15 October, 2019

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Lawyers Condemn Appointing A Retired Military Officer To Ministry Of Law And Order, Demand Independent Investigation On Journo Robbery

‘Lawyers for Democracy’ condemns the appointment of a retired military officer as the secretary of the ministry and calls upon the government to bring the police force under an independent Police Commission as envisaged under the 17th amendment. LfD also calls upon the government to conduct a transparent, credible and independent investigation into the attack at the residence of Associate Editor of the Sunday Leader, Mandana Ismail Abeyawickrama.

Bring the police force under an independent Police Commission

‘Lawyers for Democracy’ views with concern the creation of a new ministry of Law and Order and the appointment of a retired Army Officer as the Secretary of the newly created Ministry.

Lal Wijenayake, Convener - Lawyers for Democracy

The demand by many political parties and civil society groups was and continues to be that the police department should be under a ministry outside the Defense Ministry like in India where the Police Department comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

While we welcome the decision to remove the Police Department from the Ministry of Defense, it is unfortunate that by the appointment of a retired military officer as secretary of the ministry and the continuance of the ministry under the President, the situation may turn out to be much worse than what existed.  This ministry may turn out to be a ministry that will be handling the police force militarily.  This situation may turn out to be another step in the militarization of civil society.

Therefore we condemn the appointment of a retired military officer as the secretary of the ministry and calls upon the government to bring the police force under an independent Police Commission as envisaged under the 17th amendment.

Independent and credible investigation into the attack at the residence of Associate Editor of the Sunday Leader

‘Lawyers for Democracy’ demands that the government conduct an Independent and credible investigation into the attack at the residence of Associate Editor of the Sunday Leader, Mandana Ismail Abeyawickrama which is as seen from the sequence of events preceding the attack and the nature of the attack itself, that it is unlikely that the purpose was to commit burglary.

This seems to be yet another attack to intimidate media personals who are striving at great odds to retain their independence and media freedom.

We view this as one in the chain of attacks to silence journalists who expose the truth.

The haste with which the police claimed that this was an attempt at robbery creates serious doubts about their intentions.  The speed at which the police officers involved were given promotions as announced, creates further doubts on the whole episode.

We call upon the government to conduct a transparent, credible and independent investigation, if this incident is not to add to the chain of incidents that has created a dark cloud on freedom of expression and publication in our country.

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Latest comments

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    @ Azar, Thank you! Done! – CT

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    “LAWYERS FOR DEMOCRACY”

    IT certainly should be a christian Organization.

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      JIMSOFTY @ what kind of argument man ? Are u on psychotherpy to add this kind of comments ?

      To my eye, Lawyers for democracy is not active enough in the crime friendly environment thatis being shaped up by MR regime today.
      Lawyers should give it a lead to topple this brutal rule which is becoming clear not second to SYRIA today.

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