President pondering pardon for Royal Park murder convict
President Maithripala Sirisena said his attention has been drawn towards a request made by Royal Park murder convict Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha’s party seeking a presidential pardon.
The President expressed these views while addressing the 3rd summit of the National Youth Model UN held in Colombo on Sunday.
While highlighting the importance of the youth practising tolerance and patience, President Sirisena said tolerance was an essential quality in the youth when undertaking responsibilities and fulfilling duties.
“No one knows what will happen if there is no patience. I hope you remember an incident involving two youths at the Royal Park housing complex several years ago. That boy was 19 years old. He had an argument with the girl and the girl ended up being killed. Today, that boy has done a doctorate as well and I believe he is 32 years old now. The party of the child who is in prison over the Royal Park incident has requested me to release him under a presidential pardon. 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,” the President said.
President Sirisena commented on how he practised tolerance when he was a schoolboy and recalled an incident where he was hit by a broomstick by one of his friends over a brawl they had the previous day.
“I was cycling and I fell down with all the books. I didn’t fight back and went to school as I was supposed to. When I was a minister and in parliament, the friend who attacked me with a broomstick came to me asking for a job for his child. The broom-incident came to my mind right away but I found a good job for that child. That’s how I treated him. The royal park story, the broom-stick attack and others highlight the importance of tolerance. What matters most is leading a disciplined life and maintaining good conduct following a good education,” he told youth delegates.
The court imposed the death sentence on Shramantha in 2012 over the 2005 murder of Swedish national Yvonne Johnson at the Royal Park Condominium.