The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) call upon those occupying President’s House, Temple Trees and the Presidential Secretariat premises to ensure that the proper authorities are given custody of these buildings. They also call upon those occupying them to ensure the protection of documents and other public properties, many of which are of archaeological significance. BASL also call upon them to respect the sanctity of these buildings.
The events of July 9th, 2022, are unprecedented in the history of our nation reflecting the deep dissatisfaction of the public, drawing hundreds of thousands of protestors to Colombo. The protests have led to the impending resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Party Leaders Meeting has announced that the election of his successor will be held on July 20th, 2022.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) reiterates its call for a smooth and peaceful transition of power and welcomes the short time frame adopted by the Party Leaders which should be adhered to.
The contribution and sacrifices made by the people seeking a real change in Sri Lanka during the last few months are immeasurable. Whilst it is important to keep in focus the demands and aspirations of the protesting public, it is equally important to ensure an orderly transition, continued respect for the Rule of Law, and to Constitutionalism in Sri Lanka. Respect for the Rule of Law and to Constitutionalism is essential to protect the rights of the people of Sri Lanka and their livelihoods.
The BASL is deeply concerned of statements attributed to various parties including those who were part of the protest groups which appear to undermine the rule of law and Constitutional Governance in Sri Lanka. The BASL unequivocally states that at this decisive time in our county it is absolutely necessary that all citizens, respect the Rule of Law and Constitutional Governance. It is not in the best interests of our country or its people to ignore the provisions of the Constitution which is the framework under which Sri Lanka is governed. Respect for the Constitution, its Institutions and the Rule of Law will ensure the continuing functions of the Government which are vital to the life of the community and its people.
The BASL also notes that the President’s House, Temple Trees and the Presidential Secretariat are being occupied by members of the protest groups and that large crowds continue to visit the premises. The BASL is extremely concerned of reports of acts of vandalism at Temple Trees and the President’s House. We call upon those occupying these premises to ensure that the proper authorities are given custody of these buildings. We also call upon those occupying them to ensure the protection of documents and other public properties, many of which are of archaeological significance. We also call upon them to respect the sanctity of these buildings.
We urge all Parties to continue to find solutions to the current economic and political instability in a democratic manner, through the existing constitutional framework and legal process and to advocate for changes in a manner that does not undermine the administration of justice.