By Ajith Pathirana –
On the 15th of July, 2014 afternoon, Mr. Upul Jayasuriya, the president of the BASL left the court premises at Hulftsdorp and headed towards Fort. Having parked his vehicle at the car park of Cafe 64 at Hotel Galadari, he noticed that he had been followed by a motorcycle bearing registration No. WP UB 4072 with a pillion rider, since he commenced his journey from Hulftsdorp. Thereafter, Mr. Jayasuriya proceeded to an office at Flower Road and the suspicious motor cycle had followed him to his office and remained outside the said office. At this stage the suspicious individuals on the motorcycle had been talking to two persons in a three wheeler bearing No. 207-5314 for approximately two to three hours and left. Mr. Jayasuriya was with a client of his, accompanying him when the said incident occurred. Mr. Jayasuriya has lodged a complaint about this incident at the Cinnamon Garden Police Station.
The Executive Committee of the BASL is extremely concerned about the said incident which appears to pose a threat to the life and safety of the President of the BASL.
The Executive Committee wishes to place on record that this incident occurred just two (2) days after the Executive Committee of the BASL unanimously issued a Statement condemning Circular bearing Ref No. MOD/NGO/MON/4 dated 1st July, 2014 issued by the Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organisations under the Ministry of Defence, wherein the Executive Committee warned of growing militarization and authoritarianism in the country. This Statement was published in several newspapers on Sunday and given wide publicity.
The Executive Committee of the BASL demands that the relevant authorities must expeditiously carry out an independent investigation and bring the perpetrators of this incident, which occurred in broad daylight in the heart of the administrative and commercial capital of the country, to justice. The Executive Committee of the BASL notes that the said incident occurred in an area which is monitored by Closed Circuit Television installed by the Sri Lanka Police Department.
*Statement issued by Ajith Pathirana, the secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on behalf of the executive committee