30 May, 2020

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President Gota Strikes Against Prominent Lawyer While Tamed BASL Maintains Silence

Prominent attorney at law Hejaz Hisbullah has been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department in connection with the Easter bombings in April 2019 the police spokesman said. CID officials went to the lawyer’s home and handcuffed him on April 14, Colombo Telegraph learns. Hisbullah is currently in CID custody but it is not certain if he is being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

A message from the lawyer’s family following his arrest said that over the years, Mr Hisbullah had engaged in his professional duties, representing a wide range of clients, including the challenge to the dissolution of Parliament, the Golden Key cases as well as other cases relating to fundamental rights violations. “In the course of his professional work and as a citizen he has on numerous occasions challenged and called into question decisions of people in political authority. He is categorical that he has never been concerned in any way in any terrorist or extremist activity. He has never supported terror organizations in thought or in action. Mr. Hizbullah has always condemned all acts of racism, extremism and injustice from whatever quarter and has always promoted communal and religious harmony,” the message from his family circulated on social media said.

On 14th April 2020, officers of the Criminal Investigation Department arrested Mr. Hejaaz Hizbullah, Attorney-at-Law. He is presently being questioned by the CID. He is involved in many organizations which work towards the betterment of the people of Sri Lanka. Mr. Hizbullah is of the firm view that his arrest is illegal and arbitrary and has been done for collateral purposes, with the intention of stifling dissent. To our knowledge a thorough search was done of his premises and belongings and there has been no material found to incriminate him in any manner. Mr. Hizbullah intends to fully co-operate with the investigators and believes that he will be able to clarify matters in respect of which his explanation is sought. Today a letter was handed over to the CID to grant his Attorneys-at-Law access to him, which is necessary to vindicate his rights. It is imperative that whatever investigation takes place, that it is done independently and impartially. He remains confident that eventually truth will prevail. Members of the family of Mr. Hejaaz Hizbullah

Hisbullah shot to fame when he represented Ratnajeevan Hoole, a member of the independent Elections Commission of Sri Lanka who intervened in the fundamental rights petitions filed against former President Maithripala Sirisena’s illegal dissolution of parliament during the 2018 coup attempt. Hisbullah made powerful submissions on behalf of Dr Hoole during the charged Supreme Court hearings that resulted in the highest court issuing an interim order against Sirisena’s illegal dissolution. The interim order paved the way for Parliament to meet and vote three times to remove Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister.

The young lawyer has been a strong rights advocate, most recently appearing for Dr Mohammed Shafi who was incarcerated for months after being falsely accused of sterilising Sinhalese women at a government hospital in Kurunegala. CID investigations into the allegations found a carefully orchestrated plot to persecute the Muslim doctor comprising several high ranking police officers, a magistrate and the director of the Government hospital who was an ardent nationalist and Rajapaksa supporter. Analysts believe that the entire Sterilisation conspiracy which exploded following the April 2019 Easter Sunday attacks were aimed at inflaming hatred and mistrust against the Muslim community in a bid to shore up support for the SLPP at the presidential election a few months down the line.

The arrest of the prominent attorney has been met with complete silence from the Bar Association of Sri Lanka so far. Headed by President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa the BASL which intervened in many matters during the Yahapalanaya regime including in matters unrelated to the association like the Millennium Challenge Corporation grant has meekly accepted the abuse of power, overreach and illegal diktats of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration even when they have concerned legal and judicial matters.
The BASL which filed action against President Sirisena for pardoning the Royal Park killer Shramantha Jayamaha did not so much as issue a statement when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa used the COVID19 pandemic distraction to pardon the Mirusuvil murderer, an army officer who was convicted of killing eight Tamil civilians in 2000 including a 5 year old boy. The conviction was affirmed and upheld by a five judge bench of the Supreme Court and legal experts said the pardon was a slap in the face of the judiciary and the Attorney General’s department which successfully prosecuted the case. Other slights against members of the legal fraternity and the judiciary by the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration have also been ignored entirely by the BASL.

Colombo Telegraph learns that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was under pressure to crackdown on Hisbullah and others who fought against the persecution of members of the Muslim community after the Easter Attacks unleashed waves of violence and discrimination against the minority community. The sterilisation saga conspirators, including Dr Channa Jayasumana and the Director of the Kurunegala Teaching hospital Sarath Weerabandara are pushing the President to act against those who secured Dr Shafi’s freedom and debunked the allegations against the Muslim doctor Colombo Telegraph learns. With his eyes on the parliamentary election, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has used the three week curfew to mobilise his television networks to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment while the country combats the corona virus pandemic. The Government and public officials have gone the extra mile to demonise Muslims as being the cause of the spread of the disease in Sri Lanka. Simultaneously the President is also seeking to jumpstart prosecutions against those involved in the April 2019 Easter bombings to keep the issue top of mind for voters in a general election. Arresting Muslim suspects will also allow the President to retain his rabidly Sinhala Nationalist base and keep his margins of victory in the parliamentary election strong. (by Chamika Madiwake) 

