Concerned parties have expressed grave concern over the present plight of the academic activities in Sri Lanka Law College, pointing out the once-prestigious education establishment has come to its ‘lowest standards during the recent past’.
The aggreived parties, blame the downfall of the SLLC on elitism and favouritism that is being promoted in appointing senior adminsitrative officials to the establishment by the Rajapaksas and the de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris. The deterioration had began soon after the appointment of WD Rodrigo as its Principal who was at the center of criticism not so long ago for his act of welcoming President Rajapaksa‘s son – Namal with beetle leaves and for his role in Namal’s exceptional results despite not attending the lectures or examinations. His close links with the Rajapaksas are further established, when Rodrigo moves to Temple Trees as a ‘consultant’ following his removal from the position, which was then replaced by retired Supreme Court judge PA Ratnayaka by the de facto CJ who was then the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education But before long, Justice Ratnayaka left the position due to extreme pressure and Jayatissa De Costa – a card holding member of the SLFP was thereafter appointed as the Principal under the direction of President Rajapaksa without any consultation of the Council of Legal Education. Respectively, the CJ then appointed two of his close allies Nigel Hatch PC as a member of the Council and Retired SC Judge Shiranee Tilakawardane as a consultant. These two individuals are infamous for publicly criticising and ridiculing the practise of law being taught in non-English enviornments and are also well known for making a mockery out of students and lawyers who have attended rural schools or are not fluent in English. Similarly, several other appointments based on favouritism have been made to the Law College including the appointment of retired High Court judge Edirisinghe who is closely linked with the de facto CJ, to be in charge of examinations. Colombo Telegraph learns that just few days ago, 20 CCTV cameras were installed in various locations within the SLLC premises under the direction of the de facto CJ and Shiranee Tilakawardane. Among the other bizarre events that have taken place following the appointments of these individuals includes the ousting of a student who was wearing slippersout of the Law College by Hatch who had thereafter brought in a new rule directing the security staff not to allow any students in slippers, into the Law College premises. Furthermore, it has also been pointed out that the mode of examinations has also undergone interesting changes. Recently, while the examinations were continuing the questions had been changed in five subjects. In the Law of Property paper, an invigilator had pointed out two questions that were inaccurate nad had instead dictated two other questions that were newly introduced. Meawhile, among the other issues that have been highlighted as a result of the rampant elitism and favouritism prevalent within the SLLC includes the paper setter of the Constitutional law question paper being replaced by an official attached to the Attorney General’s Department for no apparent academic reason.