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

Jan 11, 2023, 1:23 PM | Updated: Jan 12, 2023, 9:29 pm
A Catholic priest tries to console a family member of one of the deceased after Sri Lanka's Supreme...

A Catholic priest tries to console a family member of one of the deceased after Sri Lanka's Supreme Court pronounced judgment on the 2019 Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Jan.12, 2023. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that inaction by the country's former president and four others led to the attacks that killed nearly 270 people and ordered them to pay compensation for violating the basic rights of the victims and their families. (AP Photo/Lahiru Harshana)

(AP Photo/Lahiru Harshana)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that inaction by the country’s former president and four others led to Easter Sunday bomb attacks in 2019 that killed nearly 270 people and ordered them to pay compensation for violating the basic rights of the victims and their families.

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

Two local Muslim groups that had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group were accused of carrying out six near-simultaneous suicide bomb attacks targeting worshipers at Easter services at three churches and tourists eating breakfast at three top hotels.

A breakdown in communication caused by a rift between Sirisena and the then prime minister was blamed for the failure of authorities to act on near-specific foreign intelligence received prior to the attacks, which also wounded about 500 people.

The court said Sirisena, who was also defense minister and commander in chief of the armed forces, had not called regular meetings of the national security council and had omitted key personnel from the meetings he held.

“All this is a stark reality that strikes this court as a serious omission on the part of the then president,” the court said.

“This dismal failure on the part of former President Sirisena resulted in disastrous consequences for this country. Not only were lives lost and properties destroyed, but interracial tension and interethnic hatred began to raise their ugly heads, causing the very fabric of this nation to be broken,” it said.

“The due care with which the minister of defense should have exercised his wide powers in the greater good of the country was totally nonexistent according to the evidence that has been placed before this court,” it said.

A presidential commission earlier recommended criminal procedures against Sirisena for alleged negligence, but it has not been followed up.

The government has prosecuted several people in connection with the attacks, but leaders of the country’s Catholic church say they suspect a larger conspiracy and are demanding that the leaders be revealed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
20 hours ago
FILE - An Amazon company logo on the company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany, March ...
Associated Press

Amazon violated labor law with delivery app

A Spanish court has ruled that Amazon broke labor laws by forcing more than 2,000 delivery drivers to use an app that the company controlled for scheduling work and payments and requiring them to use their own cars and cellphones on the job.
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Saturday’s Scores

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL= Bellarmine Prep 54, Olympia 43 Chiawana 76, Hermiston, Ore. 41 Hazen 40, Liberty 36 Kamiakin 77, Pasco 17 Orcas Island 67, Concrete 13 South Kitsap 39, Bethel 37 ___ Some high school basketball scores provided by Scorestream.com, https://scorestream.com/ Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Saturday’s Scores

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= Adna 66, Raymond 47 Goldendale 56, Kittitas 33 Issaquah 65, Newport-Bellevue 46 Klahowya 79, North Mason 50 Lummi 65, Lopez 25 Mount Vernon Christian 81, Shoreline Christian 33 Neah Bay 91, Taholah 36 Orcas Island 82, Fellowship Christian 36 Puyallup 63, Emerald Ridge 52 Woodinville 73, North Creek 49 ___ Some high […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Crash averted at Austin airport; FAA, NTSB to investigate

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A FedEx cargo airplane attempting to land at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday morning had to reverse course after a second plane was cleared to depart from the same runway, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. “The pilot of the FedEx airplane discontinued the landing and initiated a climb out,” the […]
20 hours ago
Skateboarders skate in front of city hall in remembrance of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beat...
Associated Press

Tony Hawk to donate photo proceeds to Tyre Nichols fund

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Skateboard legend Tony Hawk says he will donate half of the proceeds of autographed photos of himself and BMX rider Rick Throne to the memorial fund for Tyre Nichols. “My proceeds from these will go to the Tyre Nichols Memorial Fund, which includes plans to build a public skatepark in his […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Sri Lankan court orders ex-leader to pay victims of bombings