FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Sri Lanka: Appeal for support: Sri Lankan law student’s life in danger for whistle-blowing about law college exams:


It is a sad state of affairs when the corruption and repression of state institutions reach all the way down into educational institutions preparing citizens to become lawyers, but such appears to be the case in Sri Lanka.

We link below to two items from the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on the case of a law student at the Sri Lanka Law College.

The Law College is a professional school in the English tradition that completes the training of prospective lawyers after they have graduated from university; the Sri Lanka Law College functions under the Council of Legal Education of Sri Lanka (for information on the Sri Lankan professional legal education system, see Sri Lanka Law College. In the case at hand, a law student, Thushara Jayarathne, blew the whistle on a leaked exam, only to be ignored by the University and then threatened by the state. As noted in the first item (a Notice of December 29, 2010, from the AHRC), the student has now gone into hiding: see “SRI LANKA: A whistle-blower who exposed the leakage of a question paper at Sri Lanka Law College forced into hiding”. Matters have, if anything, now worsened and the AHRC is so concerned that it is now treating the matter as an urgent appeal for global solidarity and expressions of concern: see “SRI LANKA: Police refuse to conduct investigation into malpractice during the Sri Lanka Law College exam and threaten the life of the complainant.”

This incident is a microcosm of the state of fear in Sri Lanka as well as both a metaphor for, and an example of, the breakdown of the rule of law in that country: for background, see a paper prepared for the Sri Lanka Campaign entitled “The Breakdown of the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka: An Overview”

The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice joins with the Asian Human Rights Commission in encouraging individuals and governments to take urgent action. A form for doing so, with a list of addresses for individual letters, can be found on the AHRC appeal page. A sample letter is also found at the foregoing link.

The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice further encourages administrations and student governments of law schools around the world (whether university-based faculties of law or professional state-run law schools), professional law societies, and associations of law schools to make clear to the Sri Lankan government and the university administration that the act of principle taken by this whistleblower should be welcomed and rewarded rather than serving as a basis for a threat to his security and even very life. Letters of concern and support can be sent to the following:

<<>>

Dr. H J F Silva, Principal,
Sri Lanka Law College,
244 Hulftdorp Street,
Colombo 12, P O Box 1501,
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Email: local@slt.lk

<<>>

Mr. Mahinda Balasuriya
Inspector General of Police
New Secretariat
Colombo 1
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877
E-mail: igp@police.lk

<<>>

Mr. Mohan Peiris
Attorney General
Attorney General’s Department
Colombo 12
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 436421
E-mail: ag@attorneygeneral.gov.lk

<<>>

Secretary
National Police Commission
3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers
109 Galle Road
Colombo 03
SRI LANKA
Tel: +94 11 2 395310 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting

+94 11 2 395310      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: +94 11 2 395867
E-mail: npcgen@sltnet.lk or polcom@sltnet.lk

<<>>

Secretary
Human Rights Commission
No. 36, Kynsey Road
Colombo 8
SRI LANKA
Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +94 11 2 694 925      end_of_the_skype_highlighting / 673 806
Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470
E-mail: sechrc@sltnet.lk

http://blog.srilankacampaign.org/2011/01/appeal-for-support-sri-lankan-law.html

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