The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has written to the Inspector General of Police on Thursday (16) to raise concerns about the arrest of attorney-at -aw Hejaz Hisbullah.
Police claimed Hisbullah was arrested by the CID for suspected involvement in the Easter Sunday bombings. Pro-Government electronic media has undertaken a special campaign to tarnish the lawyer’s image, claiming evidence that Hisbullah was involved in terrorist activity because of his involvement with the Ibrahim family.
However in its letter to the IGP, the BASL said it had been informed that the arrest was “based on certain functions he attended in his professional capacity as a member of the bar”. The BASL President Kalinga Indatissa PC also noted that the reasons for attorney Hisbullah’s arrest had not been made clear so far. The BASL letter has called on the police to ensure that the arrested attorney’s professional rights are duly considered and inform the association about the “reasons and basis” of his arrest.
Two sons of the spice trader and multi-millionaire Ibrahim detonated themselves at Shangri-La hotel and Cinnamon Grand hotel on Easter Sunday 2019. Before the April 21 2019 bombings, the Ibrahim family was a prominent part of Muslim society, well known to Muslim politicians and charities alike. The senior Ibrahim whose sons were radicalised into becoming suicide bombers was also arrested after a STF raid on his sprawling Dematagoda residence soon after the six bombs went off. Ibrahim the father has been in police custody since April 2019.
Hejaz Hisbullah is an old boy of St Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia and a well-known debater during his school years. After excelling at Law College Hisbullah joined the Attorney General’s Department where he served for nearly a decade as a state counsel. The young attorney shot to fame when he represented Elections Commission member Dr Ratnajeevan Hoole in the petitions challenging the illegal dissolution of Parliament by former President Maithripala Sirisena during the failed October 2018 coup. Hisbullah has earned a reputation for championing unpopular causes and standing up for victims rendered voiceless by state repression and discrimination, famously taking up the case of Dr Shafi in 2019 after the Muslim surgeon was falsely accused of forcibly sterilising Sinhalese women during caesarean sections at the Kurunegala teaching hospital.
In a statement released by his family, the arrested lawyer said he was of the firm view that his arrest was “illegal and arbitrary and has been done for collateral purposes, with the intention of stifling dissent”. The lawyer also said he would fully cooperate with the investigation by the CID, which he hoped would be impartial and independent.
We publish below the statement in full:
JD / April 17, 2020
I agree. Lawyers too have images, may be only in the Mirror. I think, they were waiting for instructions from Millinnium challenge what ever.
ajith / April 17, 2020
Exactly you are right mate. Mahinda is a lawyer. Namal is a lawyer. Both have many faces.
K.A. Sumanasekera / April 17, 2020
At least this BASL does not say Prez Nandaseana ordered the CID to arrest this Gun Lawyer of the Muslim Community.
CID couldn’t arrest the ex UNP best Finance Minster even with a Warrant from the Fort Magistrate ,
Prez Nandsena couldn’t do anything about it.
And watched in dismay for Two full weeks until the Ex UNP Minister drove to the High Court surrounded by a big bunch of the best PCs in Lankawe and over rode the Fort Magistrate and cancelled the Warrant.
The same happened with the ex UNP Minister Dr Rajitha, who stayed in a Posh Private Hospital looking at the Cops waving the Warrant papers through the window.
That is how lame this Prez is , and I can understand it with so many local and Western HR and Civil Rights Organizations and their NGOs watching over 24/7 in Colombo.. –
In contrast Prez Nandasean had to report to the CID office many a times without any Magistrates warrants when Nandasena was a plain Citizen.
Nandasen was produced in Court even for possessing a Green Card.
Ex UNP Cab Minister Mr Bathdeen called the Lankawe Army Commander on the Blower, to get one of his mates sons released, soon after the Ibrahims and Zaran’s boys blew up Kochikade and the Catholic Church.
Ex UNP Minister Ranajan Ramanayaka was on the Blower almost on a daily basis, to only the Boss of the CID but also to Magistrates and even Supreme Court Judges, asking for progress Reports on Trials and Arrests and Wararnts against the Pohottuwa supporters, including their Political Leaders as well as their Religious Leaders.
It is just a only a Week away from the biggest and most destructive Suicide Bomb Attack in Lankawe which demolished Kochkade and the Catholic Church.
