ORGANISATION OF PROFESSIONALS, BAR ASSOCIATION, AND PROFESSIONALISM TOWARDS NATION BUILDING
Posted on October 30th, 2017

Sarath Wijesinghe – former Ambassador to UAE and Israel

Professionalism and Historical Aspects”

Profession is a vocation on specialized educational training and professionalism is any type of work that needs special training or practical skills after training a high level of education. OPA set up in 1974 is currently the most powerful professional body with 53 professional associations ever growing serving the community with professional up liftmen and development/prosperity in all sectors. Professionalism is deteriorating in Sri Lanka which has spread to all sectors of the community/nation at a rapid rate. Bar Association is a live wire at the formation of the OPA created to set up a professional organisation with a grant from Commonwealth Foundation by a group led by late Dr.H W Jayawardena, late W P Gunitalaka Dr Nath Amarakoon, A B W Jayasekara and many other pioneers. APSL – Association of professionals in the United Kingdom is a powerful professional body initiated by a group of Sri Lankans which is a powerful organisation in the UK today, with the Sri Lankan Lawyers Association (ASSLU) in the United Kingdom indicates that professionalism is not something alien to us and takes wherever we are. A professional is considered and respected by the community on the ability, expert knowledge and experience offered to the Nation for Nation Building. For example a plumber or a brick layer who is no second to any other professional considered at the APSL and other professional organisations as a professional in the nation building process. Plumbers are paid well and the University degree on plumbing in UK is considered in highest esteem. What are the services rendered and expected of the professionals in Sri Lanka, and do they serve the nation in nation building expected by a professional/community are moot issues to be answered? Professionals need a sound knowledge and experience on Soft Skills to improve language IT and personality building skills and a workshop is organized at OPA on 27th November from 6.00 to 9.00 in the evening with a main speaker Professor Rajive Wijesinha- a world renewed personality on the subject- as a service to the Nation open free to the public. It is a pity that still journalists have not obtained the membership in this organisation of professionals and it is time they join OPA as a body of professionals in order to carry the message of professionalism forward and this workshop is an ideal opportunity for them to learn and familiarise with the functioning of OPA and be a part/party in the nation building process.

Professionals and Professionalism in Sri Lanka

It is sad but true to state In Sri Lanka professionalism is lacking among professionals and other citizens who are expected to act as professionals though they are not legally qualified to be professionals who more often act better than professionals applying the common sense and common knowledge. For example though politicians in the other parts of the world are professionals in the profession of politics, Sri Lankan politicians belong to the worst category in the world – greedy for money, power, perks, and vehicles instead of at least acting professionally based on common knowledge / common-sense with love to the nation and the fellow citizens. It is a learning process to follow political debates in the United Kingdom when political debates in Sri Lanka are full of mudslinging, accusations and irrelevant materials. Profession and professionals in Sri Lanka are not properly supervised and monitored as in the other parts of the world. The celebrated and powerful

legal profession lacks proper mechanisms to maintain the integrity and safety of the citizen/client as in the other jurisdictions. In the United Kingdom a solicitor should be insured for 10 million pounds, and compelled to follow the continuing education process to improve and update the legal knowledge monitored by the law Society- the professional body very strict on disciplinary mattes of the solicitor disciplinary body consisting of even non-lawyers as members. No such safeguards and monitoring process available in Sri Lanka blindly following colonial patterns still calling judges as Lords not even practiced in the USA. It is time for the OPA to adopt common standards and criteria for the professionals and conduct workshop/s for professional development instead of being inert and unprofessional on public matters which has direct bearing on the citizen and nation building process. OPA must fearlessly engaged and interfere in public matters concerning the country and the profession without involvement of divisions and political influence. When the country is going through a crisis OPA and BASL should be alive and interfere directly in the right directing to direct the governance and the nation. Are they doing this honourable duty is a hot issue requires answers and clarifications?

