Author: Sumanasiri Liyanage

The Case of Kumar Gunaratnam: Democracy is at Stake


ImageThe case of Kumar Gunaratnam (KG) is a typical example of justice turning into its opposite. The Kegalle magistrate gave his verdict on March 31 imposing one year imprisonment and Rs. 50,000 fine on Kumar Gunaratnam for violation of immigration law, i.e., overstaying visa.

It appears to be a simple technical issue. Mr. Noel Mudalige, an Australian citizen, was granted visitor visa to enter Sri Lanka. After a month, he refused to go back and expressed his willingness to stay in Sri Lanka even requesting dual visa status as a first step. He was arrested and the police filed a case against him for defying immigration law of Sri Lanka. Hence, one may argue that the verdict given by the Magistrate is absolutely valid and legal. However, the real story behind this case has revealed time and again the true nature of the Sri Lankan democracy in its neoliberal phase.