Sri Lanka’s outgoing president Maithripala Sirisena has landed in a controversy after he granted a presidential pardon to Jude Shramantha Jayamaha, who was imprisoned for murdering a 19-year-old girl at Royal Park apartments in 2005.
Jayamaha, who belongs to a wealthy, high-profile family, was initially given 12 years in prison. His subsequent appeal against his jail term was rejected and he was sentenced to death instead, a sentence upheld by the Supreme Court in 2014.
A few weeks ago when the Sri Lankan president received the pardon request, he said: “I am contemplating on this because he has served his term on good behaviour. He went to prison at the age of 19 over an incident of impatience.”
Victim Yvonne Jonsson, a dual national whose mother was Sri Lankan, was beaten to death in the stairwell of the apartment block where her family was living in the capital Colombo in 2005 after an earlier argument with Jayamaha.
The victim’s sister, Caroline Jonsson, said the killer had shown no remorse. During the trial, the court heard that her skull had been fractured into 64 pieces.
Netizens in Sri Lanks took to Twitter to express their outrage over the president’s move.
Sirisena should be investigated. One has to find out how much he was paid for this criminal act. The worst president ever and he should be brought to justice a.s.a.p.— Lionel Pathirana (@lmo7777) November 10, 2019
I'm sure people are rotting in prison for much less serious offences than the murdering of Yvonne. The whole idea of presidential pardons has been misused and bastardized by presidents, including Sirisena. This pardon should never have happened.— David Craig (@mysticlaw) November 11, 2019
#JusticeForYvonne:— JBC Breaking|News™ (@JBCBreaking) November 10, 2019
The sister (CarolineJohnson) of Royal Park murder victim Yvonne Johnson has demanded answers from President Maithripala Sirisena after the President pardoned the convict in the crime committed in 2005.#lka #SriLanka pic.twitter.com/ZijvFYF9LG
The absolute lack of integrity President Sirisena has shown in using the prerogative of presidential pardon(a power that should be exercised judiciously) to pardon a heinous criminal who has shown no remorse for his criminal behaviour thus far, is extremely appalling. https://t.co/9PGtCgoUCT— Nimaya Dahanayake (@NimayaD) November 9, 2019
I am OK with this if MS can make the murderer his daughter's bodyguard...— Janaka Abeysekera (@JanakaAbeyseke1) November 9, 2019
I'm Shocked !!! 🤷♂️🤷♂️✍ @MaithripalaS— Trehan Munasinghe™ (රාවණා) (@Tre_Munasinghe) November 9, 2019
It was just not a murder , it was a heinous crime and the evidence in court showed/proved the gravity of the act.
I'm against his release and let it be known, have nothing against him or his family, however this isn't acceptable.
@officialunp can't wash off their hands. They are in the Cabinet. As per Art 34 1 of the Constitution, Minister of Justice has to send a recommendation regarding the Pardon.— Yoga Yoheswaran (@yohes1) November 9, 2019