27 October, 2020

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The Happenings At The Convocation Of BASL Re-Kindled In Me

By S. L. Gunasekara –

S.L.Gunasekara

Mr. Upul Jayasooriya,
Attorney-at-Law,
President, Bar Association of Sri Lanka,
No: 152, Mihindu Mawatha,
Colombo 12. ,

Dear Upul,

Convocation Of BASL 

Reading the newspapers today about the Convocation of the BASL and the things that were said there, I do wish that I had not precipitately declined your kind invitations and not come there. I declined the invitations as a matter of course, which I have been doing for many years, because I have found the convocations of the Bar Association to consist ‘ merely of occasions when a number of pious platitudes are uttered and nothing really changes. I always preferred to spend that time in my so called ‘estate’ as I did this time. The fact that things will now be different seems plain from the fact that you have invited Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to attend the convocation and not invited the current purported holder of that office Mohan Peiris PC therefor. I need hardly say that this needed courage and it is something that needed doing.

I also found that the reports of the speeches and particularly your speech which was reported in full in the Sunday Times contained so many home truths that I do hope that the Bar Association of Sri Lanka will, under your stewardship become a meaningful organization and cease to be the “Bum Association of Sri Lanka” as I earlier described it. You have definitely got off to a very good start – indeed an excellent start and I do hope that you will live up to what you have said.

Being a total pessimist and one who has lost such element of faith as he had in human nature, I had grave doubts about whether you would deliver on the things you said prior to the election. However, judging from your speech it would appear that you intend doing so. I genuinely hope that you will and if so you can count, for what it’s worth, on my unstinted support.

The happenings at the Convocation re-kindled in me, at least to some extent, the pride I once had about being a member of the Bar. For that, I thank you most sincerely and hope that that spark of pride which I never thought I would live to see again will not be doused but will burst into a full fledged and unquenchable flame. However, as you must know, the knives will now be out to slit your throat. I trust you will face such threats and dangers with fortitude. You can count on my support when (not if) that happens.

Yours Sincerely

S. L. Gunasekara

Read the original letter here

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Is this an advance honest warning or a sugar coated threat from S.L. What it may SL should have the guts to say he supported the Bar Association action to invite the real Chief Justice and not the present Cheap Justice.

    • 0
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      Good question. As this letter is of the ‘open letter’ variety, I suspect the latter proposition is closer to the truth. This curmudgeonly legal luminary sometimes is not quite sure which side of the fence he is on, or even if there is a fence! Is there a fence?

      • 0
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        Bedrock Barney:
        I beg to differ: this unscrupulous “legal luminary” DOES know on which side of the fence he is: it is the eminently ‘safe’ one with no risk to person (or bank balance!)whatsoever.
        I’m sure that Saul/Paul never suspected that he’d have a veritable perahera on his famous journey – Dayan, Rajiva, Blackleg et al.

        If nothing else, some of this is entertaining/amusing!

  • 0
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    What happened at the BASL convocation was well and good.The lawyers are on the correct path.
    But they must speed up the judicial process for the good of the common man. 65,000 pending court cases are said to be clogging up justice system.Litigants are sick & tired of postponement of cases many times.
    They want swift justice.
    They want lawyers to oppose remanding those accused by police as a routine,without asking accused persons about their side of the story.
    Citizens arrested by police,need lawyers to be present in police stations during interrogations. BASL should have a panel of lawyers to assist the indigent in police stations and courts.
    Lawyers must oppose this “Police Bail” invented by the police to benefit politicians,their suporters and family members.
    Lawyers must insist on Postmortem Reports being made available to the prosecution and defence without delay.
    Lawyers must oppose transfer of cases to suit state personnel – habeas corpus and human rights cases in Jaffana courts,are being transferred
    to Anuradhapura to make it difficult for citizens and lawyers to attend.
    In the old days,these things did not happen.

  • 0
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    S.L Gunasekera is a spent force remember the time in year 2000 when he go elected and under Sinhala urumaya and then young man Champika Ranawak ousted him if im correct

  • 1
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    Kudos to SL for having the guts to say this, and double kudos to the President of BASL for having done what he did and saying what he said at the convocation.

    This is but a small but certain step that needs to be recognised by all those armchair columnists, who should then stir themselves to always do the right thing for the country, i.e. show true patriotism in insisting most vociferously for the necessary change that will bring in proper governance and the necessary checks and balances.

