Will fight country’s executive; need to preserve judiciary’s independence: Sri Lankan Bar Association

NewsDrum Desk
19 Mar 2023

Colombo, Mar 19 (PTI)The Bar Association of Sri Lanka is to wage a battle to preserve the independence of judiciary from the pressure being asserted from the nation’s executive, said the legal body’s chairman Saliya Peiris on Sunday, emphaising that attempts were being made to systematically ignore court rulings.

Speaking during a seminar held in the southern town of Weligama, Peiris said that the legal fraternity should now allow the executives to put the judges under stress.

“We have seen that the executive is unwilling to obey court orders and attempts are being made to systematically ignore court rulings,” Peiris said.

“We must not allow the executive to put the judges under stress,” Peiris further stressed in a reference to the ongoing spat over the non holding of the local council elections.

The Supreme Court earlier this month issued an interim order asking the state officials not to hinder the election by not releasing the funds.

At least two government parliamentarians had raised a privileges issue in parliament over the interim order which they claimed was an abuse of parliamentary privileges.

Peiris said that the executive meaning the President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to not conduct the election was unacceptable and the use of parliament to bring pressure on the judiciary was an unhealthy development.

“All of us must fight against it,” Peiris said.

The election to appoint members to 340 local councils, originally fixed for March 9, did not take place as the government printer was unable to print the ballot papers required for the postal voting due to non availability of monies as the Treasury had not released them.

Later, April 25 was set as the new date but yet again the government printer said there is no money to print the ballot papers for the postal voting.

The main opposition SJB claims that state officials who block the electoral process could be charged for contempt of court. PTI CORR RUP RUP RUP RUP

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