A group of well-known lawyers have expressed concerns about the government’s move to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe the conduct of former Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva. The signatories to the letter include Attorneys Saliya Peiris, J. C. Weliamuna, Upul Jayasuriya, J. C. Boange, U. R. Wijetunga, Jayantha Dias and K. A. R. Abeygunawardena. In a letter to Shibly Aziz, President of the Bar Association, the 11 lawyers have urged him to convene a Special Meeting of the Bar Association to adopt a resolution calling upon the government to withdraw the appointment of the PSC.
The draft resolution proposed by the group of lawyers’ state, “The Bar Association views with grave concern, the appointment of a PSC to inquire into the conduct, during the tenure of his office, of a retired Supreme Court Judge, in a context where the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka provides for an inquiry only in respect of a sitting judge, in terms of the Article 107, of the Constitution of the country”.
It further states, “Whereas, the Bar Association is committed to uphold, safeguard and protect the independence of the Judiciary in terms of Article 2 of the Constitution of the Bar Association, and wherefore, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka vehemently protests and deplores the appointment of the PSC, and therefore, calls upon the Government to withdraw the appointment of the PSC and the whole process of inquiry, thereof, forthwith”.
Prominent criminal lawyer Tirantha Walaliyadde, PC has initiated the campaign to pressure the Bar Association to adopt a resolution condemning the government’s decision to appoint a PSC. (Ayesha Zuhair)