24 September, 2020

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Usually Unpopular Upul Jayasuriya Wins Big At BASL Election Over Rajapaksa-Backed Tirantha

By Colombo Telegraph

In a huge slap in the face of the Rajapaksa regime, the legal profession voted overwhelmingly for Upul Jayasuriya, Attorney at Law who stood against the Rajapakse regime’s high handed impeachment of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, Chief Justice handing him a huge majority of over 1700 votes at the BASL election held today (20.02.2013) at Bars all over Sri Lanka. His real opponent was Tirantha Walaliyadda , who spoke of ‘working with the government’ during his election campaign and controversially attended the ceremony organized by the government which was boycotted by the Bar Association and senior lawyers of standing. Walaliyadda was viewed widely as ‘the government candidate’ for the top slot of the BASL.

Jayasuriya speaking at lawyers protest 

Many senior and junior lawyers contacted by The Colombo Telegraph said that Jayasuriya’s massive victory was a clear indication of firm opposition of the legal profession to the erosion of judicial independence by the Rajapaka regime, since Jayasuriya who was earlier linked to the opposition United National Party was described as a “personally unappealing, generally unpopular figure” who would have been most unlikely to stack up this many votes unless the fact that he stood against repression of judicial independence and destruction of the rule of law was viewed as being of the highest importance by a vast majority of the legal profession.

Jayasuriya maintained throughout his campaign that the so called impeachment of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and ouster from the office of Chief Justice was done improperly and in a way that destroyed judicial independence and caused unprecedented damage to the rule of law.

A senior President’s Counsel told The Colombo Telegraph that it remains to be seen whether Jayasuriya will remain true to his promised commitment to an independent Bar that will fight for judicial independence and the rule of law or fall prey to the many attractions or methods the regime has been known to use in the past to quieten or keep down opposition to its agendas.

There was also a third candidate at this year’s election, R. Thangaraja who is a habitual candidate at all BASL elections, without being a real contender for the post. The election was called after the incumbent president Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC who is also a member of parliament from the opposition United National Party decided suddenly to step down after his first year in office, without continuing for a second year, as has been the general tradition. His decision came, shortly after his house was shot at. The culprits have not yet been apprehended, though President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited his house, expressed concern and ordered an investigation.

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Latest comments

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    Upul Jayasuriya should now know he was elected for a a purpose and to practice what he preached not simply to be a pray to Rajapakse regime. He has got a lot to do as the people of this country felt that BASL was responsible for not maintaining strong stand at the unlawful impeachment of the CJ, Dr Bandaranayake and replaced her with a stooge with utterly hopeless character not worth mentioning.

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    Jayawewa,
    First thing is to keep your promises, second NOT get caught
    to the Govt.’s traps.
    Thank you Lawyers(6th FORCE in Srilkanka)

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    A good measure of the popularity of the regime. You cannot win the hearts of people through thuggery and injustice. Signs of things to come.

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    Congratulations, Mr. Upul Jayasuriya and hat off to lawyers in the country! Now that you have a clear mandate to fight for the independence of the judiciary, we hope that you will swing into action to oust the illegal appointee as the priority number one!

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    Upul J was instrumental in getting UNP lawyers to oppose Ranil W in establishing a 6 year term with dictatorial powers in party. Therefore Ranil W also supported Lawyer Walaliyadda. Was that info dropped out of the news purposely by CT editorial ?
    AS

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    If the BASL could re establish independence and the lost dignity of judiciary, that will be the single most achievement of the new office bearers led by Upul J. But don’t underestimate the ability and the plotting powers of those who will stand against that move. Good luck and the whole justice loving people are behind you and also watching your every move.

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    What we have witnessed in the last few years is the emergence of bright stars to give hope to the hopeless.The brightest star of the decade CJ Shirani Bandaranayake was silenced and we do not know her whereabouts.FUTA showed guts by launching a Movement for Social Justice by demanding 6% for Education ,later to succumb to terror.Now comes PC Upul Jayasuriya,the firebrand amidst many such lawyers who took the REGIME head on. Today he is no longer a solitory PC but a Representative of the strong Legal community elected by a thumping majority.Well done lawyers throughout the country.We salute not only PC Upul Jayasuriya but all those lawyers who elected him as their spokesperson

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    The lawyers in this country should be commended for voting Upul Jayasooriya for the post of president of the BASL .I do hope he will keep to his promises and not succumb to pressure and perks like his predecessor Wijedasa Rajapaksha.If the former president of the BASL acted fearlessly he could have prevented the impeachment of the CJ, Shirani Bandaranayake.

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    CJ Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake said that she was offered duty free car permits six times during her stay but refused all.

    PC Upul Jayasooriya, please don’t get trapped or fall into other temptations or threats which may come in disguise to discredit you, your character, your life and the BASL.

