The sister 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.
Royal Park murder convict Jude Shramantha Anthony Jayamaha was given a Presidential pardon yesterday.
The Prison’s Department said that he had been released after being granted the pardon.
Yvonne Johnson’s sister Caroline Jonsson-Bradley, in a Facebook post today, demanded to know why the President showed interest in the case.
“There are countless Sri Lankans in custody for lesser crimes, yet you have chosen to pardon a prisoner convicted of premeditated murder, and in doing so undermined the highest level of judiciary in the country. The reasons given in your public speech in no way justify the pardoning of a murderer,” she said.
Speaking at the National Youth Model United Nations conference held in Colombo recently President Maithripala Sirisena said that he had received a request for a Presidential pardon for Jude Shramantha Jayamaha.
Sharmantha Jayamaha was sentenced to death in the 2005 murder of Swedish national Yvonne Johnson at the Royal Park condominium.
“It would be impossible for any action to make better what happened to my sister and the subsequent pain for my family, but you have used your Presidential power and ended your term by succeeding in making it even worse,” Caroline Jonsson-Bradley said.
Her full Facebook post:
President Maithripala Sirisena, I am writing this letter to you, but I am fully aware you may never read it. Just as you pardoned my sister’s murderer on a Saturday night and chose to do it on a long weekend in Sri Lanka so you could avoid facing what you have done for as long as possible. I cannot begin to understand how a father of two daughters reached the decision to release this monster? I know every single injury my sister sustained that night. I could write the extensive list right here, it is tragically clear in my memory, but I need to protect my parents from having to go through it all again. I can’t stop thinking about what she went through that night. She fought for her life, even running from her attacker with broken ankles. I know you didn’t follow due process for this murderer’s release, but did you even take the time to look into this case at all?
No one will ever truly understand the impact a murder has on a family and how loss follows loss. We lost friends who themselves couldn’t cope, our country which we called home and ourselves over and over again. My parents and I occupy ourselves every moment so we don’t sink into dark thoughts. Pretending to be fine and normal has its own weight and repercussions. We know this too well but it has been the only way to make sure that the murderer didn’t take more from us. I watch my father be so strong in front of people, but behind closed doors, he is a broken man. President, do you know how many years it took for my father to stop crying in his sleep? My mother has been unable to express herself or fathom what had happened to her firstborn child. She is highly protective of me and rightly so. People close to us never understood this, but I have always stuck by my mother’s side because I understand. I understand it even more now being a mother to a little girl.
I remember feeling this hollow and lost when my sister died. Since I heard the news confirming the pardon, I have felt completely on edge and I haven’t stopped shaking. It took me about 10 years to start to feel close to normal, but now here I am, in this same dark hole again. Worst of all, I have a 4-month-old daughter that needs her mother, so I’m aware that this will be the greatest test of my inner strength. I have come to live with this pain and it has become a part of who I am today. This type of pain never heals, it matures with you. I dealt with it as a teenager, then as a young adult and now as a parent and I know I will continue feeling its strife whilst it transforms itself until I am at rest.
Finally President, now that you have once again inflicted this unbearable pain on my family, I think we and all the people who have expressed concern with the recent events, deserve to know the true reasons you involved yourself in this case. There are countless Sri Lankans in custody for lesser crimes, yet you have chosen to pardon a prisoner convicted of premeditated murder, and in doing so undermined the highest level of judiciary in the country. The reasons given in your public speech in no way justify the pardoning of a murderer. Your silence on the matter since your speech makes me fear we may never know the truth behind your decision, but you will now be attached to this case forever and for all of the wrong reasons. It would be impossible for any action to make better what happened to my sister and the subsequent pain for my family, but you have used your Presidential power and ended your term by succeeding in making it even worse.