1 July, 2022


An Attempt On A Lawyer’s Life

By Asian Human Rights Commission


Sri Lanka: An attempt on a lawyer’s life; an attempt to use violence against lawyers opposing the government’s move to impeach the CJ

The Asian Human Right Commission has learned that there was an attempt at the life of Gunaratne Wanninayake , the President of Colombo Magistrate’s Court Lawyer’s Association and the Convener of People’s March. He has played a very prominent role in fighting for the independence of the Bar for several years. He has actively participated against the impeachment move on Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake,

According to reports, a group of four persons have tried to follow him and tried to enter his house. He has managed to close the doors and prevent the entry of those persons. It is the view of many lawyers that this is a planned attack and perhaps the group was sent to carry out a mission of kidnapping or, more likely, assassination.

In fact, after the Bar Association meeting, where about 3,000 lawyers gathered last Saturday, the 15th of December, and passed a unanimous decision to oppose the impeachment move by the government and, particularly, the inquiry been conducted through the Parliamentary Select Committee. The lawyers clearly stated that if, without a proper process, the Chief Justice is removed, the bar will not welcome the person who is appointed in her place.

This is the worst defeat that the present government has suffered. It was a prediction by many that there will be retaliation against the lawyers, and particularly those lawyers who have taken active part in pursuing opposition to the government’s unprincipled attempt to remove the Chief Justice as a punishment for her being part of the Supreme Court Bench, which has given an adverse judgment against the government. On the 17th of December, the SLBC Program inappropriately named “People’s Power” carried out a scathing attack against lawyers. This is in retaliation against the vote by Bar Association. The whole method of this program is geared towards and creating hatred against the Chief Justice and all those who are opposing the impeachment move. There is a contempt of court case filed against the commentator of this program, Rajpal Abeynayake.

That the present government and, in particular, the Ministry of Defence, engage with any opponents of the government with abductions and assassinations is well known. The victims of such assassinations are many. The case of Prageeth Eknaligoda, who disappeared during the days preceding the last presidential election, has attracted protests locally and internationally. However, there has been no inquiry and representatives for the government have openly lied on this matter at the last session of the Committee against Torture in 2011. Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Editor of the Sunday Leader, was assassinated in broad daylight. Poddala Jayantha, a journalist, had his legs broken and finally, due to continuous harassment, had to leave the country. At this moment, many students in Jaffna are being arrested, tortured and imprisoned. Those who have suffered such political punishments have to be counted in their thousands.

The Asian Human Rights Commission calls on everyone, particularly all the lawyers of Sri Lanka, to come to the support of their colleague Gunaratne Wanninayaka, who has become a target of this attack.

We also call upon the Bar Associations all over the world to come to support the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, which is standing up for the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and the right to fair trial. In the moments of crisis such as these, it is the duty of the legal profession throughout the world to defend the independent associations of lawyers.

We also hope that the UN Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Association of Lawyers and Judges, as well as Law Asia, the International Bar Associations and the International Commission of Jurists, and all others who stand up for rule of law and human rights, demand from the Sri Lankan government a credible inquiry into this attack and also a guarantee for the security of Gunaratne Wanninayaka. All the lawyers who have taken an active part in the lawyer’s movement in Sri Lanka for the independence of judges and lawyers should make themselves heard.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0

    The police must surely know who the 4 persons who attempted to follow Wanninayake into his house are.They have to had orders from a VVIP who bats for the government.
    They may well be persons of the military intelligence or CID – who only will be bold enough to do this.
    All lawyers must stop cooperating with the police in court cases until these 4 are apprehended.

  • 0

    Ask MRs Goat brother. He knows who these attack dogs are. They are all part of his Ministry of Offense. :)

  • 0

    Gunaratne Wanninayake, please take precaution even when journalists want interview. These murderors can barge in on the pretext of journalists. In fact, recently some journalists have become spies of MR & Co.

  • 0

    The PSD, MSD and STF are main suspects in this type of activity. CID can easily track these people if they want to, it is too blatant and obvious even to the ordinary layman. IGP and Police are forced to play ball with the MahaRaja and his Goat. They are the prime suspects in all these abductions and extra judicial killings. Same is happening to youth in Jaffna but more openly. No laws for these two.

  • 0

    The state terrorists are beckoning the Sri Lankan Spring and the inevitable guillotine!

