Jayasuriya politicises BASL Convention
Attempts by the new Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President
Upul Jayasuriya to politicise the highly respected professional body of
lawyers, saw Attorney General Palitha Fernando PC walking out of
yesterday's BASL annual convention at the Nawarangahala.
Jayasuriya, who is well-known for his UNP affiliations, had invited
former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake who had been found guilty of
three charges by a Parliamentary Select Committee and is facing bribery
and corruption charges, without sending a mandatory invitation to Chief
Justice Mohan Peiris. Since the customary invitation had not been sent
to the Chief Justice, the Attorney General had walked out of the event
when Shirani Bandaranayake made an unceremonial entry, much to the
dislike of the majority of lawyers present.
Later, Shirani Bandaranayake had graced the induction of Jayasuriya
as the President of the BASL. Several lawyers too walked out of the
event, following the action of the Attorney General. It was reported
that judges and senior lawyers too had kept away from last night's
reception, following Jayasuriya's high-handed act, attempting to make
the BASL a political organ of the UNP.