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Bar association concerns over arbitrary arrests and rule of law

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The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has raised alarm about what it said was a rise in arbitrary arrests and criminal activity.

“Our legal system provides for investigation, inquiry, trial, and punishment by proper authorities which is the base of democracy and the Rule of Law, and, the credibility and transparency of such process, must be diligently and fiercely preserved.”

In a statement, the BASL’s Executive Committee firmly condemned the regrettable shooting incident that transpired in Weligama, resulting in the tragic demise of a Police Sergeant and the injury of a Sub Inspector from the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). “This incident purportedly occurred within the context of an operation aimed at apprehending a group allegedly engaged in illicit drug activities.”

The BASL also underscored the utmost significance of adhering to due process and upholding the rule of law.

The association deemed police raids, including the demolition of property carried out without valid search warrants and/or valid search orders, whilst flagrantly violating established legal protocols, render them unlawful.

It noted that such unwarranted actions not only undermine the bedrock principles of justice but also erode public confidence in the integrity of law enforcement agencies.

“In terms of Article 13 (4) of the Constitution, no person shall be punished with death or imprisonment except by order of a competent court. Hence, even a convicted criminal has a right not to be arbitrarily deprived of his life except in accordance with procedure established by law.”

The prospect of extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests presents a deeply disconcerting opportunity for the abuse of power, the statement read further.

The BASL’s statement further read: “Our collective legacy will harshly judge us if we remain silent in the face of such grave transgressions. It is imperative that the authorities act in full accordance with the law, ensuring that justice is served for both the victims and the accused parties involved.

“Moreover, we express deep concern over recent statements made by the Minister of Public Security, which implicate certain lawyers as conspirators with drug offenders. The absence of police accountability and the grant of unchecked impunity create an environment where no individual can feel secure.

“BASL underscores the urgent need for transparency, accountability, and the protection of the rights of all individuals engaged in legal proceedings.

In light of these disconcerting developments, BASL calls upon the authorities to promptly rectify these issues, hold the responsible parties accountable, and restore public trust in the justice system. It is only by steadfastly upholding the principles of due process and ensuring the primacy of the rule of law that we can establish a society that is equitable and just for all its members.”

Source – adaderana

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94th Battle of the Maroons ends in a draw (Pics)

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The 94th Battle of the Maroons between Ananda and Nalanda concluded in a draw at SSC grounds. 

Despite the draw, Ananda secured a first innings lead, having declared their first innings at 286 for 9 wickets in response to Nalanda’s first innings total of 277 for 8 wickets, which was declared on the first day.

In the second innings, Nalanda, batting at 120 for 3 wickets, maintained a cautious approach, and the match ended without either team pursuing a more aggressive strategy in their first innings.

Ananda’s all-rounder Kithma Withanaparhirana played a notable innings, scoring 76 runs in 92 balls with 11 fours and a six on the second day. 

However, the team fell short of a century, with number three batter Dinada Athalage contributing a significant knock of 71 runs in 165 balls with 9 fours.

Despite the draw, the match witnessed commendable performances from key players, with Nalanda skipper Sajitha Vithanage earning the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten century.

Both teams showcased sportsmanship in the annual encounter, and Nalanda retained the N.M. Perera Trophy, presented by former Nalandian legend Stanley Jayasinghe. 

The trophy has been a symbol of the prestigious Battle of the Maroons series.

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Term tests for Western province suspended

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The term tests for grade 10 and 11 in the Western province schools has been postponed after some of the question papers were shared on social media ahead of the examination.

A senior official said that the decision had been taken after complaints that several question papers had been leaked out before the examinations.

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Russian Naval Ship Varyag Visits Colombo

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The Russian Naval Ship Varyag has arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit. 

This 187m long Missile Cruiser, manned by a crew of 529, is led by Flag Officer Captain 1st Rank Velichko Anatoly Vasicievich, with Captain 2nd Rank Glushakov Roman Nikolaevich serving as the Commanding Officer.

During their stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is expected to participate in various programs organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, fostering camaraderie and exploring tourist attractions in the country. 

The official visit will conclude, and Varyag is set to depart from the island tomorrow.

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