SC to take up FR petition today

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The Fundamental Rights Petition filed against the Presidential Pardon granted to former Sri Lanka Army Staff Sergeant R. M. Sunil Rathnayake, who was sentenced to death in 2015, for murder of eight civilians including a child in Mirusuvil in 2000, is scheduled to be taken up at the Supreme Court today (6).

President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran PC will appear on behalf of the petitioners.

Rathnayake, who was attached to the long range reconnaissance patrol of the army, was sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court in June 2015 for his alleged involvement in the Mirusuvil massacre in 2000. The former soldier, who was the first accused in the case was found guilty of the murder of eight civilians.

The Mirusivil case dragged on for about 13 years, and 13 out of the 14 soldiers, barring Rathnayake were acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

The alleged massacre occurred in December 2000 when eight internally displaced persons (IDPs) were arrested in Mirusuvil, Jaffna, and were allegedly tortured and murdered. The victims included three teenagers and a five-year-old child.

He was granted Presidential Pardon by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 26 March 2020.