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Sri Lanka court faults former president, reverses land deal
08 Oct, 2008 12:21:26
Oct 08, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has rapped a former president for abuse of power and reversed a controversial transfer of state land to a private developer in a landmark case, a court official said.
The Supreme Court ordered the return of land on which the 'Water's Edge' golf course was built to the government's Urban Development Authority within a month.

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga who was involved in the sale of the land was ordered to pay three million rupees as compensation, lawyers said.

Justice Shirani Tilekewardene delivering the judgement has observed that a president exercises power in trust for the public.

The transfer of state land, which was originally a marsh that was used for flood retention purposes in the low-lying area, has long been a controversy.

The land was transferred through a 99-year lease.

The land was developed by Sri Lanka's Access group.

The lease is to be cancelled within a month and the transfer back to state completed within four months, a UDA official said.

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READER COMMENT(S)
9. priyan Oct 09
Surprise surprise lawyer for petitioner is J C Weliamuna .any others appearing for corruption cases
8. Amara Oct 08
There must be a law in any society. Otherwise it cannot exist. What we can see is there is no law in this country. It is good to see that the judiciary wants to restore the law.
7. A real worried Oct 08
Indeed the current supreme court judges in SL seem to be very brave. They have threats not only from criminals, but also from executives. I hope these judges will serve the country for a long time. How long would these judges would be allowed to be judges is a concern I have.
6. Amara Oct 08
There must be a law in any society. Otherwise it cannot exist. What we can see is there is no law in this country. It is good to see that the judiciary wants to restore the law.
5. Somar Wijayadasa/Somar Oct 08
Bravo! to Supreme Court. Finally, the judiciary has stepped in, and it should do more. People know that they have been robbed and thrown into poverty by a few greedy, crooked and power hungry politicians.

The most common forms of corruption include bribery, secret commissions made on contracts, blatant abuse of public power and position for personal advantage, and tax evasion. Possession of abundant unexplained, unearned wealth by any politician or public servant is a visible sign of stolen public funds meant to uplift the poor of our country.

Scourge of corruption is a key element in economic under-performance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development.

4. Saman Oct 08
Hats off to the present government. Who or what, the cleaning of political corrupt & of the administration is taking place.

Yes, start from the top.

If the judiciary is firm, the politicians & administrators will fall in line.

Hope, all levels of the judiciary will act in the same manner & continue to do so.

Judiciary also need to look into and take on corrupt INGO & NGOs as well.

3. Nathan Oct 08
Every executive president of sri lanka should now realise that they cannot escape the consequences of unlawful actions under cover of presidential immunity while in office.

The present president should take note of this judgement.

The Presidential Immunity is the most obnoxious part of the present constitution,and should be annulled by parliament,as it confers dictatorial powers to a single individual.

2. Son of Mother lanka Oct 08
This is the beginning of the end for the corrupt politicians in Sri Lanka. Three cheers for the Chief Justice and the other lion hearted judges in the Supreme Court and all other courts in the country.

Dear Citizens of Sri Lanka don't hesitate now. This is the right time to fight against the corrupt politicians in all parties. Come out and file petitions in the Courts. Bring them before Justice!!

1. Asa Oct 08
Well done!!! If legislature sleeping over anlawful sale of government property the Judiciary should take measurements to correct them....
What next? SLIC?