At the 4th Bar Council meeting of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka held on 28th June 2014, the Bar Council unanimously resolved that its President issues a statement condemning the inaction of the authorities and the Police in apprehending those who were responsible for making inflammatory statements causing communal and religious disharmony among communities resulting in the carnage that took place in Beruwela commencing on the 15th of June 2014. Further to the unanimous decision of the Bar Council, the President BASL, Upul Jayasuriya has issued the following statement.
The Bar Association notes with regret that despite it’s appeal to the Hon. The Attorney General dated 20th of May 2014 and a further appeal dated 4th of June 2014 no meaningful steps were taken as provided for under Section 393(1)(b) and Section 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in the exercise of powers and duties vested in the country’s AG. In the said letters the BASL has specifically urged that steps be taken to prosecute those who are responsible for the commission of offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Penal code.
Further to this the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka resolved and issued a further statement on the 12th of June 2014 condemning actions of the said Organization, namely Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), in respect of three instances of blatant violations of the law calling upon the relevant authorities to conduct full and unbiased investigations into the alleged incidents expeditiously and to take relevant steps according to law including commencing prosecutions as maybe required by law. It is further regretted that the authorities took no meaningful steps even after the timely pleas that were made by the BASL.
In the given circumstances a further meeting was called for by the said organization on the 15th of June 2014 making outrageous statements causing religious disharmony between communities in violation of the PTA. If timely action were taken in deference to the pleas of the legal profession represented by the BASL, the carnage that followed with deaths and damage to property and religious institutions would have been averted.
The BASL reiterates and urges the authorities take meaningful steps even at this late stage in bringing the perpetrators who stimulated the carnage that took place in Beruwela, Dharga Town and Aluthgama to Justice, immediately demonstrating that the rule of law is preserved in this country preventing a further backlash nationally and internationally.