20 September, 2018

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A Woman Lawyer Exposes Some Disgusting Abuses Of Sri Lankan Justice System

A woman lawyer has exposed the utterly confused, silly, and sad situation that prevails in some of the courts, which she had been practicing for over seven years. It is a revealing speech, which shows the lowest depths that the justice system in Sri Lanka is faced with. She exposes some of the judges and also lawyers including some members of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

For example, she, Sugandhika Fernando, speaks of going to a court where she found that three people applying lime on the head and the foot of judge because the judge has come to court too drunk, and that to revive him before the court sessions. Then she gives details of long series of events, which are highly scandalous and shameful.

There certainly is something radically wrong in the judicial system and also the manner in which legal profession is practiced in many parts of the country. She gives examples of corruption, sexual exploitation of clients and even junior lawyers by some seniors, and also how lawyers collaborate with police men in corrupt practices.

What is important is that she and few others are speaking about these things loudly. However, in the private sphere, many lawyers and clients, and people who know about the facts in the courts have same type of tale to tell from all around Sri Lanka.

What is even more saddening is in a manner in which some of the present leaders of the Bar Association are behaving, ignoring all these criticisms and even attacking the critics for reasons, which are far from honorable.

It is to be hoped that more people will begin to articulate like this lady-lawyer has done and also some other lawyers. In addition, a protest movement develops to explore the rotten aspects of justice sector, which is so vital for proper functioning of society.

All this corruption and demeaning behavior implies that people at large are denied of opportunities for justice, and that people will therefore have little trust in this kind of system. (By Asian Human Rights Commission)

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Latest comments

  • 17
    3

    Take all the robes of all the good judges that have ever lived on the face of the earth, and they would not be large enough to cover the iniquity of one corrupt judge

    • 2
      1

      We need more of the kind of Professionals to come forward to save this nation.
      Do it for your Profession, do it for the Nation, do it for your future generation including your children and grand children . Do not follow the Lying professionals who are leading a WRONG PATH, AND EXPECT THE OTHERS TO FOLLOW THE SAME .
      One should search their conscience before committing.
      Professionals in various fields are forced to follow the wrong path against their conscience!!
      Eventually one will be tripped by these Professionals, and these Professional Liars.
      Wake up and save the NATION OUR NATION.

    • 1
      0

      Mudson Amerasinghe

      Law & Society Trust regularly publishes reports, research papers and books, as well as the LST Review and the State of Human Rights.

      VIEW PUBLICATIONS:
      https://www.lstlanka.org/publications-reports/
      https://www.lstlanka.org/publications-periodicals/
      https://www.lstlanka.org/publications-annual-reports/

  • 23
    1

    Well Said Sugandika!

    The qualities that one should look for in a Judge are a burning desire to be fair and impartial; The courage to uphold the law and strike down injustice;..

  • 9
    0

    It’s mainly a proof that the judicial system we grabbed/inherited from colonial masters isn’t suitable for us.
    We have to adjust it for our requirement.

    What’s the route cause for this moral degradation in every sphere.

    What’s the contribution of so called free education system for that.

    However we must wait to read more comments from the people in judicial profession regarding this matter.

    We have a reasonable doubt too as conspiracies are regular these days against every sphere of SL life so even a lawyer might be amenable for money.

  • 1
    0

    Correction please
    substitute root for route

  • 16
    0

    Can we investigate all the legal cases that are dragging for over a decade and why!?

    Clean up the legal system please. Cases that should finish within a few hearings take years and even decades in this country!

  • 23
    0

    I firmly believe that everything that happens in Sri Lanka is a reflection of the leadership of the country

    • 3
      0

      Gune, you have said a mouthful. All what has happened is a reflection of the leadership that is present and of the immediate past. None are so blind as those who will not see.

      Given that we are a Nation waiting to be ‘led’, a charismatic leader who has no personal ambition other than to lead this country back into decency from moral wilderness, is the call of the day.

      Its urgency can be gauged by these responses received.

