Alleged war crimes probe:
No foreign judges – BASL President


By Dasun Edirisinghe

President of Sri Lanka Bar Association U. R. De Silva addressing the media at the BASL Conference Hall yesterday. BASL Secretary Amal Randeniya and other officials are also present. (Pic DE)

Newly elected President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) U. R. de Silva yesterday opposed efforts being made to bring in foreign judges to probe war crimes allegations against the security forces.

Addressing the media at the BASL conference hall, de Silva said he had been against the proposal to involve foreign judges et al in a war crimes probe since it was first proposed by the UNHRC.

De Silva said there was no constitutional provision for bringing in foreign judges here. He, however, said that the official stance of the BASL on the matter would be announced after a meeting of its executive committee.

The BASL chief said President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, too, had recently announced that they would not permit foreign judges to conduct a war crimes probe in Sri Lanka.

He said the BASL was represented at the committees involved in drafting a new Constitution and its members would weigh in with their proposals.

In answer to a question, De Silva said the BASL did not approve of the appointment of a lawyer as a High Court judge recently.

He said the former President of the BASL had issued a letter to Judicial Services Association (JSA) recommending the appointment, but they had caused it to be withdrawn.

Asked whether the former BASL President had done anything wrong by issuing that letter, the new President said that, according to BASL Constitution, the President of the association could not issue such letters without the concurrence of the Executive Committee.

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