Former President Sirisena ordered to compensate victims of the Easter 2019 attacks
by Melani Manel Perera

In a verdict, the Supreme Court ordered the top state and security figures at the time of the massacre to pay compensation to the families for failing to prevent it. The lawyers who had raised the issue: a historic ruling.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Supreme Court yesterday ordered those who were state leaders at the time to provide compensation for the victims of the Easter 2019 attacks, during which 269 people were killed and more than 500 injured.

The order is aimed at former Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, former Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, former Defence Minister Hemasiri Fernando, and former Directors of Security Services Nilantha Jayawardena and Sisira Mendis, all of whom were found guilty of failing to prevent the massacre.

In detail, the Supreme Court ordered former president Maithripala Sirisena to pay a sum of 100 million rupees (about 250,000 euro) in compensation to the victims. The police chief and the former head of the external intelligence services will have to pay 75 million rupees (EUR 188 thousand), the former defence minister 50 million rupees (EUR 125 thousand), and the former head of the internal security services 10 million rupees (EUR 25 thousand).

The verdict was delivered by a seven-judge panel on the basis of 13 petitions filed by the victims of the attack, Catholic priests and the Sri Lankan Bar Association.

The judges recognised that the state should pay fair compensation for the pain, agony, suffering and destruction suffered by the victims and families. The sums should be in addition to the compensation that the State had decided to pay in its own decision and on which a report was requested from the Attorney General's Office.

Lawyer Jagath Gamini Perera, who represented the petitioners, said that this was a historic ruling and could not be changed.