      Sugandhika – I repeat – must be elevated to National Heroine status.

  • 3
    0

    Is the judge’s name Saimaa?

  • 14
    0

    Does it mean that even the Legal system is Corrupt in Sri Lanka? Seems Sri Lanka is beyond Redemption.

  • 7
    0

    Mr Charles Vethacan Ex MMC of Colombo is one lawyer who paid his apprentices as far back as 1979
    I was his apprentice and I was paid an allowance during my period of apprentice under him.

    • 2
      0

      Mr. Charles Vethakan a popular lawyer in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court during the days of the sixties and seventies. He was a member of the SLCP. A gentleman to the core. Unfortunately he had to undergo a term of imprisonment because he was implicated in a case involving the JVP.

  • 22
    1

    Admire the courage of this lady to expose the justice system in Sri Lanka. Ranjan Ramanayke will be thrilled there is support for his cause as well. What now unity government ? If the judicial system is corrupt what hope for Sri Lanka ?

  • 2
    31

    Whist Sugandhika’s openness has to appreciated in the social media, she as a member of the Judiciary System of Sri Lanka should also abide by many professional ethics that she is bound by as a professional.

    She may have grievances, but yet, the forum to address such needs to be carefully selected, so as to maintain the professional courtesy extended to the other members of the same profession, and also let room to allow for the other parties that Sugandika is accusing of to respond to such allegations with equal exposure to the media.

    I listened to the entire 46 minutes of her videoed speech, and she spent entire 46 minutes trying to explain how she was wronged in the Sri Lankan Courts, by many Judges, Mudliars, and even HQI’s of the police.
    Never did she mention of a situation when the judicial system worked in her favour.

    The judicial system of Sri Lanka may be corrupt, but individuals like Sugandhika does not in any way help thar cause, simply because she is a outlier in the system, and thus people like her has lost their identity in the system. They would be evicted out of the professional community that they think they belong to, and thereupon they will go into oblivion.

    • 9
      4

      Doc. the Law is made to work in favour of Law & Justice to one and
      all and her complaint is not for her to mention that aspect as it is
      obvious?

      Now that she has returned to the Island, having met the diaspora
      and their complaints, one could expect Ramanayake & Kodituwakku
      to form a much-needed Front, the sooner the better?

    • 10
      1

      Never did she mention of a situation when the judicial system worked in her favor. Rubbish. Why do you think she must complain about some incidents when there is no problem? I would think that you are convulsing to prove that if she had won ever a case that is only because of the court favoritism. You seem to be ignorant of favoritism and corruption come into existence when there is some kind of bribe involves by the favor seeker, like money, gifts, private services-including sex. Is that your conclusion that she too is involved in one of these and certainly has received favors, though she is complaining against these?
      You watched the whole clip. Apparently you don’t have a dispute on any of the incidents she presented. But you want to protect the establishment, so calling for the opponents to cook up evidence to dispute her claims.
      Courts are public bodies; anything related to them is public information, unless in cases a judge orders the Media that specific info should not be revealed to public. Even, that order may bind only media, not any private citizen.
      Are you confused about private organization guarding about their operational secrets or are you confused the professional bodies’ ethics codes related to their clients personal info?
      If she doesn’t have case of her own, she is only a whistle blower. Even that is encouraged these days by all professional bodies.
      All that I know is unitarily all professional boards insists on their codes to genuine service to the serviced. I never did know that there is a profession’s ethic codes include dispelling a member of the profession for speaking about the malpractices of that profession other than GMOA(Even it may not in the printed version of codes though GMOA use it as unwritten additional codes).

      • 0
        0

        Dear Mallaiyuran,
        .
        Can you think of a way in which you can get news of this positive development (the emergence of honest people like Nagananda and Sugandhika) across to Tamil speaking people?
        .
        We must act in unison, as much as possible. I know that “the minorities will vote for the liberal, non-racist candidate” – as even the Rajapaksas would put it. But the percentage voting in the North is often low.

        .
        I’m not blaming Tamil speakers – just being hard-headed about what must be done.

