|Police became onlookers!|
Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem today stated that as a fellow lawyer and member of the Bar Association, he strongly condemns the alleged threatening of the Mannar Magistrate by a Minister and the attack on the court complex.
The Judges Association of Sri Lanka (JASL) say they will resort to legal action while the Bar Association of Sri Lanka had decided to boycott court proceedings today, after a Minister had allegedly threatened the Mannar Magistrate demanding that he overturn a ruling.
The attack reportedly saw mobs hurling stones at police and court buildings in the town of Mannar on Wednesday, and police firing tear gas at the protesters.
Hakeem stated that it was deeply regretful that such a situation had risen.
He said he had been informed of the incident by the Judicial Service Commission and that yesterday it was reported that the Judges Association of Sri Lanka has decided to strike. “Such a strike action is not a normal occurrence.”
When inquired by reporters regarding the alleged involvement of a Cabinet Minister in the incident, Hakeem said as the Justice Minister he was not willing to speak about another minister.
“However, as a lawyer I condemn such an incident, if it had occurred.”
On the upcoming Provincial Council elections he stated that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is a ‘decisive force’ in contesting the Eastern Province election, be it as a coalition party of the government or independently.
The SLMC leader added that other criticisms could exist over the move to contest the election alone, however emphasized that the party has not engaged in any betraying of trust.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) at a meeting with the Attorney General had requested that necessary action be taken to arrest the minister and other suspects who were involved in a mob attack on the Mannar Courts complex.
The BASL president Wijedasa Rajapakse PC said he met the Attorney General at his office and requested him to take necessary action to arrest those involved in the incident including a government minister.
Mr. Rajapakse said all lawyers in the country decided to refrain from carrying out their duties in Courts protest over the mob attack on the Mannar Courts complex. Mr. Rajapakse said the BASL had taken a decision to file contempt of court charges in the Court of Appeal against those involved in the attack.
Work at all Courts in the country came to standstill yesterday after the BASL and Judges Associations refrained from carrying out their normal duties in protest of the threats on Mannar Magistrate by a minister and attack on the Mannar Court complex. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)