Colombo Telegraph

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

By S. L. Gunasekara –


Mr. Upul Jayasooriya,
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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