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US court dismisses case against President Rajapaksa

The Rajapaksa government is accused of violating human rights of its own people during the civil war.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: March 1, 2012 11:29:08 am

A federal US court has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa,noting he is immune from lawsuits as a sitting head of state.

“This court is not in a position to second-guess the executive’s determination that in this case,the nation’s foreign policy interests will be best served by granting defendant Rajapaksa head of state immunity while he is in office,” US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

The US State Department had entered a motion asking the case be dismissed because of the immunity precedent.

The case was brought by Bruce Fein,an attorney who has been accused of working closely with the pro-LTTE groups in the United States. Rajapaksa was sued by families of the alleged torture victims under the Torture Victim Protection Act passed by Congress in 1992.

“Two centuries of case law and basic constitutional and statutory principles prevent this Court from allowing plaintiffs’ complaint to move forward at this time,” the judge said.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Vathsala Devi,the widow of Colonel Ramesh,for his alleged wrongful death by the Sri Lankan Army.

However,the Sri Lankan government has vehemently denied violating human rights laws during the lengthy conflict against terrorism.

The Rajapaksa government is accused of violating human rights of its own people during the civil war that ended in the defeat of LTTE.

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