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BASL raises grave concern over Ruling Party MPs’ comments on Supreme Court ruling

By: Isuru Parakrama

Colombo (LNW): The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has raised grave concerns over the recent statements made by Ruling Party MP Premnath C. Dolawatte and State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe in Parliament referring to an ongoing Supreme Court case pertaining to the Local Government Election, stating that they constitute an interference with the judicial process and undermine the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka.

In a statement dated March 11, 2023, the Executive Committee of the BASL emphasised that Dolawatte’s comment alleging that the Supreme Court’s interim order on the Fundamental Rights (FR) application bearing SCFR 69/2023 breaches Parliamentary Privilege and Semasinghe’s request to the Deputy Speaker to advise the relevant authorities ‘not to proceed and take any action’ on the said order until the Ruling Party MP’s sentiment is reviewed by the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges constitute an ‘interference with the judicial process and undermine the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka.’

“The independence of the judiciary is part of the intangible heritage of the people of Sri Lanka and all organs of the State must recognise that an independent judiciary is essential to ensure that justice be done between the citizen and the State and between citizens,” the statement said, urging the government “to learn from the lessons of history and to refrain from undermining the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka.”

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