21 September, 2020

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We Will Continue To Carry Out Our Obligations – Lawyers Collective

By Lawyers Collective

The Lawyers Collective has carefully considered the events that led to the removal of the Chief Justice.  Our struggle to protect the independence of the judiciary has entered a new phase, with the government (the Legislature & the Executive) going through with a purported impeachment despite the determination of the Supreme Court & the writ of certiorari quashing same by the Court of Appeal.

We are also gravely concerned with the several threats & acts of intimidation on members of our fraternity, such as death threats on leading members who campaigned against the impeachment of Honorable Chief Justice Bandaranayaka, the assassination attempt on Mr. Wanninayake, shots fired outside the residence of BASL President Mr. Rajapakse PC, and the attack on a lady lawyer (who wishes to remain anonymous) by unidentified motor cyclists who attempted to strangle her. In this struggle we were engaged in carrying out our professional duty as well as our duty as citizens who are under obligation to uphold & defend the Constitution and the democratic rights of the citizens of this country.

IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. Despite there being an appointment of a “Chief Justice” under controversial circumstances, without lawfully removing the 43rd Chief Justice of the country,  we  have to appear before any bench of the Supreme Court, in view of our professional duties and obligations towards our clients.

2. We pledge not to bow down to the strong- arm political tactics that is being used to undermine our judicial system.  We have faith in our judicial system which we have zealously protected over centuries and which we will continue to protect and preserve for our future generations at whatever personal cost to us.

3. We call upon all segments of society, civil organizations, political parties, all those committed to the restoration of Rule of Law and the independence of the judiciary to join with us in this crucial struggle, to publicly condemn these unlawful acts to undermine and destroy the independence of the judiciary and to take all possible steps to create public awareness of the seriousness of this crisis and the very real danger the country faces.  

4. We have seen some “doctored media footage” attempting to mislead the masses by showing some purported certain acts of ours. We wish to categorically state that all our steps in this struggle were carefully discussed, evaluated and carried out, with responsibility and we will continue to do so within lawful and democratic means.  We call upon our colleagues in the profession not to fall prey to these political attempts and to remain true to the oath that we have taken to protect and defend the constitution and thereby the rights of the people and to fight to protect these rights.

5. In the present context of our struggle we call upon the legal fraternity in the forefront of this struggle, to broaden, activate, empower our regional associations and members to educate and foster a longer and sustained participation of the people in this struggle.

WE REITERATE THAT IN ALL OUR EFFORTS we were and we will be true to our oath as Attorneys at law which we are bound morally and legally to defend.  We will continue to carry out our obligations notwithstanding any threat or intimidation; in fact we are far more resolute in this mission now than ever before.

In pursuance of our considered decisions,  we will be organizing public discussions, seminars and meetings throughout the country, and convene a national convention of professional bodies, civil society organizations, trade unions, and other organizations to take concrete decisions regarding the struggle to restore Rule of Law, Independence of Judiciary and Democracy itself.

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Latest comments

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    Struggles to preserve and assert democracy, freedom, liberty and justice in an environment of strong arm tactics by the suppressors; have always have their ups and downs. But it is the resolve of the agitators to relentlessly continue with their actions that will bear fruit, but could not be immediately, yet it will.

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      Many thanks BASL. Keep up the struggle and be of good courage.

      Your efforts are absolutely important in this dark hour – to educate the people on what democracy means. It is the task of all thinking people and the opposition led by the clown Ranil Wickramasinghe to educate the voting public in Sri Lanka on the importance of the judiciary to combat the Rajapakse dictatorship.

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    Good strategy. Whether the govt likes it or not sovereignity lies with the people. The people have to be informed of the true state of affairs. Govt disinformation and state media need to be countered.

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    We will see any of these lawyers boycott CJ Mohan!!!! as S. L. Gunasekara.

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    Lawyers have to appear before the unconstitutional bench due to professional obligations. That does not mean that they accept Rogue Chief Justice. We must respect these lawyers for the fight they gave. We salute them for their courage. We must admit that the boycott may not be the best strategy. If the lawyers are punished by this rogue CJ, then someone has to appear and defend the lawyers.
    Kumar

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      LfD lot have no back bones whatsoever. Let’s be clear. LfD are a greedy lot and that’s why they appear before courts and not due to professional obligations.

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    but it was a full Houde

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    Will the BASL discuss this matter with the various Lawyers Associations of various countries, taking into account that judges of various countries have sent a petition to reinstate the CJ. What about the role of the BASL within the SAARC?

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    Madam CJ Shiranee Bandaranayake should write a book on her life including the impeachment case showing all the problems she had to face as CJ. She could write on the Govt.Golden Key scandal,Basil Rajapakse, harassments of Judiciary and Govt threats and corruptions including ex.CJ Sarath N. Silva’s influence on Judiciary……

    Aslo Mr.Karitawasam could write how MARA used him in the TFC shares scandal and later dumped him, and how he became a victim and humiliated and chased in the TFC scandal.

