21 September, 2020

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BASL Launches Official Newspaper “The Bar Reporter”, Interactive Texting Service And Revamped Official Website

Expressing commitment to the Rule of Law, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) launched its own official newspaper “The Bar Reporter” yesterday (28.06.2013).

The newspaper is published monthly by the Secretary, BASL on behalf of the BASL. It is printed by Leader Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, with media coordination by Independent Media Network (Pvt) Ltd.

Very senior President’s Counsel N. R. M. Daluwatte attended the function at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo as Chief Guest. Unlike many high ranking people in the system, Daluwatte has an unblemished record of always having stood for the independence of the judiciary and the fight to protect the rights of the legal profession. The function, which was an official function of the Bar Association was attended by lawyers of different political leanings without political differences. Most of the best known senior lawyers and President’s Counsel were present at the occasion, which was followed by cocktails and music.

Several senior lawyers told The Colombo Telegraph that the choice of an elderly senior lawyer who has stood against interfering with the judiciary and politicizing the legal profession under many governments rather than a high ranker of the system seems to send a clear and powerful message.

At the official launch, President of the Association, senior lawyer Upul Jayasuriya who was elected by a massive majority of the legal profession, stressed that this newspaper is an essential need in today’s context. The newspaper begins with an existing circulation of over 12000 people, who are the members of the association.

The Editor-in-Chief is Attorney S. P. Sriskantha, Attorney at Law who is Chairman of the Newspaper Committee of the BASL, who spoke and highlighted at length the importance of what was being launched. In the first editorial, he states “Fortunately, unlike most other newspapers “The Reporter” is not saddled with the fear of threats to desist from reporting vital matters or be caught up in a strategic move of being bought over lock stock and barrell, literally to shut us up. This is so, as “The Reporter” is the property of the Bar Association and one will have to think twice before crossing swords with an united Bar.” He pledged that the newspaper will work towards making the country a better place to live in by carrying correct news without fear or favour.

The Colombo Telegraph, which not being run from within Sri Lanka was able to report previously that the Rajapaksa regime has been trying to work out a way to ‘capture‘ the Bar Association by somehow getting a lawyer with links to the regime or benefiting from it elected as its next President. This method has so far been used successfully by the regime on the higher judiciary.

Rajindh Perera, Attorney at Law, Convenor of the Newspaper Committee of the BASL gave an impressive vote of thanks at the end of the launch press conference.

At this occasion, the newly revamped website of the BASL (www.basl.lk) was relaunched and for the first time, an interactive texting service was launched enabling the BASL to have instant contact with its vast membership via SMS messaging. Lawyers shortly received a message from the BASL  President by SMS, announcing the success of the launch and inviting responses or suggestions from members of the profession.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Please don’t try to insult the intelligence of the reading public. Upul J was elected to the office with less than 10% of the member turnout, because the membership is fully aware of his dubious character. You are entitle to inform the public only with accurate facts not with misleading and wrong information.

    • 0
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      Gunwardana

      If you are a lawyer, why did not you vote against him.

      Otherwise just shut up.

  • 0
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    I congratualate BASL for taking timely decision to Launch their own Newspaper….”The Bar Reporter”

    At the moment there are no Free functioning media available and your timely decision to launch The Bar Reporter will benefit public.

    In Sri Lanka at the moment 90% of ordinary citizens still do not know their Constitutionl rights, their liberties and justice and their knowledge of basic Law is minimal.

    Therefore your Bar Reporter could help them to understand many of their basic constitutional rights, liberties, freedm and Justice under Law.

    Also in the Political and Judicial front, the various cases taken up and herd and the final verdicts given, and Your Impartial reporting, views, opinions and analysis will help to find if proper Justice is been carried out.

    Finally I wish this “The Bar Reporter” could have been a fortnightly Issue than a Monthly print. May be you will consider in the future.

    As a past USA President said “only Freedom of speech, impartial criticism and unbiased reporting only will help a country to progress”

    Good luck and All the Best.

