Sri Lankan court orders ex-leader to pay victims of 2019 Easter bombings


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Thursday ruled. That the inaction of the country’s former president. And four others led to the Easter Sunday bombings in 2019 that killed 270 people. And ordered compensation for violations of basic rights of the victims and their families.

A seven-judge bench of the apex court ordered former president. Maithripala Sirisena to pay 100 million rupees ($273,300) from his personal funds. It ordered the police chief, two top intelligence officers. And the defense ministry secretary at the time to pay a total of 210 million rupees ($574,000).

Two local Muslim groups that pledged allegiance to the Islamic. State group were accused of carrying out six suicide bombings targeting worshipers. At Easter services at three churches. And tourists having breakfast at three top hotels.

The breakdown in communication.  Before the attack, which left around 500 people injured.

The court said Sirisena, who was also defense minister. And commander in chief of the armed forces. Did not call regular meetings of the National Security Council. And excluded key personnel from the meetings he held.

“All these are stark facts which strike this Court as a grave omission. On the part of the then President,” the court said.

“This dismal failure by former President Sirisena. Has had disastrous consequences for this country. Not only have lives been lost and property destroyed. But inter-ethnic tensions and inter-ethnic hatred have begun to rear. Their ugly heads, breaking the fabric of this nation,” it said.

“The due care with which the defense minister should have exercised. His sweeping powers for the greater good of the country was non-existent. On the evidence placed before this court,” it said.

A presidential commission had earlier recommended criminal proceedings.

The government has prosecuted several people involved in the attacks. But the country’s Catholic Church leaders say they suspect a larger conspiracy. And are demanding the leaders be revealed.

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