    Also Shaveen could write what he had to face both from MARA Govt. and his party goons both Physically, Psychologically, monitary and public humility.

    Educating the public is the most important thing that your parents and you could do, and with this publication you could show your innocence to the public and as Citizens we like to know the truth.

    THIS BOOK COULD BE A BEST SELLER.

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    Someone please explain what is this Lawyers Collective. Is it the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. , or a separate union? How meny members are there in the Lawyers Collective? From where the funds getting for the Collective. Is it the lawyers collective that organised cracking of coconuts in court premise, lawyers holding burning candles there, throwing chairs at lawyers after the membership meeting of union, trying to invade Araliya Gaha Mandiraya , chanting Pirith within court surroundings, shouting “jaya wewa” to the chief justice, hanging black banners within court premises, cursing the President there. Does the collective approve these silly things? Please be kind to explain this fact. Thanks!

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      LfD has nothing to do with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. It’s just a clique that join together for the sole purpose of opposing and creating trouble for the government. All most all of them have backed Sarath Fonseka during the last Presidential elections. WeliAmuna can collect enough money to meet their expenses and more from various Western embassies. But their biggest folly is they think they have public backing. Actually, public hate them for all of them are sharks. That’s why they got nowhere.

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        Sane lawyers is insane. I am a lawyer with 30 years practice. Though I am not yet a member of the LfD, we all know that they do not receive funds from anywhere. It is the President and State media falsely accuse Weliamuna and others collecting money from Ambassies. This is utter falsehood. Neither were they involved in the Presidential Elections at all. When I contacted few of the key members of LfD, I realize that they had over 800 Members all over the country. They are also the most active group in the Bar Association (BASL). Bar Association has become a crony front organisation for the Rajapakse family (like Sane Lawyer). Hope these LfD guys one day chase the cronies out of BASL.
        Kumara de Silva, Attorney-at-Law

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    Hat off to Lawyers Collective. You are doing a wonderful job in the face of death threats! You are teaching a lesson to those so called professionals who still stand and stare! What has happened to the OPA? Are they happy with the tyranny in the making? Let what Martin Niemoller said echo and reecho in the ears of everyone including the SLFP leaders like Maitripala Sirisena, John Seneviratne and Ratnasiri Wickremanayake!

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    Critics of LfD,

    There may be some lawyers having NGO links within the membership of LfD. But heavy weights such as Lal Wijenayake & Chandrapala Kumarage, Ratnavele are very genuine people. Especialy Lal Wijenayakw is a very genuine person. His hands are very very clean. No one can contest his caliber, intergrity & commitment. He is the N.M.Perera of our time. It is the responsibility of true people to protect the lives of LfD activisits from MARA’s lawless rule.

    Satya Sahadevan

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    Critics of LfD,

    There may be some lawyers having NGO links within the membership of LfD. But heavy weights such as Lal Wijenayake & Chandrapala Kumarage, Ratnavele are very genuine people. Especialy Lal Wijenayakw is a very genuine person. His hands are very very clean. No one can contest his caliber, intergrity & commitment. He is the N.M.Perera of our time. It is the responsibility of true people to protect the lives of LfD activisits from MARA’s lawless rule.

    Satya Sahadevan

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    Lawyers mobilize people to topple this Govt and save the people, judiciary, take example from the Pakistani Judiciary they are a brave lot

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    Have we seen this kind of protest with the same efficiency in the past regimes ?

    No.

    Entire world incl lawyers colletive of lanka are still in the same opinion that the IMPEACHMENT AGINST CJ SB was illegal, unconstitutional and calculated verdict BASED on the disagreement by Dr. Bandaranayake in terms of the DIVINASUMA bill.

    Latter bill was needed to be passed unanimously in the parliament, but Dr. SB ^s disagreement was standing on their way. The brave lady they thought would resign herself held very strong and did not do so. This was exemplary for the entire womanhood. Latter alone proved to the world – right thinking personalities to rally round and go against the current unlawful govt.

    They are trying to draw a totally opposite picture about the process and how they handled it. But IC and the right thinking lankens are not stupid no to have understood the greater damage that the Rajapakshes have done this time with the JUSTICE in srilanka. As Dambara Amila thero reiterate, IC and UN and other international bodies are now doubt whether independent investigations can at all be held within the newly made environments in the ISLAND.

    They are going to draft the next UN resolution against the country in March – in 2 months. Line of sanctions will be the consequence of all these, getting cornered the nation among the others soon.

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    If you read between the lines, their struggle is over. They will go bow to the Chief Justice. In all fairness they cant practice their professio if they dont. This struggle has run its course. Everyone has issued their press release. so what? What does it matter to this regime. You think they care?

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