BBS, BASL lock horns

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:46 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • BBS General Secretary insults lawyers outside court
  • BASL studying reports, will file contempt charges if true
By Dharisha Bastians The Bodu Bala Sena and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka have locked horns, after two lawyers filed a police complaint alleging that the Buddhist group’s leading monk had made abusive remarks against them outside the Fort Magistrate’s Court. Lawyers Maithree Guneratne and Shiraz Noordeen were representing Ven. Watarake Vijitha Thero who is filing action against the Bodu Bala Sena and its General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero for disrupting a press briefing at Nippon Hotel in April. The lawyers told police that the BBS General Secretary had passed by them, making inflammatory and racially charged remarks while the two attorneys were addressing the media outside the court complex yesterday. The General Secretary’s remarks were made in full hearing of media personnel. The complaint by the lawyers has been referred to the Magistrate who has ordered the police to investigate. Speaking to Daily FT, BASL President Attorney-at-Law Upul Jayasuriya said the incident had been reported to the Bar and it was mulling action. “We have to look into the incident. If the facts as reported are true, the BASL will be filing contempt charges against him,” Jayasuriya said. The Bodu Bala Sena meanwhile has summoned a press briefing today at which they are expected to react to the BASL. In two letters to the Attorney General over the past month, the BASL has also urged the State prosecutor to take legal action against the BBS. “The impunity with which this group has acted during the past two years has brought additional accusations against the country at the UN Human Rights Council, which your department has also been called upon to answer, all of which have lowered the esteem of our country both locally and internationally,” the BASL said in a letter to the AG dated 4 June. “We would with respect, urge that you have a duty, in Law to prosecute these offenders and ask a court to decide on the case,” the letter said.