    Please voice your concern towards millions of voiceless, helpless,weak and sick who are seeking justice, liberty, freedom and equal rights.

    May God bless you, guide and protect you.

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    Hope this wave will continue through into other organs and institutions in forging better governance. Wide publicity must be given right down to the grassroots.

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    But out of 12000 votes only 2500 voted. What has happened to rest 9500 votes.Is it a big win ?

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    Jude, thank you raising a valid and very important point. Almost 10,000 lawyers didn’t cast their vote. Answer is simple and straight forward. The majority know both these candidates do have no INTERCITY at all. Both are just talkers not doers.Just in few day’s time Upul Jayasuriya’s true character will be brought to the notice of all concerned.

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      sour grapes. you seem to be sorry MR’s man lost

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      No INTERCITY? I am laughing so hard….

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        The new Colombo – Mattala 15 minute Fly…..

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    In a press interview given to ‘Sunday Times’ by the two main candidates, Tirantha Walaliyadda, President’s Counsel, said that he would accept Mohan Peiris, as the duly appointed Chief Justice, (disregarding the Court of Appeal determination that quashed the Parliamentary Select Committee findings and Supreme Court determinations, that nullified the whole process adopted to remove the Chief Justice Bandaranayake). Therefore, one can easily argue that Walaliyadda’s stand on Mohan Peiris’s appointment to the office of the Chief Justice (made by the President Rajapakse, undermining the two judicial pronouncements that made the appointment ab initio void – invalid from the beginning) makes him unsuitable to the head of office of the unofficial bar (BASL).
    On the other hand in his interview with the ‘Sunday Times’, Upul Jayasuriya, Attoreny-at-Law, said that the removal of the Chief Justice Bandaranayake has been done denying her right to a fair trial and therefore the removal of her from the office was unlawful and therefore, there are two Chief Justices in this country, that is duly appointed Chief Justice Dr Bandaranayake, the Chief Justice de jure (existing by right or according to law) and Mohan Peiris, the Chief Justice de facto (having effect even though not legally recognised). Upul Jayasuriya’s stand on this point is correct, as per the rule of law as it stands today. However, Upul Jayasuriya’s candidacy becomes dubious for a different reason, for his alleged dishonest conduct, concerning a fundamental rights petition.
    In the Fundamental rights action (536/2010) now pending before the Supreme Court, there was a reference to an alleged misconduct and dishonesty of Mohan Peiris, which was supported by an affidavit affirmed by the then Director General of Customs (DGC) WDL Perera. Petitioner in this case, the Customs officer, T R Ratnasiri, alleged in an affidavit to the Court that Counsel Upul Jayasuriya, amended the Petition in two occasions, that is removing the affidavit by the then DGC WDL Perera and also removing all other references concerning Mohan Peiris. Thereafter the Counsel Upul Jayasuriya, refused to represent the Petitioner, and therefore the Petitioner by way of an affidavit dated 22nd November 2011, reported Upul Jayasuriya to the Chief Justice Bandaranayake for his alleged abuse of office and professional misconduct.
    Thereafter, on 05th December 2011, further to an application made, the Court permitted the Petitioner to amend the Petition, and to reintroduce all ‘specific references’ concerning Mohan Peiris and also to include the Document (affidavit by the DGC WDL Perera, concerning alleged misconduct and dishonestly of Mohan Peiris, previously removed by the Counsel Upul Jayasuriya).
    This piece of information about the two main candidates amply demonstrates that none of them quality to stand for the office of the President of the Bar Association (BASL. Simply non of them have the essential character of integrity that they loudly talk about.

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    Can he send my brother to the hangman?together with side kick from Matara.

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    Congratulations, Mr. Upul Jayasuriya. We need to defeat, Terrorism, Rajapassanism, ranilnism (why? he is the dictator of UNP)all corrupt minsters eg wimal, rajitha,mervyn, we need to defeat failure of democracy, encourage ethinic harmony, encourage proper governance, encourage democracy, amplify judicial independance. We need to educate people to vote only for people who are non-corrupt, non-greedy and thik of a better country.

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      GIORA,

      You say “We need to educate people to vote only for people who are non-corrupt, non-greedy and think of a better country”.

      Can you please tell me who these nice people are, so I can vote for them?

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      I say Close down the Thieves den……the Pin Padi Supreme Parliament for good.

      Re-demarcate the 9 provinces to five and establish five state councils giving all the powers to those states.

      Get down ten foreign business Professionals with twenty local business professional and form a committee to run all govt corporations, service sector and the farming, agriculture and industry sectors.

      Give the rest of parliament duties……such as local administrative and peoples requirements, needs and other duties to the respective area judges and lawyers committee. Supreme court bench of Judges committee could supervise, overlook the overall administration of the whole country.

