Sri Lanka rejects US court summons

Last Updated: Monday, June 20, 2011 - 13:06

Colombo: Sri Lanka has rejected a US
court summons served on President Mahinda Rajapaksa over a USD
30 million damages suit against him.

The summons, first delivered to `Temple Trees` but not
accepted there, was later received by the Ministry of Justice,
which rejected it.

"It was based on an unfounded allegation. We have no
obligation to respond to that as a sovereign state," Justice
Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath told the state-owned
`Lakhanda` radio.

He said Sri Lanka had stated in writing the legal
position on the issue to the US court.
"We have informed the District Court of the Southern
District of Columbia of our legal position," Gamlath was
quoted as saying by the Sunday Times.

He said the Sri Lankan statute -- the Mutual
Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters Act No 39 of 2000
-- had laid down that the country need not heed such summons,
"if we consider that the execution of the request will be
prejudicial to the sovereignty of Sri Lanka."

Gamlath argued that Lankan President enjoyed legal
immunity as the head of state and no court could summon him.

Kasipillai Manoharan, a Tamil, had filed a complaint
in the District court of Columbia claiming USD 30 million over
the alleged killing of his son Raghiar Manoharan.

Gamlath said the plaint was the work of the Tamil
lobby in the US backing the defeated LTTE and the motive was
to create tensions in Sri Lanka.

President Rajapaksa is expected to visit New York in
September this year for the United Nations General Assembly
sessions.

PTI



First Published: Monday, June 20, 2011 - 13:06

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