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  • 11
    3

    Readers must view the actions of the president and his government from a holistic perspective. Releasing convicted murderers of children without proper consultation with the prosecuting judge or the five bench supreme court, changing laws arbitrarily, ordering the arrest of distasteful members of parliament of the opposition parties, ordering the arrest of problematic human rights lawyers, putting pressure on “independent” commissions like Elections, Bribery, Police and transferring senior police officers who had investigated war-time crimes or his own complicity, enabling the free movement of lawyers who, for example displayed a false US passport purported to be his, with a seal “Cancel” (with a clearly established motive of misleading the public and perverting the course of justice), secret deals with foreign consulates, attempting to have parliamentary elections in the midst of a global pandemic that has wiped out entire economies and already killed hundreds of thousands are all matters that need to be viewed together to make conclusions on his behaviour.

    • 5
      1

      Lasantha,
      Excellent point! However, the easiest way to understand the mentality of GoRa is recalling the taped conversation between him & Fredrica Janz over the infamous “Swiss puppy” incident. As can be predicted (I made this prediction many times during the election), GoRa is telling everybody (the medical community, the opposition, MaCo, public) who might stand on his way, “Go ahead; make my day”!

      Isn’t this what the voters asked for when they made this “bipolar patient” the president? The sad part of the national tragedy is Ranil still trying to give him more power by preventing some votes going to the united opposition!

  • 1
    15

    Some of the parts in the article are simply CRAP. It looks that this Lawyer is a politician. who are very well known talking from the both ends of the body. How come the lawyer is talking as a muslim against Racism and for democracy instead of asking OBEY the one and only greatest almighty and only democracy is submitting to the almighty. CT is dis honest as CT is not publishing his photos of behaviour infront of the Almighty.
    Another part is the article says that a muslim promoted all the religions over Islam. Definitely this Lawyer is a KAFFEER. HE WAS TALKING AGAINST THE GOD. SO, HIS LOCK UP MAY BE GOD’S WISH.

    Even ZAHARAN was very good fellow. Even though he was a dictator, he followed the almighty that lived in the desert, he was very friendly with Yahapalana bond scammers who gave them even prestigious business
    awards in Sri Lanka, had photo sessions with him.
    With respect to some other things I smell rotten fish.
    If Dr. SHAFI is a saint who set fire and why to the Kurinegala Hospital ?

  • 1
    11

    Is this Hisbulla a relative of the other Hisbullah who is a SUFI cum WAHABI who said. Touch muslims middle eastern countries come with their all the weaponry. May be Just like Rishad Bathiuddin is a saint while his brother was an active Wahabi of ZAharan gang, Unlike those this hisbullah is a islamic saint, that is what here says. How does his face looks like, is there a very recognizable beard to identify with him Zaharan (oops, again profiling).

  • 3
    2

    Whats NEW guys ???? Remember just few months back the whole CID dept was put on watch list, banned from traveling abroad, some fired, some transferred and some were threatened with legal action. Lankan “Loo and Odor”. Is BASL and GMOA any different ????

  • 3
    3

    COLOMBO ROMAN CATHOLIC CARDINAL says that the govt must investigate attacks on muslims. once the Easter attack investigations are over. I think what he says, ARREST NGOs. They may say who gave them money to do all these things, definitely not butter flies.

  • 12
    3

    Vilifying and destroyed the life, career, and livelihood, of yet another Muslim professional. Is this the way the present government chooses to impress the racists in their party?
    Let’s not forget Dr.Shafi, and what he went through. He was made into a villain by Derana, Jealous colleagues, and racists, all based on low grade unfounded accusations, (which even science can disprove), and fake news based on an anti Muslim campaign. How about those racists making claims about charmed toffees distributed to make Sinhalese women barren (which if possible the WHO would have immediately used it in their Family Planning efforts). That would be the miracle toffees made specially in Sri Lanka, Family Planning agencies all over the world will flock here to buy them.

    Shame on the Rajapaksa’s. Instead of trying to run for elections on their merits (if they have any) to win Sinhala Buddhist votes, they are using the Muslims as scapegoats, hurting them in the process, to win. This is a vicious and racist campaign once again, by these Rajapaksa’s.

    Question: Why are the Rajpaksas, silent on this on going anti Muslim campaign? No condemnations? No calls to stop this nonsense? No calls for unity? Why?

    • 2
      1

      ATLEAST SOMEONE IS SPEAKING UP

  • 4
    2

    I am shocked how the racists can go on and on and also some of Our Muslims on and on about matters beyound our power.
    Why cant you guys for once talk of stuff like how you can help each other there are so many living in starvation, how much can really the government do ? In Singapore there are many local NGOS no affiliated to any religion or foreign NGOS, whenever Crisis hit they just move and do not wait for the government , they do alot of charity.