    • 3
      0

      docs are doing the same.They are corrupt. Money minded.

      • 3
        0

        samantha

        “docs are doing the same.They are corrupt. Money minded.”

        How about Police, Politicians, state functionaries, members of Sangha, teachers, uni staff, armed forces, ……………………… ?

    • 1
      1

      Well not all professionals suck up to the system like you do Dr! Dharshana, it is because a few like Ms. Suganthika Fernando that systems improve, I am sure this lady is talented enough that she does not fear “going into the oblivion” as you seem to fear, I am sure she will have many job offers after this revelation, she is an eloquent and interesting speaker in addition to her experience in the Judicial system.

  • 13
    0

    Is it the “Abusive Justice System” OR the “System Abused Justice” in Sri Lanka? This lady Lawyer exposed the “Abuses ” by the Judges of all courts (from lower to High), the Courts’ Staff (from the”Mudlier” to the Peon) the Law Enforcement Officers ( all ranks of Police Officers) the Lawyers (from the Juniors to the Seniors) the Politicians (from the Provincial to Parliament) and including the Officials of the Bar Association. She substantiated all those allegations of “Abuses” with her own EXPERIENCES she underwent practicing in her own profession. The worst of all the allegations she mentioned was how “Lady Lawyers” go to bed in hotels with the “Law Enforcement Officials”. Mr. Nagananda Kodithuwakku, a prominent Lawyer, presently involved in the campaign against the “Systems Abused” by all Law Enforcement Agencies, was seated at the head table. She also “showed” a letter written by her to the “Authorities” with copies to several related parties and lamented that no action was taken so far. Since yesterday, this speech is going viral in “Social Media”. It would now be interesting to watch the situation as regards the “Court Cases” against Mr. Rankan Ramanayake and Mr. Kodithuwakku. These “allegations” are in fact “TRUE”, we the General Public, would easily be able to conclude “Why” and “How” some of the “DECISIONS” in cases against the “BIG FISH” have been made by the Judges of all “Ranks” AND the “INVOLVEMENT” of Political Authorities together with the Law Enforcement Limbs, NOT excluding the Legal Community. By listening to this Lady Lawyer, I have made my opinion, that a SYSTEM CORRECTLY IN PLACE has been GROSSLY ABUSED by all parties administering it. In all matters of day to day running of State affairs ( Political; Judicial) of Sri Lanka, it is nothing WRONG with the “Systems”; but the PEOPLE who handle and administer it. So why it goes UNCHECKED? Because, the PEOPLE are ill-informed; least bothered and or more evidently SELF SEEKING & SELFISH.

    • 1
      0

      Dear Douglas,
      .
      Let me give you a link to an earlier article in which we discussed law enforcement 18 months ago:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-increase-in-fines-for-driving-offences-will-it-change-drivers-behavior/
      .
      I’m planning to make a longer comment on what is page 3 now – by the time it gets in it may be page 6! Nobody will look here.

      I’ve looked for a Sinhala version of this story, but couldn’t find it. I’ve l;listened thrice to the video – Sugandi Fernendo talks fast so it was difficult to take it all in. A great woman. If, as you say, it’s gone viral ob FaceBook many, many Sinhala speakers will hear it. I hope she overcomes these obstacles and lives a successful and happy life.
      .
      It’s not we who get the worst of it; it’s the monolingual honest villagers, like Sameera and his father, honest yeoman, who get the worst of it.
      .
      That story stars with a comment by Prof S.R. H. (Jeevan “Elections”) Hoole. I’ll try to find the article in which he tells how he managed to annihilate the corrupt policemen.
      .
      All this may take a few days, but I think that we owe it to Sugandi R – and to Nagananda Kodituwakku.
      .
      I feel that we must try to get Nagananda elected President – actually, since he announced his candidature, although he’s been quiet, I feel that things are going well for him. They have things reasonably under control in the North, but what anarchy among the Sinhalese!Now it’s 3 knaves who think that they can be President in 2020. Nagananda will be good; may lack charisma – a bit one tracked, and may not have much sense of humour – but that’s not what we want now!
      .
      Prof. Sarvan’s article is not an easy one to read:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/amartya-sen-identity-violence-the-illusion-of-destiny/
      .
      It took me back to reading up all about the past Presidents of India. Three or four of them quite remearkable, but a falling off after Abdul Kalam. That Prathiba Patel woman has been just terrible. I’ve been working ALL NIGHT!

