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Sri Lanka's PCol undermines the rule of law warns leading lawyers

Twelve lawyers, all Presidents’ Counsels, have made a written complaint that some of the recommendations in the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), which was appointed to probe incidents of Political Victimisation of public servants, may be undermining the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and maybe eroding the impartial and efficient functioning of the Attorney General’s Department. 

The Daily Mirror has reported that recommendations within the report includes the acquittal of former Parliamentarian, Duminda Silva, from all charges filed against him. Silva was sentenced to death by the High Court of Sri Lanka in 2016 for the murder of Sri Lankan politician, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, a political rival.

The team of lawyers sent the signed letter to the Secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Rajeev Amarasuriya, and have requested for a certified copy of the full proceedings along with the final report.

Further, a petition was signed by a group of forty Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarians urging the Chief Justice, Jayantha Jayasuriya PC, to institute contempt of court action against the commissioners on the basis of the recommendations made in the PCoI report. 

Last month, UN human rights experts expressed their concern over the establishment of the PCoI for seeking to halt legal proceedings in ongoing disappearance cases, as well as the granting of pardon to former Army Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake, convicted for the murder of civilians, including children in the Mirusuvil massacre.

Read more here.

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