By Colombo Telegraph –
The Lawyers Collective strongly condemns the assassination attempt on attorney-at-law Gunaratne Wanninayake and urges the Government to take all possible measures to prevent further such attacks. He is the convener of the Free March movement, a constituent group of the Lawyers Collective.
The Lawyers Collective views with grave concern the continuing trend in instigating adverse public opinion on lawyers and judges by the Government and its propaganda machinery which have been extensively and maliciously criticizing the lawyers and judges. Since the impeachment motion was moved in Parliament, they have been particularly targeting the lawyer activists in the network of the Lawyers Collective. The continuous verbal abuses on the lawyers in some of the state run media exposes lawyers for physical attacks.
The Rule of Law has deteriorated to such an extent that none of the law enforcement authorities are capable of investigating into or apprehending the attackers.
The Lawyers Collective urges the authorities to conduct an impartial investigation into the Wanninayake incident while assuring protection for lawyers, particularly those who stand up for independent judiciary.
An armed group had attempted to attack convener of Free March, lawyer Gunaratne Wanninayake, near his home at Pirivena Road in Boralesgamuwa yesterday. He said that as he was returning from work, four men had ambushed him, told him to down his shutters, threatened him and tried to attack him. On a complaint to 119 police emergency at 4.59pm, a team from Boralesgamuwa visited the scene and started an investigation. Wanninayake is one of the key figures, along with Lawyers Collective, that had worked against the impeachment of the chief justice.