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Victims up in arms over Maithripala & co. delay to compensate

13 July 2023 06:07 am – 0      – 1190

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-Former president Sirisena has so far paid only Rs. 15 million. Sirisena requested the Supreme Court for an extension to pay the outstanding amount of 85 million rupees through a series of ten equal instalments until 2033

-The national intelligence chief and former IGP have paid about 4.1 million rupees while the former defense secretary has paid only one million rupees

Claiming that those whose negligence caused the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 had shown no remorse by compensating them as ordered by court, several family members of the victims of the attacks who spoke to the Daily Mirror made a fresh call for justice for their lost loved ones.

President of the Welfare Society, which is a collective body of victims’ families at St. Sebastian’s Church, Katuwapitiya told Daily Mirror, “It is not surprising that these people had not paid the compensation on time as they are so used to neglect things.”

“It is no big deal for those people who deliberately neglected the multiple warnings of a series of attacks to take a ruling of the Supreme Court for granted,” he said.

Leslie, a family member of a victim said, “We won’t get our loved ones back. However, those responsible should pay the price for their negligence. At least they will feel the pain with the amount of money that they have to pay as compensation.”

Sudara Fernando, who lost his father Sudeera to the attacks, said, “These politicians and other responsible individuals are acting as if they had nothing to do with the Easter Attacks, which is in fact disgusting.”

“I won’t get my father back. We don’t need this money but those responsible persons should feel the agony we are going through at this way,” he said.

W.P.A.W. Perera whose husband, M.J.Densil Fernando died in the Easter carnage, shared her views in tears saying, “We don’t want a rupee from the people who are responsible for the loss of life of my beloved husband. I feel ashamed of them and I don’t want to hear their names nor their faces.

Rupika Rosairo, the mother of a child who lost her life in the blast,said that she has no faith that justice will be meted out.

“I will never see my daughter again. Little else matters when you’ve endured loss like we have,” she said.

Meanwhile, speaking to Daily Mirror, Director of the Archdiocesan Mass Communication Centre Rev. Fr. Jude Krishantha Fernando said, “The failure of the individuals to pay the respective compensation is a disgrace to those who died and who were injured in the Easter bombings.”

In a verdict on January 12, the Supreme Court ordered former President Sirisena to pay a sum of Rs. 100 million while former IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former SIS director Nilantha Jayawardhane were ordered to pay Rs. 75 million each as compensation, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando was ordered to pay Rs. 50 million and former National Intelligence chief Sisira Mendis was ordered to pay Rs.10 million within four months from January 12.

Accordingly, the total amount of Rs. 310 million was to be deposited with the government’s Office for Reparation within six months, before July 12.

However, none of them have fully settled the compensation before the due date.

Former president Sirisena has so far paid only Rs. 15 million. Sirisena requested the Supreme Court for an extension to pay the outstanding amount of 85 million rupees through a series of ten equal instalments until 2033.

Among the others, the national intelligence chief and former IGP have paid about 4.1 million rupees while the former defense secretary has paid only one million rupees.

The Court held that these respondents had violated the fundamental rights of petitions filed over the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Easter bombings, the worst attacks in Sri Lanka since the civil war ended in 2009, took place on Easter Sunday in 2019, targeting three churches and three luxury hotels across Sri Lanka, killing 270 people and injuring over 500. (Sheain Fernandopulle)

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