Theweekendleader

Widow of a deceased LTTE leader who died in custodial torture files case against Rajapakse

23-September-2011

Vol 2 | Issue 38

US based Tamil groups are turning up the heat on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse who is facing serious charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Rajapakse has arrived in New York to attend the UN General Assembly session.

According to a press release from the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, the widow of a deceased LTTE leader, Col Ramesh, has filed a case in the Southern District of New York, against the visiting President for killing her husband.

The docket number of this case is 11 CIV 6634.

Col Ramesh was shown in the documentary aired by UK’s Channel 4, ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields,’ being interrogated by Sri Lankan soldiers in an undisclosed location.

Later, a photograph of his dead body bearing wounds sustained during his custodial torture was leaked in the media.

Ramesh’s widow, Vathsala, has now filed the case against Rajapakse through her attorney Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran.

It may be recalled that three other Tamils have already filed a case against Rajapakse in a US court holding him responsible for the extra-judicial killings of their relatives.

Bruce Fein, attorney for the victims had told TamilNet recently, "If Rajapaksa strays from his official duties in his movements at the United Nations General Assembly, we can serve the Complaint and Summons on him by hand without encountering an immunity defense under the Vienna Convention or other international obligations."

Fein holds the legal opinion that a sitting head of state has no immunity against war crimes.

TamiNet also reported that Fein would be seeking authority from the court to serve the Complaint and Summons against Rajapakse “by publication in a Sri Lankan newspaper of general circulation, by electronic means, by service on lawyers or lobbyists in Washington, D.C. who represent the Government of Sri Lanka, or otherwise.” - TWL Bureau


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