Written by Tharushan Fernando
13 Aug, 2016 | 10:16 pm
The 29th LAWASIA Conference, which also celebrates fifty years in supporting the Rule of Law in the region, commenced on the evening of Friday, August 12, under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
LAWASIA brings together, the peak bodies representing lawyers of the region, and individual members of the legal community from around the world.
The president stated that it is of utmost importance that the three pillars – the judiciary ,the legislature and executive fulfill its duties to strengthen the rule of law that is necessary for the functioning of a good society. The president point out this is what is hoped for in society by the public.
He explained the policies followed by the judiciary when adjourning a case to be taken up on another day, stating that important cases that the public are interested in are being adjourned for a long period of time, and observed that this has been happening in the recent past.
Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe added that the Missing Persons Office is not in anyway an instrument to witch hunt anyone.
“We had a witch hunt when the Commander of the Army was brought before the courts – stripped of his ranks and put into jail”, charged the premier who stated that this should not happen again. He reminded the gathering of “a terrorist campaign led by a terrorist organisation” and pointed out that “all those members are dead.” So, there is no way in which you can prosecute them but there are large number of people who died, in the north and the south and some who went missing after the war was over.
He stated that the families of the missing people want to know the truth – and truth will lead to reconciliation
Veterans in the legal profession also spoke at the event.
The conference was declared open on its second day on Saturday by the Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge.
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