President clarifies reason behind Royal Park murder convict pardoning

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By Rose Kenny

The President’s Media Division issuing a special statement noted that pardoning  the Royal Park murder convict was done based on appeals made by many religious leaders, former Supreme Court Judges, lawyers, civil society leaders and youth leaders.

President Maithripala Sirisena has come under severe criticism for having granted presidential pardon to  Jude Shramantha Anthony Jayamaha, who was sentenced to death over the Royal Park murder case in 2005. He was released on presidential Pardon, on Saturday (November 09).

The Media release is as follows;

Many religious leaders, former Supreme Court Judges, lawyers, civil society leaders and youth leaders have made representations to President Maithripala Sirisena, recommending granting a sympathetic consideration to the appeal for granting Presidential pardon to 34-year old Don Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha, who is serving a life imprisonment on the murder taken place at Royal Park, Rajagiriya.

Ven Athraliye Rathana Thero, Member of Parliament, played a key role and coordinated in obtaining Presidential pardon for this youth and he has brought the parents and close relations of the youth to meet the President and give a lengthy explanation of the background.

Ven Rathana Thero also made a written appeal to the President explaining that the murder took place due to an argument over a love affair between the youth and the young girl and Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha, while serving his sentence in prison with good behavior and conduct and undertook studies to successfully complete his external degree and now working for his PhD and he is an intelligent young man with a pleasant personality. He appealed to consider above and release him on a Presidential pardon.

Ven Rathana Thero also appealed to the President to consider this in accordance with the Buddhist teachings of compassion.

Ven Baddegama Samitha Thero too urged the President to pardon this youth as an intelligent person he would be a good citizen in future and it would be highly appreciated.

Ven Dr Keradewala Punnarathana Nayake Thero, Dwitheeya Adhikarana Sangha Nayake of Southern Sri Lanka, also stated that the President Should sympathetically consider granting pardon to this youth he has not indulged in any illegal acts apart from the crime he was found guilty. Ven Balangoda Buddhagosha Thero also stressed the importance of granting Presidential pardon to this youth.

When this crime took place Shramantha Anthony Jude Jayamaha was a 19 year old youth and considering that it was reported that the crime was committed due to instantaneous and uncontrolled anger and not a pre-planned murder and considering his good conduct during the last 15 years of prison life and he has completed higher studies and studying for PhD and he is an intelligent and experienced person who has been rehabilitated and he has not been found guilty of any wrong doings during the imprisoned period, and considering that he has an ability to serve the country as a good citizen and in other countries too such amnesty is given to prisoners, the President has decided to pardon Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha.