1 December, 2020

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Law & Society Trust On The Mannar Court House Attack

By Colombo Telegraph –

“The Trust calls for an immediate and effective inquiry by the State into the said attack resulting in sanctions being levied against those responsible. ” issuing a statement  the Law & Society Trust says.

We below reproduce the Law & Society Trust statement;

R.K.W. Goonesekere, The Chairman LST

The Law & Society Trust views the reported attack on the Mannar court house by a group of persons, allegedly as a result of instigation by a Government Minister over an order made by a judicial officer as well as (reportedly) threatening phone calls made to the Mannar Magistrate cum District Judge regarding the same, with severe concern. It must be noted that an attack on a court house constitutes a most severe infringement of the independence of the judiciary. The independence of the judiciary is not a perquisite of judicial office, claimed for the personal benefit of judges but is fundamental for the impartial administration of justice according to law and is indeed an inalienable feature of the Rule of Law. The Beijing Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary (1995) asserts that independence is essential to the proper performance by the judiciary of its functions in a free society observing the Rule of Law.  This guarantee goes to the roots of judicial performance as well as the public acceptability of decisions. Public confidence in the legal and judicial systems stems from the assumption that judges act according to law and do so in a manner that is free from political pressure or interference. Securing the independence of the judiciary is therefore a foremost duty of government. That duty cannot be bypassed by reference to other historical injustices caused to the judicial institution in Sri Lanka or be satisfied by a mere promise to carry out investigations.

The Trust calls for an immediate and effective inquiry by the State into the said attack resulting in sanctions being levied against those responsible.  

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Latest comments

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    We need more professional institutions to speak out against the crimes and corruption going on in the country. Government goons are getting away with despicable behavior, including rape and murder, and some have even fled the country, and are living in luxury at the tax payer’s account.
    When the law is being broken by officials who are supposed to uphold it, you know a country is in trouble.

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      Well the so called business community of Lanka that likes to drive Mercs and BMW built for huge countries with super highways on the pot holed roads of tiny Lanka is the pits! They have kept their mouths tightly shut as rajapakse loots Lanka and try to make a quick buck joining him is possible. The crook Nivard Cabraal is their hero! Look at that glitzy trash called the LMD the lanka business magazine that does not have a single critical analytical article. Then there is that idiotic hi magazine for those who fancy them selves hi society in Lanka while the womens’ NGOs are globe trotting on donor funds!
      Thank god that at least the university dons are standing up for their rights and that of all citizens against rajapassa his family and cronies

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        I agree with what you say, but unfortunately, the crooks have managed to intimidate and put fear into those who might even consider speaking out. The business community of course, is a different story. They know that they have to kiss up to these crooks, and show them the money, so that they can continue to thrive and make their money. Most of the media also toes the line, after Lasantha was made into an example. What a sorry state we are in.

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    Dr Rajah and Prof Savithri Gunasekera are truly educated and patriotic Sri Lankans of whom all of us – Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others – are extremely proud. Even our tottering and gasping democracy is safe with people like them fighting on the side of the law, reason and justice.

    Senguttuvan

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      They are indeed very admirable. If only we had more citizens like this. They are genuinely non political and have the best interests of the country and the people at heart.

    • 0
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      Did you ever live in Canberra Australia???

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      Did you ever live in Canberra ,Australia??

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    “Public confidence………………assumption that the judges act according to the law………………………………………”
    How many magistrates have/had the courage to refuse unreasonable requests of the police,as the Mannar Magistrate did,after considering all aspects of the situation?
    Do not almost all magistrates automatically remand all brought before them by police,without private inquiry with them,as required by the law?
    I remember Magistrate Premshanker remanding more than 100 persons who had been brutally assaulted by police and army after being dragged out of beds at night,many with obvious grievous injuries, only because they had caught two “grease devils” and handed them over to the police, and protested when they were seen leaving in a vehicle in uniforms.
    Do they even consider personal/cash/surety bail in most cases, except when “VIPs” are involved?
    And, what is this “Police Bail”?

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      True DAS. I agree. There is a good article writen by Tisaraneee G. on ‘why should there be public support for the judiciary/legal profession when the lawyers and judges have stood bye’ (with few exceptions) when so many human rghts abuses from all sections of the country happened durng the last five-six years.

      Now lawyers and judges are like politicans – only singing when their rights are disturbed. Where was RKW when the May 2009 massacre happened? Where was RKW when tortued souls in the South were buried in the sand, victims of police abuse?

      Now, they talk!Now it it is too late!

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        There are 65,000 cases clogging the justice system.These are the bread and butter of lawyers.Visit any magistrate’s courthouse of a morning – the magistrate arrives at 10 am, most of the morning is taken up with “calling cases” which are those called up and postponed for a future date.The lawyers pocket the fees though, as they have “appeared”!
        A former supreme court judge famously said “lawyers live on dates,like the arabs”!He used to call up long standing cases from lower courts – this is allowed,though most dont do so for fear of antagonising lawyers – hear them himself and expedite the verdict.
        One case or rarely two are heard in the afternoon.
        The courthouse is almost like a marketplace – lawyers seated at a long table,witnesses and visiters seated on benches far behind,many standing around,the accused and witnesses have to stand.The interpreter mudaliyar and recorder are seated
        In other countries,accused,defendants and their counsel are seated at tables in front of the judge.The public too are seated.
        Our courts need drastic improvement.

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    RKW, if you would maintain this policy on the country waste blood conflict, today there would have been anything called ethnic conflict in Sri lanka.

    Anyway you stamens is counted.

  • 0
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    What are the other professional associations like OPA doing?

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