Gotabaya, Mahinda, Basil PB, Cabral violated people’s rightsGotabaya, Mahinda, Basil 

    five-judge bench of the Supreme Court has determined that a group including former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had violated the fundamental rights of the general public by mismanaging the economy between 2019 and 2022.

    Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Vijith Malalgoda and Murdhu Fernando delivered the majority decision in the matter while Justice Priyantha Jayawardena dissented.

    Other respondents in the case including former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the Central Bank Monetary Board, former Finance Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, and former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal was also found to have violated the fundamental rights of the petitioners.

    The petition filed with the Supreme Court pointed out that a tax relief of Rs. 681 billion for businessmen during Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s tenure as President was the main reason for Sri Lanka’s economic crisis. 

    They also pointed out economic mismanagement issues including the pegging of the Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar, the delay in securing the IMF assistance, and the repayment of USD 500 million sovereign bonds during a forex crisis.

    The petition was filed by Prof. Mahim Mendis of the Open University of Sri Lanka, Former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chandra Jayaratne, Julian Bowling, Jehan Kanakaratne and Transparency International Sri Lanka.

    The Supreme Court also ordered for the petitioners to be paid Rs. 150,000 each.
     

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