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US lawsuit filed against MR

29 January 2011 01:36 am - 59     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Members of Sri Lanka's Tamil minority on Friday filed a lawsuit in the United States against President Mahinda Rajapaksa, seeking $30 million in damages over alleged extrajudicial killings.

Activists from the Tamil diaspora spearheaded legal action after President Mahinda Rajapakse quietly traveled to the United States, in a test of how much deference US authorities show to visiting heads of state.

Bruce Fein, a prominent Washington lawyer, said he filed the suit on behalf of three plaintiffs under a 1991 act that allows for action in the United States against foreign officials over torture and extrajudicial killings.

"President Rajapakse will not escape the long arm of justice secured by the Torture Victims Protection Act by hiding in Sri Lanka," Fein said after the filing in the US District Court in Washington.

Fein said he wanted a reply from Rajapakse and otherwise would seek a ruling without him. The lawsuit seeks $30 million on behalf of three plaintiffs who said their relatives were killed in three incidents, including the Sri Lankan army's offensive in 2009 against the final holdout of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The United Nations has said at least 7,000 civilians perished in the final months of fighting, while international rights groups have put the toll at more than 30,000.

Sri Lanka has denied any civilian deaths and has rejected calls for an international probe. The Tigers were known for devastating suicide bombings during their decades-long campaign for a separate Tamil homeland.

The Sri Lankan embassy in Washington declined comment. Rajapakse's office earlier dismissed as "frivolous and mischievous" a call by Amnesty International for the United States to investigate Rajapakse during his visit.

Rajapakse came to the United States last week on what Sri Lankan officials called a private visit. Tamil diaspora groups, which strongly oppose Rajapakse, said they believed he was visiting family in Texas but has since left.

A US-based activist group calling itself Tamils Against Genocide, which is leading the suit, said in a statement it was "alarmed and disappointed" that US authorities allowed Rajapakse to visit without questions on his actions.

The group said it was testing the law in the wake of the June 2010 Samantar decision by the Supreme Court, which found that countries -- not individuals -- enjoyed diplomatic immunity from lawsuits in the United States. In the case, the top court ruled unanimously that Mohamed Ali Samantar, a former prime minister of Somalia who now lives in the United States, may be sued over alleged torture during his rule.(AFP)
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  Comments - 59

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  • vanlose Saturday, 29 January 2011 08:55 AM

    Mr. President, don't worry you will not get arrested in China, North Korea, Libya, Iran...
    Just get a new Doctor!

    TB Saturday, 29 January 2011 09:02 AM

    our president is millionair.. for him is $30 million dollars is nothing..

    sen Saturday, 29 January 2011 09:44 AM

    chalange...!

    Ezhilini Saturday, 29 January 2011 09:57 AM

    ANver, what a logic!! If Bush and Blair killed innocent civilions,
    can Sl alos do?
    Is it acceptable?

    Sanjeayan Saturday, 29 January 2011 10:06 AM

    Justice will not be far away

    kalum Saturday, 29 January 2011 10:09 AM

    Yes tamil dissapora always hate the Rajapaksha .EU and everywhere is same but All the Sri lankan should remember what Rajapaksha had done to the country.he is hero. honest men.

    zorro Saturday, 29 January 2011 10:28 AM

    but if MR has to pay the US 4 30 millions it i s worth trying, wouldn't you?

    Ruwan Saturday, 29 January 2011 10:38 AM

    of course you can

    Dinithi Saturday, 29 January 2011 11:03 AM

    Now who is the terrorist here? Is it praphakaran or mahinda? I am a bit confused.

    sanjeeva Saturday, 29 January 2011 11:35 AM

    kalum you mean the whole world is blind? has he promised you anything personally?

    nagu Saturday, 29 January 2011 12:43 PM

    what anver is saying....US & UK should lead by example....without trying to teach others.....

    nagu Saturday, 29 January 2011 12:49 PM

    pls Dont insult God......US UK are the devils not god......

    Dillon Saturday, 29 January 2011 12:48 PM

    If some Iraq guy files a case against JW.Bush, do you honestly believe that Bush would come to Iraq to clear his name?

    channa Saturday, 29 January 2011 12:53 PM

    Tamil Diaspora, UN, US, Amnesty...all are liars....First they should come together and come into agreement on how many people died....without saying 3000, 7000, 100,000 etc.... This just shows these are all liars.....

    Dillon Saturday, 29 January 2011 12:50 PM

    Then do you believe he should pay $30 million to shut their mouth?

    channa Saturday, 29 January 2011 12:55 PM

    US wont do that for sometime....becoz they want to create trouble in SL so they have AN EXCUSE TO GET INVOLVED....

    Dillon Saturday, 29 January 2011 01:01 PM

    It doesn't matter who get arrested MR,GR,SF etc...I'm sure there won't be any case against RanilW !!

    KHKaru Saturday, 29 January 2011 01:24 PM

    Well, Bruce Feint, isn't the long arm of your so called justice long enough to reach Bush, Blair etc.

    Dushyantha Saturday, 29 January 2011 02:58 AM

    Go away lawsuit

    Anver Saturday, 29 January 2011 02:57 AM

    Lawsuit? How about suing people like Bush and Blair?

    ila Saturday, 29 January 2011 02:58 AM

    Now MR and Gotha have new opportunity to proves that they did not commit any war crimes. It is a wonderful opporuntiy to clear their name and keep the country's reputaiton.

    demon Saturday, 29 January 2011 01:55 PM

    i too wanted to know how the 1991 act works for gw bush...???

    demon Saturday, 29 January 2011 02:00 PM

    I don't support MR...but from this moment i will support MR...