  • 16
    1

    This is the sad truth. When the top is corrupt what can one say about other institutions. Would advice all young educated to leave the stupid island or get rid of the corrupt from the top. Follow the way China deal with corrupt officials, this is the ONLY way.

  • 18
    1

    Great to see this honourable lady expose the facts and the low level to which the judiciary has descended. Also so disappointing to see senior lawyers obsessed with making money behaving like street pimps selling their services to any corrupt politician for a high fee. These guys do not pay any taxes, require their fees to be paid in advance in cash notes without issuing official receipts and are a disgrace to the profession. They lack a complete sense of ethics and moral behaviour, sell their souls to the highest payer, lie under oath and are in the pockets of corrupt politicos. Big egos and in SL they are looked upon in awe because the way verdicts are obtained are in an unscrupulous manner with relationships with the judges and not by any brilliance or intellectual skills. Big frogs in a small well and outside SL these guys will not get a job even as a cleaner. Of course the Colombo 7 dimwits think that these lawyers are smart- how dumb can one get. Time the tax department starts to monitor closely the tax returns of these crooks and impose hefty fines and jail sentences for tax evasion. Also would like to see a hotline opened by the tax authorities so that we can report the fees that have been paid to these crooks.

  • 15
    0

    Judicial system is a joke as simple cases which can be solved in two three sessions are dragged on till the complainers just get old and die! It’s a sad situation !!!

  • 12
    0

    An article that doesn’t do justice to this fearless campaigner against our corrupt legal system, why have you left such important facts of the open practice of backhanders, interference from AG’s department (she has even named SG Palitha Fernando), the harassment she’s copped by by fellow lawyers etc

  • 7
    0

    conscious kicking in for few at least. They must rot in hell, these scum bags

    • 3
      0

      srinathan.gunaratnam

      Where you’ve been in the last few months? Were you too busy in Kandy?

      Alright do you think the judiciary was working well until 8 January 2015?

  • 7
    0

    when FDB tried to reform the justice system the lawyers ganged up against him and got JR to throw the baby out with the bathwater
    lets hope somrthing will come out of this but i doubt it
    it may end up as a voice crying in the wilderness

  • 14
    0

    Everyone and everything has been completely corrupted.
    Srilanka will be another Zimbabwe soon.

  • 17
    2

    She should be given a post in the Justice Ministry. We need more professionals like her in Sri Lanka. She is fearless. Great job.

    • 10
      4

      She will be offered a very good job in Singapore or somewhere else but not in Sri Lanka because there is a mafia who run the whole country.

      I am ashamed to say You Buddhist and so called Buddhist monks should be responsible for this downfall.

      • 0
        0

        Saman

        It’s the strong storm, a whirlwind of corruption created by politicians.

        Everybody including Buddhist monks are caught in it.

        Rarely a few may resist.

        Those who criticize may be on the top.

        Highlight but blame not monks as it’s not their fault

        Those making life impossible even for monks without coins, hold responsible.

    • 0
      0

      That’s the fault Buddhist.

      That may be the very reason for her to make this revolutionary revelation even though it’s correct.

      In that case???

    • 0
      0

      Buddhist
      True.
      But now as it is very likely that the former Minister of Justice may be reappointed to the cabinet by the PM in the same capacity, what chance is there for an outspoken honest fearless female lawyer like her to survive in her post in that ministry.