    It’s disgusting the only thing that is ever discussed is racism .

    You guys must listen to The DIMO MD ..
    Even eagles and retired majors living in first world nations do not know how hard it’s going to hit the whole world.
    Excuse me , but this is like a guy been hit by a speeding Car and bleeding and fitting for death, but the minute he sees the legs of The nurse in the Ambulance up goes his hand.

    At least until this pandemic us done can we stop racism and see how we can support our health care workers and the government and pur people without prejudice or favour, ?
    Today I hear Palestinians and Israels gave cone together to fight this pandemic.
    I really do not get it.
    How can people from an educated nation form.myths to accuse a whole community for 0.0001 % of its members action and go on hate mongering , while we do not know , when this will end ? When we will have a vaccine and not knowing of GOD forbid.ifbtye whole world wpuld be hit with such a ression that may take years we can not predict , ?.

    Sit and contemplate on the reality and your will not date hate no one .

  • 1
    2

    Sorty about phones auto corrections .am.sure all.of you can sort it out.
    Am sick of retyping

  • 6
    4

    CT,
    Can you publish an article as to how the Muslim suspects were treated in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib detention camps! Did Sri Lanka treat the suspects of Easter massacre as the US did?
    What is the importance of this arrest for the average Muslims, Sinhalese, and Tamils in SL other than that the criminals and their supporters of the Easter massacre are still at large while ridiculing the rule of law!,
    The Catholic Sinhalese and Tamils including the Cardinal want the Government to uncover the forces behind this heinous criminal act. Most of them (unlike the Buddhists who think that any wrongdoer will be punished anyway by Karma) want to punish the criminals mercilessly!
    First thing is first, and we want to find out the truth first! Therefore, let the CID do the job! If the arrested lawyer is innocent he will be released! If not, let the Justice system make the decision! Since Ranjan Ramanayake is in remand custody, there won’t be any threatening calls to the judiciary either!
    Howsoever, CT is trying to convince us with only one sided view of the facts by quoting rosy words from the family of the arrested lawyer? CT readers are not kindergarten kids to believe whatever the CT editors publish. When did a lawyer or his family members tell the truth if the truth is not in their favor?
    Remember, the majority Sri Lankans are ready to forgive any criminal but they are not ready to forget the crime!
    This is a simple fact about Sri Lankan that Colombo Telegraph is unable to understand and digest. If you don’t respect it, people may change your name from Colombo Telegraph to Columbia’s Talecraft.

    • 2
      4

      We are talking about Sri Lanka and not about Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib detention camps.

    • 1
      1

      Unfortunately many Sri Lanka’s fooled by the politicians including you. How trey voted these corrupt politicians and believe in their lies? Hi

  • 5
    3

    Disgraceful and reprehensible behaviour instigated by a low life illiterate moron who is now the president of SL. God help SL.

  • 3
    3

    Yo can’t just go and arrest muslims stating that they are terrorists or helping terrorism.The AG must give his reasons for allowing this arrest to take place.Otherwise all muslims are in danger.

  • 2
    2

    Sooner or later, without any job, two political clubs, GOMA & BASL are going to do Muslipalty jobs in Colombo street. They trying to wake up from her coma and warn themselves “Hey guys this is not Old Royal’s Chitanta goverment, but King’s Hitler Government”. It is too late and horse has left the stable.

  • 4
    3

    I am a student from Hejaaz International School and I am a girl of logic, of black and white. So remember everything that I have said in this article is after considering facts and mixing it with logic, it is a compilation of all what I have seen, heard, learnt and read from Attorney at law Mr Hejaaz Hizbullah. My school is run by his family and I have been molded into a person by them. I remember the first time I heard Mr Hejaaz Hizbullah delivered a speech at my school prize day, I was a little girl but I do remember that his inspiring words striked many hearts. As I grew up I started reading his articles and listened to his speeches they were extremely inspiring for a girl of my age, more of all they were a clear image of what was right. I have never seen or heard Mr Hejaaz support anything that was wrong, I have seen him as a fighter for the right cause. Also considering that I come from a School that is established and run by his parents, I can confess without any doubt that they never taught me anything wrong. I have been taught to condemn and believe that extremism is wrong. I have been taught to accept different races, religions, cultures and love them. These people have molded my little mind and guided me to the right path. I have seen the genuineness in them, I have been taught to be real, to accept if I am wrong but NEVER be HYPPOCRITIC. So I believe that this man who is one of those many people who have inspired me would never be a part of such a nasty act. I believe that Mr Hejaaz Hizbullah is innocent, and to all those people who are trying to tarnish his luminary image the truth will prevail soon.

