By Indika Sri Aravinda
Despite telling the local media that Sri Lanka will not respond to the summons issued on President Mahinda Rajapaksa by a US court, the government has now decided that a lawyer in the US will watch the interests of the President.
Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath told The Sunday Leader that the Attorney General’s Department will retain a lawyer to oversee the President’s interests in the US District Court which had issued the summons on Rajapaksa.
A US-based Tamil lobby filed the case claiming damages from the President as commander-in-chief of the Sri Lankan armed forces for the alleged killing of Raghiar Manoharan.
The Justice Ministry said last week that it had received the summons but said the government would not respond to it.
“Under our laws, the President has immunity,” Gamlath had told the media last week.
“We don’’t have to respond to such summons and I have written to the District Court of the Southern District of Columbia of our legal position,” Gamlath had said.
The Sri Lankan government has repeatedly argued that it has been unfairly criticised for ending a conflict that claimed tens of thousands of lives amid regular suicide bombings of government targets.