Created: Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Australian Government refuses to act on the court case filed against President RajapaksaThe 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