Written by Bella Dalima
26 Nov, 2014 | 8:24 pm
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka says it is prepared to take the necessary legal action against illegal activities carried out in the run up to the presidential election.
These views were expressed during a discussion held on Wednesday, organised by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and civil society representatives at the Headquarters of the BASL.
The BASL also commented on the recent acts of violence over the past few days in light of the announcement of a presidential election.
President of BASL, Attorney at Law, Upul Jayasuriya expressed these views:
[quote]The Bar Association of Sri Lanka is a political organisation. Neither have we had the necessity to join a political party. But there is a law in this country. Our objective is to enforce the law and prevent it from being just a notion. For example, a member of an opposition party was shot in Maggona. So, it is the highest responsibility of the police to safeguard the lives of these innocent people. So, when the police fails to fulfill that responsibility, we, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka will spearhead the required legal action in court, to ensure that the law is upheld.[/quote]
Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union raised questions as to what legal action could be enforced on the use of state officials for election propaganda in return for various benefits.
[quote]During this time-frame of the elections, there have been several reports of distribution of money, or at times providing them with food and drinks or making certain promises with benefits in relation to their profession and various other malpractices. So, if the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption fails to take legal action against this, the BASL will file cases against the officials and state officials responsible, and take the necessary action with the request of the Attorney General, in accordance with the Elections Act.[/quote]
Journalists questioned, if the BASL received a written document on the president’s referral of the Supreme Court on whether he could contest a third term in office.
[quote]We submitted a request to the Registrar of the Supreme Court on this but we received no response. There are apparently several signatures on this 2- page determination but we do not even know whose signatures these are. We have a strong suspicion that this determination was not given by the Supreme Court.[/quote]
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