Former President Maithripala Sirisena says that he will have to pay the compensation ordered by the Supreme Court in relation to the Easter Sunday attacks, by collecting funds with the help of his close friends.
Joining an event held in the Nittambuwa areas today (Jan. 15), the former president expressed that he is not a person who is rich enough to pay an amount of Rs. 100 million in compensation.
Spiking out for the first time with regard to the verdict of the Supreme Court, he said: “… the first thing is to respect the law. I am a person who bows my head to the court’s decisions,” he said.
Former President 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.”
“I am not a person who has an economy to pay a compensation of Rs. 100 million. Me and my friends have decided that we will collect money from our close friends. At the time, I asked them if I should go beg under the Bodi tree in Colombo Fort.”
The Former President, who alleged that he has no income, also highlighted that he has submitted his assets declaration to Parliament each year, within the five years of his presidency.
“So, anyone can see my assets declaration under the Right to Information Act and if you need, you can check what I own.”
“Therefore, as one of my friends has decided, I hope to get the necessary support from my friends in this matter.”
“I personally say that for me, no matter what kind of challenges come my way, I don’t get hurt. I face any challenge with a smile.”