25 May, 2017

President Appoints “Bunch Of Men” As President’s Counsels

President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a bunch of all male legal professionals as President’s Counsels.

President Sirisena and first lady | File photo

Out of the twenty-five male legal professionals elevated to President’s Counsel, two of them, TNA spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran MP and Upul Jayasuriya, the chairman of the Board of Investments (BOI), had not applied through the formal channels. However, a number of senior female legal professionals – some of them with over thirty years of consecutive service in the bar – had also applied as per existing rules. It appears that they were not given due consideration.

When asked on the exclusion of eminent women who had applied, gender justice activist Dr. Chamindra Weerawardhana said “In a government that presents itself as an advocate of yahapalanaya (good governance), and as promoting gender equality and women’s representation in the professions (including electoral politics), it is a cause for grave concern that such equality measures do not seem to apply to the senior-most women in the legal profession. As it is usually done in countering critiques of this government, one can argue that similar all-male appointments were made under the Rajapaksa administration. However, in voting for good governance, many Sri Lankans expected a change, this certainly is not the ‘change’ voters expected. This is a telling example of continuing business as usual in an extremely patriarchal power structure”.

The appointed members are as follows:

  1. J.C. Weliamuna
  2. M.A. Sumanthiran
  3. Upul Jayasuriya
  4. Daya Pelpola
  5. Neville Abeyratne
  6. W.K. Anuja Kaushika Premarathna
  7. A.L.M. Hidayatullah
  8. Samantha Rathwatte
  9. Wijerathna Dharmasena
  10. Upali Senarathna
  11. Padma Bandara
  12. S.K. Malik Peiris
  13. Karunarathna Herath
  14. Mahendra Suwadarathna
  15. A.P.C.M. Jayasekara
  16. Mohan Weerakoon
  17. P.R.S.P. Samaranayaka
  18. Ariya B.Rekawa
  19. Ananda Wickramasekara
  20. Anura Bandara Meddegoda
  21. Vijaya Niranjan Perera
  22. Karunadevage Wimaladasa
  23. Mohammad Nisam Kariyappar
  24. Vivekanandan Puvitharan
  25. Nissanka Nanayakkara

The President’s official website said: “the President appointed these Senior Lawyers, who have reached eminence in the profession and have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude, according to the power vested in him under the clause 33(2)(e) of the Constitution as President’s Counsels.

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  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/
  • 7
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    It appears that at least half the lawyers appointed are from out stations. At least four of them have been practicing for more than 50 years which is commendable. It is even more commendable that their service has been recognized without confining it to Colombo. This is a commendable trend that never was existant in the past. It is sad to note that certain persons who have no knowledge of the traditions of the Bar are commenting in this web site about the do’s and don’t s. In the good old days no one was appointed without an application. However an eminent Lawyer late SL Gunasekera said that he was not a PC for two reasons. 1. One would not apply to be honoured. 2. If you are to be honored you must be honored by an honorable. He said this during the time of the Rajapaksha Presidency. I saw that someone has commented that HV Perera and GG Ponnambalam were called to the inner Bar by the Chief Justice and were conferred Silks. This is wrong. Such an incident never took place. Late GG was a Queens Counsel and he was appointed the normal way. Never called by the Chief Justice as there was no such procedure. As for Late HV Perera he never applied for silks on his own volition as he had a personal issue which I do not want to discuss in this column. In the current instance I find that there have been three persons who have been appointed with no such application. That I must say is a healthy trend in the making.
    • 5
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      Dimitry What you have said is correct. The general public always knows a good lawyer from the way he performs his duties in the interest of clients. His clients are the best advertisement for him. He /she needs no recommendation or support of touts or sycophants. A respectable lawyer worth his salt should never apply for a PC’ship. It is best if.the legal fraternity of which he/ she is part of is involved in the process. For that to happen the BASL should take the first initiative. Will that happen.?
  • 1
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    To preserve the good name and integrity of the legal profession remove Ali Sabhri’s PC post today not tomorrow
    • 0
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      Why?
    • 0
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      Mr. De Silva There is no need to remove Mr. Sabri, as there is no allegation what so ever against him and he has never tainted his image during his career as a lawyer and i must tell you that he is one of the highly respected Counsel by the bench and the bar. No lawyer can be blamed for defending his client or appearing for any one if it is in line with the provisions of SC Rules. Upul Kumarapperuma Attorney at Law

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