SRI LANKA: The national need for a committed professional body for lawyers aimed at regulating the legal profession

An Open Letter from Mr. Nagananda Kodituwakku, Chula Ranjeewa Adikari, and Sugandhika Fernando to Lawyers, forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

To all lawyers with good repute, general public and media institutions

07th April 2018

It is now common knowledge that there is no equality before the law and the people have lost their trust and confidence in the judiciary and the legal profession.

Yet, it is apparent that nobody comes out with remedial measures to address this major concern widely debated here and abroad. It has now been identified by us, that the absence of an independent professional body for lawyers is a major contributory factor for this deplorable st.ite of affairs, which is a national tragedy.

The undemocratic, anti-social and unethical policies adopted by the BASL have been instrumental for the decline of the professional standards of the legal fraternity which in turn have assisted the Executive and the Legislature to keep the judiciary under their firm grip. This has paved the way for the rulers to govern with no regard or respect to the sovereign rights of the people and their legitimate expectations whilst robbing the Nation at will.

Having grasped this sordid reality, we, being a collection of lawyers, whose sole objective is to safeguard the rule of law, judicial independence and to preserve the dignity of the profession have resolved to create a truly professional body for the lawyers which would ensure the realization of the of the expected goals.

At the 2017 BASL elections, only 3012 members out of a membership of over 15,000 had voted to elect the President, indicating the loss of confidence and interest in the organisation, which has simply become a tool in the hands of rulers in power.

In view of the above, with profound respect we invite all the lawyers with good repute to take part in the event organized by us at the National Library Services Association Auditorium, Independence Avenue on 10″‘ April 2018 from 4 pm onwards.

This forum is open to the concerned General Public as well.

Nagananda Kodicuwakku Convener Chula Ranjeewa Adikari Convener Sugandhika Fernando Convener