Former President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday (19 Jan.) announced his plans to establish a public fund, in order to collect the Rs. 100 million he was ordered to pay as compensation in relation to the Easter Sunday Attacks of 2019.
Speaking at a press conference today, Sirisena explained that he is unable to pay the ordered sum of Rs. 100 million and therefore decided to collect the sum of money from the public.
“I don’t have the financial stability to pay Rs. 100 million. I don’t even own a motorcycle. I will have to collect money from all over the country because if the money isn’t paid, I will be jailed”, the former Head of State said.
“Although we are siblings, I play no part in Dudley Sirisena’s businesses. There are 11 of us in our family. My father had five acres of paddy fields, and three acres of land. The five paddy fields are being shared amongst my sisters, while I grew mangoes in the remaining acres of land. I have no other source of income”, Sirisena emphasised.
Earlier this week, Sirisena mentioned that he was abroad and receiving treatment at a hospital in Singapore, at the time of the Easter Sunday attacks, adding that none of the officials of the security forces notified him regarding the matter, despite receiving intelligence information in advance.
“Nearly 85 pages of this judgment include that although the officials had received information, the president had not been informed in any way regarding the matter”, Mr. Sirisena claimed.
The compensation was ordered to be paid with regard to a violation of fundamental human rights, he said, pointing out that the Supreme Court’s judgment has mentioned that if the officials appointed by the President committed any mistake, the President should also take responsibility for the mistakes committed by the said officials.
“The IGP is appointed by the President and the Defense Secretary is appointed by the President, but the Director of Intelligence Service is appointed by the IGP, not the President.”
“However, I have also been ordered to pay Rs. 100 million compensation, that I was also responsible for the non-fulfilment of the responsibilities by them.”
On 12 January, the Supreme Court found the former President, along with former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, former National Intelligence Chief Sisira Mendis and former Chief of State Intelligence Nilantha Jayawardena in violation of the Fundamental Rights of petitioners, by failing to take action to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks despite receiving sufficient intelligence information.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court ordered Sirisena to pay Rs. 100 million in compensation to the petitioners, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director Nilantha Jayawardena were each ordered to pay Rs. 75 million, former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando was ordered to pay Rs. 50 million and former National Intelligence Director Sisira Mendis was ordered to pay Rs. 10 million from their personal money.