For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
‘It is very harmful, when the judicial system and judges are defamed by the state media, with political blessings. It is very unfortunate that those who govern the country fail to realize this situation. It will take a very long time to remedy this damage. Present rulers will have to bear the responsibility some day’ said Gampaha District UNP MP Mr. Karu Jayasuriya..
He was addressing a media conference in Colombo today( 21)
‘Democracy was protected to some extent due to the independent judiciary we had in this countrybut here is a completely different environment after the impeachment, with undesirable trends emerging after the impeachment.
‘At present the underworld and a gang of goons who receive political patronage is active.
‘Prior to the impeachment senior Lawyer Mr. Gunaratne Wanninayake, Mr. Manjula Thilaratne, Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission, Mr. Upul Jayasuriya President of the Bar Association and Senior lawyer received death threats.
Gunfire was aimed at the residence of Mr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, P.C., former President of the Bar Association. Lawyers who participated in the protest rallies were threatened and harassed.
A goon who came on a motor cycle harassed and tried to strangle a lady lawyer who joined the protest.
‘It was reported that there were telephone calls threatening some judges who gave the judgment on the petition filed by Mrs. Shirani Bandaranayake.
Those who appear for impartial and independent judiciary are still subjected to various threats.
‘This situation is getting aggravated daily. We repeatedly said that a situation of this nature will emerge, Mr Jayasuriya said.
The humiliation to judges and the legal profession is more severe.
The difficulties faced by the public are getting aggravated daily. We see the attempt to keep suspects in custody for 48 hours as a measure to subjugate the civil activists who rise against the oppressive situation.
We bring these facts to the notice of the government in good faith. We wish to remind those who are in power to draw the attention to the above without being intoxicated with the power of the two third majority, Mr. Jayasuriya pointed out.