Mallaiyuran / April 17, 2020
BASL is wheezing by Corona worse than the COMA club, misspelled as GMOA . Just forget about this comedy club. This club is the reason there are 800,000 cases pending in Lanakwe courts.
Ajay / April 17, 2020
What does this despicable act by GOTA reveal about the man? That he’s without any substance or standards, and he simply carries out the wishes of his hardcore supporters: the racist monks (including the cross-dressing Malcolm), the politico-criminal mafia (which is the SLPP), and the militarists with political ambitions. Evidently GOTA is no leader. He’s only a conniver and an enabler interested solely in enhancing his power. And he’s taking advantage of the current nightmare and suffering in the country caused by COVID to carry out his dirty deeds. That’s the worst part. This man has no class.
Sampath / April 17, 2020
There are two possible reason for the arrest of renown young lawyer illegally and abruptly.
1. Threatening the legal fraternity stating the SLPP government will chase every lawyer who cross their line of propaganda and even any move to protect the democracy and rule of law as well as professional duties of lawyers will not be tolerated.
2. SLPP government gave an image that all Muslim politicians are bad and they only need Muslim Free, Tamil Free government and they create a common feeling that politicians Rishard and Hisbullah to be arrested just to satisfy the voters for no reason other than to indicate Muslims and Tamils are second class citizens. Accordingly this young lawyer whose last name is Hisbullah also may be a reason to arrest. By that misinformed Sinhalese people can be satisfied showing that the person called Hisbullah (the politician) being arrested.
SLPP and GOTA together with Dilith of Derana media believe that the majority of Sinhalese can be fooled by such media campaigns these kind of media show will continue during the time of election to retained misinformed Sinhalese votes on racial grounds.
Entire legal fraternity should stand against such arrest as well as recents arrests made for expressing free thoughts in social media by citizens.
Amarasiri / April 17, 2020
Author Colombo Telegraph,
RE: BASL Breaks Silence: Says CID Arrested Lawyer Hisbullah For Functions In Professional Capacity
“The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has written to the Inspector General of Police on Thursday (16) to raise concerns about the arrest of attorney-at -aw Hejaz Hisbullah.”
This is another whitewash by BASL, by the Para-Sinhala Para -“Buddhist ” racists, who tow the racism line.
Whom are they they trying to fool? Imbeciles?
To whitewash is a metaphor meaning “to gloss over or cover up vices, crimes or scandals or to exonerate by means of a perfunctory investigation or through biased presentation of data”.
Mallaiyuran / April 17, 2020
This BASL doesn’t have internal respect within members or self respect. What did they do when Manohara de Silva asked the lawyers who opposed the Coup to come out for a brawl outside of the court. That time Manohara de Silva should have lost the license. But now he is promoted from Gammanpila’s lawyer to King’s lawyer. In that condition what all the proofs we have that that this is only anti-Muslim action, no jealousy, no fascism? This is not just Buddhagama. When the leaders lost morality and statesmanship these all are common.
Sugandh Thomas / April 17, 2020
1) It’s election time.
2) The attorney-at-law Hejaz Hisbullah is a Muslim.
3) The Hambantota mafia is desperate for 2/3rds majority.
4) Muslim bashing wins majority votes.
Come on it’s basic mathematics.
Amarasiri / April 17, 2020
Yes. The Made /Originated in China, Wuhan China-19, virus became the COVID-19, introduced to Lanka initially introduced by the Chinese , F1, and later through Europe , F2, has been renamed by the Racist Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhists “, as the Muslim virus, to gain votes.
Divide the percentage of votes Pihottuwa gets by 70, and it will give an indication of the percentage of racists and imbeciles among the Sinhala “Buddhists “, who follow “ Buddha-Agama”, distort Buddhism, Insult the Buddha, and prostrate to saffron clad monks, who got the senior monk treatment on their backs as child monks, during Monk training.
Plato. / April 17, 2020
The BASL is still maintaining loud silence on the pardon given to a convicted killer Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake!
Amarasiri / April 17, 2020
What does it tell you ? This actin by BASL is just a whitewash. Dot be fooled by the BASL racists.
sarrij / April 19, 2020
BASL is a farce. Period.
Sammy / April 17, 2020
Witch hunting by a despotic regime.
