News

Sri Lanka top court rules Rajapaksa brothers guilty of economic crisis

By AFP

November 14, 2023 08:03 PM


 

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court issued Tuesday a symbolic ruling that the powerful Rajapaksa brothers -- including two ex-presidents -- were guilty of triggering the island's worst financial crisis by mishandling the economy.

The case was filed by corruption watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) and other four activists against top former officials including former presidents Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa.

It also included their younger brother, ex-finance minister Basil Rajapaksa, two former central bank governors and other top treasury officials.

"We sought a declaration from the court that the mishandling or inaction on the economy by the former heads of the state and senior officials did violate the fundamental rights of people," Transparency International lawyer Nadishani Perera told AFP.

"We have received that. It is now up to the citizens to take any further action."

A five-member bench ruled 4-1 that the group were responsible for economic mismanagement between 2019 and 2022, ordering them to pay just over $450 (150,000 rupees) as legal costs to the petitioners.

"Given that petitioners came to court in the interest of the public and did not seek compensation for themselves, the court was not inclined to order compensation other than costs incurred by petitioners,"  Transparency International said in a statement.

The financial crisis sparked months of public protests with dire shortages of food, fuel and medicines, which eventually toppled Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa centralised power after taking office in 2019 by removing independent oversight from the police, judiciary and election authorities.

But his administration stumbled when a critical foreign currency shortage left Sri Lanka unable to import vital goods.

Rajapaksa has since returned to Sri Lanka and is living under armed protection, despite calls for his arrest and prosecution on a raft of corruption charges.


AFP


Most Read

  1. Taxila police book ASI torture victim woman in theft case Taxila police book ASI torture victim woman in theft case
  2. Asad Manzoor Butt elected as Lahore High Court Bar president Asad Manzoor Butt elected as Lahore High Court Bar president
  3. Shazia Manzoor slaps comedian over ‘honeymoon’ joke Shazia Manzoor slaps comedian over ‘honeymoon’ joke
  4. Female police officer praised for saving woman with Arabic text dress from angry mob Female police officer praised for saving woman with Arabic text dress from angry mob
  5. Sajjad Haider becomes president of High Court Bar Association in Multan Sajjad Haider becomes president of High Court Bar Association in Multan
  6. Maryam Nawaz takes oath as Punjab chief minister, vows ‘no revenge’ Maryam Nawaz takes oath as Punjab chief minister, vows ‘no revenge’

Opinion

  1. The Dark Side of Generation Z
    The Dark Side of Generation Z

    By Dr Asif Channer

  2. THE SECRET WAR: Public Interest Vs Official Secrets Act 1923
    THE SECRET WAR: Public Interest Vs Official Secrets Act 1923

    By Syed Aun Mohammed Bokhari

  3. Political Opportunism and the 18th Constitutional Amendment
    Political Opportunism and the 18th Constitutional Amendment

    By Muhammad Asad Ayaz

  4. To Know and Not to Know
    To Know and Not to Know

    By Abdullah Bin Tahir

  5. Gender equality: A pre-requisite for a balanced society
    Gender equality: A pre-requisite for a balanced society

    By Mehak Sabir