Royal Park victim’s sister speaks out against President’s move

The sister of Swedish national Yvonne Johnson, who was killed at the Royal Park Condominium in 2005, has spoken out against President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement that he is considering a Presidential pardon to the convict who carried out the crime.

In a statement on her Facebook page, Yvonne’s sister Caroline Jonsson-Bradley said it breaks her heart to have to respond to the recent news about the President considering a pardon for her sister’s murderer.

Her full statement reads:

Many of you will know my sister through news reports as a 19-year-old Swedish girl (please note, we are also half Sri Lankan through our mother and grew up in Colombo) who was found brutally murdered at the Royal Park Condominium in 2005. For me and many others who knew her, she was full of life and had many dreams she wanted to fulfill. She had a close-knit and loyal group of friends, whom she loved and cared about immensely. She was a fashion student and eager to continue her studies in London, where we met days before her death. My sister and I were very close and since we were little she always had my back. This bond would ultimately be linked to her death, something I’ve had to carry with me since and will never come to terms with.

This moment right now is surreal. Did I know that my sister’s murderer being released was something my family and I could have to face someday? Of course we did, as his family has used power and money in their attempts to get him released, but not for the reasons recently outlined by the President. I wonder how anyone would feel if it was their daughter, sister or family this happened to. The murderer not only destroyed my family but his family too. This was not a one-off. He was known to be violent all his life, at school where he was expelled and at social events when he couldn’t control his jealousy. I experienced this during my brief relationship with him and I recall feeling trapped, scared and helpless. My sister’s murder was not someone losing their patience over a disagreement, it was premeditated. He waited for her outside our apartment though he pretended to me he was going home. During this time he arranged with a friend (who would later change his testimony in court to provide the murderer with an alibi) to be collected at a later time. When my sister arrived home he chased her from the 23rd floor, pushed her, strangled her and then smashed her skull on the cement floor. She was found on the 19th floor. He had the chance to walk away and to stop but he didn’t. I still recall sitting in court and hearing how her skull was fractured into 64 pieces. My father had to identify his daughter in the morgue with no face. Are those the actions of someone who deserves to be pardoned? This was no accident nor a small incident as some have claimed. The murderer did not stop after strangling my sister to her death, he continued his attack by smashing her face numerous times on the floor. He then tried to remove evidence by washing my sister’s blood off himself in the swimming pool, went in to hiding and even purchased a flight ticket in an attempt to flee his crime.

Today we live without a daughter and sister. She could have been a mother too. Yet all this is overlooked because he is reportedly reformed through acquiring a PhD in prison. Why hasn’t this apparent reformed man ever apologised to my family and I? For nearly 15 years we have fought for justice the formal and right way, and his family has consistently tried to bribe their way out of this. This has got to stop. For those who have taken their money, I want you to know that you’ve accepted blood money and how you’ve managed to live with yourself is beyond my understanding. For those saying my sister was intoxicated, do note that she did not consume alcohol as she was driving that night, it is noted in the official autopsy. That is the type of responsible person she was.

My family and I will never overcome the pain and distress that my sister’s murderer has caused. He showed and continues to show absolutely no remorse for what he has done. To say my sister’s brutal killing has turned our world upside down is an understatement. Everyone who attended her funeral saw a coffin being descended into the ground but along with it, I too went. So did my mother and father. We’ve worked hard to rebuild our lives and here we are, going into 15 years, still fighting for justice. Unfortunately, we now have to prepare ourselves for the worst possible outcome, the pardon of my sister’s murderer, but we also pray that hope and justice will prevail. We will keep focusing on our future, keeping her spirit alive with us always and let a higher power continue this fight.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I simply can’t believe why people want to be in relationships with such violent people and bring death to their family members , at the same time no one deserves such a painful death !!!

  2. Hi Caroline,
    We are sorry and heart broken with you loss and more so with the release of the murderer by the President of Sri Lanka. According to Buddhist teachings, things happen due to Karma and you got to settle the debt. Having said that most of our leaders or politicians are uneducated and with out emotional intelligence. Theirs actions can be immoral and undermining the rule of law. Even in the past some rapists murderers and drug smugglers were released for personal gain using presidential pardon. I understand that you are looking for a closure but you will only get that by understanding the truth of suffering and Ancihcha. The killer will not escape his karma and it will meet him in due cause! May Tripplegem bless you

  3. Dont worry ms caroline johnsson, his sins will follow him to his grave and all his lives after.
    He can never escape the crime that he did.
    I hope you and your family can live happily for the sake of your loving sister.

    May her soul rest in peace.

  4. This is very irresponsible and lunatic act on the part of the president. His skills on reasoning and judgement have been nothing but horrible more often than not.

  5. Dear Caroline
    All i can do is to pray for you and your family. This is heartbreaking..i understand even though this has not happened to me. Justice will prevail and nothing is above God. No caught can release a man like him when he has to face the judgement from above. After all we all will departure on that same journey. And im sure the four of you will meet face to face oneday at our eternal home. May God gives you strength.

  6. This folly of Prez -Sirisena!! His only positive legacy was to come down hard on drug offenders , or at least consistently say he would. Now in one act of desperation, in the twilight of his last dance into oblivion, he negates this positivity by trying to absolve a heinous drug induced act of savagery and murder. It also, typifies the systemic issues that families of power and privilege( aka rolling in money!) ultimately buy their way out sooner or later. The sad reality of the impunity of moneyed oligarchs that undermine the very fabric of our justice system.

  7. This foolish president is a Brainless “DOG”. (Para ballek) Disgrace to all Sri lankans.
    Dear Caroline, don’t give-up. Tell the entire world about this foolish activity.

  8. Dear Maithripala sirisena,

    You have made a fool of yourself so many times, that it is not necessary for you to go down in history for having pardoned a disgusting murderer – just to earn a few discreet bucks for your family and retirement fund.

    You are already a donkey – there is no need for you to promote yourself to becoming a jackass.

    • This is the President who wants to hang drug dealers. As he stands for law and order.But the hypocrite wants to free a murderer who destroyed a family’s life.

  9. If the Pardon is granted, it would be considered ‘Abuse of Power’.
    These criminals should end their life in prison.

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