The Standing Committee on Rule of Law of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has today condemned the behaviour of the members of the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ who stormed Nipon Hotel where a group of Buddhist monks headed by Rev Watareka Vijitha Thero and other representatives of Civil Society organizations were holding a press conference to explain their version on the allegations by the BBS with regard to the settlement of displaced persons at Wilpattu.
Issuing a statement today the Standing Committee on Rule of Law of the BASL said; “We are not on the merits of the rival claims made by the parties. What concern us and what is alarming is the way a group that was holding the press conference was manhandled and how Rev. Vijitha Thero was forced to make a statement in the presence of Police Officers. As seen in the TV telecast this is the worst situation that we have witnessed in the long list of events that has demonstrated the complete breakdown of Rule of Law in our country and the rise of rule by self proclaimed saviours of justice, undoubtedly under the protection of powerful personalities. The perpetrators of these crimes which are offences punishable under the Penal Code and also blatant violations of fundamental rights under the constitution act with total impunity.
“In the midst of all these grave violations of Rule of Law it is surprising to see the stoney silence of the authorities at the top who has a duty to speak out and explain to the people what their stance is in respect of third dangerous developments. The silence on their part speak more than what is necessary for civil society to realize where we are and where we are moving towards.
“The unexpected distinguished overflowing crowd that gathered at the SLFI auditorium on the 25th of March at the call of the BASL to protest against militarization and erosion of Rule of Law is a welcome development that has the potential to develop to an organized resistance to the dangerous developments of such as the militarization of civil society and breakdown of Rule of Law.”