  • 0
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    Apart from “protecting the rights of the legal profession”,this newspaper should protect the rights of litigants – to fair early trials of the 65,000 cases clogging the courts,for judges to work eight hours daily like all public servants and clear the backlog,for an indigent litigants’privilege to pay a fraction of fees if the case was postponed,for the right of ‘accused’ brought by police before a judge to speak with him privately and even show him any injuries he may have on his person,before the judge decides on bail,for all avenues for bail for such person be explored rather than ‘routine’ remand,for counsel to demand all state evidence including postmortem and other reports to be made available for defence counsel before trial etc.
    If this is done,the citizens will value the legal profession more than any other.

    • 0
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      Well said Justice

  • 0
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    Well done Mr. President Upul,
    U have risen up tothe occasion.
    I extend my fullest corporation and assistance
    to enlighten the the general mass on their rights
    liberties and the fundamental rights.
    And specially the siblings of the parliamentarians
    who said to be the law makers for the nation.
    At the outset please make it a point to send free copy the the BAR REPORTER to all the strata s of the social official and the institutional authorities.

    War.

    • 0
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      Well done Mr.Upul Jayasuriya.When you first contested elections – was it the Provincial Council election- I did not have much respect for you.Now, you have risen above all the back bone less characters who presided over the Bar Association.You should encourage your membership to stand upto the mechanisation of the corrupt political forces and reject their efforts. They have billions of robbed wealth

  • 0
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    Congratulations on the launch of “THE BAR REPORTER” I sincerely hope and wish that The individuals involve in this news paper will have the blessings of the triple gem to be courageous enough to stand against the evil that may follow them.

    Good luck and Best wishes for All your efforts.

    evil that may follow them.

  • 0
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    Congratulations on the launch of “THE BAR REPORTER” I sincerely hope and wish that The individuals involve in this news paper will have the blessings of the triple gem to be courageous enough to stand against the evil that may follow them.

    Good luck and Best wishes for All your efforts.

  • 0
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    Congratulations on the launch of the ‘Bar Reporter’. We look forward to impartial and fearless comment. Safeguards must be built in to prevent this newspaper from being hi-jacked by the government or forced to close down by intimidation.

  • 0
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    Please educate Magistrates about new enviornmental laws. If you do not have minimum 40 perches and 20 feet wide road and certificates from UDA and CEA your garage is illegal and if it locates in residential areas you have to close it. Even you can not operate your garage in your own house you live. Most Municipal Council are iving permits to these garages taking money. PHIs and Technical officers main money making business this. Even police also make big money out of these illegal garages by giving protection to them.

  • 0
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    Some years back ‘suspects’ who were taken into custody on various grounds, were taken to places where they had apparently hidden firearms, grenades, etc. These persons suddenly acquired Rambo qualities and turned on the police party, ‘forcing’ the police in ‘self defense’ to fire on them and kill them – and this happened with monotonous regularity.

    I do not recall a single instance of a magistrate ever expressing incredulity, even mild, at these tales (fairy ?) , even when the number of such instances were becoming legion and the general (non legally educated public) were hooting derisively at these tales of Police fiction.

    I remember discussing this with a senior lawyer once, who to my very great surprise justified this ‘cleansing’ of society on the grounds that these were well known criminals against whom there was plenty of evidence but not enough to successfully prosecute them due to witness intimidation and so on. He clearly stated that the ideal of ‘text book justice’ and the reality of crime control were two different things.

    I welcome the move by the present BASL committee to bring out this journal and wish it well and a long journey. I trust that questions of this nature will be examined and the general public educated.

  • 0
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    Upul J is not the most affable lawyer in the country. He is also far too identified with the UNP. But in spite of these disadvantages, it is clear he is trying to see that the process of law is not subverted by the regime and its many lackeys any further – including those in the higher Courts. I recall the time HWJ, QC ran for the BASL Presidency when that head-strong mahadenamutta FDB was running riot. Despite all sorts of threats and intimidation the legal fraternity ensured Harry J’s win. Our legal culture was then saved at a time when minimum criteria was unduly lowered for enrolment to the Law College. Upul J deserves the support of all those who want to keep our legal process independent, clean and free from executive political skulduggery.

    Senguttuvan

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