ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to arrest former parliamentarian and murder convict Duminda Silva, effectively nullifying a presidential pardon granted to him a year ago, the privately owned NewsFirst reported on Tuesday (31).
A travel ban has also been imposed on the former MP while the Attorney General has been directed to assist the CID in his arrest, NewsFirst reported.
Silva, who was serving a death sentence over murder charges, was released from prison on a “special presidential pardon” in June 2021 along with 93 prisoners including 16 ex-Tamil Tiger combatants.
He and two others were sentenced to death over the murder of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra in 2011.
The presidential pardon on Silva and his subsequent release from prison was widely condemned.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said after his release that, if certain considerations regarding the pardon were not satisfied, the pardon would result in “erosion to the rule of law and result in a loss of public confidence in respect of the administration of justice”.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said was “typical of arbitrary pardoning that serves to weaken the rule of law”.
“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s recent pardons highlight the need for genuine rule of law in Sri Lanka, not favors to friends or blatantly cynical measures to keep trade preferences,” the Human Rights Watch said in a statement. (Colombo/May31/2022)