Goatabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s former president, who fled the country amid mass protests is becoming increasingly worried as no country has agreed grant him visa as it is anticipated that Gotabaya may seek asylum once he succeeds in entering any of the Western nations, once he has to leave Singapore on expiry of visa. Meanwhile, at least half-a-dozen of Gotabaya Rakapaksa men are sending emails, making phone calls to many countries in the hope of at least finding a country where this extremely corrupt politician and champion violator of human rights can seek refuge.
Earlier, Goatabaya Rajapaksa tried looked for fleeing to the United Arab Emirates and was told by the authorities that the UAE authorities are not willing to host him.
Meanwhile, immediately after Gotabaya had left Maldives, several Indian newspapers had falsely reported stating he was getting asylum in Saudi Arabia. When contacted, an official of the kingdom told this correspondent that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not welcomed in the country.
Meanwhile, Manohara de Silva, President’s Counsel, told reporters that the rejection by the US of a visa application by Gotabaya Rajapaksa towards the tail end of the latter’s presidential term may allow Western powers to arrest him in terms of the Geneva Resolution.
The President’s Counsel emphasized that the Geneva Resolution authorized universal jurisdiction by accepting the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka. The High Commissioner conducted that investigation, in terms of the Geneva Resolution (A/HRC/25/1), adopted in Match 2014.
Sri Lanka co-sponsored Geneva Resolution on Oct 01, 2015, brought in by the US. The UNHRC consists of 47 countries, divided into five zones.
Responding to The Island queries, de Silva said the possibility of Western powers moving against the wartime Defense Secretary couldn’t be ruled out, especially against the backdrop of declaration in the House of Commons that the ex-President should be arrested.
Demand for arrest and trial of Gotabaya
A rights group documenting alleged abuses in Sri Lanka has filed a criminal complaint with Singapore’s attorney general, seeking the arrest of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his role in the South Asian nation’s decades-long civil war, the Reuters reported.
The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) said Rajapaksa committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions during the civil war in 2009 when he was country’s defence chief, according to a copy of the complaint seen by Reuters.
The South Africa-based ITJP argued that based on universal jurisdiction the alleged abuses were subject to prosecution in Singapore, where he fled after months of unrest over his country’s economic crisis.
“The criminal complaint that has been filed is (based on) verifiable information on both the crimes that have been committed, but also on evidence really linking the individual in question, who is now in Singapore”, Alexandra Lily Kather, one of the lawyers that drafted the complaint, told Reuters by telephone from Berlin.
“Singapore really has a unique opportunity with this complaint, with its own law and with its own policy, to speak truth to power”.
Rajapaksa submitted his resignation in Singapore, a day after fleeing on July 13. Anti-government protesters had stormed the offices and official residences of the president and the prime minister.