  • 1
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    Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake being invited to the BASL convocation and her presence there and the cold shoulder given to the imposter gladdened many a heart. It was a welcome shower during a long spell of drought.I personally believe that Mr. S.L.Gunasekera means what he says.One may not agree with his reasons for his backing or having backed President Rajapaksa, but one cannot say that he is a person who talks with a double tongue. He has always been outspoken and does not mince his words when articulating his views.I think the new BASL President fired the first salvo against the dictatorial regime. We ordinary people in the country highly appreciate Mr. Gunasekera’s gesture. We hope that the other eminent professionals and intellectuals in the country will come forward to openly pledge their support to the BASL and its new President Upul Jayauriya, emulating the the worthy example set by Mr. Gunasekera. For the BASL President really needs such moral support at this hour.

  • 0
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    Mr S L Gunasekera is the MOST EMINENT LAWYER who I believe has declined to be named PRESIDENT’S COUNSEL. He is leagues ahead of the peers holding the appellation.

    For over 10 years I have written to the press about the CONSTITUTIONAL ANOMALY regarding PRESIDENT’S COUNSEL. Other professionals are discriminated against by Lawyers (about 14000) being entitled to be appointed PRESIDENT’S COUNSEL.

    Why aren’t there PRESIDENT’S DOCTORS, ACCOUNTANTS, PHYSICISTS, CHEMISTS SURVEYORS, ECONOMISTS, BOTANISTS,ZOOLOGISTS,ENGINEERS, ARCHITECTS ???

    I QUOTE BELOW
    Chapter VII 33. cc under which the Presidents Counsel are appointed. This provision is in conflict with Chapter III 12 .(2) Right to equality AND Chapter
    VI 26 (6)

    CHAPTER III – FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

    Right to equality.
    12. (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.
    (2) No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds:

    CHAPTER VI – DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES
    Directive Principles of State Policy.
    27. (1) The Directive Principles of State Policy herein contained shall guide Parliament, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers in the enactment of laws and the governance of Sri Lanka for the establishment of a just and free society.
    (2) The State is pledged to establish in Sri Lanka a democratic socialist society, the objectives of which include –
    (6) The State shall ensure equality of opportunity to citizens, so that no citizen shall suffer any disability on the ground of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion or occupation.

    CHAPTER VII – THE EXECUTIVE
    The President of the Republic

    Powers and functions of the President.
    33. In addition to the powers and functions expressly conferred on or assigned to him by the Constitution or by any written law whether enacted before or after the commencement of the Constitution, the President shall have the power –
    17[(cc) to appoint as President’s Counsel, attorneys-at-law who have reached eminence in the profession and have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude. Every President’s Counsel appointed under this paragraph shall be entitled to all privileges as were hitherto enjoyed by a Queen’s Counsel ;]

    • 0
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      Dear Mr. JK Wijedasa,

      You have mentioned several professions. I think the practitioners of those professions are quite happy with being Fellow Members of their respective professional bodies. I remember a Wijesoma cartoon in Daily News which carried caricatures of a President’s Counsel and a police constable with the police constable having his arm over the shoulders of the lawyer and saying that “Don’t forget that from now onwards both are PCs”.

  • 0
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    S.L.Gunasekera and Gomin Dayasiri were two stalwarts who supported the current Government to assume power through their influence in the legal fraternity and via the media. Though their aim was to support the war effort they were clueless as to the monster they were propping up. S.L. woke up sometime ago. Gomin is still asleep. What we expect from S.L. now is to use his influence to change the mindset of Mahinda Rajapaksa, if he can, and prevent the continuation of the disastrous path to ruin chartered by the Government. For a start let us hope that he will support the President of BASL not only in word but in deed as well. You can bet that Rajapaksa will do all to get rid of him by hook or by crook.

    • 0
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      Wickramasiri:
      Are you ALSO preparing to do the long/high jump from the sinking Rajapaksa ship? Maybe, you and that hypocrite S.L.Gunasekera can share the same life-jacket!

