Supreme Court Holds Rajapaksa Brothers and Former Officials Responsible for Sri Lanka's Economic Crisis

November 14, 2023

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, on November 14th, ruled that former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, and several other high-profile figures bear responsibility for the ongoing economic crisis that has gripped the nation.

The judgment, delivered by a five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, concluded that the three Rajapaksa brothers, along with former Central Bank governors Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Prof. W.D. Lakshman, former Finance Secretary S.R. Attygalle, former Presidential Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, and members of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank, have violated the fundamental rights of the people.

The ruling was based on the majority view of the bench and came in response to two Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed by Chandra Jayaratne, the former head of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and several others. The petitions sought an investigation into the state officials responsible for the economic crisis that has significantly impacted the lives of the Sri Lankan people.

The Supreme Court's decision is expected to have far-reaching implications, setting a precedent for holding high-ranking officials accountable for economic mismanagement.