Nation Building/OPA/BASL and Commercial Sector”

Nation building team are those members of the state and private sector who take the initiative to develop the national community through government and private sector including military – conscriptions if necessary- and national projects on mass schooling involving the propaganda and development to international economy and economic growth- Harris Mylonas”, Indicates the professionals are the leading force/army in the forward economic and political developments, international and local trade/business, infrastructure, constructions, agriculture, power energy, education, technology, research ,health, and all/many other sectors in nation building which is a part of good governance. Nation building includes preserving and protection of the supreme law of the nation and rule of law promoting due process which includes maintaining of sovereignty territorial integrity and resist international interventions and treatment of all citizens alike with no divisions fear or favour to any group or individuals in a peaceful society devoid of corruption nepotism racial discrimination and fear from drugs, criminals, underworld and corrupt politicians who are responsible for the downfall of the country due to their excessive greed for power, money, and vehicles they love so much.

Apart from OPA and BASL, the Chambers of Commerce, Management, and educational institutions, industrialists, leader of trade and business enterprises, are part of the team in the protection and nation building team to save promote and protect the country they live for the future generation, peace, development of their country and planet preventing destruction/disasters based on environment/unplanned mega construction and manmade acts of self-destruction.

Team of Nation Builders- contribution/s

The team of nation builders should identify the needs and challenges ahead of the pathetic plight of the citizen as a result of excessive greed and emergence of the selfish nature of the human belongs to the animal kingdom with love for vehicles (3.1 billion for tax free vehicles and two hundred thousand per day for the maintenance of ministers alone apart from other perks). Today priorities are misunderstood and values are forgotten. OPA once a Giant” has come down to the position of a Rat” not considered and consulted by the governance as before, governance overjoying and capitalising the dead silence of the OPA and unnecessary affiliations with the state machinery, instead of being impartial and straight giving priority to nation building process sans personal glory and benefits with unholy friendships and attachments for posts and powers. We wish and pray a new life will be dawned and transformed with the newly elected office bearers of the OPA expecting a steady transformation towards nation building. BASL- the fearless organisation for Justice and fair play got out of the clutches of NGO’sm dominating regime changes with organisations with international agendas (example US Aid- German fat cat NGO s with bags of dollars) in order to maintain independence and integrity of the profession and professionals. As a result of timely intervention and unanimous decision of the Bar Council on 28th Nov at the monthly meeting of the representative membership to sever connections

with the alleged NGO forthwith to prevent using BASL logo for their publicity stunts BASL was able to maintain the integrity and independence towards nation building. Leadership and integrity of the president of the BASL is commendable when compared to the partiality and ineffective of the two predecessors whose intentions and integrity were questionable and in doubt. Fearless and timely intervention of the BASL to be alive on the proposed set of proposals on the supreme law of the nation influenced by foreign powers, NGO’s and anti Sri Lankan Geneva resolution is a precedent/example to the OPA and other members/organizations of the nation building team to be careful vigilant and act towards the correct direction. Most damages are done in the name of reconciliation when the unity of the tolerant Sri Lankan society is an example to the other parts of the divided world.

Way forward”

We are a country of tolerance and goodwill – citizens with a smile setting an example for reconciliation proved with the ethnic proportion and peaceful living in co-existence with all communities in Colombo – the Capital of Sri Lanka with Muslims as the majority second Tamil and Sinhalese third yet living in harmony and brotherly environment, unfortunately when the Chief Minster in the North lived most of his life in Colombo and children married to Sinhalese- is demanding removal of Sinhalese and Buddhist historical monuments from North and evacuation of Sinhalese from Jaffna which is worrying and directly against the principles of reconciliation we are used to as a nation. Government or foreign powers cannot impose reconciliation process on us which is a dollar spinner industry. Nation building team has a main part to play on this process and strengthen the bonds already strong to become stronger with economic prosperity and political integration in a unitary Sri Lanka. The professionals must take over politics from corrupt politicians to prevent our country from disintegration into pieces due to foolish power-hungry politicians greedy for money power and vehicles.

(Sarath Wijesinghe – the main initiator of APSL and ASLLUK in the UK can be contacted on [email protected] takes responsibility to the contents of this article)

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