  • 0
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    At least the pugnacious SLG has the honesty and courage to accept, by nature, he is a pessimist. In the matter of reconciliation between the Sinhalese and Tamils in the past he certainly has been one. Every effort made to reach some space for a compromise has been scuttled by him and ilk, coming under various labels – not excluding the chauvinistic Sihala Urumaya, an unlikely platform for someone with a liberal and plural upbringing and grooming. His journey in the political landscape has been varied and long – UNP, SLFP-coalitions, the SU. armed-forces sponsored outfits – to name some. He has a congenital hatred to India and the Tamils. He will be remembered for his extremist and unyielding call to the Dogs of War “All Tiger terrorists are Tamil and, therefore, all Tamils are ….” And such a man tries to pretend he is trying to right the ills in our divided society????

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
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    Interesting.

  • 0
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    Re. Mr J.K. Wijedasa’s comments, I have always found it distasteful in that system in operation where lawyers apply to be made PC’s.
    And now we see lawyers with little experience and much pull are PC’s.
    At least 2 in the last list were such junior lawyers they did not have even a practise of their own – both were lower rung juniors to average
    PCs. Time was when Athulathmudali, a teacher of laws in prestigious Universities abroad was made a PC – there were raised eyebrows. JRJ has to take responsibility for devaluing the system – that was gladly clung on to by subsequent administrations.

    Methinks a system where competent legal authorities – both from the private and state sector – choose, every 3-5 years or so, successful and senior lawyers of widely acknowledged ability and track record – for the honour. This way, I believe, one can side-track the mediocre marching over the more able and deserving.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
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    SL should learn to write, spot the bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Too many words no content. Piss poor English like his ideology.

  • 0
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    SENGUTTIVAN…re your comments.

    Do you agree or disagree with my pointing out the anomaly in the constitution re PCs???

    They are being favoured and other professionals DISCRIMINATED???

    Strange thing is not a single SO-CALLED LEGAL LUMINARIES ever countered my reasoning…

    Over to BASL and Upul JAYASURIYA…

  • 0
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    SL is now becoming a loose cannon . Such a shame for a well respected man of high intergrity . His anger could be due to a personal vendetta with the president.Maybe not appointing him into the LLRC panel ????

    • 0
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      you might have a point or he is dissapointed that after being so anti tamil all his life he is nobody now,poor chap must be hard on his ego

      born and bred a Methodist Christian he turned his back on the religious teachings for tolerance and as Senguttuwan pointed out scuttled reconcilliatory gestures made by the prev Govts

      At least President Rajapaksa was wise not to appoint this man full of hatred to any of his committees and for that I take congratulate the President on his choice!

  • 0
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    mr s l gunasekara wants the publicity.
    .

  • 0
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    Mr. Wijedasa

    “reached eminence in the profession” How many of the last list of PCs
    fall short of this requirement. Some of them are far from “..have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude”
    Both issues, at any rate, are also matters of interpretation and are best left to seniors of uncompromising reputation in the profession – not tainted by collusion with leading State actors. Failure of which will result in more PCs than other lawyers in the next decade or so – the type of men who disgraced the profession by breaking coconuts and
    sinking into thoil and kavi.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
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    Upul Jayasuriya New BASL President, that because of he participated every meetings together with left/ right wing Lawyers to achieve his target.During the former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaraniyake’s impeachment protest organized by the BASL he was put his face in every photographs appeared in the TV,or many front page of News papers in Sri Lanka..No dough this type of invitation given to Shirani Banranayake no dought it was a gratitude of his Promotion.

    This was very long story.As a Row Junior he and his brother support Lalith Athulathmudali’s (his boys) political cam-pane in Ratmalana in 1977 general election..Finally,Upul Jay appointed as a Chairman of Tractor Corporation.Brother as a Public relation Officer in his Trade Ministry.(1977)He was behind Ranil Wicramasinghe. but later he jump into Sajith’s party wing.Later no where.But now he is following the same political line to achieve his targets.

    Last March he was in London to participate his son’s graduation and
    same period he participated Drouthy Chamber’s meeting which was organized by the London LTTE diaspora Lawyer’s wing.After this meeting QC.Robert Black has asked to boycott to participate Queen and British Government to Sri Lanka Common wealth meeting.This was published in London Guardian,Law society Gazette. and several international news papers.After this meeting [Edited out]Therefore his speech and invitation to Shirani Bandaranayake is well plan Political motivated Action.Take it easy…….Barking Dogs are not………

    Kumar

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