      Countrey will develop much more and all the economic losses and debts could be viped-off.

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    Ordinary people in this country do not care two hoots whoever is elected as the president of BASL. In so far as the mass is concerned black coats in general are sharks and vultures. But desparado commentators here wrote as if black coats were about to bring an ‘Arab Spring’ here.

    In just one dealing I had with new president of BASL, Jayasuriya sometime back, I realized that the he is more of a shroud dealer and a fixer than a clever lawyer. In that sense, NGOs and their pay masters and the plotters at haultsdrop may have got the ideal man they have been looking to plot against the government. But I doubt very much he’ll achieve anything worthwhile through out his term. As for Rajapakses, I suppose, they’ll consider him only as a pest.

    Though I oppose his politics, I agree that immediate past president Wijedasa is a clever lawyer and a tested and somewhat successful politician. In my opinion, Wijedasa resigned before his term ends because he realized the futility of or what he could achieve working with haultsdrop plotters and co. No doubt he also has realized that he cannot deliver what vocal section of BASL like that LfD want.

    It seems Wijedasa has learned the hard way that black coats do not have the respectability or the acceptability to lead the mass against the government.
    Leela

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    Why all these allegations against Upul Jayasuriya now? Why this information was not exposed before the election? I feel we are deceived and betrayed. Upul Jayasuriya, we demand an immediate explanation from you,before we pass our judgment on you?

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    I don’t think any body take this revelation about Upul Jayasuriya seriously. If a President Rajapakse can appoint a man with a serious charge of misconduct and dishonestly as the Chief Justice, I don’t see anything wrong with Upul Jayasuriya’s election to the President of the BASL. In fact, since he had helped Mohan Peiris out of danger Peiris may likely help the BASL in return, with some grants and car permit like things, (at least) to senior lawyers. I don’t see any point of antagonizing with the establishment.

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    Whatever said about Upul, whether there is any truth in them or otherwise, he is the duly elected President of the Bar Association. It is almost impossible to find honest people in the profession, and on the other hand now it is too late. He is the winner in the contest and we all should stand behind Upul Jayasuriya and extend our support to him.

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    I think we should not bothered about lack of integrity in Upul Jayasuriya, which not to be seen in any of the person holding high profile public offices today. Take for example President Rajapakse and his team consisting of Mohan Peiris, P B Jayasundara, Gamini Senerath, etc. So why should we worried about the integrity in the head of the BASL,then he would be misfit in the bunch.

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    Those who know Upul J will agree your description he is “unpopular” is not out of place. But in the existing culture he is a much better choice than that grinning simpleton Wijayadasa R, who will go down as one of the least impressive of Presidents/BASL. Sri Lanka’s reputation slided with him at BASL and the former CJ – both fumblers in English. At least Upul speaks and writes the language well and so does the new CJ. In fairness to Upul, however, one must say he has actively come to the assistance of the citizen and the country in matters affecting the good of the State and its assets.

    Senguttuvan

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    Hi Mr Senguthuvan,

    I am sorry to say that you are completely mistaken of the true character of Upul Jayasuriya. Visit the Supreme Court registry and ask for the case record SCFR/536/2010 and examine it for yourself. You will see this man’s true character and how he had deceived his client, the Petitioner in the case. Jayasuriya removed some vital evidence concerning Mohan Peiris, which exposed Mohan Peiris’s dishonesty and gross misconduct. Having ruined his client’s case Upul Jayasuriya thereafter refused to appear for his client, which the client reported to the CJ Bandaranayake.

    Don’t take things for granted with no careful scrutiny. He had helped Mohan Peiris from possible removal from the office of the Attorney-at-law and now it is Mohan Peiris’s turn to help his ‘friend’ with favorable treatment for the cases he appear in the Supreme Court. No lawyer should expect integrity from these two faced people, this is why over 9000 lawyers refused buth Jayasuriya and Waraliyadda for the leadership of the BASL.

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    Dear Mr Dabare:

    My language was suggestive I thought Upul J was in that line of better of the worst. The black-coated profession – then and now – has been likened to the meat-blood sucking vulture. How come even during those days of HV Perera QC till now even the very cream of
    QC’s and PC’s defraud the land’s coffers by taking their millions in cash – except in the few exceptions of the larger trading companies.
    These “gentlemen” from the cream of society refuse to give an official receipt and deny the Revenue authorities their just dues. They are the people who are expected to “uphold the integrity of the legal system” Our country, Sir, is corrupt to the core although we cry ourselves hoarse we are beneficiaries of thousands of years of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and the lot. Curiously, those
    lawyer-atheists-socialists who want to cleanse and revolutionise the our country and the world too come under this dubious categorisation.

    If it brings you any relief, lawyers in other countries are viewed no better – and that includes the developed societies as well.

    Senguttuvan

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