July 16, Colombo: A lawyers' organization in Sri Lanka, the Lawyers Collective, has condemned the "sinister" move to intimidate the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), Upul Jayasuriya.
Mr. Jayasuriya has lodged a complaint at the Cinnamon Gardens police station yesterday stating that an unidentified group on a three wheeler and a motor bicycle had followed him for hours.
Issuing a statement, the Lawyers Collective said, "Mr Jayasuriya has been a strong leader of the Bar who has spoken strongly and fearlessly against the breach of Rule of Law, abuse of constitutional norms and erosion of democracy in Sri Lanka."
"We have witnessed a regular pattern of surveillance on civil society organizations, human rights defenders and individuals critical of the Government," the statement signed by conveners Lal Wijenayake and J.C. Weliamuna who are veteran lawyers said.
"There is also a series of unsolved crimes committed against those individuals where the Government has not shown any interest to investigate and prosecute the offenders. We consider the threat on the President of Bar Association as a serious indication of the prevailing questionable law and order situation of Sri Lanka."
While strongly condemning the intimidation on the Bar Association and its President, the Lawyers' Collective urged the government to conduct an impartial investigation and ensure protection of the President of the Bar Association.