A Sri Lankan politician who was sentenced to death for murdering an opposition activist in 2015 was sworn in as an MP in the Sri Lankan parliament on Tuesday, September 8, after a court ruled he should be allowed to exercise his rights as an MP.
Premalal Jayasekara, from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party, was convicted in August of the murder, but the conviction and sentencing came after nominations for the August 5 election. He was escorted from prison to parliament to allow him to be sworn in.
In a statement before the parliament, reported by the Daily Mirror of Sri Lanka, Jayasekara said: ““My conscience knows that I am innocent. I have been engaged in clean politics. I have not been engaged in any fraud or corruption during my political career.”
Jayasekara, who has been an MP since 2001, was found guilty of murder for opening fire at a stage during an opposition election event in January 2015, with one person killed. He has appealed his conviction and sentence.
His swearing in was met with jeers from opposition MPs, with many wearing black shawls in protest, and MPs of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) party staging a walkout. Credit: Parliament of Sri Lanka via Storyful