In a landmark judgment, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has found the Rajapaksa brothers, including two former presidents, guilty of mishandling Sri Lanka’s economy and driving it into its current economic crisis.
On 19 May 2022, Sri Lanka officially defaulted on its international debt. As a result of the current economic turmoil citizens have faced issues of food shortages, skyrocketing inflation and difficulty accessing essential goods.
Sri Lanka owes an estimated $35.1 billion dollars in foreign debt, of which 19 percent was owed to China, 7 percent to Japan, and 5 percent to India.
The court’s judgment ruled 4-1 that the Rajapaksa clan was responsible for economic mismanagement between 2019 and 2022, ordering them to pay just over $458 (150,000 Sri Lankan rupees) as legal costs to the petitioners.
The case was filed by corruption watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) and another four activists against top former officials, including former presidents Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Transparency International notes:
“Given that petitioners came to court in the interest of the public and did not seek compensation for themselves, the court was not inclined to order compensation other than costs incurred by petitioners”.
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