26 October, 2021


Lawyers For Democracy Condemns President’s Act Of Pardoning BBS Gnanasara

‘Lawyers for Democracy’ condemns and expresses its deep concern at the action taken by the President in pardoning Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero who was convicted after trial for contempt of Court by the Court of Appeal. His application to the Supreme Court for Leave to Appeal against the conviction was also dismissed. The charge against the convict was not an ordinary charge of contempt of Court but a serious charge that charge that he went up to the well of the Court in protested when the Magistrate refused to release on bail the suspects in the Ekneligoda murder case. It was alleged that he abused in uncivilized language the wife of deceased Ekneligoda who was in the Court Room and even shouted to the State Counsel.  The main witness at the inquiry before the Court of Appeal was the Magistrate himself.

Therefore it is clear that it was not an ordinary contempt of Court charge, but a charge based on the uncivilized and high handed behavior challenging the authority of Court.

Under Article 34 of our constitution the President is vested with the power to pardon any offender convicted of any offence in any court.  Such an important discretionary power is vested in an authority with the trust that the authority will use this power only for the purpose for which this power is vested in the authority and it will not be used for collateral purposes.

The release of the convict after serving just a few months out of the sentence of six years imprisonment that was imposed on the convict and which was endorsed by the Supreme Court is in fact an insult to the Judiciary and an action in contempt of the Judiciary. The action of the President is perhaps the most serious act if contempt of Court committed in the history of our judicial system.  

The power to grant the pardon to an offender is conferred on the Head of State under many constitutions in the world but taking into consideration the political culture of our society demonstrated in recent times, where conventions and traditions are not respected, it is appropriate to consider whether such a power should continue to be vested on the President in our constitution.  


‘Lawyers for Democracy’

Lal Wijenayake

J C Weliamuna PC

K S Ratnavele 

Lakshan Dias

Sudath Neththesinghe 

Prabodha Ratnayake 

Harishka Samaranayake

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Latest comments

  • 1

    These ‘Lawyers for Democracy ‘ have forgotten how their own kind brought about ‘contempt of court ‘ having exchanged fisticuffs in the court room in the presence of a judg. Does it not tantamount to contempt of Court? They should have been given a harsher punishment but nothing of the kind happened. Not only this sacrilegious act they also brought their profession to ridicule. They should have been given harsher punishment. The conviction given to Ghanasara Thera was very unfair, which was 19 years in total to be completed in 6 years. This is the length of jail term given some times for man slaughter. This shows how bias our judges are at times to satisfy political masters.
    This thero was branded as a racist by anti Buddhist elements for BIG dollars, very wrongfully. But now the country knows why he had to be vociferous seeing the danger coming from extremist forces.

  • 1

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    You are wasting your time. Sri Lanka has, for sometime, slid into the law of the jungle. High positions in the Police and elsewhere in the Govt are made by influence-peddling apolitical priests like Elle Gunawansa, Gangarama Hamuruwo and a few other powerful theocrats. The days where our Courts were free and independent are long gone. That is the message Gnanassara was trying to convey. And so our independent Commissions like the successor to the Public Service Commission.

    That comic Pujitha J is a good example of this nadagama. Imagine the man still refuses to quit. He even lives in the official Bungalow that he should not – if he had an iota of shame. He knows in our warped system, like Gnanassara he will soon have his day.

    In terms of governance, Sri Lanka now is a basket case.


  • 1

    “Lawyers For Democracy Condemns President’s Act Of Pardoning BBS Gnanasara”.
    Of course!.
    Lawyers would have liked a full-blown court process so that the ‘kalu coat mafia’ could extract some money by representing the monk and the government.
    Is it surprising that many of our despised politicians (Lakshman Kiriella) are lawyers.
    Hell awaits them.

  • 2

    We have never had an idiotic president like this in our history.
    The timing of the things he does is a total catastrophe for the country.
    Fake media, organised mob attacks and releasing this thug.

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