By Colombo Telegraph –
Senior Attorney at Law, Upul Jayasuriya was inducted President, Bar Association of Sri Lanka at the 39th BASL Convocation graced by Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, 43rd Chief Justice. The induction was held at the Nawarangahala Hall and graced by many dignitaries including former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and many religious leaders.
Retd Supreme Court Justice C. V. Wigneswaran as keynote speaker, emphasised that the ‘so-called impeachment’ of CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was illegal and flawed. He said that the disregard of the court rulings that the impeachment was unconstitutional and completely undermines the rule of law.
He said he’s glad that the legal profession has realised the important task pf embarking on a difficult journey to restore legitimacy to the judicial system. He warned that this difficult journey involves dangers including state sponsored character assassinations and even physical violence. He said he wished Mr. Upul Jayasuriya the strength to carry out the overwhelming mandate for this task given by the legal profession.
Former Attorney General Sunil De Silva, PC also spoke. He spoke of the need for an independent, fearless Bar for the wellbeing and efficacy of the judiciary.
Attorney General Palitha Fernando who came for the function left early without inducting Jayasuriya. Senior lawyers said he was afraid the Rajapaksa regime would punish him if he remained. The Colombo Telegraph learns that de facto CJ Mohan Pieris who was not invited by the Bar had wanted pro-govt lawyers to refrain from attending. However, there was an impressive turnout of the most respected silks and seniors of the Bar.
Solicitor General Yuvanjan Wijeyatilleke who is known to be canvassing for appointment by President Rajapaksa as a Supreme Court judge, was also absent.
Several senior lawyers told The Colombo Telegraph that this was a reflection of the servile condition of senior public officers under the regime, especially after the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.