Colombo Telegraph learns that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of the Rajapaksa government, is anxious to take the control of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). This decision was taken at a meeting held on Friday June 7 at 7.00 pm at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. A meeting of the SLFP’s Lawyers Association had been convened by Minister Basil Rajapaksa with the participation of 130 lawyers including Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The meeting was followed by a gala dinner at the Ministry premises itself, Colombo Telegraph learns.
2) Mrs. Anoma Gunatilake (wife of Retired DIG Jayantha Wickramaratne, a member of the Bribery Commission and against whom two investigations are pending in the commission itself) said that the BASL is now working as an anti Government organisation and all necessary steps must be taken to change this order of affairs.
3) Mr. Remadious (a lawyer practicing in Jaffna and who recently sought the SLFP ticket to contest the Northern Provincial Council election after defecting from the TNA), a new addition to the SLFP lawyers Association, said that Miss Abhimanasinghem (senior most lawyer and Zonal Vice President of Jaffna) is acting arbitrarily in Jaffna and that ‘it is desirable to deal with her’.
4) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that there is no threat internally and the threat is only external and therefore the Bar should not pose a threat to the Government.
5) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that all panels of lawyers (who are given Government cases to appear) will now be changed and the new lists will comprise only of the members of the present SLFP Lawyers Association.
6) It was also observed that some of the lawyers previously with the Association and who had on occasion come to Temple Trees for discussions have now joined other political parties.