BASL to take action

 Websites, tabloids beware


The Second Meeting of the Bar Council which was held on 27th of May 2017 under the Chairmanship of Mr. U.R. de Silva PC, made some import decisions with regard to the continuous attack by websites, social media and tabloids of the judiciary of Sri Lanka. This decision was arrived as a result of Mr. Upul Jayasuriya PC, a former President of the Bar Association bringing to the notice of the Bar Council that certain organizations has insulted the Attorney General and they have questioned the propriety of the Attorney General being called "Honourable the Attorney General". They do not know that the Constitution names that position as "Honourable". The Attorney General is the Head of the official Bar. Therefore, we must take corrective action against such derogatory statements. Thereafter, Mr. Geoffrey Alagarathanam, Immediate Past President of the Bar association agreed with Mr. Jayasuriya and said that the Bar Association must initiate action against anyone who ridicules the Attorney General who is a Member of our Association and we have a right to protect him.

Mr. Ali Sabry PC, who is the Dy. President of the Bar Association then intervened and said that "not only the Attorney General what about the ridiculing and mocking of the so called websites continuously? Utterly disparaging remarks have been published mocking the entire judiciary and it is time for the Bar Association to take over these matters and go before the Supreme Court and file action for Contempt of Court."

Mr. Hemantha Warnakulasuriya PC, said that he is "extremely happy that two former Presidents of the BASL have been shaken and woken from their deep slumber and has taken offence against an organization for calling names and ridiculing the Attorney General. This was due to the fact that these remarks were made by an organization against whose President, Mr. Jayausuriya has filed a Contempt case. But, he and his successor were completely silent when the Supreme Court Judges were attacked mercilessly and the web mafia called some of the Lady Judges, prostitutes who lift their skirts to various individuals and the other Judges are bribe takers and thieves. I have consistently brought these matters to the Bar Council and I did not even get a fair hearing. I would recall specifically, two instances. The first instance was where this web mafia called Mr. Anura Kumara a thug who had assaulted a stenographer in his chambers. Without consulting anyone, not even the Ratnapura Bar Association, the former President writes a letter the Chief Justice and complaints about the alleged assault. The Chief Justice taking this letter seriously transferred the High court Judge from Ratnpura to Moneragala. Thereafter, when the CJ found that the complaint was untrue, he was then transferred to Kandy High court. The police has found that the complainant had made a false statement. But the anguish caused to the learned High Court Judge by our President, remains unsolved. The second matter is when I complained that Shiran Gunerathne High Court Judge had been defamed by a tabloid, and that his telephones tapped and emails hacked. The President took the view that no complaint was received. Under his leadership His Executive Committee questioned me whether I have any professional interest or appeared for a party in that case. No inquiry was initiated though the Chief Justice himself has complained to the President. In another instance statements made by the Bar Association with regard to the Gangodawila Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratene appeared in the website long before the letter reached the Chief Justice. There was a sleight hand which had direct connections with the web sites to attack the judiciary. I am happy that BASL headed by you and your forthright Deputy President, has taken serious notice of the manner in which these websites through interested parties try to control the Judiciary. Mr. W. Dayaratne PC, a former President of the Bar Association said when a Supreme court Judge was appointed, the appointment was openly criticized that he was working with the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government. The innuendo was that he was part to the previous regime. But when another Judge appointed by the Private Bar, the Bar Association was silent. The Bar has been politically been compromised and I am happy that the present President and the Deputy President would strive to preserve and protect the judiciary, Members of the Attorney General Department and Members of the Association by this sinister website who are not accountable to anyone".

Mr. U. R de Silva PC, thanked the Members for having brought these matters to the notice of the Bar Council and said he would immediately take steps so that the Judiciary, the Members of the AG’s Department and the Members of the Association will not be insulted by any printed or electronic or online media.

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