    With lots of love and hope,
    A student of Hejaaz International School

    #Istandbythefamilyofhejaazhizbullah
    #ibelievehejaazhizbullahisinnocent

    • 1
      2

      @Miss.Javed ,
      Correction , I mean not to belittle you , but what you have just posted is not an article , it is a comment on CT columnist posts .

      • 2
        0

        it was a shared article on social media…

    • 3
      3

      Miss. THAYYEBAH JAVED ,
      /
      Child….
      Terrorists are no longer ugly poor and uneducated people. That era ended long time ago.
      These days they come in all colours and sizes.
      Just look at the Easter Sunday bombers….
      One attacker went to law school in Australia
      Two others, brothers, grown up sons of a wealthy and well-established businessman.
      As a child learn to respect and obey authority of law.

      • 3
        1

        i am sorry but please keep your racist opinions to yourself… if you are unaware Mr Hejaaz has been arrested for advising Mr Riyadh Bathiudeen over his case which is just like arresting a doctor for treating a patient… I know that he is no terrorist and to you the truth will prevail soon.

  • 7
    2

    Bloody hell ! Each time when a news item appears about a minority community these professional racist band wagon lashes out. At least have some sense of understanding the issue before you guys talk. You are a disgrace to the majority community.
    Will you ever learn

  • 2
    0

    Each of us as Citizens can do somuch to the poor in our small humble way at this moment , some are emiting negative messages through racism and others thtough blindly attacking the government.
    When the country is in crisis, we citizens must do all we can to safeguard the nation .

    It’s very foolish to go on condemning , critizing and complaining,knowing very well the entire world is falling apart .

    Even at a time like this cant we put petty prejudice aside and serve humanity without playing Victim ?

    Fahim

  • 1
    2

    Thanks to CT, Bar association was compelled to back date, and send a letter to IGP.
    Kalinga Indatissa, is a well known sycophant of the Rajapaksas. While privately admitting he is totally against this arrest, and advising the affected parties what they should do he is also getting the draft cleared by the government.

  • 0
    3

    Indatissa, is the worst bar association president we have ever had. He is not only a bootlicker but also a very corrupt and indiscipline human being. As a lawyer, i am embarrassed to be a member of the association.
    This is what happens when you elect improper people to important positions.
    If you read his letter carefully it shows what a coward he is.

  • 3
    0

    Are prominent lawyers above the law as well?

  • 0
    4

    We are not interested about politics but appreciate the good work done by President Rajapaksa but this man kalinga indatissa is a total misfit to be president of the bar association. As a lawyer for over 30 years my humble request is for him to resign and a more respectable lawyer to take over.

  • 1
    1

    From the beginning we knew kalinga indatissa didnt have the stature to become president of the bar association but our lawyers didn’t agree with us. He should be behind bars not president of the bar.

  • 0
    0

    Article is trying to imply that the reason for arrest is not his involvement on the terrorist attack but his professional career which challenged the Rajapasha’s, by highlighting his legal representations and political impact of them and his and his relatives reactions. (remember that similar kind of remarks done by mother of Amith Weerasingha, when he is arresting, and still there’s is no clear evidence to show that his involvement in riots) However Mr: Hejaz has engage in such activism does not necessarily mean that it must be the reason for arrest and there is no evidence to support his involvement in Easter Attack. Since investigations haven’t completed yet, no one can sure about his innocence or guilt. But writer of the article is trying to imply that the sole reason behind arrest is political revenge and community who is reading and commenting here is more convinced than the writer about it. They have no doubt about it. Rushing into such a conclusion without checking possibility of other causes (evidence for his guilt) falls to fallacy of affirming the consequent.

    If government informed the public about easter attack before it happened even then CT and Muslims and Biased Community would have told security officials are fueling the hate towards Muslims! I can sure about it from this behavior. It’s this mentality of them which civil activists prevented from identifying the threat of Islamic extremism in Sri Lanka, even when Sinhala-Nationalists were warning about it before long time terror groups appeared in public.

  • 0
    0

    This Article also claims that allegations against Dr: Shafi Shihabdeen was false. But any person with a common sense will admit that methodology used by CID when investigating the case is not sufficient for this conclusion. They checked whether he did sterilization operations only based on statements of nurses. But the best way to check truthfulness of the allegation is doing a faloposcopy on a selected women who subjected to cesareans by him and have no children after that without any natural cause though they have had sex. No one can sure about present of nurses in every moment he is doing operations. Even they were present in every time sterealization operation may take few seconds (you may need only to give pressure to fallopian tubes from tongs) and he can sent nurses away or use a moment they are not carefully observing. Even when they have observed since they are not experts he can do it by misleading them about what he is doing. Pretending doing the real operation. Since those nurses worked with him they may be bias, or maybe threatened.

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