BASL expresses concern over safety threats to Counsels 

Thursday, 26 October 2023 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President Kaushalya Nawaratne yesterday said the association was concerned about the safety of its members after a female counsel was attacked by a suspect at the Galagedara Magistrate Court on 17 October. 

According to Nawaratne, the BASL has taken serious note of the incident that took place while the court was in session. “Members of the Bar should have the freedom to discharge their professional duties without any fear of life,” he said, taking to social media.  The BASL led by Nawaratne along with BASL Secretary Isuru Balpatabendi and BASL members of the Kandy and Galagedara Bars appeared before the courts when the case relating to the incident was taken up yesterday. He said the counsels were there to assist the Galagedara Police to ensure that justice was delivered to the victim.

“It is imperative for the BASL among other matters to ensure the rights of the members are protected, especially their safety. Further, the dignity and the authority of court should necessarily be safeguarded,” he added. 

On the day of the incident, the suspect identified as Lalitha Sandaruwan, a former local council candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) who was arrested for a drug-related charge, had escaped from the holding cell and attempted to strangle a female counsel appearing for another defendant in court. He was presented before the court yesterday under a contempt of court charge for his actions.