The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is committed to the rule of law and democracy. In keeping with its objectives, the BASL calls upon all persons to ensure a free and fair Parliamentary Election to be conducted on August 17, BASL said in a media statement.
It said: “We call upon all citizens of Sri Lanka as persons of one united country, to exercise their right to vote and not to go by default even though there could be a tendency to apathy and lack of interest. Do exercise the fundamental rights given to you and exercise it meaningfully and responsibly to ensure a clean, decent and democratic country free from lawlessness and arbitrariness.
“We call upon all citizens to be vigilant and to act responsibly against all forms of election violations such as thuggery, intimidation and any form of illegal influence or acts of bribery or threatening and to think independently and objectively. We call upon the public to report without fear, to the authorities including the Commissioner of Elections and the Police, all forms of violations of election laws, especially the abuse of state resources and the media.”
The BASL also commended the Elections Commissioner and his staff for steadfastly upholding the law and called upon public servants including the Elections Commissioner and his staff, the Inspector General of Police and his officers, the District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries and their officers and all Grama Sevaka Niladaris to carry out their duties by the country and its citizens without fear or favour so that the country will have a free and fair election.
“The BASL will freely assist and defend everyone including government officials who may face any consequences or pressure on account of their having responsibly and steadfastly upheld the law in the interest of good governance, democracy, our country and its people.
“The BASL will take immediate steps to address issues of violations of election laws, especially of unlawful activities including bribery posters/banners, hoardings, cutouts and to prevent the abuse of State property and resources.
“The BASL will advice the public on the availability of its members throughout the country towards assisting them in all matters related to the elections and or acts of violation of election laws.
“The BASL also requests and call upon all Professional Organisations to support and assist it in this endeavour.”