SRI LANKA: State must act to end impunity

‘Lawyers for Democracy’ views with alarm the spate of attacks on civilians by the police during the recent past.  The case of the torture of Udaya Kumara of Udawalawe police station, the killing of Subash Indika of Pasyala and the shooting at a Three Wheeler at Katunayake are serious incidents of police excesses.  From the statement released by the media spokesman we do not see any serious attempt to act promptly to bring the offending officers before the law.  These incidents has taken place at a time when persons with political connections openly act in violation of the law in the presence of the police officers with impunity.

These incidents demonstrate the serious situation that has developed in our country where the life, property and liberty of law abiding citizens are at stake.  We vehemently condemn these actions.  It is seen that these incidents are taking place in the background where there is no accountability for wrongful acts committed by powerful politicians and public officers.

We strongly feel that it is timely to think deeply into these developments.  We clearly see that this situation is due to lack of accountability by the executive branch of the state.  The remedy lies in the abolition of the Executive Presidential System and reverting back to a parliamentary form of government where the executive power vests in a Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers answerable to Parliament every day.  This is a necessary preliminary step towards re establishment of rule of law and in fact democracy itself.   The space thus created can be made use of to establish good governance in the country.

Lal Wijenayake
Convener Lawyers for Democracy

‘Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) is a representative body of legal practitioners throughout the island.  Conveners include Lal Wijenayake, Chandrapala Kumarage, J. C. Weliamuna, K. S. Ratnavale, Sudath Netthisinghe, Sudarshana Gunawardana.  It was established on 10th December 2009’.

Document Type : Forwarded Statement
Document ID : AHRC-FST-041-2014
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Democracy, Extrajudicial killings, Judicial system, Rule of law, Torture,