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Clarify your promise to pardon jailed soldiers – Sandhya

Sandhya Ekneligoda the wife of missing Journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda is asking SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to give more details as to how he is planning to pardon imprisoned army officers.

Ekneligoda in a letter sent yesterday (5 Nov) to the candidate states that Gotabaya’s pledge, made on 9 Oct at Anuradhapura to release all soldiers in jail on 17 Nov after becomes he becomes president has made her uncertain and fearful.

She notes that this is giving official pardons to all officers in the security forces where their crimes are justified, will be ignoring the fundamental rights of victims like herself. Also, she said that it will also weaken the resolve of honest officers in law enforcement agencies who want to bring justice.

Ekneligoda posed several questions to Gotabaya Rajapaksa:

  1. Are you going pardon the army officers who have been already imprisoned after being convicted by the courts? (including the individuals who have committed murders, robbery, rape, theft and other crimes) or a group of people selected by you? If such kind of selection is done what would be the criteria?
  2. My husband’s case is at the stage where the charges have been filed by the Attorney General and where a three bench high court judges is in the process of being appointed by the Chief Justice to begin hearings. Court cases relating to a number of well-known alleged crimes (connected to the army) are in the initial stages. If you become president will these accused persons be discharged?
  3. Will individuals like Duminda Silva who was convicted for the murder of Bharatha Lakshman, former Tangalle local councillor who is a convicted rapist and those convicted for the murder of Khuram Shaikh be among the persons you will pardon? 

She also says she wants him to answer these questions within three days. 

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