Posted on July 13th, 2023


Bar association’ should be shamed for their one-sided stance with regard to the ongoing debate about the speech done by MP Sarath Weerasekara in the Parliament on 7th July 2023. It is very clear that BA stands for what and aligned with whom. Sure it is not the general opinion of all the members but of a few with vested interests. Below reply given by MP Sarath Weerasekara is self-explanatory…

The President,

Bar Association of Sri Lanka,


Dear Sir,

This refers to your press release appeared in The Island on 12th July 23.

 I totally reject your allegation that my statement in Parliament was a brazen attack on the judiciary.  You are invited to listen carefully to my parliamentary speech on 7th July 2023.

 I consider this press release was to show your solidarity with the lawyers in Mulative without probing into the relevant incident that occurred at Kurundi Buddhist Temple Complex.

Every citizen in the country is fully aware that judiciary should be allowed to operate independently, free of external pressures etc. which, the Bar  Association doesn’t have to emphasize.

I must remind the BA that once the TNA legislative M A Sumanthiran , in parliament, accused the Supreme Court , the highest judiciary, of swinging like a pendulum. During the debate on 22 A, to the constitution, he said if the Supreme Court can’t read and understand their own determination, ask them ” to go home “!. Why didn’t BA issue a statement condemning that? Was it not a brazen attack on judiciary? Is the BA afraid of Sumanthiran?

I would like to remind the Bar Association the report submitted by the special rapporteur  Monica Pinto on “Sri lankan judiciary” to the UNHRC. A few of the  allegations she has leveled against our judiciary were as under.

a. Judges are reportedly often offered government or other political offices after retirement. This practice raises concern regarding possible conflict of interest and casts doubts on the independence and impartiality of the judges who may be hoping to obtain such positions.

b. Overall,  judicial independence seems to have been gradually eroded over the years.

c. Bar Association during certain periods strongly divided along political lines. The politicization of the association is a source of great concern.

d. Judges frequently push defendants to plead guilty. When defendants plead guilty judges can expedite their cases and improve their statistics.

e. In general the Admin of justice should be more transparent, decentralised and democratic.

We haven’t seen the BA , who is supposed to safeguard the independence and dignity of our judiciary, making any statement against such a derogatory report.

However I must mention that  I volunteered and attended the UNHRC session on 18 th June 2017 and declared that Monica’ s report was a derogatory and contemptuous towards our judiciary with a proud history of 200 hundred years.

Also I questioned the ability and qualifications of Pinto to read, study and analyse and asked her how she came to a conclusion that SL judges were incompetent, incapable, poorly selected, corrupt, cowardly and partial within just 8 days of visit to the country.

I said it was a preconceived and predetermined observation of Pinto and invited all to go through the achievements of the judges who work for the judiciary in foreign countries.

This was how I safeguarded the pride of our judiciary at international level when the BA was keeping quiet together with the lawyers of Mulative who are now protesting against me.

I as a parliamentarian is fully aware how to conduct myself in parliament. I request BA to visit North and observe the manner in which our Buddhist ruins are being plundered and destroyed by ruffians and how the Chaithyas are raised to the ground and conducting poojas  by placing  Shiva Lungas on top of it.

The archeological officers are threatened with death and cases filed with the help of Mulative lawyers to deliberately delay renovations and then destroy  what has been already preserved.

If the BA is concerned about upholding the rule of law , she must pay serious attention to that aspect which might lead to communal conflict in future.

We all respect our judiciary. But the lawyers also have a moral obligation by the country to think twice before appearing for goons who destroy our heritage.

Rear Admiral ( Dr ) Sarath Weerasekera VSV RWP USP

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