The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) tothe head of a Local Government authority, on a group of protesters, who were protesting against the garbage dump at Kolonnawa on Sunday (27) night and demanded that the assailants be immediately apprehended and dealt with according to law, irrespective of their status
A statement issued by the Secretary of the BASL notes that among those injured in the attack were Nuwan Bopege, Attorney-at-Law.
“Bopege is also a member of the Executive Committee, who has courageously given leadership to the movement, which has campaigned for the rights of the people of the Kolonnawa and Meethotamulla areas to live in an environment free from the squalor and pollution caused by the uncontrolled dumping of garbage, which for years, has not been resolved by the authorities,” the statement said.
It is also apparent that the Police had through their inaction acquiesced in the attack, by withdrawing from the area a short time before, ostensibly giving the assailants an opportunity to freely attack the demonstrators.
“It is regrettable that this is the second time in a few days that politicians from the same area have been allegedly involved in violent criminal activity against civilians.
“The Bar Association calls upon the authorities to immediately investigate the matter and to arrest the perpetrators forthwith and bring them to justice. The Bar Association also calls upon both the President and the Prime Minister and other political leaders to take immediate steps to curb such unwarranted conduct on the part of politicians and to take deterrent action to prevent a recurrence of such incidents in the future.
“The Bar Association urges that the right of peaceful protest must be respected. and any limitation to such activity should be done only within the framework of the law and that too only by the authorities entitled to do so. Any attempt to use mob violence and thuggery on peaceful protesters is a serious affront to the Rule of Law and will be contrary to the principles of good governance,” the statement said.