is one which it is the established policy of the State Department to recognize.

The Court, stating that Rajapaksa is entitled to common law foreign official immunity, mentioned that it lacks the subject matter jurisdiction on that basis and decided to dismiss Ahimsa Wickrematunge’s claims against him.


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