    Rajitha Saturday, 29 January 2011 03:18 AM

    maybe it's time we filed a lawsuit (in the Sri Lankan courts) against Bush for genocide in Iraq.

    Tarzan Saturday, 29 January 2011 03:28 AM

    Go ahead Putha, file a case against Bush and Blair. The will never step into Sri Lanka soil as it is not worth it.

    Ezhilini Saturday, 29 January 2011 02:47 PM

    Yeah the whole world is lying. Only you are speaking truth.
    You have closed your eyes tightly and saying world is dark.
    Just go to the war victims and ask, who shot them and who dropped clusters?

    malkanthi Saturday, 29 January 2011 03:32 AM

    Leader is wholly responsible for all wrongdoing by his team. Grooming people fitting to leadership is the main responsibility of a good leader.

    PATRIOT Monday, 31 January 2011 04:51 AM

    US & Allies are afraid of countries like CHINA ,RUSSIA,IRAN..who really supports our Country. Your dream never come true...

    Ranjith BG Saturday, 29 January 2011 03:21 PM

    Why tamil dissapora cannot file any case in China or Russia

    Yohini Saturday, 29 January 2011 04:07 AM

    Oh Lord, Let Peace be at Peace.. Amen. A Child

    THE UNDER TAKER Saturday, 29 January 2011 04:18 AM

    JUSTICE PREVAIL- TRUTH HURTS-GOD WILL BRING THE JUDGEMENT TO WHO ITS DESERVED

    DHA Saturday, 29 January 2011 04:36 AM

    Joke.....

    Madihe putha Saturday, 29 January 2011 05:55 PM

    Oh poor tamils again digging for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They will go to extreme lengths to convince the diaspora so the trickilg funds will start pouring into LTTE coffers.

    mohamed Saturday, 29 January 2011 04:46 AM

    SO MR's visit to USA is now reaveled ?

    Ezhilini Saturday, 29 January 2011 04:48 AM

    7000 or 30000. We call it as a Humanitarion Operation. the world should belevie, what we say. We don t allow UN or HR authorities to investigate war crimes.

    Thas Saturday, 29 January 2011 04:48 AM

    Weldone. Make sure next time he comes to US for tratement, he is arrested.

    Dinesh Saturday, 29 January 2011 05:19 AM

    Oh my god, Now no more USA Visa to Mahinda....

    Starting from UK, USA, Canada ??

    AJ - DXB Saturday, 29 January 2011 05:17 AM

    So, it is not the lives they are concerned - it is the money they want. Tamil diaspora is nothing but a money making machine

    S.F.T. Saturday, 29 January 2011 09:26 PM

    If what you say is true MR would have completed his planned visit to UK without cutting short his "vacation".

    S.F.T. Saturday, 29 January 2011 09:29 PM

    He can settle it out of courts.

    Penyless_President Saturday, 29 January 2011 05:31 AM

    Sir,You must visit US once again and challange these jokers.
    You and your brother have not done anything wrong.You another chance to prove your innocense.We Sri Lankans will always Take up the challange without running away.

    Silva Saturday, 29 January 2011 09:34 PM

    Of course. He stated in Jaffna recently that he will do what he says and will say what he does!!!

    Lucky Saturday, 29 January 2011 05:41 AM

    Friends, this is the work of LTTE diaspora. All Sri Lankan should now understand tha LTTE is not dead and gone. These people who filed a lawsuit are supporters of an organisation declared a terrorist utfit in USA. There should be a counter lawsuit in USA to seek the arrest of those behind the lawsuit because they belong to an outlawed organisation. Their funds should be seized, just like in Canada.

    KD Saturday, 29 January 2011 11:10 PM

    VP is died like a pig. That's the justice.

    KD Saturday, 29 January 2011 11:11 PM

    Not the whole world. You only need to employ few noise makers to fool the people like you.

    THY Saturday, 29 January 2011 05:57 AM

    Im a bit confused on who is the terrorist here? someone please enlighten me...

    Vikum Saturday, 29 January 2011 05:58 AM

    what a joke....then put law suits to Bush and Blair as well.....

    Ceylon Saturday, 29 January 2011 06:07 AM

    Srilankan police officers should ask Karuna as well becasue he killed innocent police officers and public in the mosque. Under which act he got pardon.

    sam Saturday, 29 January 2011 06:33 AM

    what about LTTE ,using human as a shield/child soldiars/killing

    sri minnal Saturday, 29 January 2011 06:57 AM

    What is $30 Million dollars to our President?

    Noah Saturday, 29 January 2011 07:01 AM

    In your dreams..

    das Saturday, 29 January 2011 06:59 AM

    True. but the thing is saying that someone else did a similar offence is not a valid defense argument.

    Tarzan Saturday, 29 January 2011 07:13 AM

    It is nothing. It will be from the tax payers of Sri Lanka who are finding it hard to live due to the high cost of living.

    Jix Saturday, 29 January 2011 07:13 AM

    so a panel of judges in the US is god...? well then... that does make sense given the state of affiars the world over...

    victoria Saturday, 29 January 2011 07:38 AM

    Both Bush and Blair is ot bothered because they do not hold any power in their country and they are just another citizens??

    victoria Saturday, 29 January 2011 07:39 AM

    WONDERING IT IS ALREADY GIVEN? MAY BE THE REAON FOR THE VISIT TO USA

    Chanderpaul Saturday, 29 January 2011 08:02 AM

    Don't bring God into this,

    Sinwa Saturday, 29 January 2011 08:18 AM

    God the almighty has already given the verdict by perishing the LTTE and Prbaharan the agent of Lucifer the devil.

    true Sunday, 30 January 2011 08:40 AM

    Both


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