Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s visa has been extended for another 14 days amid demands in Singapore to arrest him.
Earlier, a criminal complaint was filed with the Chief Legal Officer (Attorney General) of the Government of Singapore for the arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The complaint was made by the South Africa-based International Truth and Justice Project.
The organization said that action should be taken against Gotabaya within the bounds of international law and that the Singapore government can also take this action under its own laws.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the Defense Minister of Sri Lanka in 2009, when there were complaints and accusations that the Sri Lankan government had incited violence against the Tamils. He was elected President of Sri Lanka when thousands of Tamils were said to have died in the final war of Mullivaikal.
In this situation, the International Organization for Truth and Justice Projects says that legal action can be taken against Gotabaya in Singapore regarding the various complaints filed against Gotabaya, including war crimes. It also lists the reasons for that.
The organization accused Gotabaya of committing various war crimes during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka.
The organization’s lawyer, Alexandra Lily Cather, said that they have collected various information in this regard and based on the confirmed information, a complaint has been filed against the former President of Sri Lanka.
What is the complaint??
It is said that Alexandra is currently in Berlin and told the above when contacted by Reuters news agency.
“We have filed a complaint against Gotabaya. By arresting him, the Singapore government can expose the truth to those in power. Singapore now has a rare opportunity to do that,” said Alexandra Lilly Cather.
Singapore has its own laws and policies. He has indicated that action can be taken against Gotabaya Rajapaksa based on them. Alexandra was also a member of the team that drafted the complaint letter to Singapore’s Chief Legal Officer.
Meanwhile, efforts by Reuters to contact Gotabaya in Singapore were unsuccessful.
Reuters reports that Gotabaya Rajapaksa violated the Geneva Conventions during the final stages of the war, according to a 63-page criminal complaint filed by the Organization for International Truth and Justice Projects.
A spokesperson for Singapore’s Office of the Chief Legal Officer said it had received a letter from the organization regarding Gotabaya’s arrest.
He also mentioned that since this letter was received on 23rd, it is not possible to give any further comments on this matter.
State Department explanation
Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore said that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had come to Singapore for personal reasons and that he had not sought asylum.
“While Singapore courts can try allegations of war crimes, genocide and torture, Singapore will only use that procedure as a last resort,” said Shubanger Tam, a professor at the University of Portsmouth Law School in the UK. He also worked in Singapore for some time.
Although Singapore has not officially declared neutrality in its foreign policy, the country has been doing so for a long time, Shubanger said.
Therefore, if a foreign leader is to be prosecuted, there is a need to balance it with Singapore’s foreign policies, he pointed out.
Meanwhile, in 2008, the UN ordered relief agencies to leave the war zone immediately, and the Organization for International Truth and Justice Projects said.
“Through this, Gothapaya ensured that there were no witnesses to the violence and massacres unleashed by the Sri Lankan Army against the Tamils.
We have petitioned the Chief Legal Officer to arrest and investigate Gotabhaya and file a charge sheet. This will be the basis of our case,” said Yasmin Sooka, executive director of the organisation.
From Singapore Gotabaya Want to quit?
Meanwhile, Cabinet Spokesperson Bandula Gunawardhana has said that Gotabaya is not running anywhere and he is going to come back to Sri Lanka.
It is said that he is allowed to enter Singapore on the basis of SOCIAL PASS for personal reasons and if a person comes to Singapore under such an arrangement, the concerned person can stay there only for 14 days.
Gotabaya reached Singapore on the 13th. So it is said that the time for him to leave is near.
Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been granted a short-term visa by the Immigration Checkpoints Authority of Singapore.
Tourists traveling from Sri Lanka to Singapore are generally issued a 30-day ‘Social Visit’ tour visa. The visa is valid for 30 days.
But the ‘Straits Times’ media reported that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was granted a 14-day visa.
Therefore, the government is yet to clarify whether Singapore’s immigration laws will allow him to stay for some time.
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