Lanka forced to walk a tightrope – The Island


The emergency receives the support of certain lawyers:

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Although the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is quite clearly opposed to the declaration of emergency, to face the continuing challenge posed by the “protest movement”, an increasingly vocal section of lawyers overwhelmingly supports the measures taken by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Appearing on ‘Rathu Ira’, anchored by Nimesh Wijesuriya, on Swarnavahini on Thursday (04) evening, a former senior Ministry of Attorney General official Srinath Perera, PC, and several senior lawyers including Tirantha Walaiyadde, PC, and lawyer at -Law Ravindra Manoj Gamage, strongly backed the emergency declaration, although they expressed concern over previous accusations against the UNP leader.

The panel included lawyer Nuwan Bopage, a key member of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), one of the groups that led the “operation” leading to the forced resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa on July 14. On behalf of the breakaway Faction JVP, attorney Bopage vowed to resist Wickremesinghe’s onslaught regardless of the consequences.

Giving a dire warning to fellow junior Bopage that he would end up in jail for working against the state, Walaiyadde stressed whatever allegations were leveled at President Ranil Wickremesinghe in the past, he should have the time and the space to solve unprecedented problems at your fingertips. . “If the new president is denied at least six months to take concrete steps to overcome the challenges, the country should be prepared for a civil war,” the senior lawyer warned.

Walaiyadde endorsed security measures against the threat posed by those determined to overthrow the government outside of constitutional means, but declined to comment on ongoing legal proceedings regarding cases involving the protest movement and related actions. The outspoken lawyer said no one had emerged as the leader or leaders of the increasingly militant protest movement, although he initially claimed he was non-partisan and peaceful. The protest group tried to cover up their failure by claiming that they all represent management,

Nimesh Wijesuriya addressed issues related to the “protest movement” following the ongoing debate over the role played by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) in the overall project. Lawyer Manoli Jinadsa recently raised a very relevant question about the failure of the BASL to censor the “protest movement” for illegal acts such as the seizure of the President’s house, the Presidential Secretariat, the Prime Minister’s office and the burning of the then PM’s private residence. Since then, BASL President Saliya Pieris, PC has essentially responded to these accusations by stating that these cases are now pending before the courts.

Walaiyadde called traitors those who took part in protests outside the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), demanding outside intervention. Alleging that interested parties were spreading lies to undermine the government at the time, Walaiyadde said it needed to be addressed.

At the start of the programme, Bopage criticized the Wickremesinghe administration for ongoing attempts to suppress the “protest movement”. Alleging that Wickremesinghe exploited the public outcry to his advantage, Bopage demanded to know why the president changed his stance on many issues as soon as he was given the presidency.

Bopage said the “protest movement” would continue as long as the government failed to address burning issues. Strongly supporting the right to dissent, lawyer Gamage alleged that those who engaged in what he called the murderous politics of the 80s had taken advantage of the public struggling to make ends meet.

Condemning the attack carried out on Galle Face allegedly at the behest of Temple Trees on May 09, attorney Gamage accused far bigger conspirators of engineering meticulous violence across the country. Lawyer Gamage questioned the protest movement’s demand for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. successor. Stating that the UNP leader should be given the opportunity to address current issues, lawyer Gamage demanded to know what the FSP’s choice for the presidency was.

Former Additional Solicitor General Srinath Perera censured President Wickremesinghe for his past conduct in reference to treasury bill scams perpetrated in 2015 and 2916 during his tenure as prime minister while challenging the new president to investigate corruption cases high profile involving the Rajapaksa family.

Stating that the Rajapaksas would never be punished by an administration led by Wickremesinghe, Attorney Perera PC said the president’s intention was somehow to protect the corrupt fate. weight behind the urgency declared by the new leader.

Walaiyadde castigated the JVP and its FSP branch for violence directed against the state. The lawyer dismissed efforts to portray the “protest movement” as peaceful. The lawyer called for the toughest possible action against those who had engaged in violence. Colleagues Perera and Gamage accepted this position.

All said that while the right to dissent must be respected, efforts to subvert the country could in no way be tolerated.

Nuwan Bopage said the state/government has failed to respond to the grievances of the masses. The FSP spokesperson questioned the absurdity of lawyers representing the interests of the State/Government while the public was deprived of basic needs and two proper meals a day. Bopage argued that those who benefited from the utterly corrupt system shamelessly threw their weight behind deceptive leaders.

Gamage recalled how Bopage threatened IGP and other senior police officers, including Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon outside police headquarters. Bopage had no qualms about stating that they knew where the IGP and other senior officers lived, Bopage said. What the lawyer meant was that their residences too could be destroyed at any time. How could such actions be called peaceful?

Gamage alleged that those who inspire violence would not be there for those who end up in jail. The lawyer pointed out that hundreds of people taken into law enforcement for violent incidents would have borne the legal costs while those who inspired them turned a blind eye to their plight.


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