Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sri Lanka: Prosecute Gnanasara Thera, BASL tells Attorney General

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called on the Attorney General Palitha Fernando to prosecute the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Galabodaaththe Gnanasara Thera,  for leading violent attacks on the Muslims of Authgama  last month resulting in the loss of life and property.

"The speech that Gnanasara Thera made in Authgama on June 15 contains offensive material inciting racial hatred against the Muslims. Sufficient prima facie evidence exists to prosecute the thera under the PTA, ICCPR Act and the Penal Code. We are of the view that no meaningful steps have been taken in this respect," BASL President Upul Jayasuriya has said in a communication to the AG.

While setting out the attacks that took place against the Aluthgama Muslims on June 15 and 16, some of which had occurred while the curfew was in force, he has also drawn the attention of the AG to the failure of the Police and the STF to act immediately in preventing the killings  and destruction  resulting in massive losses.

Jayasuriya has pointed out that the elected body of the unofficial bar which he heads was  expected to perfom  a "broader role in the due enforcement of the rule of law in our country and not merely as lawyers representing aggrieved parties to which you had adverted. You are fully aware that the lack of due diligence by most stakeholders has caused untold hardship and suffering to a large number of persons affected by the violence. In addition, indifference to the responsibilities vested in the law enforcement agencies has resulted in serious international concern as well. We believe that all of us have a duty to ensure high standards in the enforcement of the rule of law without fear or favour."
by Zacki Jabbar
The Island