  • 7
    1

    Ruling, Leadership, Governance, Management are not for Sri Lankans except a handful despite having highest possible degrees in their respective fields. Our people can function well and disciplined under supervised and monitored environments. (This also the fate of most of the South Asian countries, worst seems to be SL)

  • 6
    0

    An APPEAL to COLOMBO TELEGRAPH. On Wednesday Mr. Naganda Kodithuwakku, the real Lawyer who is spearheading this “Cleansing Campaign” left Sri Lanka and now in England. On Thursday, he came on Social Media and released a video explaining the present situation of the “Manipulative” working of the Legal System by the authorities. Please get this published and give an opportunity for the readers of your page to get INFORMED. Thank you.

  • 8
    1

    What she says is similar to what Ranjan Ramanayke said. I congratulate her for her courrage and I hope that she won’t be ousted from her profession.

  • 6
    0

    Dr. Dharshana W: in your comment-“……she as a member of the Judiciary system of Sri Lanka should abide by many professional ethics she is bound by as a Professional”. Sorry to say that is all CRAP and BS. Listen to her carefully and also what Mr. Nagananda Kodithuwakku have to say on this subject of “ABUSING the Legal System of Sri Lanka. Please don’t get confused and jump into conclusions. Listen to both (I have mentioned) and make an independent and an unbiased decision on the subject matter. The two letters in front of your name “Dr” must be honored and applied in all of your thinking and activities and that would be enough to abide by “Ethics” that you speak of. In a way, your type of thinking and maintenance of those ETHICS that you chose to refer, have led the complete BREAKDOWN of the PROFESSIONALISM in Sri Lanka. So as, Mr. Nagananda appeals, come out of that “SHELL” (KATTA, that is the word he used ) and join hands to set our HOUSE in order. Thank you.

    • 2
      0

      Douglas

      CT writes:
      “There certainly is something radically wrong in the judicial system and also the manner in which legal profession is practiced in many parts of the country.”

      Can you tell me at least one branch of the state functioning properly to the satisfaction of ordinary people since the advent of the Pancha Maha Balavegaya?

      If you have reservation about the wording of my question please feel free to ignore it.

      • 0
        0

        Where have you been mate Native? The education system, the healthcare system, infrastructure, they all work well in Sri Lanka for a lower middle income country, but the Judiciary system does not. Why don’t you read up on the poverty levels of SL before 1956? Yes before the Pancha Maha Balavegaya 1% of the population may have had the life of a high income country and I don’t know about you but I was born to that 1%, yet unlike you I can see that the living conditions in this country has improved for majority of the people in the last 60 years, what is needed is to improve the sectors that are lagging, like the Judiciary system, Parliamentary system, and race relations.

  • 8
    2

    What happened to the BASL goons’ case against Ranjan Ramanayake case? It sounded that Ranjan would be punished even beyond his parliamentary privilege speak. This lady could become Lasanthi, unless somebody protect her.

  • 11
    1

    Oh yeah..speaking about our country’s judicial system…
    Our President declared in many places that our legal system is one of the best in the world or to that effect and said that Sri Lanka doesn’t need any outside help or foreign legal experts or judges to conduct court cases in Lanka. He believes very strongly that our justice and legal systems are capable of delivering real justice for anything and anyone without discrimination ! WOW ! What else do we need ? !

    See Welikada massacre, Rathupaswela shooting…and many more are examples of our impeccable legal system..

    • 1
      0

      Bruz,
      Don’t you think they’re all LIARS??
      From our President to the most Menials of the nation.
      This kind of mannerism , I mean to be a Liar , one did not born to be a Liar , but was trained and taught to be a LIAR.
      You learn to be truthful from your Parents as a child ,so too the teachings of Religion from child hood through Religious leaders.
      In Buddhism the 10 Precepts clearly expects all Buddhists to follow.
      But in APEH Aanduwe the ” Sinhala hegemony ” ” Sinhala chauvinism ” goes hand in hand.
      These two destructive mentality have destroyed the whole Genearation .
      The past , present and the future generations have been Sucked by these evil beliefs and evil teachings are the essence of down fall of this nation.

