President Sirisena Says Royal Park Murder Convict Was Pardoned Following Athuraliye Rathana Thera's Intervention

November 11, 2019

President Maithripala Sirisena issued a statement claiming that Royal Park murder convict Jude Shramantha Jayamaha was granted Presidential pardon due to MP Athuraliye Rathana's intervention.

MP Rathana Thera, the statement said, coordinated discussions between the President and the convicts family.

In addition to Rathana Thera, several other Buddhist monks, including former Parliamentarian Baddegama Samitha Thera, requested President Sirisena to release the death-row prisoner on Presidential pardon.

The statement said the President made the decision based on fundamental principles of Buddhism including compassion and loving-kindness.

Jayamaha was convicted for the famous Royal Park murder in 2005. He was sentenced to death for committing the murder of Yvonne Jonsson, a Swedish teenager.

It was revealed in court that the victim's skull was fractured into 64 pieces before committing the murder.

Issuing a statement on the matter, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the incident showcased how money and social privilege could influence the criminal justice process in Sri Lanka.

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