    • 0

      Mr. Wijesiri, Marie Antoinette was guillotined at Place de la Concorde in Paris after the French Revolution. Do you mean that Shiranthi will also be guillotined as she is the wife of the Emperor. She has never said that the people can “eat cake if they don’t have bread”. Did the Lybians spare the family members? No, when it comes to a uncontrolable situation, anything could happen and I pity and pray that this Lady will be spared but not the culprits for their mortal sins. Ofcourse, there was a ditch for the dictator but the ditches in Colombo are stenching and gives off poisonous gas.

  • 0

    Dear Mr. Gunaratne Wanninayake and other Lawsyers, Sri Lanka Bar Association, JSC members and Sri lanka Supreme Court.

    Although I highlighted the following points in my previous response, I again publish them to let you know that please do not ever trust the Rogue Rajapakse Regime to ever track those criminals who tried to harm you.
    Infact the Covered Regime will definitely increase those types of violance in the near future not only against the Judiciary system…but against the whole country and all the opposition that they feel as a challenge to their sordid rule.

    Therefore The wrath on Judiciary is one of the last hurdles the Govt. plan to jump over for them the achieve a lasting Dictatorial rule……and not only you, but all patriotic, democracy, justice and freedom loving Sri Lankans, organisations and the Diaspora should unite to stop this march. The Govt. CJ impeachment win is a big Jackpot for MARA and we see all the propaganda they use both locally and International to justify their sordid ambition….and I hope you all are aware of.
    But due to God’s presence…even the Nature has delayed Govt.greedy ambition.
    Also please note that MARA/ GOTA combination do not hoot two cents to kill any threat and treat even the educated and respectable citizens to a level of dogs when it comes to their power grab.

    Therefore I give below some security measures for you and all the citizens to follow purely for self defense and for security purpose.

    First of all I say Don’t rely on GOSL. to help you to find the source or find the culprits behind the Vhite van murderers. Infact it the the Govt. backed by defense minister who carry out these operations. So it is like asking thief’s mother about the thief or the robbery. (Horage ammagen pena ahanawa wage)

    1) Inform UN, EU, USA, UK and Asian Judiciary services on this incident and also talk to Foreign Diplomatic Community of the current situation.

    2)Adopt more security and defensive measures and be more vigilant of the surrounding.

    3)Intelligence gathering on these white van personnel and to educate public on the white van abductors with information and photograph gathering hotline and reward them to trace the sources of white van and other murderous sources.

    4)Use of Private Security Agencies to gather information on these sources of white van abductors and to give special security for needed Judiciary and Senior Lawyers.

    5)Using self defense equipments such as Stun Guns, pepper spray, and pepper Guns, Ciren horns and whistles,Swiss knives, or even own revolvers etc.

    5)GPS and Google Maps and cellphone photo cameras to locate the white vans and the abductors.

    6)Use International Satellite Imaging and International Intelligence services to locate white vans, their sources and the abductors.

    7)Special Security apparatus for Supreme Court building and other court houses, Confidential Files and all Patriot Judges and Lawyers.

    7)Special training on Firearms and way to counter GOSL. State Terrorism activities including self defense when it comes to both physical and firearm. Remember only 5% die when it comes to revolver shootout, if know self defense.

    8)Complete vigilance and sharing intelligence and information on these abductors among Lawyers,judges and others is a must.

    9)Employ Spies, Decoys,Dummies and Moles to penetrate Govt. Intelligence unit for early information gathering.

    10)Move in Groupes and avoid isolation and isolated travel and constant conferances and updates to inform Citizens and international community on developments.

    11)Also take other Local and International Security related professional help either from UN or individual international defense advisors.

    12)Always stay two steps ahead and pre.plan counter Govt.movements on these incidents and also be vigilant on all Govt.security apparatus with constant touch with international community to safeguard citizens from another 1983 like massacre and to work with them on rescue missions.

    13) Finally work with International community to implement “Travel Ban” to all Sri Lankan Govt. Ministers, MP’s , Security personnel, and other goons who are involved in white van activities and who are directly involved in supressing justice,freedom and until GOSL. catch those culprits and bring them to justice and punish them.

    14) Please remember not to give in to MARA’s covered tactics and intimidation.

    Good Luck.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.