K.Anaga / April 17, 2020
The bar council exhibits its existence only when one of their members are arrested. Their duty should not end there. They should be watchdogs and BARK at all apparent unjustified arrests and remands, irrespective of the fact whether they are Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims. The bar council should be alert and active at all times. The should have a sub committee to look into matters of this nature and take steps to prevent the dirty unconstitutional game of the government, without fear or favour.
Juliano Jemma / April 17, 2020
“The Bar council exhibits its existence only when one of its members arrested”. However this happens only on selected terms. Worst things have happened related to legal profession but Bar council never responds. A member of Jaffna bar got assaulted by Buddhist monks in Mullaitivu. but Bar council refused to budge. Recently a criminal who committed eight murders was pardoned by the President, but bar council did not even issue a statement. This letter questioning the arrest of Hizbulla was initiated by none other than the Presidential advisor Ali Sabri whose life long motto is blood is thicker than water. In addition Ali Sabri is presently Vice President of bar council. so there is additional pressure. So you know how the connections work. Forget about the hundreds dead and maimed during the Easter Sunday bombings. Forget their links with the ruthless ISIS terrorists. Badiyudeen and the eastern Hisbulla must be laughing through their ‘you know what’.
Mallaiyuran / April 17, 2020
I would believe Manohara De Silva and Ali Sabre are partners in this arrest. Hunting with hunter and running with rabbits is a quite the well tested technique practiced to fool the Modayas. Both Yahapalanaya and Chitanta governments were partners in the bombing. They both investigated /investigating with commissions. That is another way to pay for their friendly lawyers and MPs. There are statements only for survival of individual members. This rascals club has no respect for law and order in the country. They had Rajan arrested for saying that.
SJ / April 17, 2020
Hasn’t the CT jumped the gun to attack the BASL for inaction when a letter dated 15th (not 16th) has been sent to the IGP.
The BASL is a group and has to gather consensus on such matters.
Jehan / April 17, 2020
Gots gang arrest now because no courts. So just gimmik.
The police commission is a joke, no balls. All thugs without any degree running the country. Country will go for a civil war or be decided, as there is world war 3 coming by in another 2-3 months. China vs the free world
Roberta Flack / April 17, 2020
The delay in reacting is called the white van effect.
Not sure what made them find their backbone and put it where it belongs.
Ashoka Ratna. / April 18, 2020
How did Lawyer Hisbullah get Detention Order without a Minister of Defense….more constitutional violations and backfires on the line…
Sachintha Madushan / April 22, 2020
Article is trying to imply that the reason for arrest is not his involvement on the terrorist attack but his professional career which challenged the Rajapasha’s, by highlighting his legal representations and political impact of them and his and his relatives reactions. (remember that similar kind of remarks done by mother of Amith Weerasingha, when he is arresting, and still there’s is no clear evidence to show that his involvement in riots) However Mr: Hejaz has engage in such activism does not necessarily mean that it must be the reason for arrest and there is no evidence to support his involvement in Easter Attack. Since investigations haven’t completed yet, no one can sure about his innocence or guilt. But writer of the article is trying to imply that the sole reason behind arrest is political revenge and community who is reading and commenting here is more convinced than the writer about it. They have no doubt about it. Rushing into such a conclusion without checking possibility of other causes (evidence for his guilt) falls to fallacy of affirming the consequent.
If government informed the public about easter attack before it happened even then CT and Muslims and Biased Community would have told security officials are fueling the hate towards Muslims! I can sure about it from this behavior.
Sachintha Madushan / April 22, 2020
Article also claims that allegations against Dr: Shafi Shihabdeen was false. But any person with a common sense will admit that methodology used by CID when investigating the case is not sufficient for this conclusion. They checked whether he did sterilization operations only based on statements of nurses. But the best way to check truthfulness of the allegation is doing a faloposcopy on a selected women who subjected to cesareans by him and have no children after that without any natural cause though they have had sex. No one can sure about present of nurses in every moment he is doing operations. Even they were present in every time sterealization operation may take few seconds (you may need only to give pressure to fallopian tubes from tongs) and he can sent nurses away or use a moment they are not carefully observing. Even when they have observed since they are not experts he can do it by misleading them about what he is doing. Pretending doing the real operation. Since those nurses worked with him they may be bias, or maybe threatened.