In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has ruled that former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, along with former Finance Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, are accountable for the economic crisis that has gripped the nation. The ruling, delivered by a five-member bench led by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, marks a pivotal moment in the country’s legal history.
The court’s decision stems from two fundamental rights petitions filed by a group, including the former president of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce, Chandra Jayaratne. The petitioners urged the court to launch an investigation into the individuals responsible for the current economic downturn.
The verdict not only places blame on the former head of state and finance ministers but extends responsibility to other key figures, including former Central Bank Governors Ajith Nivard Cabral and Professor W.D. Laxman, as well as former Secretary of the Ministry of Finance S.R. Artigala and former President’s Secretary P.B. Jayasundara. Members of the Finance Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka were also implicated in violating fundamental rights.
The court’s majority opinion emphasizes that the actions of the accused have directly contributed to the economic crisis, impacting the nation’s financial stability and violating the fundamental rights of its citizens. The decision marks a critical juncture for Sri Lanka, prompting discussions on the need for systemic reforms to prevent a recurrence of such crises in the future.
Political Maneuvering Unfolds Amid Economic Turmoil
In a related development, political sources reveal that a faction within the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, a political party led by the Rajapaksa family, has proposed a strategy to control President Ranil Wickremesinghe by orchestrating defeats in the budget votes for several ministries. This move is seen as an attempt to flex their political muscle and assert dominance.
It is reported that some senior leaders within the party have already given their approval for this unconventional approach.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the media after the budget announcement, expressed surprise, stating that he was not consulted during the budget preparation. He adopted a nuanced stance, suggesting that support for the budget would be contingent on its merits.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament Namal Rajapaksa, son of Mahinda Rajapaksa, voiced his disagreement with certain aspects of the budget, adding to the growing internal dissent.
Against this backdrop, a faction within the Podujana Peramuna is said to be gearing up to defeat the budget allocations for ministries associated with government ministers who are perceived as not aligning well with their interests. This development adds a layer of political intrigue to an already turbulent economic and political landscape in Sri Lanka. As the nation grapples with these concurrent challenges, the intersection of economic policies and political manoeuvring is likely to shape the course of future developments.