      • 1
        0

        @ ANALYST: Thank you ! Totally agree with you Analyst. More over, all the murderers , rapists, money stealing robbers, commission kakkas, MIG “Commis” dealers are all moving around freely in the the country in full style, going to China to check about their ill gotten money investments, there …Our Politicians of all stripes are supporting them and don’t want these thieves and murderers to be punished in any court of law.
        All these rascals are in the same game and they safeguard each other..no doubt..
        SLFP, UNP, all are playing games cheating the public who voted for them !
        GR or MR will never get punished in Lanka and also the bravo “Ranawiruwos” of the shameless Sinhala nation.
        Judiciary or justice is not in their vocabulary and there are many things …
        We are a cursed nation…no doubt…our bad luck, we all have to suffer under these morons
        who has no idea about ruling a nation but …they are good at ruining anything good left by the Britishers. No matter what Britishers brought civility, rule of law, parliament, tea estates, railways, postal system, discipline and many..
        And the Americans brought English education…but our idiots brought Swabhasha education and messing up the people with no real education.
        What can Sinhala or even Tamil language could teach our younger generation with modern subjects ?
        Our future generation is doomed ! Sinhala only ruined all the people…damn it and curse these selfish SWRD and all the donkeys who followed him.
        Is there any one with some guts to put back the correct things in order ?
        The Doctors and Engineers churned out ( with standardization) are so bad that their standard of work has become horribly poor, due to Sinhala/Tamil only education from the beginning. No one is understanding this problem….
        There are too many problems and issues which cannot be rectified so easily.
        Have no idea as to who will come and put the things correctly…
        We are not going anywhere..but down the drain…for sure.

  • 7
    0

    Civil Society should buy space in ALL mainstream media and advertise this article for at least four days. I will contribute, too.

  • 6
    0

    In decent societies , Minister responsible would dtep down beczuse they have not done their job.

    • 1
      2

      Jim softy the Dimwit

      “In decent societies , Minister responsible would dtep down beczuse they have not done their job.”

      If you insist on the same practices here in Sri Lanka, you will not have enough MPs to go around/last a day or two. On the 3 rd day where are you going to find MP’s with clean hand and remember there are only 225 MPs in the parliament.

  • 6
    0

    In this country the Executive is Corrupt, the Legislative is Corrupt and the Judiciary is Corrupt.
    It is a kind of Hat Trick!

  • 11
    2

    The worst case in Sri Lankan legal system is let Namal baby sit in a air conditioned cabin for a final year Law college exams and then let the Principal one Rodrigo (obviously make a PC after that) to write the exam papers.

    This mongol looking idiot., got a record 98% in that exam what a joke?

    seriously all foreign universities and other institutes should take note of this and blacklist Sri Lankan lawyers for any further education as there is no standard in Law education and exam conducting.

    • 2
      0

      It is not one, there are many… or that is the history of Lanakwe. It is told Daddy(Old King) didn’t admission to Law College and Felix R-Dias used his influence to put him in. It is Felix had the record of the Law College until the famous Son Prince broke it.

      Buffoon De Silva openly claimed that he saved Old King in Hambantota Help Fund Case to make him the president. Hakeem became the Justice Minister while he was being bullied by Old King for Kumari Cooray death and then he is accused of loading Law College with 72 of his Muslims Students and Sinhala Students climbed on the Law College roof and protested. Wimal the the 8th grade Weerakkutty dismissed Shiranee(Whatever her servitute mind is, she still has a)PhD.

    • 0
      0

      Matilda Ellepola, do you realize that you could be sued for defamation, ah interestingly you may be able to bribe your way out. Under RTI you could be found out. Also if you were an educated person you would not have used terms like “Mongol Looking Idiot”, that it self show where you are from.

      • 2
        0

        wannihami

        Are you threatening Matilda Ellepola to keep Namal Baby’s extraordinary achievement in the final law examination a secret? G L Peris is the current child minder. Are you his spin doctor preventing truth getting out? Or the body guard or heavy roughing out truth tellers?

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