SC rejects petition of Wijeweera’s wife to produce him before court

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The Supreme Court has rejected a habeas corpus petition filed by the wife of former JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera requesting to order the government to produce her husband before an appropriate court or to release him.

The petition was called before a tri-member judge bench consisting of Justices Sisira de Abrew, S. Thurairajah, and Gamini Amarasekara, today (16) when it was rejected without being heard.

Petitioner had previously filed the same petition at the Court of Appeal where it was rejected on the basis that it was filed 30 years after the case.

However, the attorney representing the petitioner pointed out that there is no specific time limit for filing a habeas corpus petition.

He further stated that his client did not come forward to file such a petition due to fear of life threats.

However, following a lengthy trial, the tri-member judge bench of the Supreme Court decided that the petition would be rejected as there was no reasonable legal basis to hear the petition.

The petitioner, Srimathi Chithrangani Wijeweera, states that her husband, the founding leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), went missing after being arrested by the government during the insurgency in 1989.

Twelve individuals including the Attorney General have been named as respondents in the habeas corpus petition.

She states that her husband was arrested by government security forces on November 12, 1989, in the Ulapane area and that he was not produced before any court ever since.

She further says that it has been close to 29 years since her husband was arrested and that the government has not even legally informed her whether he is alive or not. Therefore they are unable to uncover what happened to him, she said.

The petitioner requests the court to order the respondents to produce Rohana Wijeweera before an appropriate court while also requesting that the petition on her husband’s disappearance be forwarded to the Colombo magistrate’s Court and a full investigation be carried out regarding his disappears.

Former Defence Secretary-General Cyril Ranatunga, former State Minister for Defence Ranjan Wijeratne, General Hamilton Wanasinghe and General Cecil Waidyaratne are among the respondents named in the petition.