The Court of Appeal has dismissed a petition filed seeking an order to arrest former LTTE militant Vinayagamoorthy Mulairtharan alias Karuna Amman over a statement made by him in June.
The petition had been filed by Kaduwela Municipal Councillor and teacher Boseth Kalahepathirana after Karuna during a public meeting in the East said he was more dangerous than Covid 19 as he had killed more people going on to refer to killings of 2000 - 3000 government soldiers at Elephant pass during the height of the war.
The matter was called up in the presence of President of the Court of Appeal Justice A.H.M.D Nawaz and Justice Sobitha Rajakaruna yesterday.
The President of the Court of Appeal noted that the CID had already commenced investigations into the incident and statements had been recorded from Karuna regarding the matter. He also noted that the investigations are still in its preliminary stages while adding that the Election Commission had directed the Acting IGP that no candidate should be presented before a court of law prior to August 10. The Court of Appeal decided to dismiss the petition without issuing notice on the respondents.
The petition was filed by the petitioner on June 25 through his lawyer Yalith Wijesundara. Attorney General Dappula De Livera, the Acting IGP, and Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan had been named as respondents in the petition.
The petition had stated that through his statement Karuna had committed offenses under Articles 293 and 294 of the Penal Code as well as the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act. The Petition noted that restrictions to the Freedom of expression was introduced by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act, No. 56 of 2007, and the statement by Karuna Amman can be considered as “Hate speech”. It had further stated that according to Section 17(1) of the Evidence Ordinance, this is an acceptance and a confession to a crime.
During a meeting in Digamadulla on June 20 Karuna Amman had stated that he is more dangerous than COVID-19 as he had killed 2000 to 3000 soldiers in one night at Elephant Pass, and thousands more in Kilinochchi, when he was in the LTTE, as opposed to the number of lives claimed by COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. His statement drew widespread outrage at the time.