July 10, Colombo: Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala today strongly denying the claims made by the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Kalinga Indatissa said no approval was given to establish a branch of the American Bar Association or any of its affiliated institutions.
Issuing a statement in response to certain comments made by the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), during a discussion with Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa on July 05, the Minister said his statement is completely baseless.
Athukorale said that as the subject minister she has not granted permission for any such institution to be established in Sri Lanka.
"I completely reject the statement made by the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka President's Counsel Kalinga Indatissa addressing the Hon. Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa on 05.07.2017, that as the Justice Minister I have no objection to the establishment of a branch of the American Bar Association or any of its affiliates."
"As the subject Minister in charge, I have not authorized the establishment of any such institution in Sri Lanka."
She said it seems that the President of the BASL, by presenting the false information to the Opposition Leader without even inquiring from the country's President, the Prime Minister or herself, the Minister of Justice, regarding the matter has harmed the long-standing reputation of the Bar Association for his narrow political objectives.
The minister further charged that as the President of the Bar Association, Presidentís Counsel Kalinga Indatissa has undermined the entire Bar Association by making such false statements without making any inquiries.
She said that such false statements deceive the masses and that once it is proven that these facts are incorrect, the people will lose their long-standing trust in the BASL.
"As Sri Lankans living in this country, I assure you that our Government, including the President, the Prime Minister and myself will not act in any manner that may harm or affect our motherland," Minister Atukorala said.