FR petition against govt. for failing to act on terror attack warnings

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A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition has been filed accusing the government of infringing the fundamental rights of the people by failing to prevent the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks on churches and hotels even when intelligence information had forewarned.

The petition has been filed by Attorney-at-Law Nagananda Kodituwakku, who is currently under a three-year restraining order preventing him from practising as a lawyer.

Ten persons including President Maithripala Sirisena, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, and the Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission have been named as the respondents of the petition.

The petitioner says the intelligence services had warned the government of the possible attacks beforehand, however, the government has committed an offence liable to punishment under the Code of Criminal Procedure Act by disregarding the warnings.

Accordingly, the petitioner has called for the Supreme Court to deliver a verdict stating that the government has infringed the fundamental rights conferred under the Constitution.

Stating that the negligence of the respondents named in the petition to act on the warnings has caused fatalities and casualties, the petitioner has sought the Supreme Court to file lawsuits against the President, the Prime Minister, former Defence Secretary Hemarisi Fernando, IGP Pujith Jayasundara and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The petition further calls for the Supreme Court to order the respondents to pay compensation for the families of the victims and those who were injured in the attacks.