Indika Sri Aravinda
The government will not respond to the summons issued on President Mahinda Rajapaksa by a US court even if it is published in the local media, the Attorney General’s department said. Deputy Solicitor General Jayantha Jayasuriya told The Sunday Leader that the US District Court has not issued valid reasons as to why the President should respond to the summons.
It was reported on Friday that in a precedent setting order issued by the District Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday on the case against President Rajapaksa filed by three Tamil plaintiffs, Judge Kotelly authorized service by “posting the full summons and complaint on the main page of the TamilNet website,” and by publication in two Sri Lankan newspapers.
Judge Kotelly in her short opinion leading to the order said, ‘having evaded service in person and refusing service under the international agreement [Hague Convention] established for the purpose of service of process on international defendants, “it is not reasonably possible or practicable to give more adequate warning” to Defendant [Rajapaksa] than service by publication.
When contacted by The Sunday Leader Deputy Solicitor General Jayantha Jayasuriya said that no court can accept the position of publishing a summons in the media in order for it to be served to any party.
Meanwhile former Attorney General Mohan Peiris said that President Rajapaksa has diplomatic immunity and is unlikely to respond to the summons issued on him by a US court even if it is published in the Sri Lankan media.
Peiris told The Sunday Leader that while a lawyer can be retained to represent the President such a move will considered only once the summons is received.
Peiris, who was the Attorney General at the time the case was filed against the President, said so far the summons has not been received by the President’s office and his residence. The Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry had recently said that even the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka at the UN Major General Shavendra Silva, against whom a case has been filed in a US court over alleged war crimes, has diplomatic immunity and so does not have to respond.