Washington: 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
Dismissing the case yesterday, the US District Judge,
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, said that Rajapaksa has immunity as
head of the State.
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.
"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," Kollar-Kotelly wrote.
"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
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Vathsala Devi as the
widow Colonel Ramesh for his alleged wrongful death by the Sri
However, the Sri Lankan government has vehemently denied
violating human rights laws during the lengthy conflict
Rajapaksa Government is accused of violating human rights
of its own people during the civil war that ended in the
defeat of LTTE.