Australian Government  refuses to act on the court case filed against President Rajapaksa 

The Government of Australia has quashed a court case filed against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Melbourne Magistrates Court by Arunachalam Jegatheeswaran, a known Sri Lankan LTTE operative based in Australia. In a letter addressed to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe  on 27th October 2011, the  Attorney General’s Department of  Australia, has informed the High Commissioner that, Australia has and will continue to comply with international  obligations in this matter and as a result the Attorney General has considered and declined to proceed with the court case as the continuation of the proceedings  against President Rajapaksa would be in breach of domestic law and  Australia’s obligations under International Law. It has been further noted that Commonwealth Laws extended immunities to heads of state and heads of diplomatic missions  representing the respective countries abroad. Those immunities include personal inviolability, including from any form of arrest or detention and immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving state. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is currently visiting  Perth, Western Australia to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting ( CHOGM ) scheduled for  28 – 30th October 2011. 

  

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard making a statement to the press on this issue has stated that “ no such legal action can be taken on an issue like this without the consent of the Federal Attorney General and that the Attorney General has not received any request in relation to this matter”. The Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia, Thisara Samarasinghe, in responding to the court case against President Rajapaksa has welcomed the Australian Government’s decision while  appreciating the stand taken by Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and the Attorney General, Robert McClelland in this regard.  

28th October 2011  

Ministry of External Affairs

Republic Building,

Colombo-01.

Fax:        0094-11-2446091

                0094-11-2333450

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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