COLOMBO: Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on Wednesday ordered authorities to issue summons to ousted president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appear in court over the disappearance of two activists in 2011 as he has now been stripped of his constitutional immunity.
Rajapaksa, 73, will now have to testify in the case filed on the disappearance of two rights activists Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Murugananthan in the northern district of Jaffna.
The disappearances took place 12 years ago shortly after the end of the long civil war when Rajapaksa was a powerful official in the Ministry of Defense under the presidency of his elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
At the time, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was accused of overseeing kidnapping squads that took away rebel suspects, critical journalists and activists, many of whom would never be seen again. He has previously denied any wrongdoing.
When Rajapaksa was initially summoned to appear in court in 2018, he petitioned the Court of Appeal claiming that his life would be in danger if he were to travel to Jaffna to appear in court.
The Court of Appeal later ruled that Rajapaksa could not be summoned to court because he was then elected president and enjoyed legal immunity as the country’s president.
As Rajapaksa has now lost his constitutional immunity, the Supreme Court has decided to issue a subpoena to him on December 15 when the case is heard. Rajapaksa was ousted during the popular uprising against him for his mishandling of the island nation’s worst economic crisis.
He fled to the Maldives in mid-July and announced his resignation from Singapore. In early September, he returned to the country from Thailand.

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